A Civil War Biography

John Caldwell Calhoun Sanders

Sanders was born 4 April 1840 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He entered the University of Alabama in 1860 but resigned when Alabama seceded.

He joined the 11th Alabama and was elected captain of a company. The 11th didn't see its first action until Seven Pines. During the Seven Days' campaign Sanders was severely wounded at White Oak Swamp on 30 June 1862. He returned to duty on 11 August and was named commander of the regiment. He commanded the regiment at Sharpsburg after which he was promoted to colonel, at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg where he was wounded. He served as president of the division court martial while recuperating then returned to regimental command in the spring of 1864. He commanded the 11th during the Wilderness and at Spotsylvania, taking over command of the brigade when Abner M. Perrin was killed. Sanders was commissioned brigadier general to date from 31 May. He commanded a brigade of veteran Alabama regiments at Petersburg leading a countercharge on 30 July after Pennsylvania miners exploded a mine under the Confederate lines creating the crater. While engaged along the Weldon railroad on 21 August 1864 Sanders was mortally wounded. A bullet passed through his thighs severing both his femoral arteries. He bled to death in a few minutes.

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