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Robert Anderson

Robert Anderson



Robert Anderson (18051871)
CLASS OF 1825

Kentucky-born of a prominent Virginia family and sympathetic to the institution of slavery, Anderson nonetheless honored his oath to United States.

Commissioned in the artillery after West Point, he served in the Seminole and Mexican Wars. In 1860, now a major, Anderson received a delicate assignment; commanding the federal forts in Charleston Harbor. Conciliatory in his dealing with city authorities, he still refused to surrender Fort Sumter until Confederate bombardment reduced the fort to ruins.

Anderson’s defiance of secessionist demands and his insistence on marching out with colors flying made him one of the first Union heroes of the Civil War. Forced by ill health to retire in 1863, he briefly returned to service in 1865 to raise the U.S. flag over recaptured Fort Sumter.


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Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard




Key Figures






Alfred Mordecai
Alfred Mordecai
1804–1887
Class of 1823



George Henry Thomas
George Henry Thomas
1816–1870
Class of 1840



John Clifford Pemberton
John Clifford Pemberton
1814–1881
Class of 1837



Robert Anderson
Robert Anderson
1805–1871
Class of 1825



Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard
Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard
1815–1893
Class of 1838





Smithsonian National Museum of American History


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West Point in History Introduction 1802–1860 1861–1870 1866–1914 1914–1918 Epilogue Introduction 1802–1860 1861–1870 1866–1914 1914–1918 Epilogue Choosing Sides Organizing for War Fighting the Civil War The Army in Reconstruction