Robert Anderson, 1805–71, American army officer, defender of Fort Sumter, b. near Louisville, Ky., grad. West Point, 1825. He fought in the Black Hawk, Seminole, and Mexican wars and was promoted to major in 1857. In Nov., 1860, he took command of the U.S. force in the harbor of Charleston, S.C., where he distinguished himself in the Fort Sumter controversy. Anderson, made a brigadier general in the regular army (May, 1861), commanded the Dept. of Kentucky (June–Oct.). He retired from active service in Oct., 1863. In Feb., 1865, he was brevetted major general for his gallant service in the defense of Fort Sumter.
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