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Anderson, Joseph Reid (16 February 1813–07 September 1892), industrialist and Confederate soldier, was born in Botetourt County in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, the son of William Anderson and Anna Thomas, farmers. Anderson received his early education in the local schools. After having been rejected twice, he entered the U.S. Military Academy in 1832 at age nineteen. Graduating fourth of forty-nine in 1836, he preferred a post in the elite Corps of Engineers but was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Third Artillery. Soon he was assigned to Fort Monroe, where he met his first wife, Sally Archer, daughter of the post physician, Dr. Robert Archer. They were married in the spring of 1837 and eventually had five children....

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Dahlgren, John Adolphus Bernard (13 November 1809–12 July 1870), naval officer, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Bernard Ulric Dahlgren, a merchant and diplomat, and Martha Rowan. Dahlgren received his early education at a Quaker school in Philadelphia. Because of his father’s position as Swedish consul, the Dahlgrens were a well recognized and respected family. When the elder Dahlgren died suddenly in 1824, the family was left in financial difficulty. Though initially denied entrance, thanks to family connections in February 1826 Dahlgren was granted an appointment as a midshipman in the U.S. Navy. His first assignment was to the frigate ...

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Taylor, George (01 January 1716?–23 February 1781), ironmaster and signer of the Declaration of Independence, was born into circumstances that remain obscure. Virtually nothing is known with certainty about his early life, but he may have been born in northern Ireland (although at least one source suggests a connection with the Taylor family of Derbyshire, England). The names and occupations of his parents are likewise unknown, although sources suggest that his father was either a clergyman or a well-established lawyer. In any event, he must have had some early education prior to his arrival in North America in 1736, when he settled in East Nantmeal Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and took a job under Samuel Savage, Jr., at the Warwick Furnace. He evidently came to America through the use of his own resources; earlier reports that had him arriving in the colonies as a redemptioner appear to be without foundation. By 1739 Taylor held the position of bookkeeper at the Furnace and later became manager of another nearby iron mill, Coventry Forge....