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Nimitz Library

Edwin A. Anderson Collection, 1906-1963: Finding Aid

Published in October 2019

Summary Information

  • Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
  • Publisher Address:
    589 McNair Road
    Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
    Phone: 410-293-6917
  • Call number: MS 536
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: Edwin A. Anderson Collection
  • Dates: 1906-1963
  • Size: 0.08 linear feet
  • Container Summary: 4 folders
  • Creator: Anderson, Lorain
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: Edwin A. Anderson was an Admiral in the United States Navy and a member of the United States Naval Academy Class of 1882. The Edwin A. Anderson Collection spans from 1906 to 1963. The collection focuses on the christening of Anderson's namesake, U.S.S. Anderson (Destroyer: DD-411), while also touching upon Anderson's biography and his son's appointment to the United States Naval Academy.

Biography of Edwin A. Anderson

Rear Admiral Edwin A. Anderson was born on July 16, 1860 in Wilmington, North Carolina. Appointed to the Naval Academy in 1878 by Representative Alfred M. Waddell of North Carolina, Anderson graduated from the Naval Academy in 1882 and served aboard U.S.S. Kearsarge (Sloop-of-war) and U.S.S. Quinnebaug (Screw corvette) during his two years mandatory sea service.

In 1890, Anderson was attached to U.S.S. Alert (Gunboat), before transferring to the U.S.F.C. Albatross of the United States Fish Commission the following year. For three summers, Anderson served aboard Albatross while she was engaged in research in the Galapagos Islands, the Gulf of California, and the Bering Sea.

In 1897, Anderson was ordered to U.S.S. Marblehead (Cruiser: C-11) of the North Atlantic Squadron. He remained with the Marblehead when she was transferred to blockade duty off Cuba after the outbreak of the Spanish-American War. While so engaged, Anderson was detailed to cut the underwater cables to the island. Following the war, Anderson was transferred to the Asiatic Fleet, where he served aboard U.S.S. General Alava (Cargo ship: AG-5) and U.S.S. Callao (Gunboat). Command of the Second Torpedo Flotilla followed in 1906, after which Anderson was ordered to recruiting duty in Cincinnati in 1907. Duty at the Mare Island Navy yard as an Ordnance Officer in 1908 was followed by duty as Captain of U.S.S. Yorktown (Gunboat: PG-1) in 1910 and the Philadelphia Navy Yard in 1911.

In 1913, Anderson assumed command of U.S.S. New Hampshire (Battleship: BB-25). While in command of the New Hampshire, Anderson led an American regiment ashore during the occupation of Veracruz, earning him the Congressional Medal of Honor. In 1916, he was ordered to the Naval War College for instruction, and received command of the Patrol Detachment of the Atlantic Fleet thereafter during World War I.

After World War I, Anderson assumed command of Charleston Navy Yard, and in June 1922, was named Commander-in-Chief of the Asiatic Fleet. While under Anderson's command, the Asiatic Fleet was called on to render assistance following the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923. In December 1923, he was transferred to the Office of Naval Operations subsequent to his retirement from the Navy on March 23, 1924. Edwin Alexander Anderson died in Wilmington, North Carolina on September 23, 1933.

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Description of Contents

The Edwin A. Anderson Collection, comprising 0.08 linear feet of documentation, spans from 1906 to 1963. The collection focuses on the christening of Anderson's namesake, U.S.S. Anderson (Destroyer: DD-411), while also touching upon Anderson's biography and his son's appointment to the United States Naval Academy.

Included in the collection are photographs, newspaper clippings, and letters.

The centerpiece of the collection is an album devoted to the launch and subsequent Wilmington, North Carolina port call of the U.S.S. Anderson (Destroyer: DD-411). The album includes photographs of the christening of the ship by Mrs. Mertie Lorain Anderson and the ship's subsequent launch; Lieutenant Commander Lorain Anderson's invitation to and newspaper articles about U.S.S. Anderson's arrival at Wilmington during her shakedown; and brief commentaries on U.S.S. Anderson's Captain and officers.

The remainder of the collection is composed of several loose items, namely a biographical newspaper article on Anderson, a portrait of Anderson, a portrait of General Chang Huei Ping (likely Zhang Haipeng), two letters regarding the Naval Academy nomination of Anderson's son Lorain, a miscellaneous letter from Belmont Abbey College, and one piece of ephemera located in an envelope dated 1958.

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The Edwin A. Anderson Collection is arranged alphabetically by document type.

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Access and Use


Access is unrestricted.

Copyright and Permission

The Edwin A. Anderson Collection is the physical property of Nimitz Library. Copyright belongs to the authors or creators of the works, or their legal representatives. For further information, consult the Head, Special Collections & Archives.

It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure written permission to publish, reprint, or reproduce material from Special Collections & Archives. The researcher assumes responsibility for infringement of copyright or literary or publication rights. Please contact the Head, Special Collections & Archives for permission to publish and for further information.

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Acquisition and Appraisal

Provenance and Acquisition

Gift of LCDR W. A. Wright in April 1997. Accession No. 97-20.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Material

Additional material in this repository pertaining to Rear Admiral Edwin A. Anderson includes Anderson’s Midshipman Conduct Record and Alumni Jacket, as well as a portrait in Photo Album 98.

The bulk of Anderson's personal papers can be found in the Edwin Alexander Anderson Papers, 1878-1939, Collection Number: 03387 at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Materials Cataloged Separately

No materials have been removed from this collection and cataloged separately.

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Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

Edwin A. Anderson Collection, MS 536

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Selected Bibliography

The following sources were consulted during preparation of the biographical note:

United States. Bureau of Naval Personnel. Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1919-1925.

Anderson, Edwin A. Alumni Jacket, RG 405, Special Collections & Archives, Nimitz Library.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by David D'Onofrio in October 2019. Finding aid written by David D'Onofrio in October 2019.

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Subject Headings

Name and Subject Terms

  • Anderson (Destroyer : DD-411)
  • Anderson, Lorain
  • Anderson, Edwin Alexander, 1860-1933

Genre Terms

  • Clippings (information artifacts)
  • Correspondence
  • Manuscripts
  • Photographs
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Contents List

Box 1 Folder 1

Album - U.S.S. Anderson (Destroyer: DD-411), 1939

Box 1 Folder 2

Correspondence, 1906, 1932, 1958

Letters regarding Lorain Anderson's admission to the Naval Academy, as well as two miscellaneous pieces of correspondence.

Box 1 Folder 3

Newspaper Clippings, 1963

Biographical sketch of Edwin A. Anderson.

Box 1 Folder 4

Photographs, 1923, undated

Portraits of Edwin A. Anderson and General Chang Huei Ping (likely Zhang Haipeng).

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