J. Patton Anderson was from Florida, the seceding state that was referred to as the ""tadpole"" of the Confederate states, but nevertheless was one of the Civil War's great military leaders. Anderson oversaw a large plantation, Casa Bianca, and his views meshed with secessionist views sufficiently for him to be elected as a delegate to the Secession Conference held in Montgomery, Alabama. After Florida seceded, President Davis appointed Anderson as a Brigadier General. Anderson engaged the enemy in the Western theater for four years under his mentor, General Braxton Bragg, who advanced him to Major General in command of the District of Florida. This is a complete biography of Anderson's life, including his service in the Mexican War, his appointment as United States Marshall to the distant Washington Territory, his adventure (with his wife, Etta Adair) of taking the 1853 Washington Territory census by canoe, his election as territorial delegate to Washington City, and his entire Civil War service. J. Patton and Etta Anderson's affectionate correspondence is an important aspect of this biography, revealing what it was like to be alive at this time and what it took to keep their family intact.
Writer and World War II veteran James W. Raab is also the author of Spain, Britain and the American Revolution in Florida, 1763-1783 (2007) and Confederate General Lloyd Tilghman (2006) and lives in St. Augustine, Florida.