Major Anderson Ordered to Charleston Defenses

Thursday, November 15, 1860

Major Robert Anderson was ordered by Winfield Scott (commander of all the Federal forces) to Fort Moultrie in Charleston Harbor. Anderson was a capable officer, a veteran of the Mexican War and, at 57, seriously considering retirement. He was a former slave owner from Kentucky and married to the daughter of a wealthy Georgian slave holder. His southern sympathies were probably the reason that he was chosen for the command.

Prior to receiving his orders, he, along with his friend Senator Jefferson Davis from Mississippi, were examining the curriculum at West Point, which he graduated from in 1825. He returned to West Point as an artillery instructor, having such students as William T. Sherman, Jubal Early, George Meade, Joe Hooker, Irving McDowell, Braxton Bragg and, as his assistant, Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard – all of whom we’ll meet again soon enough.

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