Thomas MacArthur Anderson (January 21, 1836 - May 8, 1917)

Updated: January 03, 2011

Born on January 21, 1836 near Chillicothe, Ohio, Thomas MacArthur Anderson spent his youth in Ohio. Anderson's father, William Marshall Anderson, was a lawyer and farmer.

Born on January 21, 1836 near Chillicothe, Ohio, Thomas MacArthur Anderson spent his youth in Ohio. Anderson's father, William Marshall Anderson, was a lawyer and farmer. Anderson's mother, Eliza McArthur Anderson, was the daughter of Duncan McArthur, a former Ohio governor. In 1851, Thomas Anderson enrolled in St. Mary's College in Maryland, graduating in 1855. He then enrolled at the Cincinnati Law School in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1858, Anderson passed the bar exam and began to practice in Cincinnati.

With the American Civil War's outbreak in April 1861, Anderson enlisted as a private in the 65th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry. His uncle, Robert Anderson, led Union forces at the war's first military engagement, the Battle of Fort Sumter. Robert Anderson used his influence to secure his nephew a commission as second lieutenant of the 5th United States Cavalry Regiment. Thomas Anderson's father, in all likelihood, was disappointed in his son's decision to fight to preserve the Union. William Anderson was a Copperhead, someone who supported the Confederate cause, and also tried to help establish a colony for ex-Confederates in Mexico following the Civil War. Quickly promoted to the rank of captain, Thomas Anderson soon joined the 12th United States Infantry Regiment, remaining with this group until the war's conclusion. Anderson was wounded twice in the conflict and received brevet promotions to major for his bravery at the Battle of the Wilderness and then to lieutenant colonel for his actions at the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House.

Following the Civil War, Anderson remained in the United States military, serving with the 14th United States Infantry Regiment. By the Spanish-American War's outbreak, Anderson had risen to the rank of colonel. He was brevetted as a brigadier general during the war with the Spanish and commanded the first group of United States soldiers to land in the Philippines after Admiral George Dewey subdued a Spanish fleet in Manila harbor. With 2,000 men, Anderson occupied the Spanish naval base of Cayite on July 17, 1898. On August 13, Anderson formally led the first group of United States soldiers, belonging to the VIII Corps, into Manila itself. Upon Spain's surrender in the Spanish-American War in 1898, Anderson remained in the Philippines as commander of the 1st Division. He led this division in the first months of the Philippine Insurrection and participated in the Battles of Santana, San Pedro, Passe, and Guadalupe. Officially promoted to the rank of brigadier general in March 1899, Anderson retired from the United States Army in January 1900.

Anderson spent the remainder of his life in Portland, Oregon. He died on May 8, 1917. Anderson is buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington Virginia with his daughter, Minnie Anderson Allen, and his son, Thomas MacArthur Anderson, Jr.

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