Thursday, October 09, 2014

Lieutenant Colonel Paul F. Anderson.

Fourth Tennessee Cavalry, Regimental History.

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Lieut. Col. Paul F. Anderson was a native of Wilson County, Tenn., but a few years before the War between the States he was residing in the State of Texas. He attached himself to the Eighth Texas Cavalry Regiment, which was organized among the first Confederate troops, and went with that regiment to Gen. Albert S. Johnston's army, then at Bowling Green, Ky. He was with Colonel Terry, commanding the Eighth Texas, at Woodsonville, above Bowling Green, when that most gallant officer was killed.

John A. Wharton, who succeeded Terry in command of the regiment, gave Anderson authority to go to his old home at Lebanon, Tenn., and recruit a company, which he did, enlisting the celebrated "Cedar Snags," composed of young men of the best families from the counties of Wilson, Davidson, and Sumner, afterwards becoming Company K of the Regiment. At the date of the organization of the Regiment Col. John A. Wharton had become a major general and took Company K as his escort.

Anderson becoming lieutenant colonel of the Regiment, James H. Britton succeeded him as captain of Company K, both holding their ranks till the surrender, in 1865. Lieutenant Colonel Anderson was a brave and most gallant officer. To hear him talk one would conclude that he was too rash ; but, really, he was one of the most discreet officers that were to be found. He knew better when to make or decline a fight than any officer of my acquaintance.

His quaint sayings became proverbial in the army, and the infantry especially would cry out as he passed : "Here comes Paul." It seemed that he knew everybody and everybody knew him. I have heard Major General Hume, who was commanding the division, say to Lieutenant Colonel Anderson as he passed his line of battle: "Well, Colonel Paul, you know better than I can tell you what to do if the enemy approaches your line." Anderson was wounded slightly at Fort Donelson in February, 1863, and in the Kilpatrick fight at Fayetteville.

A few days or a week before the surrender he was absent for some cause, and I do not think he was with the Regiment at the time of the surrender. I know that Colonel Smith was in command of the brigade and Major Bledsoe was in command of the Regiment. Anyhow, he had fought the fight to a finish and had won all the honors a parole could confer upon him. After the surrender he settled in Helena, Ark. He died there of yellow fever some years ago, greatly respected by the citizens, who buried him near the monument erected to Gen. Pat Cleburne.

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