Lieutenant General Richard
Fourth Corps, Commander
Richard Anderson possessed an unusual personality for a Civil War general. He was modest, unselfish, and amiable. It made him liked, but he was not viewed as an inspiring leader. Although he did not call attention to his units' performances, they fought well in many battles. Colonel Anderson participated in the capture of Fort Sumter. As a brigadier general, he led brigades during the Battles of Williamsburg, Seven Pines, and Seven Days. He was promoted to major general with command of a division in Longstreet's Corps. His division's attack at the Second Battle of Bull Run broke the Union line and caused their retreat. Fighting did not go as well at the Battle of Antietam. He was seriously wounded as his division moved into the center of the Confederate defense. The division was substantially destroyed on "Bloody Lane." General Anderson came back to lead the attack on the left at the Battle of Chancellorsville while General "Stonewall" Jackson attacked the right. At the Battle of Gettysburg, General Anderson's ineffective attack on the middle of Cemetery Ridge during the second day has been criticized. He took command of the First Corps when General Longstreet was wounded in the Battle of the Wilderness. The First Corps fought under General Anderson at the Battles of Spotsylvania and Cold Harbor. When General Longstreet returned, Richard Anderson was promoted to Lieutenant General and given command of a newly created Fourth Corps. His corps endured the Siege of Petersburg, and it was destroyed at the Battle of Sayler's Creek.
Richard Heron Anderson was born on October 7, 1821 in Sumter County, South Carolina. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1842. He received a brevet promotion for gallantry in the Mexican War. Richard Anderson died on June 26, 1879 in Beaufort, South Carolina.
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