Term: Sanders, Col. Horace T. (1820-1865)
b. Sheldon, New York, May 1, 1820
d. Racine, Wisconsin, October 6, 1865
Col. Horace Sanders was a Racine lawyer who helped draft the Wisconsin constitution in 1848 and commanded the 19th Wisconsin Infantry during the Civil War.
Sanders was born and educated in western New York, where he received his college education and was admitted to the bar. In 1842 he came to Racine, Wisconsin, to open a practice.
He was elected district attorney of Racine County, and in 1847 he was chosen a delegate to the Constitutional Convention. Sanders also represented Racine in the Wisconsin Assembly in 1853.
Civil War Service
In November 1861, when he was 41 years old, Sanders interrupted his successful career to organize an infantry regiment in Racine. The 19th Infantry left Wisconsin on June 2, 1862, for Washington D.C. It was ordered to Alexandria, Virginia, then to Fortress Monroe, and eventually to Norfolk, Virginia. The regiment spent its time building roads and fortifications or guarding prisoners. Sanders also served as provost judge, hearing military legal cases.
At the end of April 1864, the 19th Infantry joined the campaign against Petersburg and Richmond, Virginia. Sanders was placed in command of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 18th Army Corps as it moved from Yorktown toward Petersburg.
Sanders' brigade fought at the battles of Fort Darling (May 12-14, 1864) and Fort Jackson (May 16, 1864). At the Battle of Fair Oaks (October 27-28, 1864), the 19th Infantry was effectively destroyed. Of the 180 men who entered the field, 136 were killed, wounded or captured. The remaining men were assigned to picket duty on the front outside Richmond, Virginia. They were among the first troops to enter the city when it fell on April 3, 1865.
Sanders was brevetted a brigadier general when the war ended, and returned home to Racine. After the hardships of war, his health quickly deteriorated. He died at home on October 6, 1865.
Links to Learn More
E.B. Quiner's history of the 19th Infantry in his book, "Military History of Wisconsin" (Chicago 1866)
View original documents related to Col. Horace Sanders
[Source: Proceedings… State Bar Assn of Wisconsin [1878-1885] (Madison, 1905): 248-249; Commemorative Biographical Record… of Racine and Kenosha Counties Wisconsin (Chicago, 1906); Quiner, E.B. The Military History of Wisconsin (Chicago 1866): 668-674