Captain William T. Anderson

William and Martha Anderson, Bill's parents came to Randolph County in 1840. This is the same year Bill was born. He had an older brother Ellis, younger brother James and younger sisters Mary C., Josephine and Martha. Mrs. Anderson's parents, William and Mahala Tomason also lived with the family. Bill's father was a professional Hatter and was a Charter Member of the I.O.O.F. Lodge here in 1847. The family lived north of town on the J.D. Hammet farm and in town near the Rake factory on West Depot Street. They later moved south of town in the Hagar school area to be nearer to relatives. In 1850 Bill's father went with a group of men from the county to the California Gold Fields. During this time away, Bill and his brothers were the heads of the family and their relationship with their sisters was both brotherly and fatherly. Bill attended school in town located near the corner of east Mulberry and north Oak street and the Hagar school south of town. As Pro-Southern settlers the family moved to Agnes City, Kansas in 1857.

It is believed that Bill served in the Missouri State Guard up until the withdrawal from Lexington, at which time he returned home. In March 1862, Bill's father was murdered by Pro-Northern neighbors in some type of dispute. Soon after the family moved back to Platte County, Missouri. By July, Bill and his brother Jim had joined with Quantrill's Partisan Rangers operating on the western border of Missouri. A year later, the Union authorities acting out of frustration for losing most all of their encounters with the guerrillas, decided to banish all Southerns in the area who were helping these men defend their homes. Mary and Josephine were arrested along with several other ladies in the area and imprisoned in an old hotel in Kansas City. On August 14, 1863 the building collapsed killing 14 year old Josephine and 3 others, and Mary being one of the badly injured. The anguish Bill felt was overwhelming and all Union Soldiers thereafter were shot on the spot that fell into his hands. This is the same policy that the Union had had for two years in Missouri. One lone Sergeant, that he hoped to exchange after Centralia, ever lived to tell about it.

Bill was killed in action October 26, 1864 near present day Orrick, Missouri. He was leading a charge through Union lines, seeing several comrades down, turned to help. His horse was shot and became uncontrollable and he was stuck down by a volley. The pain and anguish of losing a father, sister and numerous friends was over for this young man of 24. Can anyone say for certain, that under the same circumstances that they would have acted any different. When justice is aligned against you, your friends and family, denied you by force of arms, you either find your own, die trying or bow and surrender.

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