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Thomas McArthur Anderson
Thomas M. Anderson (1836−1917).jpg
Thomas M. Anderson
Born (1836-01-21)January 21, 1836
Chillicothe, Ohio
Died May 8, 1917(1917-05-08) (aged 81)
Portland, Oregon
Place of burial
Allegiance United States United States of America
Service/branch  United States Army
Union Army
Years of service 1861–1900
Rank Union Army major general rank insignia.svg Major General
Battles/wars American Civil War
Spanish–American War

Philippine–American War

  • Battle of Manila
  • Battle of Santana
  • Battle of San Pedro
  • Battle of Guadalupe
Relations Robert Anderson, uncle
Duncan McArthur, grandfather

Thomas McArthur Anderson (January 21, 1836 – May 8, 1917) was a career officer in the United States Army who served as a general in the Spanish–American War and the Philippine–American War.


Early life and Civil War

Anderson was born in Chillicothe, Ohio. He attended the Cincinnati School of Law and was admitted to the bar in Cincinnati in 1858.

When the Civil War broke out, Anderson enlisted in the volunteer army as a private in the 6th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Under the influences of his uncle, Robert Anderson of Fort Sumter fame, he received a commission in the Regular Army as second lieutenant in the 2nd U.S. Cavalry. Shortly after he was promoted to captain in the 12th U.S. Infantry. He received brevet promotions to major for the Wilderness and lieutenant colonel for Spotsylvania.

He stayed in the regular army after the war's end. He served in the 10th U.S. Infantry, 9th U.S. Infantry and finally rose to the rank of colonel of the 14th U.S. Infantry on September 6, 1886. In February 1897 Anderson and 100 soldiers of the 14th set up a base in Skagway and Dyea, Alaska at the start of the Klondike gold rush to protect miners along the trails into Canada as well as to keep watch on the border. At the start of the Spanish–American War, he asked for and received reassignment.

Spanish–American War

Anderson was appointed brigadier general of U.S. Volunteers on May 4, 1898. He took command of the first "Philippine Expeditionary Force" during the Spanish–American War. His troops were the first to land in the Philippines following George Dewey's naval victory there. Major General Wesley Merritt had been appointed as the overall U.S. Army commander in the Philippines and arrived with the third Philippine Expeditionary Force. Merritt reorganized the three expeditionary forces into the Eighth Army Corps. Anderson was given command of the corps' 2d Division (brigade and division numbers at the time were only unique within a corps) with Brigadier Generals Francis V. Greene and Arthur MacArthur as his brigade commanders. Anderson fought at the battle of Manila against the Spanish. He was promoted to major general of U.S. Volunteers on August 13, 1898.

Philippine–American War

When the Spanish–American War ended, Anderson stayed in Manila where he was placed in command of the 1st Division, VIII Corps and saw action in the 1899 Battle of Manila during the Philippine–American War. After the U.S. forces broke the Filipino siege, Anderson led his division in minor engagements at Santana, San Pedro and Guadalupe. In March 1899, he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general in the Regular Army.

General Anderson was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and a Veteran Companion of both the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States and the Military Order of Foreign Wars. He was also a member of the Oregon Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.

He retired in 1900 and died on May 8, 1917. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.


He was a cousin of Brevet Major General Nicholas Longworth Anderson.

See also

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