David Park

SANDERS, VALERIUS P. (1833–?). Valerius P. Sanders, Confederate cavalry officer, was born in Tennessee in September 1833. On January 1, 1862, at San Antonio, Texas, Sanders enlisted for Confederate service in Company A of the Fifteenth Texas Cavalry. When the Fifteenth was mustered into service on March 10, 1862, at McKinney in Collin County, he was promoted to captain. At the unit's first engagement on July 8, 1862, near Batesville, Arkansas, Sanders was singled out for "signal coolness and bravery" by the Fifteenth's commanding officer Col. George H. Sweet. A few days later on July 24, the Fifteenth was dismounted, and the unit served the remainder of the war as infantry. On October 21, 1862, Sanders was promoted major.

In late 1862 the Fifteenth was sent to aid in the defense of Arkansas Post. On January 10, 1863, Federal troops under Maj. John McClernand attacked the fort and captured it and the units the next day. Prisoner Sanders was first sent to Gratiot Street Military Prison in St. Louis, Missouri, then Camp Chase, Ohio, before arriving at Fort Delaware, Delaware, on April 12, 1863. While held by Union forces Sanders developed pneumonia and spent time in a Federal hospital in Missouri. On April 29, 1863, he was forwarded to City Point, Virginia, for a prisoner exchange and was received by Confederate forces shortly thereafter.

Following their release, and largely due to the high mortality rate in the prisons, the Sixth and Tenth Texas infantries were combined with the Fifteenth to form a single regiment, with Sanders acting as one of the field officers. The unit was then sent to Braxton Bragg's Army of Tennessee where it took part first in the battle of Chickamauga, and then the battle of Missionary Ridge on November 25, 1863. At this latter engagement, Sanders's right arm was seriously wounded and had to be amputated. He retired on September 6, 1864.

After the war, Valerius Sanders settled in Bandera, Texas, where he was the postmaster from 1893 to 1897. He later served as the county's treasurer. There is no record of him after 1900.


Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Texas, National Archives and Records Service, Washington. Texans in the Civil War: 15th Texas Cavalry (Also known as: 32nd Cavalry Regiment) (, accessed April 26, 2011.

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, David Park, "SANDERS, VALERIUS P. ," accessed June 18, 2019,

Uploaded on April 28, 2011. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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