About Richard Snowden Andrews
Richard Snowden Andrews (October 29, 1830 – January 5, 1903) was an American architect and a Confederate artillery commander and diplomat during the American Civil War.
Andrews was a native of Baltimore, Maryland. A prolific antebellum architect, he designed the Weston State Hospital in West Virginia, the largest hand-cut stone building in America, in Gothic Revival and Tudor Revival styles. His other commissions included the Maryland Governor's residence in Annapolis and the south wing of the U.S. Treasury Building in Washington, D.C.
Andrews' sister married Virginian Charles Marshall, who would become a key member of Robert E. Lee's staff during the war.
During the Civil War, Andrews organized the First Maryland Light Artillery. He was later promoted to major in charge of a battalion of artillery batteries. Andrews was first wounded during the Seven Days Battles in July 1862.
In August of that year, the 31-year-old major was in charge of General Charles S. Winder's divisional artillery. On August 9, at the Battle of Cedar Mountain in Virginia, a Federal shell exploded close by, which nearly disemboweled Andrews when fragments struck his right side. Holding in his intestines with one hand and sliding from his horse, he fell to the ground and landed on his back. He lay there for hours before being sent to hospital. When surgeons examined him, they all insisted that the wound was fatal. In one account, the hospital surgeon insisted that there would be but one chance in a hundred of his survival. Reportedly Andrews answered, "Well, I am going to hold on to my one chance." The surgeon sewed him up with needle and thread and left him his one chance. Within eight months, and after being fitted with a silver plate over his wound, he returned to his unit. But luck left him again at the Second Battle of Winchester when he was wounded once more. After recovery from this third wound, he was assigned as an envoy to Germany.
1858-1864: Weston State Hospital, Weston, West Virginia
1867-1870: Eastern Female High School, Baltimore, Maryland
1870: Maryland Governor's Residence, Annapolis, Maryland
Richard Snowden Andrews was born in Washington, DC, October 29,1830, son of Col. Timothy Patrick Andrews and Emily Roseville Snowden Andrews. Educated at private schools in Washington and Georgetown, he was apprenticed at 18 to the carpentry trade as preparation for a career in architecture. His family moved to Baltimore in 1849. Andrews interned in the office of Niernsee & Neilson but left to establish his own practice in 1852. Eben Faxon (1821-1868), with whom Andrews sometimes collaborated, also had been an intern with Niernsee & Neilson. On December 18, 1855, Andrews married Mary Catherine Lee, daughter of Baltimore banker Josiah Lee.
During his architectural career, Andrews was involved in designing the Hospital for the Insane at Weston, West Virginia; the Governor’s Mansion, Annapolis; the South Wing of the Treasury Department, Washington, DC; the U.S. Custom House, Baltimore; Eastern High School; and numerous “churches and other buildings of lesser note.” Andrews had an interest in the Westham Granite Quarries, located on the James River about seven miles above Richmond, Virginia. These quarries were the source of granite for the State, War, and Navy Department buildings at Washington; the Baltimore Chamber of Commerce Building; the Hopkins Place Savings Bank, Baltimore; the Western Union Building, New York; and for the piers and elevator at Locust Point for the B&O Railroad.
Andrews had an illustrious military career. Upon the outbreak of the Civil War, he went to Richmond and organized the First Maryland Light Artillery. He was seriously wounded at Cedar Run, near Winchester, Virginia, in 1862. His injuries rendered him unfit for active service, but he remained employed in the ordinance department of the Confederate Army. He was in Cuba on army business when he heard of the end of the war, and vowed never to return to the United States. He went directly to Mexico, where he worked for two years on the construction of the Imperial Railroad between Vera Cruz and Mexico City. His family joined him in Mexico in February 1866. The downfall of the emperor Maximilian halted railway construction, and left Andrews unemployed; he returned with his family to Baltimore in 1867. He was a member of the Episcopal Church, and taught Sunday School at Emmanuel. He died January 5, 1903.
Between 1863 and 1872, Andrews changed his address several times. In 1873, he moved to the corner of Maryland and North Avenues, where he remained through 1879, after which he was no longer listed as an architect in the Baltimore city directories.
In 1910, Andrews’ son-in-law, Tunstall Smith, published a memoir primarily detailing Andrews’ military experience.