Lovell Harrison Rousseau

Lovell Harrison Rousseau, a descendant of one of four Huguenot brothers who came to America from France in 1689 after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, was born August 4, 1818, near Stanford, Lincoln County, Kentucky. When his father died in a cholera epidemic when he was fifteen, Lovell terminated his formal education and became a common laborer in the construction of a turnpike road. Later he settled in Lexington and studied law, and in 1840 he moved to Bloomfield, Indiana, where he was admitted to the bar. In 1844 he was elected to the Indiana legislature and during the Mexican War served with gallantry as a captain of the 2nd Indiana Volunteers. He was a member of the state senate from 1847 to 1849; then he returned to Kentucky to practice law in Louisville. In 1860 he was elected to the Kentucky senate, but, a dedicated opponent of secession, he resigned in 1861 in order to recruit volunteers for the Union The declared "neutrality" of the state delayed his muster-in as colonel of the 3rd Kentucky (Union) Infantry until September 9, 1861. He was promoted to brigadier general on October 1 and major general on October 22, 1862, to rank from the eighth. At Shiloh he commanded a brigade of D. C. Buell's Army of the Ohio and at Perryville gallantly led a division of Alexander McD. McCook's corps. Subsequently, he succeeded to divisional command in G. H. Thomas' Army of the Cumberland, serving with distinction at the battle of Murfreesboro (Stone's River) in the Tullahoma campaign and at the end of the Chickamauga campaign. Although he was not present at the battle of Chickamauga itself, he rejoined his command the day after. From November, 1863, until November, 1865, General Rousseau had command of the districts of Nashville and of Tennessee, the latter with headquarters at Murfreesboro. He resigned in 1865 to take the seat in Congress to which he had been elected from Kentucky as a full-blown Republican Radical. However, he foreswore these extreme tenets and soon found himself an avowed exponent of moderation and a supporter of Andrew Johnson. After caning the Radical Josiah B. Grinnell of Iowa in a Capitol corridor, he was censured by the House and resigned his seat, but was triumphantly reelected by his Kentucky constituency. Johnson made him a brigadier and brevet major general in the Regular Army on March 28, 1867, and he was sent to Alaska to formally receive that territory from the Russians. In 1868 he succeeded Philip Sheridan in command of the department of Louisiana; he died in New Orleans, January 7, 1869. General Rousseau was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. He was the father-in-law of General Louis D. Watkins, who died nine months earlier than Rousseau, also in New Orleans.

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Reference: Generals in Blue. Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge.