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CDV, General Robert Anderson

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CDV, General Robert Anderson (Image1)
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The gallant Union commander of Fort Sumter, South Carolina who withstood a 36 hour bombardment before surrendering the fort

(1805-1871) Born at "Soldier's Retreat," the Anderson family estate near Louisville, Kentucky. He graduated in the West Point class of 1825, and participated in the Black Hawk Indian War, in Florida. In the Mexican War, he fought in the Siege of Vera Cruz, the Battle of Cerro Gordo, the Skirmish of Amazoque, and the Battle of Molino del Rey where he was severely wounded while assaulting the Mexican fortifications, for which he received a brevet promotion to major. In November 1860, he was ordered to Charleston Harbor to take command of the three United States forts there; Castle Pickney, Fort Moultrie, and Fort Sumter, and all troops in the area, in the face of South Carolina's imminent secession. Major Anderson refused a formal demand for his surrender and in the early morning hours of April 12, 1861, Fort Sumter was bombarded by Rebel cannons, and the Civil War began. His small garrison withstood 36 hours under heavy fire before being compelled to surrender. Robert Anderson became a national hero in the North for his heroic stand. Ironically, the Confederate artillery attack was commanded by General P.G.T. Beauregard, who had been Anderson's student at West Point. He was promoted to brigadier general in the Regular U.S. Army, effective May 15, 1861. Anderson took the Fort Sumter's 33 star American flag with him to New York City, where he participated in a huge patriotic rally at Union Square that was the largest public gathering in North America until then. General Anderson then went on a highly successful recruiting tour of the North, with his next assignment placing him in another sensitive political position as commander of the Department of Kentucky, subsequently renamed the Department of the Cumberland, in a border state that had officially declared neutrality between the Union and the Confederacy. Anderson's last military assignment was a brief period as commanding officer of Fort Adams in Newport, Rhode Island, in August 1863. Anderson officially retired from the Army on October 27, 1863 "for disability resulting from long and faithful service, and wounds and disease contracted in the line of duty," but he continued to serve on the staff of the general commanding the Eastern Department, headquartered in New York City, from October 27, 1863, to January 22, 1869. On February 3, 1865, Anderson was brevetted to the rank of major general for "gallantry and meritorious service" in the defense of Fort Sumter. General Robert Anderson personally raised that same United States flag over Fort Sumter on April 14, 1865, exactly four years after he had hauled it down. Hours after the joyous ceremony of April 14, 1865, the country went into deep mourning as John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Abraham Lincoln. General Anderson died in Nice, France, on October 26, 1871, as he had been there seeking a medical cure for his ailments. He was 66 years old at the time of his death, and was buried at the United States Military Academy, at West Point, New York.

Wet plate, albumen carte de visite photograph, mounted to 2 3/8 x 4 card. Standing view wearing a double breasted frock coat probably as major, and Anderson is also sporting his overcoat on top of his uniform coat, and he is holding his bummer's kepi with hat insignia at his waist. Back mark: E. Anthony, 501 Broadway, New York, made from a photographic negative in Brady's National Portrait Gallery. There is a photographic sticker affixed on the reverse from McAllister & Brother, 128 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. This is most likely the M.B. Brady agent who sold this photograph. Sharp image. Desirable pose. Excellent condition.



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