Confederate Brig. General John C. C. Sanders from Alabama

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#1
Born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on April 4, 1840, Sanders actually grew up in Clinton in Greene County. He enrolled in the University of Alabama as a student in 1858. At the outbreak of the war, he was still a student there. He left his studies to enlist in the Eleventh Alabama Infantry. He was quickly elected captain of his company.

Sanders was severely wounded at the battle of Frayser's Farm during the Seven Days' Battle with the regiment - a shell fragment tore into his leg. Nevertheless, he remained on the battlefield till after dark.

Returning to duty on August 11, he took command of the regiment, formally being promoted as its colonel after Sharpsburg, where he was slightly wounded in the face by rocks tossed into the air by artillery fire, at the age of just twenty-two. Sanders fought with great gallantry, serving at Fredericksburg, Salem Church, and Gettysburg. At Gettysburg, Sanders was wounded on July 2 in the knee by a minie ball but does not appear to have left the Army of Northern Virginia.
Sanders had shone brightest at Spotsylvania, taking over the brigade of the dying Abner Perrin and earning a brigadier’s promotion on May 31, 1864.


Assigned to Mahone’s Division, he had distinguished himself in the Petersburg siege, in the combat at the Crater and in leading his own and a North Carolina brigade at Deep Bottom.

On August 21, 1864, Sanders’s Brigade was involved in fierce fighting along the Weldon Railroad south of Petersburg. The railroad was one of Robert E. Lee’s crucial supply lines, linking Richmond and Petersburg with the Confederacy’s last major sea port of Wilmington North Carolina. But on August 19, the federals had seized a section of the tracks at Ream’s Station, forcing the Confederates to try to retake the line. Mahone’s Division, including Sanders, attacked two days later.

Sanders was leading his Alabamians on foot when a minie ball sliced through both of his thighs, ripping his femoral arteries. Despite his injuries, Sanders did not collapse, instead telling his adjutant, “Take me back.” Bleeding heavily, the general the general was carried a short distance to the rear before he asked to be laid down. He died minutes later and Mahone’s assault was repelled.

The Alabamians lamented the “sad loss” of Sanders, “our young and gallant brigadier, who gave his life to the cause,” one of his men recalled, “I knew that none were braver than he,” added a private in the 11th Alabama. “He was stern but kind, and always looked after the comfort and safety of his men, and as the war progressed he grew continually in their estimation.”
The Charleston Mercury described the battle casualties, stating that “none was more beloved, or will be more regretted, that the gallant” Sanders. The article added that he was “a thorough soldier…yet a gentleman and a patriot…devoted to his duties, modest in deportment, of no selfish disposition.”


His body was taken to Richmond the next day and was placed in a vault in Hollywood Cemetery. From there he was interred in the Maryland Section for a short while, but his family decided to move his body to lot O-9, which was owned by John C. Page, a wealthy shoe merchant who had cared for him in 1862 after he had been wounded at Frayser’s Farm. Somehow the exact location of his grave has been lost, and in 1971 a granite marker to his memory was erected in John C. C. Sanders Section R. The marker reads: IN THIS CEMETERY LIES GEN. JOHN CALDWELL CALHOUN SANDERS C.S.A. APR. 4, 1840 - AUG. 21, 1864, LEE CHAPTER U.D.C. 123 1971

Wikepedia reports Sanders was reinturred in Alabama in 1918.

Source of information: And Then A.P. Hill Came Up; 1997-2010 by Jen Goellnitz, the life and career of General Ambrose Powell Hill. The website Geni.com.
http://www.hollywoodcemetery.org/john-c-c-saunders


Gallant Dead, The: Union and Confederate Generals Killed in the Civil War, pg. 296.
http://www.amazon.com/Gallant-Dead-The-Confederate-Generals/dp/0811701328

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_C._C._Sanders
 

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Tom Elmore

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#4
Sanders graduated from the University of Alabama in 1861 with an A.B. (Bachelor's degree). (sources: History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography, vol. IV, p. 1496; A Register of the Officers and Students of the University of Alabama 1831-1901, comp. by Thomas Waverly Palmer, Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Published by the University, 1901, p. 144.)

