Biography of General Thomas W. Sanderson
Mahoning County, OH Biographies

GEN. THOMAS W. SANDERSON, a prominent lawyer and citizen, exbanker, and author of this work, was born at Indiana, Indiana County, Pennsylvania, October 17, 1828. His father, Matthew D. Sanderson, who was of Scotch lineage, and a farmer by occupation, died at Warren, Ohio, in 1864. General Sanderson's mother, whose name in maidenhood was Mary Wakefield, was born in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, in the year of 1800, a daughter of Thomas Wakefield, and died in Deceniber, 1885, at Warren, Ohio.

Thomas W. Sanderson came with his parents to Youngstown, Ohio, at the age of six years, and was here educated and grew to man's estate. In early life he was urged by his friends to prepare himself for the profession of law, which was suited to his tastes, and being ambitious to lead a professional life, he decided on that vocation. He began reading law under the direction of William Ferguson, at Youngstown, in 1847, and in 1852, when scarcely 23 years of age, was admitted to the bar by the district court at Canfielci, then the county seat of Mahoning County. While studying law Mr. Sanderson also spent much time in civil engineering, and for a time after his admission to the bar, followed that occupation. In 1854 he began the practice of his chosen professin, in company with his brother in law, Francis C. Hutchins, with whom, however, he remained but a short time. Soon after beginning the practice of law he took appropriate rank at the bar, and in 1856 was elected to the office of prosecuting attorney for Mahoning County, in which he served one term. At the opening of the Civil War he had gained a large clientage and an enviable reputation at the bar, but he gave up his l)ractice to take part in the struggle to maintain the union.

On September 12, 1861, he enlisted in the Seccnd Ohio Volunteer Cavalry at Cleveland, as Regimental Adjutant and First Lieutenant. He was promoted to Captain of Company K, Second Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, October 7, 1861. He served as Regimental Adjutant and as Assistant Adjutant General of Doubleday's Brigade of Cavalry until May, 1862, when he resigned. He was appointed Major of the Tenth Ohio Voltinteer Cavalry by Governor David Tod, on January 15, 1863. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of the Tenth Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, April 20, 1864; was promoted to Colonel of the Tenth Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, January 19, 1865; promoted to Brevet Brigadier General, March 15, 1865. He was mustered out with the Tenth Ohio Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, at Lexington, North Carolina, July 24, 1865.

During the years of 1864-65 he was in command of brigades and divisions. He was with General Rosecrans from Stone River, and participated in nearly all the actions in which the Army of the Cumberland was engaged. He was wth General Sherman on the march to the sea and through the Corolinas until the surrender of General Johnston, taking part in a number of important battles. At Bear Creek Station, south of Atlanta, on the second day of Sherman's March to the Sea, General Sanderson, with one brigade of cavalry against three divisions of General Wheeler's cavalry, secured a dashing victory. His rank of Brigadier General was conferred for gallantry in action.

After the close of the great struggle General Sanderson returned to the practice of law at Youngstown, and now ranks as one of the leading lawyers of the state. His friends strongly urged his appointment to a Supreme Court judgeship, but in a personal letter to the General, President Harrison regretted his inability to make the appointment owing to the fact that three previous appointments to the Supreme bench had been made from Ohio. General Sanderson has ever been a well defined Republican in politics, but has always refused to enter the arena as a candidate for civil office. In 1872 he was a delegate at large from Ohio to the National Republican convention which nominated General Grant for re-election as President. As a railroad lawyer Mr. Sanderson has done much successful practice for several companies, and has won an enviable reputation for such form of practiëe. As a business man he is practical and successful, and is shrewd and accurate as a planner and calculator. He was formerly vice president of the Commercial National Bank at Youngstown, but after serving some time he resigned, owing to the pressure of other business duties. He is however interested in several other business concerns.

Mr. Sanderson was married December 19, 1854, to Miss Elizabeth Shoemaker, of Youngstown, formerly of Pennsylvania. They have had two children, a daughter who died in July, 1901, and a son who died in early infancy.

20th Century History of Youngstown
and Mahoning County, Ohio and
Representative Citizens,
Edited and compiled by Gen. Thos. W. Sanderson
Youngstown, Ohio
Biographical Publishing Company
Chicago, Illinois 1897

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