BORN: 1805 in Louisville, KY.
DIED: 1871 in Charleston, SC.
CAMPAIGNS: Fort Sumpter.
Born near Louisville, KY, on June 14, 1805, Robert Anderson graduated from West Point in 1825. After his graduation, he fought in the Black Hawk and Seminole Indian Wars, served with Gen. Winfield Scott in Mexico, and translated military texts from French to English. In November 1860, Secretary of War John B. Floyd ordered Anderson to command a Federal garrison at Charleston harbor, in South Carolina. Although he came from a Virginian family, was married to a woman from Georgia, was sympathetic to slavery, and was not convinced that military efforts could stop the secession, he was nevertheless loyal to the Union. When, in April 1861, he was confronted with a formal demand for the surrender of Fort Sumter, he refused to give in. The garrison had to be bombarded continuously for 34 hours, have its main gates destroyed, the walls breached, and the magazine surrounded with fire before Anderson agreed to surrender the fort to Gen. P. G. T. Beauregard. In honor of Anderson's courage and dedication, President Lincoln honored him by naming him brigadier general on May 15 1861 and giving him command of the Department of Kentucky and, later, the Department of the Cumberland. Retiring in 1863 due to ill health, he returned to Fort Sumter on 14 April 1865, the fourth anniversary of his surrender of the Fort, to raise the Union Stars and Stripes over the recaptured garrison. Anderson died on October 26, 1871, in Charleston, South Carolina.