During the retreat from Gettysburg in July 1863, Sanders shared a makeshift ambulance with two fellow officers of the 11th Alabama. (source: The Alabama Review, a Quarterly Journal of Alabama History, vol. 32, April 1979, no. 2, published by the University of Alabama Press) One of these fellow officers was likely Major Richard J. Fletcher, who was wounded in the right leg on July 2 and treated at General Hospital #4 in Richmond. (source: Confederate Casualties at Gettysburg, Busey and Busey, 1:116) A "makeshift" ambulance suggests a conveyance recently confiscated from a Pennsylvania citizen (carriage, buggy or wagon).
 
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Tom Elmore

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Captain George Clark of Company B, 11th Alabama was the third officer carried back in the same ambulance with Colonel Sanders and Major Fletcher. Clark writes that they were in a wagon fitted up as an ambulance. They departed the field about 11 a.m. on July 4. (A Glance Backward, by George Clark, Houston, TX: Press of Rein & Sons Company, 1914, p.41)
 
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#6
I don't know that this adds much, but it's from Ezra Warner's 1959 work, Generals in Gray; Lives of the Confederate Commanders. It's hard to do a biography of a man who died at age 24, without primary sources as to his young life. That he was commissioned Brigadier General at 24 is remarkable enough.

IMG_20181127_184614.jpg
 

AUG

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#9
Portrait of Sanders:
Portrait_of_Brigadier_General_John_Caldwell_Calhoun_Sanders_CSA.jpg

http://digital.archives.alabama.gov/cdm/singleitem/collection/photo/id/5217/rec/282


The brigade he led was formerly commanded by and best known as Wilcox's (Perrin only in command for a short while, after Wilcox rose to division command), consisting of the 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 14th Alabama.


Here are a few accounts of Sanders' and the brigade's actions at the Crater, where they made the last counter charge to retake the lost ground:

http://www.beyondthecrater.com/reso...cv/cv-v03n02-alabamians-in-the-crater-battle/

http://www.beyondthecrater.com/reso...chmond-times-dispatch-sanders-al-brig-crater/

https://archive.org/details/confederateveter14conf/page/178
 

lelliott19

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#10
It's a pity there's no published biography of him of available; considering his very brief life it's likely he never generated much correspondence. If anyone knows of any sources of information on Sanders, please let me know. Does anyone know what kind of headgear or sidearms he likely would have worn?
John C C Sanders.JPG

"Colonel Hilary A. Herbert's 'History of the Eighth Alabama Volunteer Regiment, C.S.A.' edited by Maurice S. Fortin." The Alabama Historical Quarterly, Vol. 39, Nos. 01 - 04, 1977. Page 175. http://digital.archives.alabama.gov/cdm/compoundobject/collection/quarterly/id/1143/rec/11
 
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#11
I don't know that this adds much, but it's from Ezra Warner's 1959 work, Generals in Gray; Lives of the Confederate Commanders. It's hard to do a biography of a man who died at age 24, without primary sources as to his young life. That he was commissioned Brigadier General at 24 is remarkable enough.

View attachment 212345
View attachment 212407
"Colonel Hilary A. Herbert's 'History of the Eighth Alabama Volunteer Regiment, C.S.A.' edited by Maurice S. Fortin." The Alabama Historical Quarterly, Vol. 39, Nos. 01 - 04, 1977. Page 175. http://digital.archives.alabama.gov/cdm/compoundobject/collection/quarterly/id/1143/rec/11
Thanks guys! I'm going to see if Sanders' papers were collected.
 
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#13
Unless I am mistaken, J. C. C. Sanders was the second youngest Confederate General.
The youngest being William Paul Roberts, born July 11th 1841, and promoted at age 23, February 23rd 1865.
And just behind Sanders in third place, by only 4 days from birth, is John H. Kelly, born March 31st (which happens to be my birthday; hence why I have him as my avatar). Since Kelly was promoted November 17th 1863, he was 23 at promotion. So, by date of promotion he is the youngest.
 



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