Brig. Gen. Thomas Anderson, a Civil War veteran who lived 12 years at Vancouver, was a leader in the United States expansion into the Pacific area.
He commanded the first expedition to the Philippines in 1898. Among these troops were soldiers of the 14th Infantry regiment, which Anderson had commanded at Vancouver.
Anderson, an Ohio native, rose to the rank of major general of volunteers in the Civil War, and was wounded twice. Later he served in the regular Army in the West, in protecting settlements against Indians.
In 1886 Anderson, then colonel, was assigned as commanding officer of the 14th Infantry regiment at Vancouver Barracks. The regiment had arrived earlier from Nebraska.
Anderson and his family lived in the building later known as Rufus Ingalls Hall and the NCO club; the building was partially burned in 1985.
In 1898, shortly before the outbreak of the War with Spain, Anderson commanded the 14th in Alaska, where much of the unit had been called for police duty during the Alaska gold rush. The regiment was called back after the outbreak of war, and was sent to the Philippines.
After retiring from the Army, Anderson resided in Portland.
Anderson’s son, also named Thomas, commanded the 7th Infantry Regiment at Vancouver for a short time in the 1920s.