Julius A. Andrews was born in Columbus, Muscogee County, Georgia, on October 6, 1838. He was the fifth of ten children born to Samuel R. Andrews and Elizabeth (Day) Andrews. His father was an engineer and served as treasurer and alderman, as well as justice of the Inferior Court of Muscogee County. Much of Julius Andrews's early life is unknown, but it appears he had a military school education. Sometime before the start of the Civil War, Andrews moved to Louisiana and then to Jefferson, Texas. He enlisted in the First Louisiana Battalion on April 20, 1861. He was discharged as sergeant major "by reason of promotion & orders from Brig. Gen. Magruder…," dated August 26, 1861, at Richmond, Virginia.
Regarding his promotion, Andrews stated, "I was discharged from the Army of the Peninsula by reason of promotion to the rank of 1st Lt. of Cavalry and ordered to the Trans-Mississippi Department to report to Maj. R.P. Crump, who was recruiting the 1st Texas Battalion of Cavalry. A battalion of six companies was raised under the command of Col. R.P. Crump." Andrews enlisted as 1st lieutenant in Crump's Battalion and was promoted to regimental adjutant on November 4, 1861. When the battalion was organized into a regiment on May 8, 1862, Andrews was elected its colonel, and the command was designated the Thirty-second Texas Cavalry Regiment. At the time of his election, Andrews was twenty-four years old and one of the youngest full colonels in Confederate service.
Andrews led his regiment with distinction at the battles of Farmington, Mississippi (May 28, 1862); Murfreesboro, Tennessee (December 31, 1862); the siege of Jackson, Mississippi (July, 1863); Chickamauga (September 19–20, 1863), where he was wounded; the Atlanta campaign (May–September 1864); and Allatoona, Georgia (October 5, 1864). He also participated in John Bell Hood's Tennessee Campaign, where he was wounded a second time, on December 4, 1864. He recalled, "'while driving the enemy from their advanced redoubts, I was wounded and sent to the rear, recovering from my wound I again reported for duty." A few months later he fought in the last major battle of the war, the battle of Spanish Fort, Alabama, on April 8, 1865.
After the battle of Allatoona and the wounding of his brigade commander, Andrews rose to brigade command. Despite his youth, Andrews commanded the respect of his men and that of his superiors. On November 4, 1864, Andrews wrote the War Department in Richmond:
I presume it is not necessary for one to give details of service which my Regt. has rendered the government. I presume official reports of engagements in which the Regt. has for - for its reputation. This Regt. has been in Brig. Gen. M.D. Ector's Brigade ever since his appointment as Brigadier. I would respectfully offer you to Genl. Bragg for any information in regard to the Brigade you may desire as it served under him during the Tennessee and Kentucky campaigns also in North Georgia and the battle of Chickamauga.
Andrews was justifiably proud of the service his regiment and brigade had rendered to the Confederacy. Andrews did not lobby for a general's star, but his fellow officers did. On November 5, 1864, every officer commanding the various regiments in his brigade signed a petition requesting Andrews be commissioned brigadier general and command of the brigade. They wrote:
Col. Andrews has risen from Adjutant to the position of Colonel, and ranks as such from May 8th, 1862. He is a thorough tactician, [and] possessor of the qualities which enable a commander to govern men and is a most efficient and gallant officer. He has frequently commanded the Brigade and is now the Sr. Col. & in command of the Brigade. Col. Andrews is a Texan and his promotion would be received by this brigade as a compliment in recognition of his services. It is composed of four Tex. and 2 N.C. regts.
It appears the writer of the petition was Brig. Gen. Francis Marion Cockrell, who commanded another brigade in the division and later served as United States senator from Missouri from 1875 to 1905.
After his second wound, Colonel Andrews was sent to recuperate at St. Mary's Hospital, West Point, Mississippi. It appears he married shortly before or after his wound. Andrews returned to his command and was paroled at Meridian, Mississippi, on May 9, 1865, as colonel. Regardless of the support he had for promotion, Andrews was never promoted. After the surrender, Andrews, his wife, and two servants were issued transportation by the Union provost marshal to return to Shreveport from Mobile, Alabama.
Andrews was somewhat of a nomad in the post-war years. After the surrender, he and his wife Theresa (Freeman) returned to Enterprise, Clarke County, Mississippi, where their son, Ector Eaton, was born in 1866. By 1870 he was a successful merchant with some $6,800 in real and personal property. It appears he suffered a financial setback, because in 1880 Andrews, his wife, and son were living in Fort Worth, where he was listed as a "drummer." By 1886 Andrews was living in Belton, Bell County, Texas, where he was a member of the United Confederate Veterans Camp.
In 1894 Colonel Andrews was appointed Indian Agent to the Lemhi Indian Tribe in Idaho Territory. He resigned this post 4 years later and moved to Idaho Springs, Colorado, where he opened a steam laundry. While there he was indicated for embezzling funds entrusted to the Lemhi agency. Convicted in 1899, he served some years in the Idaho penitentiary. After his release, he moved to Indian Territory and located in Mountain View, Kiowa County. Almost thirty years later in 1923, at the age of eighty-four, he applied for a veteran's pension from the state of Oklahoma. He listed his occupation as a "cotton-weigher," and his only asset was his home, which he valued at $800. By 1923 all of Andrews's regimental, brigade, divisional, and corps commanders had passed away, and the only way he could be approved for a pension was to summarize his own military record—a record of marked ability and distinction. Andrews even included his parole, dated May 9, 1865, with his pension application. Later that year, the Oklahoma Board of Pensions confirmed his service and granted him a pension. Andrews lived the remainder of his life in Mountain View, where he passed away on December 28, 1928, at the age of ninety. He is buried in Mountain View Cemetery, Kiowa County, Oklahoma.