Pvt. Richard Sanders was born 31 May 1828 in Silver Creek, Marshall County, Tennessee to Moses Martin Sanders (1803-1878) and Amanda Armstrong Fausett (1810-1885) and died 18 August 1858 Amador County, California of unspecified causes.


Richard Twiggs Sanders & wife Antonia Ruelas

Richard Sanders was one of Co E of The Mormon Battalion, enlisting along with his step-brother, Henry Weeks Sanderson (1829-1896), who maintained a detailed journal of their tour of duty and other important family events. It is found here on

Moses Martin Sanders (1853-1926) rode on horseback from Old Mexico to California & found his brother, Richard Twiggs Sanders children. According to Maud M Sanders (1887-1966), his sister, Richard was killed in 1858 by Indians and his wife died of a broken heart. The wife's brother raised the children.

Mormon Battalion Service

When the Sanders family left Nauvoo with the exodus, they settled at Pigeon Grove, near Council Bluffs and here Moses worked in a saw pit during the year of 1847. The saw was run by hand and was a very slow, hard process.

Richard, being the oldest boy, at age 18, joined The Mormon Battalion, Company E and marched away on that long trek to California. This was the last sight his mother had of him as after the Battalion disbanded, he remained in California for several years, married a Spanish girl and had a little family.

Sanders Family legend is that after his close friend joined the Battalion (Henry Weeks Sanderson (1829-1896), who later married Richard's sister) that Richard wanted to join also but was turned down because he was barely 18 and slight of build. He donned his father's boots, long cloak and high hat and got in line again at the end. His dress did not fool Pres. Brigham Young who said: "well, my boy, if you want to go that bad, you may go.".

Several family members served with Richard in the Mormon Battalion:

Calaveras County Family

He settled near this area and married a beautiful Spanish girl by the name of Antonia Ruellas, 12 Jan 1850. They had two little girls and two boys, John, born 20 Aug 1851 in Calaveras County; Ellen, born 18 Aug 1853 at Mokelumne Hill, Calaveras County; Amanda, born 28 Feb 1855 at Volcano, Amador County; and Dan Sanders, born 14 Jun 1857, place not given.

For years no one seemed to know what happened to the children, who raised them and where? But around 1967 when the Sanders Organization was making the big push for family group sheets, a great-granddaughter of Moses Martin Sanders, Sr., Ellen LaFrankie Lindgren, sent in her sheet and it was brought to our attention that her mother, Maude Sanders LaFrankie, a granddaughter of Moses trough Moses Martin Sanders, Jr., had married a grandson of Richard Twiggs Sanders !

One story is told that his wife died in 1858 and shortly after, he started for Utah. He was killed on the way, shot in the back with an arrow by Indians.

So, from this Information, we learned the names of Richard's children and who some of them married. John Sanders, born 20 Aug 1851 md Mary Sanders Ellen Sanders, born 28 Aug 1853 md Emil Dinzler, died 31 July 1937. Amanda Sanders,born 28 Feb 1855,md John LaFrankie, about 1873 died 4 Sep 1927. Dan Sanders born 14 Jul 1857, nothing more known." In 1858, Richards wife, Antonia, died. Richard decided to bring his little family to Utah. They had not gone far when Richard was killed - shot in the back by Indians. His death date is given on one sheet as 1858/59 and on another as 1862.

Famous Ancestors


Offspring of Pvt. Richard Sanders and Antonia Ruelas (1829-1957)
Name Birth Death Joined with
John Sanders (1851-1908) 20 August 1851 Calaveras County, California 1908 Mary Sanders (1855-)
Ellen Sanders (1853-1937) 18 August 1853 Mokelumne Hill, Calaveras County, California 31 July 1937 California Emil Dinzler (1854-1936)
Amanda Sanders (1855-1927) 28 February 1855 Volcano, Amador County, California John Le Franchi (1839-1910)
Dan Sanders (1857-1875) 14 June 1857 Volcano, Amador County, California 1875


Vital Records

1852 California State Census

  • R.B. Sanders - m/23 - Calaveras Co, California - b:Tenn



Footnotes (including sources)