James W. Sandiford
From: Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Northwest Louisiana; The Southern Publishing Company, Chicago & Nashville, 1890. Bio: Maj. James W. Sandiford, Red River Parish Source. Submitted by: Gwen Moran-Hernandez to USGENWEB and printed here with permission.
Maj. James W. Sandiford, a prominent and honored citizen of Red River Parish, La., and its present representative in the State Legislature, was born near Augusta, Richmond County, Ga., June 9, 1828, being a son of John and Mary (Wood) Sandiford, who were South Carolinians by birth. Maj. Sandiford is the eighth of their nine children-four sons and five daughters-but is the only one of this large family now living. All the children reached maturity, and but two attained the age of thirty years. James W. was but four years old when his mother was taken from him and was twelve years old when his father passed from life. Thus thrown upon his own resources at a tender age, he started out manfully to take up the duties of life for himself, and has ever since depended entirely upon himself for a livelihood. For tow years after the death of his father he worked for and uncle, Thomas Wood, of Herd County, Ga., and at fourteen years of age he accompanied another uncle John Wood, to Carroll County, Miss., where he remained for three years, working as a farm hand and attending school. He then left school and entered the service of the United States in the war with Mexico, but the requisition for the State of Mississippi being full, he was not permitted to serve his country in that struggle. He then came to Louisiana, and took up his residence in Bossier Parish, where for nine years he was engaged at farming, at the end of which time he removed to what is now Red River Parish, and located on the right bank of Red River, opposite the present town of Coushatta. Meanwhile, two years before leaving Bossier Parish, he had taken up the vocation of a teacher, and continued to teach school from 1854 to 1860. Upon the breaking out of the Rebellion, or in the spring of 1861, he organized a company of cavalry for the Confederate service, but as the Confederacy was receiving no cavalry from Louisiana at that time, he disbanded his company. In July, 1861, he helped to organize Company A, Twelfth Louisiana Infantry, and entered it as a second lieutenant, and was made adjutant of his regiment. He continued in those capacities with the same company and regiment, until October, 1964, participating in the battles of Belmont, Mo., Island No. 10, Baker's Creek, Jackson, Dalton, Resaca, New Hope Church, Lookout Mountain and Atlanta. In October, 1864, owing to reduced health, he was retired from the service for one year, at the end of which time the war had closed. Returning to his home in Red River Parish, he turned his attention to farming, and this has been his chief pursuit ever since. In 1865 he located on the plantation which he now occupies, nine miles above Coushatta, on the left bank of the Red River, which place has been his home ever since. His plantation is well improved and very desirable situated, nearly all of it being above the point of overflow. Mr. Sandiford was married June 7, 1846, to Miss Nancy Applewhite, who died in 1851, leaving an only daughter, Mary, who is still living. January 26, 1865, his second union took place, the maiden name of his wife being Martha E. Armistead, his present wife. By her he is also the father of one daughter, Carrie, who is now a young lady. In November, 1876, Mr. Sandiford was elected to the office of State senator from the Twenty-second Senatorial District, composed of the parishes of Red River, De Soto, Sabine and Natchitoches, being elected on the Democratic ticket, which he had always voted. He served for three years, or until 1879, and his reputation as a pure and intelligent legislator is the very best. His services while a member of this body were so satisfactory that in April, 1888, he was elected to the Lower House of the State Legislature, from the parish or Red River, and is still holding this office. He is a man who possesses much force of character and executive ability, and is recognized as a man of sound judgment, and one whose opinions are worthy the respect and confidence of all. In all circles, whether of a civil, or military or political character, he has discharged his duties in a manner which reflects great credit upon himself, and which shows his to be an honorable, upright man, and a loyal and patriotic citizen. By reason of his long residence and public service he is extensively known throughout the valley of the Red River, and all who have the fortune to know him, respect and honor him.
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