Joseph R. Anderson Compiled Service Record, M331, National Archives
Tredegar Iron Works
J. R. Anderson & Co. Richmond Aug. 21st 1861
Hon. L. P. Walker
Secretary of War
At the Head of the “Tredegar Iron Works” I have used every exertion in my power to promote the interest of the Country. But as I have been educated a soldier and see that the Government finds it necessary to confer military command on citizens who have not had the advantage of military education, I think it is time now for me to claim some exemption from purely business occupations and to ask for a command in the field.
I graduated at West Point in 1836, in the Corps of Engineers. I was first in Artillery and second in Infantry Tactics and had the highest command in my class.
I observe that three of my classmates (Meigs, Phelps & Sherman) have been made [page break] Brigadier General in the Army of the Enemy, neither of whom would, I believe, consider it boastful in me to compare my qualifications, as a soldier, with theirs.
I raised a Battalion from among the operatives at these works and have tendered its services, with the unanimous approbation of my officers and men, to the Governor of Virginia for duty in the field. My application was declined by him; nor is it likely, I presume, that it will be accepted as long as the Government is in want of the arms and munitions the men are at work upon.
I therefore respectfully tender to you my own services for duty in the field.
I am, sir,
Very Respectfully Yr Obdt Servt
Joseph R. Anderson