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Major Anderson

The Illustrated London News, vol. 38, no. 1088, p. 433.

May 11, 1861


Major Anderson, of the United States' Army, lately in command of Fort Sumter, was born in Kentucky in September, 1805. At the age of fifteen he entered the Military Academy at West Point, and graduated in 1825. He joined the army with the rank of Second Lieutenant of the 2nd and subsequently of the 3rd Artillery. In 1832 he was Inspector-General of the Illinois Volunteers in the Black Hawk War—Mr. Lincoln, the President, being a Captain of those volunteers. In 1833 he received his commission as First Lieutenant, and became Instructor and Inspector at West Point, the great military academy of the United States. This post he held for four years, during which period he collected the material for his work on artillery, which is now regarded as an authority on the subject. In 1838, for gallantry in the Florida War, he was made Brevet Captain, and soon afterwards joined General Scott as Aide-de-Camp. In October, 1841, Anderson received his commission as Captain in his regiment. In March, 1847, he was with the 3rd Regiment of Artillery in the army of General Scott, and took part in the siege of Vera Cruz—being one of the officers to whom was intrusted, by General Bankhead, the command of the batteries. This duty he performed with signal skill and gallantry, and he continued with the army until its triumphal entry into the city of Mexico in September following. During the operations in the valley of Mexico he was attached to the brigade of General Garland, which formed a part of General Worth's division. In the attack on El Molino del Rey, on September 8, where he was wounded very severely, his conduct was the theme of especial praise on the part of his superior officers. For his gallant services in this action he was promoted to the rank of Brevet Major; and on October 5, 1857, he was made Major of the 1st Artillery, a position which he now holds. All last summer Major Anderson was occupied as a member of the commission appointed to inspect the United States' Military Academy at West Point. Major Anderson, at the close of last year, took the command of Fort Moultrie, which, however, for military reasons, he abandoned, throwing himself and his few troops into Fort Sumter. The facts of his stout defence and of his enforced surrender of this latter fort, are too fresh in our readers' memory to require recapitulation. The following despatch from Major Anderson to the United States' Secretary of War will, however, be of interest:—

Sir,—Having defended Fort Sumter until our quarters were entirely burned, the main gates destroyed by fire, the gorge wall seriously injured, the magazine surrounded by flames, and its doors closed from the effects of heat, and three cartridges of powder only being available, and no provisions but pork remaining, I accepted the terms of evacuation offered by General Beauregard, being the same offered by him on the 11th inst., prior to the commencement of hostilities; and marched out of the fort on Sunday afternoon, the 14th inst., with colours flying and drums beating, bringing away the company and private property, and saluting my flag with fifty guns.

Major, 1st Artillery.

Major Anderson landed at the Battery, New York, on the 18th ult., and was received by an immense crowd. His carriage was surrounded by the people, who expressed in vehement cheers their congratulations. He was followed by an immense throng through Broadway to the Brevoort House, where he joined his wife.

Of Major Anderson's physique a writer who seems to know him well says:—"In personal appearance he is about five feet nine inches in height, his figure is well-set and soldierly, his hair is thin and turning to iron grey, his complexion swarthy, his eye dark and intelligent, his nose prominent and well formed. A stranger would read in his air and appearance determination and an exaction of what was due to him. In intercourse he is very courteous, and his rich voice and abundant gesticulations go well together. He is always agreeable and gentlemanly, firm and dignified."

Major Anderson is connected by marriage with Mr. Longworth, the millionaire of Cincinnati, in which city the Major's two brothers, both lawyers and men of position, reside.

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