Robert Anderson (June 14, 1805 October 26, 1871) was a United States Army officer during the American Civil War. To many, he was a hero who defied the Confederacy and upheld Union honor in the first battle of the American Civil War at Fort Sumter in April 1861. The Confederates bombarded the fort and forced its surrender to start the war.After Sumter fell, Anderson was promoted to brigadier general and given command of Union forces in Kentucky, but was removed late in 1861 and reassigned to Rhode Island, before retiring from military service in 1863. Anderson was born at "Soldier's Retreat, " the Anderson family estate near Louisville, Kentucky. His father, Richard Clough Anderson, Sr. (17501826), served in the Continental Army as an aide-de-camp to the Marquis de Lafayette during the American Revolutionary War, and was a charter member of the Society of the Cincinnati; his mother, Sarah Marshall (17791854), was a cousin of John Marshall, the fourth Chief Justice of the United States.
 He graduated from the United States Military Academy (West Point) in 1825, and received a commission as a second lieutenant in the 3rd Regiment of Artillery. A few months after graduation, he became private secretary to his older brother Richard Clough Anderson, Jr.Who was serving as the US Minister to Gran Colombia. He served in the Black Hawk War of 1832 as a colonel of Illinois volunteers, where he had the distinction of twice mustering Abraham Lincoln in and once out of army service. He also was in charge of transporting Black Hawk to Jefferson Barracks after his capture, assisted by Jefferson Davis.
Returning to regular Army service as a first lieutenant in 1833, he served in the Second Seminole War as an assistant adjutant general on the staff of Winfield Scott, and was promoted to captain in October 1841. In the MexicanAmerican War, he participated in the Siege of Vera Cruz, March 929, 1847, the Battle of Cerro Gordo, April 1718, 1847, the Skirmish of Amazoque, May 14, 1847, and Battle of Molino del Rey on September 8, 1847. He was severely wounded at Molino del Rey while assaulting enemy fortifications, for which he received a brevet promotion to major.
Due to his wounds, Anderson was on sick leave of absence during 184748. He was then in garrison at Fort Preble, Maine from 1848 to 1849. He then served from 1849 to 1851 as a member of Board of Officers to devise "A Complete System of Instruction for Siege, Garrison, Seacoast, and Mountain Artillery, " which was adopted on May 10, 1851. From 1855 to 1859, in view of his precarious health and probably also due to his connections to General Winfield Scott, Anderson was assigned to the light duty of inspecting the iron beams produced in a mill in Trenton, New Jersey for Federal construction projects.
While residing in Trenton, Anderson became a Freemason and was a member of Mercer Lodge No. He eventually received a permanent promotion to major of the 1st Regiment of Artillery in the Regular Army on October 5, 1857.
He was the author of Instruction for Field Artillery, Horse and Foot in 1839. When South Carolina seceded In December 1860, Major Anderson, a pro-slavery, former slave-owner from Kentucky, remained loyal to the Union.
He was the commanding officer of United States Army forces in Charleston, South Carolina, the last remaining important Union post in the Confederacy. He moved his small garrison from Fort Moultrie, which was indefensible, to the more modern, more defensible, Fort Sumter in the middle of Charleston Harbor. South Carolina leaders cried betrayal, while the North celebrated with enormous excitement at this show of defiance against secessionism. In February 1861 the Confederate States of America was formed and took charge. Jefferson Davis, the Confederate President, ordered the fort be captured.
The artillery attack was commanded by Brig. Beauregard, who had been Anderson's student at West Point. The attack began April 12, 1861, and continued until Anderson, badly outnumbered and outgunned, surrendered the fort on April 14. The battle began the American Civil War.
No one was killed in the battle on either side, but one Union soldier was killed and one mortally wounded during a 50-gun salute. Robert Anderson's actions in defense of Fort Sumter made him an immediate national hero. He was promoted to brigadier general, effective May 15.
Anderson took the fort's 33-star flag with him to New York City, where he participated in a Union Square patriotic rally that was the largest public gathering in North America up to that time. In 1862, recognition of his heroism, Anderson was elected an honorary member of the New York Society of the Cincinnati.
Anderson then went on a highly successful recruiting tour of the North. His next assignment placed him in another sensitive political position, commander of the Department of Kentucky (subsequently renamed the Department of the Cumberland), in a border state that had officially declared neutrality between the warring parties. He served in that position from May 28, 1861.
Historians commonly attribute failing health as the reason for his relinquishment of command to Brig. Sherman, on October 7, 1861. But a letter from Joshua Fry Speed, Lincoln's close friend, suggests Lincoln's preference for Anderson's removal.Speed met with Anderson and found him reluctant to implement Lincoln's wishes to distribute rifles to Unionists in Kentucky. Anderson, Speed wrote to Lincoln on October 8, seemed grieved that [he] had to surrender his command... [but] agreed that it was necessary and gracefully yielded. In 1862 Anderson was elected an honorary member of the New York Society of the Cincinnati. Anderson's grandnephew, Ambassador Larz Anderson, was highly active in the Society.
General Anderson's last assignment of his military career was a brief period as commanding officer of Fort Adams in Newport, Rhode Island, in August 1863. By coincidence, Fort Adams had been General Beauregard's first assignment after his graduation from West Point. 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 continued to serve on the staff of the general commanding the Eastern Department, headquartered in New York City, from October 27, 1863 until January 22, 1869. On February 3, 1865, Anderson was breveted to the rank of major general of "gallantry and meritorious service" in the defense of Fort Sumter." Very rare view as a Colonel, a rank for which he held for only a few months before being made a Brigadier General". The item "Civil War CDV of Union Colonel Robert Anderson Fort Sumter Fame" is in sale since Friday, October 13, 2017. This item is in the category "Collectibles\Militaria\Civil War (1861-65)\Original Period Items\Photographs". The seller is "civil_war_photos" and is located in Midland, Michigan. This item can be shipped worldwide.