Thomas John Lucas

Thomas John Lucas was born September 9, 1826, in the Ohio River town of Lawrenceburg, Indiana. He followed his father's trade of watchmaker until 1847 when he entered the Mexican War as a second lieutenant of the 4th Indiana Volunteers for a service of fourteen months. In 1861 he became lieutenant colonel of the 16th Indiana and with it took part in the Federal debacle at Ball's Bluff, Virginia. Upon the promotion of Colonel Pleasant A. Hackleman to brigadier, Lucas became commander of the regiment which was remustered for three years or the duration of the war. The 16th Indiana met further misfortune at the battle of Richmond, Kentucky, during Braxton Bragg's invasion—two hundred were killed or wounded and six hundred were captured. The prisoners were paroled and exchanged; the command was reorganized and after furlough was sent to U. S. Grant's army to take part in the Vicksburg campaign in John McClernand's (later Ord's) XIII Corps. In the course of these operations Lucas was wounded three times. Next he was assigned to direct a brigade of cavalry in the division commanded successively by Generals A. L. Lee and Richard Arnold during N. P. Banks's abortive Red River expedition. On November 10, 1864, