Anderson, Washington (1817–1894)

By: Karen R. Thompson

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: December 1, 2020

Washington (Wash) Anderson, hero of the battle of San Jacinto, was born in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, where his grandfather, Richard Anderson, had been a captain in the Revolutionary War. He arrived at Port Lavaca, Texas, in February 1835 with his father, Dr. Thomas Anderson, and brother John D. Anderson. His mother was Chloe Glascock Anderson, who died when Wash was three years old.

Anderson served in Capt. Jesse Billingsley's company in the battle of San Jacinto, where he was wounded in the ankle. Several years later John Osburn Nash was quoted in the Houston Chronicle: "The old pioneer Wash Anderson was the true hero of San Jacinto, although history gives him no praise. Wash was never known to shout `go on' in battle, but was always known to say `come on' instead. He had more to do with turning the tide of the battle than Sam Houston did." Anderson is pictured in William H. Huddle's painting The Surrender of Santa Anna, which hangs in the Capitol in Austin. He also fought in the battle of Brushy Creek in 1839. The Andersons received several land grants for service.

On March 25, 1838, Anderson married his cousin Mary Ann Glascock. They had one daughter. Anderson, a devout Baptist, a Democrat, and a successful businessman, circulated and signed the petition to form Williamson County in 1848. He was one of the first county commissioners there. He built the county's first sawmill and gristmill and was one of the most prominent settlers of Round Rock, where he sold land to have the town platted. He also sold the land for the first college in the county, Greenwood Institute. After living in several log houses, the Andersons built a large rock house with separate slave quarters in 1859. The home is still standing on Brushy Creek in Round Rock; it received a Texas historical medallion in 1962. The Andersons were active in state affairs, especially the Texas Veterans Association. Wash Anderson died on April 28, 1894, and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Austin.

Sam Houston Dixon and Louis Wiltz Kemp, The Heroes of San Jacinto (Houston: Anson Jones, 1932). Bill Moore, Bastrop County, 1691–1900 (Wichita Falls: Nortex, 1977). Clara Stearns Scarbrough, Land of Good Water: A Williamson County History (Georgetown, Texas: Williamson County Sun Publishers, 1973). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

  • Exploration
  • Explorers (American)
Time Periods:
  • Texas Revolution
  • Central Texas
  • Austin

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

Karen R. Thompson, “Anderson, Washington,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 25, 2022,

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December 1, 2020