Cyrus Bussey was born at Hubbard, Ohio, on October 5, 1833. Four years later his family moved to Indiana. There, at the age of sixteen, Bussey started a business at Dupont, a hamlet in Jefferson County. In 1855 he established himself in Bloomfield, Iowa. He was elected to the Iowa senate in 1858 and to the Democratic National Convention of 1860, which nominated Stephen A. Douglas for the presidency. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Bussey was appointed by the governor to command the militia in southeastern Iowa, with rank of lieutenant colonel, and on August 10, 1861, he was mustered into Federal service as colonel of the 3rd Iowa Cavalry. He commanded a small force in addition to his own regiment at Elk-horn Tavern (Pea Ridge) and was in command of a full brigade of cavalry during Frederick Steele's successful expedition against Arkansas Post. After a few months in charge of the District of Eastern Arkansas, Bussey commanded a cavalry division of the Army of the Tennessee during the campaign which resulted in the capitulation of Vicksburg. He was appointed brigadier general of volunteers on January 5, 1864. During the remainder of the war he was in brigade and divisional command in western Arkansas, where he restored discipline and fought the corrupt practices of contractors and cotton speculators. Brevetted major general to rank from March 13, 1865, Bussey returned to civilian pursuits as a merchant in St. Louis and then New Orleans. He was president of the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce for six years and a prime mover in the adoption of the jetty system which protects the mouth of the Mississippi. Having become a Republican, General Bussey served as a delegate to the conventions of 1868 and 1884 and as Assistant Secretary of the Interior in 1889, in which capacity he liberally awarded pensions to "deserving" Union veterans. He later established a law office in Washington, where he died on March 2, 1915. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Reference: Generals in Blue. Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge.