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Lot #253
Robert H. Anderson

Anderson writes from Fort Sumter a month before the start of the Civil War

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Anderson writes from Fort Sumter a month before the start of the Civil War

Union general (1805–1871) dubbed the Hero of Fort Sumter for refusing Confederate demands to surrender the fort and enduring two days of bombardment before finally submitting. ALS, three pages, lightly-lined on two adjoining sheets, 4.75 x 7.5, March 7, 1861. Letter to G. Wm. Anderson, Newburgh, N.Y. In full, “I regret, very much, that my reply, to your letter of the 4th inst will be brief. It refers to a matter, about which, I have been trying to get information, and, thus far, with but little success. The sum total amts. to this: My Father, Richard Clough Anderson, a Lieut Col. in the Virginia Continental Line at the close of the Revolutionary War, and chosen by his brother Officers Surveyor Genl. of the Va Continental troops, who died in Ky in 1826, was a son of Robert Anderson & Elizabeth Clough (of Gold Mine), Hanover City Va. I am unable to tell you more. My impression is that one family came to this country from Wales – but I am unable, I regret to say, to state any thing farther about our ancestors. I have written to some of my relatives in Va and, should I get any additional information touching on this matter, it will afford me great pleasure to communicate it to you. And, should you, in your search into the pedigree of your branch, have come across any thing which you may think will throw light upon this, to me, very interesting subject, you will confer a great favor on me by communicating it. I do not enter into the collateral branches, or into the facts connected with the present generation, as this is not the matter you are in search of.” On December 20, 1860, South Carolina seceded from the Union, the first state to do so. Six days later, determining that it was impossible to hold Fort Moultrie against the South Carolina militia, Major Anderson transferred his command to Fort Sumter at the entrance to Charleston harbor. On March 3, 1861, just four days before this letter was written, General Pierre G.T. Beauregard arrived in Charleston, South Carolina, and assumed command of Confederate troops on orders from President Jefferson Davis. Just two days before this letter was written, President Abraham Lincoln, on the day after his inauguration, received a message from Major Anderson stating that there was less than a six week supply of food left in Fort Sumter. At 4:30 A.M. on April 12, 1861, Confederate guns began bombarding the fort. Thus began the bloodiest war in American history. In fine condition, with some mild soiling and wrinkling. Auction LOA John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and R&R COA.

Auction Info

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  • Dates: #332 - Ended April 16, 2008