Captain Thomas McArthur Anderson commanded a battalion of the 12th United States Infantry in action between the middle bridge over the Antietam and the town of Sharpsburg on 17 September 1862. Many years later, after a long and arduous Army career, he was Colonel of the 14th US Infantry and commanded Fort Vancouver, Washington (1886 to 1898).

Here he is with his family on “Officer’s Row” there in late 1897 or early 1898, before he was appointed Brigadier General and deployed to the Philippines on Spanish-American War service.

(back, left to right)
Thomas McArthur Anderson (1836 – 1917)
Elizabeth Van Winkle Anderson (1850-1914)
Charles Van Winkle (1821-1907)

(children, by age; I can’t tell the daughters apart)
Arline Anderson (later Cairns, 1871-1932)
Mary Anderson Allen (1874-1904)
Thomas McArthur Anderson, Jr. (1875-1936)
Elizabeth Anderson (later Gauld, 1875?-1944)
Van Winkle Anderson (1877-1960)
Irmengarde Anderson (later Patten, 1879-1945)
dog, name not known


This lovely picture accompanies a piece from the US Park Service called The Waking of a Military Town: Vancouver, Washington and the Vancouver National Historic Reserve, 1898-1920 [online in PDF]. The original photograph is in the University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections (UW475).

There’s another family portrait of the same period – and much more about the Andersons – in the 1973 monograph Thomas Anderson: First U.S. General Overseas for the Fort Vancouver Historical Society by General Anderson’s grandson Dr. Charles Anderson Gauld (1911-1977) [online PDF].

Thomas McArthur Anderson, Jr. had 4 years enlisted service in the 4th US Cavalry in Texas before being commissioned 2nd Lieutenant, 8th US Infantry on 8 June 1897, the uniform in which he is seen in the family photograph here. He served through WWI and retired as a Colonel.

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