Name: Private John B. Anderson, Company C, 60th Virginia Infantry
Date: ca. 1862
Image Number: JW001
Comments: John B. Anderson was born on December 1, 1819, in Louisa County, Virginia, and was the son of John Anderson (1782-1862) and Nancy (Lasley) Anderson (1787-1854). On May 23, 1843, John married his first wife, Mary E. Morris (1787-1854), of Scottsville, Virginia. John and Mary were the parents of ten children:
Richard Morris Anderson (1844-1910)
Mildred A. Anderson (1846-1846)
Willie Catherine Anderson (1847-1906)
John J. Anderson (1849-1942)
Hugh Rice Anderson (1852-1942)
Phillip Leland Anderson (1855-1922)
Nora Francis Anderson (1857-1928)
Mollie L. Anderson (1859-1937)
Nannie Clark Anderson (1861-1942)
David Wiley Anderson (1864-1940).
John B. Anderson inherited one thousand acres situated on the border of Albemarle and Fluvanna counties in the 1850's according to his granddaughter, Nettie Anderson Troth, in 1998. John built a large farm there with a two-story frame house and several dependencies. Wheat and tobacco were his cash crops and at least ten slaves worked the land. It was this way of life in which John and Mary Anderson raised their children.
When the Civil War began in 1861, John B. Anderson joined the Confederate Army as a Private in Company C, 60th Virginia Infantry. Born in 1819, Private Anderson was in his 40's and basically too old to fight on the Confederate front lines during the war. Instead, his assigned military duty reportedly became one focused on finding food for his company's soldiers.
John B. Anderson's Civil War sword, which hung over the mantle at the home of his son, D. Wiley Anderson at Albevanna Springs near Scottsville. John's sword is now on display at Scottsville
Museum, thanks to its 2019 donation by Jean Williamson. Thank you, Jean!
Above is a closeup of the clip on John B. Anderson's sword which hooked over his belt.
After the Civil War, John B. Anderson returned to his family and his 1000-acre farm near Scottsville. Like most Southerners after the War, the Anderson family had to start over as the plantation system was extinct. After the war, the Anderson family tradition reports that a number of former slaves and their descendants continued to live and work on or near John B. Anderson's farm well into the twentieth century. As Virginians had little money after the War, farmers like John shared, traded, or made what they needed to run their households. According to the recollections of John's granddaughter, Nettie Troth, John taught his 9 children and the hired help the skills of barrel-, broom-, and furniture-making, and the Anderson children probably worked in the field alongside the hired help at times. The Anderson family developed an enduring work ethic and learned how to survive in hard times.
John B. Anderson became an accomplished carpenter and parlayed this talent into a reputable building business. Four houses built in Fluvanna County circa 1880 (Rivanna Farm, The Homestead, Oak Grove, and Old Gold Mine Farm) are attributed to him. John's descendant, Thomas Cleveland Sadler, reported the following anecdote in his "Memories of Bygone Years" to illustrate the building precision for which John B. Anderson was known: "One day John was on the roof of a house that he was building when he called down to an employee, 'Measure that piece of timber and measure it correctly.' The worker obliged and called back to him, 'It is four feet six inches, and a half, and a quarter, and one-eighth, and another darn little dot, and I don't know what it is!' John said, 'That will do. Hand it up here.' John's son, D. Wiley Anderson worked with his father on building projects from his teens until at least his mid-twenties and garnered a valuable background in the craft of building. This practical building experience later enhanced D. Wiley's practice as a Virginia architect.
John's wife, Mary Elizabeth (Morris) Anderson, passed away on July 31, 1893, at the Anderson farm. John's second wife was Nancy Kidd (1841-1934), whom he married on July 24, 1894. John B. Anderson passed away on October 17, 1911, near Scottsville, and he is buried at Scottsville Cemetery.
Military Gravestone Application for John B Anderson as filed by his son, D. Wiley Anderson
on July 21, 1931
John B. Anderson's Gravestone at Scottsville Cemetery.
1) "Family Record of Nathan B. Anderson As Found in the Bible of His Eldest son, John B. Anderson", (Images # JW007-JW010, Jean Williamson Collection, Scottsville Museum Digital Archives.
2) Sadler, Thomas Cleveland, "Memories Of Bygone Days", privately published, 1971. (Images #JW029-JW055, Jean Williamson Collection, Scottsville Museum Digital Archives).
3) Frazer, Susan Hume, "D. Wiley Anderson, Virginia Architect (1864-1940)"; Disertation submitted for partial fulfillment of Doctor of Philosophy degree for Hume at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), 1982; Chaper 2, pp 10-17; UMI Microfilm 3023400, Ann Arbor, MI.
4) Van Allen, Keith, "Captain John B. Anderson, A Short Biography and Summary Regarding His Civil War Sword." (Images #JW001-JW004, Jean Williamson Collection, Scottsville Museum Digital Archives).
5) Application for Military Headstone for John B. Anderson, July 21, 1931; War Department, OQMG Form No. 623. Completed by D. Wiley Anderson. Scottsville, VA.
6) John B. Anderson Military Headstone Photograph, Scottsville Cemetery (Image # 576AndersonJohn, Scottsville Museum Digital Archives).
7) Photographs of John B. Anderson's Civil War Sword, (Image # CG005cdCG2019 and CG008cdCG2019, Scottsville Museum Digital Archives).
8) John B. Anderson and Mary E. Morris Marriage Record, 16 May 1843, Albemarle Co., VA; Ancestry.com, Virginia, Compiled Marriages 1740-1850.
9) 1850 U.S Census, Fluvanna County, Virginia, 29 July 1850; Ancestry.com, Virginia; Roll: M432_944, Page: 8A; Image: 21.
10) 1860 U.S. Census, St. Annes Parish, Albemarle County, Virginia; Archive Collection No. T1132; Roll: 5; Page 93; Line 21; Enumeration Date: 09 Jun. 1960.
11) 1900 U.S. Census, Cunningham, Fluvanna County, Virginia, John B. Anderson; Page: 9; Enumeration District: 0073; Ancestry.com.
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