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Brigadier-General Joseph Reid Anderson

Brigadier-General Joseph Reid Anderson was born in 1813 in Botetourt County, Virginia.

 He  was a graduate of the United States military academy, class of 1836. He was appointed to a lieutenancy in the Third artillery. He served for a time as assistant engineer in the engineer bureau at Washington, and on July 1, 1837, was transferred to the corps of engineers as brevet second lieutenant.

In this line of duty he assisted in the building of Fort Pulaski, at the entrance of the Savannah river. He resigned his commission September 30, 1837, to accept the position of assistant engineer of the State of Virginia; was chief engineer of the Valley turnpike company, 1838-41, and subsequently, until the outbreak of war, was head of the firm of Joseph R. Anderson & Co., proprietors of the Tredegar iron works and cannon foundry at Richmond.

Entering the Confederate army, he was commissioned brigadier- general in September, 1861, and was assigned to command of the Confederate forces at Wilmington, NC.  Early in the spring of 1862, he was called to Virginia, and on April 25, 1862, he was ordered with his brigade to the vicinity of Fredericksburg, where General Field was then stationed, and instructed by General Lee to assume command in that quarter, attack the enemy or confine his field of operations.

Fredericksburg was occupied by McDowell's Federal troops, and Anderson commanded the Confederate force confronting him during the Peninsula operations under Johnston. He was then assigned to a new division formed under A. P. Hill, and in command of the Third brigade of Hill's light infantry, he participated in the battles of Mechanicsville, Gaines' Mill and Frayser's Farm.  In the latter he was particularly distinguished in the gallant action of his Georgia brigade, and was seriously wounded. He resigned July 19, 1862.

His second wife was Mary Evans Pegram, making him a brother-in-law to both General John Pegram and Colonel William Ransom Johnson Pegram. 

Subsequently he gave his attention to the management of the Tredegar iron works. His death occurred at the Isle of Shoals, N. H., September 7, 1892.

Source: Confederate Military History, vol. IV, p. 575


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