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Robert Anderson Passes Away

Today in Masonic history Richard H. Anderson passes away in 1871.

Richard H. Anderson is an American Civil War General.

Anderson was a Major in the U.S. Army when South Carolina seceded in 1860. As the commanding officer of the U.S. forces in Charleston, he was in charge of the last remaining Union post in the Confederacy. The fort that Anderson's forces held at the time were virtually indefensible so he move his forces to Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor.

In February of 1861 the Confederate States of America were formed and Jefferson Davis ordered the fort taken. In April of the same year Anderson surrendered the fort, being out manned and out gunned. This marked the beginning of the American Civil War.

By this time Anderson had become a hero in the North and was referred to as a National hero. He was promoted to Brigadier General. Before leaving Fort Sumter took the 33 Star American Flag that flew over the fort and he carried it to New York City. In New York he participated in a patriotic rally that would be the biggest public gathering in the North America up to that point.

After Anderson made a recruiting tour of the North he took command of a unit in his home state of Kentucky where he had been a slave owner. His command only lasted a few months starting in May and ending in October of 1861. There were two reasons given for his short tour of duty, the first was due to failing health. The other reason was found in letters sent from a friend of Abraham Lincoln, Joshua Fry Speed, who had gone to Kentucky on the order of Lincoln. Anderson was ordered to give weapons to Union loyalists in Kentucky. He refused and at Lincoln's insistence was removed from his command.

In April of 1865 after the Civil War had ended, Anderson returned to Charleston, South Carolina in full uniform and raised the flag that he had taken with him 4 years before.

Anderson was a member of Mercer Lodge No. 50 in Trenton, New Jersey and an Honorary Member of Pacific Lodge No. 233 in New York City.