Union General Robert Anderson

Historical Marker #534 in Louisville notes the birthplace of Robert Anderson, the commander of Ft. Sumter and the "first Union hero of [the] Civil War."

Born in 1805 at "Soldiers Retreat" in Jefferson County, Anderson was a West Point graduate and Mexican War veteran. In November 1860, immediately before the Civil War, Anderson took command of Federal troops in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina.

Five months later, South Carolina demanded that Anderson surrender Ft. Sumter, one of the Charleston Harbor strongholds. Anderson refused, and then withstood a thirty-four hour bombardment before surrendering. Anderson's stand made him a hero in the North, and Lincoln promoted him to brigadier general.

Anderson returned to Kentucky, where he became military commander of the state. However, poor health forced him to relinquish the post after only a few months.

In April 1865, although he had retired from active service, Anderson returned to Ft. Sumter and raised the United States' flag over the battered bastion. Therefore, this Kentuckian's actions signified both the beginning and the end of the Civil War.

Images

Union General Robert Anderson

Union General Robert Anderson

General Robert Anderson was a Kentucky native and the Union "hero of Ft. Sumter." Courtesy of the Library of Congress. View File Details Page

Civil War Patriotic Envelope

Civil War Patriotic Envelope

This Civil War patriotic envelope depicts military heroes Generals Winfield Scott and Robert Anderson. Courtesy of the Library of Congress. View File Details Page

Major Anderson's Command at Fort Sumter

Major Anderson's Command at Fort Sumter

This image of Major Robert Anderson and his staff at Fort Sumter appeared on the cover of Harper's Weekly Magazine in March 1861. Courtesy of the Library of Congress. View File Details Page

Fort Anderson

Fort Anderson

Fort Anderson at Paducah, Kentucky, was built in 1861 and named for Robert Anderson. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Lincoln to Anderson, September 16, 1861

Lincoln to Anderson, September 16, 1861

This letter from Abraham Lincoln placed Robert Anderson in command of Kentucky when the state ended its neutrality stance. Courtesy of the Library of Congress. View File Details Page

Bombardment of Fort Sumter

Bombardment of Fort Sumter

Major Robert Anderson was in command of the United States forces at Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor when Confederates bombarded the fort on April 12, 1861. Courtesy of the Library of Congress. View File Details Page

Fort Sumter - April 14, 1865

Fort Sumter - April 14, 1865

Robert Anderson returned to Fort Sumter on April 14, 1865 for a ceremony to raise the flag he had lowered four years before when the fort surrendered. Courtesy of the Library of Congress. View File Details Page

Cynthiana, Kentucky Broadside

Cynthiana, Kentucky Broadside

This broadside was posted in Cynthiana, Kentucky soon after Kentucky ended its neutrality stance. General Robert Anderson was in command of the state at the time. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Sanders, “Union General Robert Anderson,” ExploreKYHistory, accessed July 25, 2017, http://explorekyhistory.ky.gov/items/show/16.
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