Anderson, Joseph R.

Anderson, Joseph R. (Reid)

(1813–92) industrialist; born in Botetourt County, Va. An 1836 West Point graduate, he spent five years as an army engineer before joining the Tredegar Iron Company in Richmond, Va. In 1848 he bought the company and turned it into one of the best iron works in the country. As a supporter of the Confederacy, he supplied Southern forces with ordnance and he himself fought in the Civil War until wounded (1861–63). He returned to Tredegar where his expert management kept the works running throughout the war, as both the Confederacy's sole supplier of heavy ordnance and the prime supplier of everything from plates for iron-clad ships to railroad trains. Confiscated by the Union in 1865, the company was returned to him in 1867.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.