(submitted by Gerald & Tammy Westmoreland)
Andrew M. Chandler was a native of Clay county, a member of one of its honored pioneer families, and was one of its successful planters and a popular citizen. His also wass the distinction of having rendered gallant service as a soldier of the Confederacy in the war between the States, and in the private walks of life his fidelity and integrity were as distinctively in evidence as was his loyalty during the dark period of the Civil War.
He was born on the homestead plantation, in Clay County, April 3, 1844, and was a son of Roy and Louisa (Garner) Chandler, the former of whom was born in Virginia, in 1814, and the latter in Fayetteville, Tennessee, in 1810. Roy Chandler was a grandson of Timothy Chandler, who was a soldier in the Continental line during the War of the Revolution, and was a son of Willis Chandler, who passed his entire life in the Old Dominion State. The Chandler lineage traces to staunch English origin, and the progenitors in America were three brothers, one of whom settled in Massachusetts, one in Kentucky and the third in Virginia, the last mentioned being the direct ancestor of the subject of this bio. Louisa (Garner) Chandler was a daughter of Brice M. Garner, who served under General Jackson in the War of 1812, taking part in the battle of New Orleans, and having previously served under the same commander in the Indian wars in Alabama.
In 1839 Roy Chandler came from Virginia to Mississippi, and in 1841 he purchased 320 acres of land in Clay county, later disposing of this property and purchasing another tract, of 640 acres. In 1849 he bought another plantation of the same area, which was the residence of his son, B. S. Chandler, Sr., who entered the Confederate service in 1862, serving under Forrest and Wheeler, in Miller's Mississippi cavalry, which command formed a part of President Davis' escort, surrendering at Washington, Georgia, May, 1865. Here Roy passed the remainder of his life, honored by all who knew him. He met his death in 1854, having been thrown from a horse and received injuries which resulted in his death. His widow survived until 1867. After the death of the mother the sons owned all of the property in common until the incumbrance of $10,000, assumed by their mother prior to the Civil war, had been paid through their earnest and persistent efforts. Andrew then bought the plantation of 320 acres which his father had first secured, his uncle having been the owner at the time of this transfer, and later added to his landed estate until he had 1,280 acres, being one of the successful planters of this part of the State and having a home of which he may well be proud.
The father was a member of the Masonic fraternity and his religous views were in harmony with the tenets of the Baptist church which he regularly attended, his wife having been a devout member of the Christian church. Andrew M. Chandler secured his fundamental education in the common schools of his native county and thereafter continued his studies in Summerville Institute, a well ordered institution conducted by Prof. T. S. Gathright, in Noxubee County. He was aiding in the management of the home plantation at the time when the gruesome pall of Civil war began to obscure the national horizon.
He promptly manifested his loyalty to the cause of the South, having enlisted as a private in the company raised at Palo Alto, in August, 1861, and mustered into the Confederate service as Company F, Forty-fourth Mississippi infantry, under Col. A. K. Blythe and Capt. D. F. Coopwood. He proceeded with his command to the front and was always to be found at the post of duty during the long and weary struggle and turbulent warfare which ensued. He was never reprimanded or received punishment of any sort during his entire military career—a fact whose significance is unmistakable. Among the engagements in which he participated may be mentioned Belmont, Shiloh, Murfreesboro, and Chickamauga. At Murfreesboro he was promoted second sergeant, for gallantry and uniformly good conduct on field and in camp. In the battle of Chickamauga he received a wound in the right leg, the injury being such as to cripple him for life, but he continued in service until the close of the war, though several times tendered an honorable discharge. He received his parole, at Columbus, Mississippi, in June, 1865. He was a member of the United Confederate Veterans and was held in high esteem by his old comrades in arms.
In politics Mr. Chandler gave an unswerving support to the Democratic party, and he served four years as justice of the peace, having been appointed by Governor Alcorn and having accepted the office only at the earnest solicitation of his many friends. He was affiliated with the Knights of Honor and both he and his wife were zealous members of the Christian church. On Feb. 6, 1866, Mr. Chandler was united in marriage to Miss Fannie Ivy, daughter of Sterling G. and Isabelle (Gates) Ivy, of Chickasaw County, and she was summoned to the life eternal March 14, 1878. Following is a brief record concerning the children of this marriage: Roy H. was engaged in the wholesale dry goods and grocery business in West Point; Benjamin Sterling was associated with his elder brother in the enterprise noted; Thomas K. was a retail grocer in West Point; Loubelle was the wife of John H. Turkville, of Jackson, Mississippi; and Andrew M., Jr., was a carrier on a rural free delivery route from West Point. All of the children were born in the same dwelling but in three different counties, as the homestead was originally in that part of Chickasaw County which was later made Colfax county, and still later Clay County. In November, 1880, Mr. Chandler contracted a second marriage, being then united to Miss Rowena Coopwood, daughter of William C. Coopwood, of Clay County, and the only child of that union was Mary Ivy, wife of W. Harry Dodenhoff, of West Point.