Joseph R. Anderson


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Joseph Reid Anderson, "the Krupp of the Confederacy," was born at "Walnut Hill," Botetourt County, Virginia, February 16, 1813, and was graduated from West Point in the class of 1836. Resigning from the army the following year, he turned his talents to engineering, becoming in 1841 superintendent of the Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond, of which he subsequently gained control. Soon after the outbreak of war Anderson entered field service and was commissioned brigadier general, September 3, 1861. First in command at Wilmington, he was called to Virginia in the spring of 1862, and commanded a brigade on the Peninsula and in the battles of the Seven Days, where he was wounded. His services at the Tredegar Works being deemed of inestimably more value than in the field, he re­signed his commission on July 19, 1862, and devoted his time thereafter to implementing the Confederate war effort. His company became the mainstay of the Ordnance Department, ceasing operations only upon the evacuation of Richmond. The works, first confiscated by the Federal government, were returned to their owners in 1867 and reorganized with Anderson as president. He operated them until his death on the Isles of Shoals, New Hampshire, September 7, 1892. He also served as president of the Richmond chamber of commerce and as a member of the common council in the post-bellum years. General Anderson is buried in Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond.

Ref: Generals in Gray, Lives of the Confederate Commanders by Ezra J. Warner.  Printed by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge and London.