John Anderson (1816-1898) North Carolina and Georgia

Correcting the Record of John Anderson’s Military Service – CSA

John Anderson (1816-1898) – Private, Co. K, 1 Regiment NC Cavalry (9 State Troops)

Various sources, including North Carolina Troops, A Roster 1861-1865, Volume II,1 show incorrectly that my ancestor, John Anderson (1816-1898), deserted his unit during the War for Southern Independence. This error resulted from a failure by the original preparer of the compiled service record (CSR), who combined records for two men of the same name; and, by the failure of subsequent researchers to recognize the error when preparing their publications. A careful review of the CSR obtained at Fold3.com2 makes it very clear that two men are represented.

In addition, because John Anderson and his widow Mary obtained pensions from the State of Georgia3 for his service, we know that he did not desert the Confederate States Army. Deserters were not eligible for pensions.

The following is a summary of the portion of the Compiled Service Record that relates to John Anderson (1816-1898).

1861     Nov-Dec: Muster Roll – present; enlisted 25 June 1861 by J. W. Woodfin at Camp Woodfin [probably in Macon County, North Carolina, his residence in 1860].

1861     28 Nov: Receipt Roll – pay for 25 June – 1 Sep 1861. Rate of pay $12.00, Raleigh.

1862     Jan-Feb: Muster Roll – present, sick in quarters

1862     8 May: Certificate of Disability for Discharge – disability by age and general inefficiency; also suffers from acute rheumatism when exposed to damp weather. W. L. Hilliard, Surgeon, 1st NC Cavalry

1862     10 May: Discharge Certificate – discharged by T. P. Siler,4 Camp Mars [near Kinston, NC]; last paid through 31 Dec 1861; due $52.00; born Buncombe County, NC; age 47; 6 ft 1 in; light complexion; grey eyes; light hair; farmer by occupation. Signed T. P. Siler, Captain.

1862     1 Jan – 10 May: Receipt for pay appears on the bottom portion of the Discharge Certificate – 4 months and 10 days at $11.00 per month, $52.00. Received of Major A. F. Cone, AQM, 13 May 1862, by Voucher No. 143, $52.00. Signed John Anderson by his mark. Witness T. H. Holmes, Jr.

1862     May-June: Muster Roll – discharged at Camp Mars, NC, May 10, 1862.

Undated            Roll of Honor: John Anderson, 9th Regiment NC Troops (Cavalry); Macon County, [NC]; age 46; Volunteer; discharged for disability.

The physical descriptions of the above man and that of the one discussed below clearly show that they are two different men.

Another John Anderson, Private, Company K, 1st Regiment NC Cavalry

Combined with the above CSR cards are those for a John Anderson, Private, 1st Regiment NC Cavalry, enlisted 27 November 1863 at Orange Court House, Virginia, by W. M. Adington. The physical description of this man is shown on his Oath of Amnesty, administered in Washington, D.C., on 22 March 1864. He was a resident of Alleghany County, NC; dark complexion; brown hair, blue eyes, 5 ft 6″ height.

He is listed on a Prisoner of War Roll dated 28 January 1864, at Lincoln General Hospital, Washington, D.C., admitted from Kalorama Hospital. He deserted the CSA on 26 November 1863 at the Rappidan River. CSA muster roll records show him MIA as of 29 November 1863.

He was admitted to Kalorama (Eruptive Fever) U.S.A. General Hospital, Washington, D.C., on 30 December 1863, having contracted Variola (measles). He was returned to duty 25 Jan 1864, and admitted to Lincoln Hospital on 28 January 1864 where he was listed on the POW roll.


Of three books that describe the service of my John Anderson4, the entries are nearly identical, and all contain the same erroneous information. To investigate the accuracy of these entries, a secondary source must be used (CSR cards) because the original service records are no longer available to the public. If the CSR attributed to John Anderson had been carefully reviewed by any of the persons who cite it, it would have been immediately obvious that two men were represented. In this case, using the book abstracts alone would lead a family historian to believe a completely false assertion. It’s impossible to stress enough the importance of checking the original source of the information you wish to use.

Matthew Brown, editor of North Carolina Troops, A Roster 1861-1865, can be contacted at the Historical Publications branch of the North Carolina Office of Archives and History if you wish to contribute a correction to an ancestor’s record (


  1. Louis H. Manarin, compiler, North Carolina Troops 1861-1865, A Roster, Volume II, Cavalry (Raleigh, North Carolina : North Carolina Department of Archives and History, 2004), 90.
  2. Compiled service record, John Anderson, Pvt., Co. K, 1st Regiment N.C. Cavalry, (9th NC Troops), Civil War, digital images, ( : accessed 10 October 2013).
  3. John Anderson, Private, Co. K, 1st Regiment North Carolina Cavalry (9th NC Troops); Confederate Pension Applications, Georgia Confederate Pension Office, RG 58-1-1, Georgia Archives, Morrow, Ga., Georgia Confederate Pension Applications, digital images, / Virtual Vault ( : accessed 18 March 2014).

Mrs. M. L. Anderson, widow of John Anderson, Confederate Pension Applications, Georgia Confederate Pension Office, RG 58-1-1, Georgia Archives, Morrow, Ga., Georgia Confederate Pension Applications, Bartow County, Georgia, digital images, ( : accessed 18 March 2014;

and Gordon County, Georgia ( : accessed 18 March 2014;

Widow’s Bartow County supplemental application includes John Anderson’s discharge certificate, Record ID: cpa35765 ( : accessed 18 March 2014). All images found at the Georgia Archives Virtual Vault. There are two sets of Confederate Pension Application records in the Virtual Vault. One is the first set of records microfilmed. The “Supplement” images were filmed separately at a later date.

  1. Manarin, North Carolina Troops 1861-1865 … Volume II, 90. Carroll G. Moore, compiler, A List of Confederate Soldiers from Macon County, North Carolina . . . lest we forget (Shelby, North Carolina: Westmoreland Printers, 2nd printing, 2005), 8. Chris J. Hartley, author, Stuart’s Tarheels, James B. Gordon and his North Carolina Cavalry in the Civil War, 2nd edition (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland and Company, 2011), 249.