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Nicholas Longworth Anderson

By James Barnett

Originally published in Cincinnati CWRT Newsletter, February 1968

©Cincinnati CWRT, 2008

Nicholas Longworth AndersonNicholas Longworth Anderson, the son of Larz and Catherine Longworth Anderson, was born in Cincinnati, April 22. 1838. On his father's side, he was the grandson of Col. Richard Clough, aide-de-camp to the Marquis de Lafayette, and on his mother's, he was the grandson of Nicholas Longworth, Cincinnati's wealthiest nineteenth century citizen. He was the nephew of Major Robert Anderson, who defended Fort Sumter, and he was the nephew, also, of Charles Anderson, 27th governor of Ohio. He was a first cousin of Gen. Allen Latham Anderson.

He was graduated from Harvard in 1858. Although born to wealth, he maintained the frontier scorn for the pretensions of the aristocracy of New England. He had this to say about the Bostonians of his day: "The inhabitants of New England are a peculiar people, truly 'sui generis' (in a class by itself.) They have three gods-Boston, money, and the Pilgrim Fathers ... Especially do they resent any disrespect to those grand old humbugs, the Puritans, whom they have apotheosized; sublimated into an embodiment of all that is good and pure and virtuous. Loyalty and attachment to ancestry is undoubtedly a valuable trait in any people. It implies faithfulness, honor and patriotism when moderately developed, but when too strongly cast, it implies idolatry, fanaticism and all sorts of ultraism."

After graduation from Harvard, Nicholas Longworth Anderson traveled in Europe and had just commenced the study of law when the Civil War broke out. He could have had a colonel's commission for the asking, as his father, Larz Anderson, was one of the principle supporters of Gov. William Dennison, but instead he volunteered as a private in the ranks of the Cincinnati militia company, the Guthrie Grays. On the organization of this militia company as the 6th Ohio Regiment, he was elected a lieutenant. Before leaving Camp Dennison, the 6th Ohio was re-organized as a three years' regiment, and Anderson became its lieutenant colonel. Serving in western Virginia, he took part in the engagements at Laurel Hill, Corrick's Ford, and other skirmishes.

The 6th Ohio was transferred to the Army of the Ohio, and Lt. Col. Anderson was with his men, serving under Cincinnati's Gen. Jacob Ammen on April 6, 1862. He then fought through the second day of the battle of Shiloh and took part in the siege and occupation of Corinth. On the resignation of the 6th Ohio's colonel, Nicholas Longworth Anderson became regimental commander with the rank of Colonel. While Bragg was invading and leaving Kentucky, Col. Anderson and his regiment helped hold Nashville until after the battle of Perryville.

He commanded his regiment through the battle of Stones River where he was wounded and forced to give up his command. He was sent back to Cincinnati to recover from his wound. He rejoined his regiment and resumed command in March 1863. He took part in Rosecrans' Tullahoma campaign and the first day of the Battle of Chickamauga. Here he was again wounded and forced to go back to the rear for convalescence. He rejoined his regiment in East Tennessee on January 15, 1864, and on several occasions commanded a brigade.

The 6th Ohio and Col. Nicholas Longworth Anderson, after three years of hard service with only a few survivors left out of the original 1861 group of soldiers, was mustered out of the service at Camp Dennison in June, 1864. After the Civil War, Col. Anderson was brevetted a brigadier general for meritorious service and later he was brevetted a major general for meritorious service at the battle of Chickamauga.

He married Elizabeth Kilgour in 1865 and completed his law studies which had been interrupted by the Civil War. On the death of his father, Larz Anderson, in 1878, all of his time was devoted to the management of the Longworth estate. In 1881 he moved to Washington, D.C. to live.

Suffering his last illness, Gen. Anderson went to Europe trying to regain his health at numerous watering places. He died in Lucerne, Switzerland on September 18, 1892, at the age of 54, and his remains were returned to Cincinnati for interment at Spring Grove cemetery.

Spring Grove Cemetery burial card for Nicholas Anderson ( Longworth Anderson burial card

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