In the fall of 1867, a razor strap-thin young man, armed with only a knap sack and a small snare drum covered in a linsy-woolsy fabric, stopped off at the Archibald Waddle farm in what was then a bigger Hempstead County.

In the fall of 1867, a razor strap-thin young man, armed with only a knap sack and a small snare drum covered in a linsy-woolsy fabric, stopped off at the Archibald Waddle farm in what was then a bigger Hempstead County.
He introduced himself as Charles Montgomery Andres, a Civil War veteran heading back home to New Orleans. He said he needed work in order to finish his journey even though he had a fair “poke” from his enlistment bonus four years before. He was also carrying extra money from working his way from Savannah, Georgia, to the Sutton Community in present-day Nevada County.
It was harvest time and good hired help was hard to come by, but Waddle was an astute businessman and asked the young man a lot of questions to ascertain his character and background.
The story flowed easily. He was an orphan, raised in a Catholic orphanage in New Orleans from age 4; his parents were from France, his father a respected doctor; both his mother and father died in a “plague,’ his other brothers were in the orphanage too, but left to join the Confederacy. He apparently did not know the names of his parents or siblings, having never mentioned them.
He said he tried to join the Confederate Army but was turned down because of he was too young, so he marched 10 miles north of New Orleans and joined the Ninth Connecticut Regiment and served as a drummer boy for the duration of the war. His regiment saw heavy action in the Second Shenandoah Campaign in the fall of 1963.
He listed his birthday as June 25, 1847 and that date is recorded on his small tombstone in the Harmony Cemetery on Highway 73 near Sutton.
Three years of research discovered that the man known as Charles Montgomery Andres was born July 3, 1846 in New Orleans; he was christened as Charles Adrien Jean Baptiste Andree in St. Louis Cathedral. His father – Georges Adrien Andree – was a merchant; his mother was Josephine Laumonne (or Lamont, as listed in one document. He had two brothers: Charles Gustave Constant Andree and Georges Hyacinthe Andree; his parents and Charles died of either the yellow fever or cholera in late 1849 or early 1850. Only his brother Georges is listed in the 1860 census.
He was listed as Charles Andre on the orphanage rolls and that name followed him into the army.
Did he try and join the Confederate Army and was rejected? If so, it was not because of age. As an Army recruit he was listed variously as being 5-1 to 5-6 on various documents. In the summer of 1963 the Confederate Army was accepting drummer boys as young as 10; Charles was one month shy of 16 when he joined the Union Army.
While Confederate records were sketchy at best, there was a “Charles Andre” captured in April of 1863 in the Battle of Bayou Teche, near New Orleans. Was this “our” Charles Andre? If so, he did what thousands of Confederate soldiers did when captured – switched sides rather than be sent to a prison camp.
The timing for that move is right. “Charles Andre” was captured by Union Forces in April 1863. In the published history of the Ninth Connecticut Regiment  “Charles Andre” supposedly enlisted in December of that year. He was actually mustered in in June, but lost paperwork (he did not get paid for six month) created a need for the second enlistment date in December.
Regardless, he served with honor until April 1865 and started on what turned out to be a two-year westward trek. To his family, he never said much about the war, about his two years heading west until he found work at the Waddle plantation, now located on Nevada County Road 269.
He introduced himself as Charles Montgomery Andres and ended up courting and marrying the Waddles’ oldest daughter, Nancy Ann. In his life he was known as a hard-worker, a proficient and kind healer, a hard barterer and a man who fiercely believed in God, country and family.
He was one of the very few former soldiers to receive a monthly pension for his services – started at $19 and ending at $27 – a fact which did not sit well with the many Confederate soldiers in the area.
He settled on a 100-acre tract off Country Road 31, just outside what was later registered as the official Sutton city limits. He and his wife raised seven children, six boys and a girl. One son, George Logan Andres Sr., was a long-time Nevada County Justice of the Peace and worked as a motor patrol operator for the county.
Ten years ago at an Andres reunion, a collection of stories about the family was put together and copies were made for the oldest grandchild of each branch of the family tree.  Smith took the bare information in that collection of stories and spend three years researching his great-grandfather.
The result was the publication of a historical fiction of Andres’
Photos of Charles Montgomery Andres are available online in the life – “Reveille, A story of Survival, War and Family.” (The book was nominated for the Max Shaara Historical Fiction Award, and is available through
His ancestors – inlaws and blood kin – are scattered throughout Southwest Arkansas. Relatives in the area include two granddaughters, Wanda Ruth Andres Collins of Sutton and Betty Ann Andres White of Blevins; three great-grandsons, brothers Ron and Larry Andres of near Sutton, and Emmet, respectively, George S. Smith of Sutton; and great-great-grandson Christopher Jason Smith of Sutton and Tara Andres Chambless, Highway 278.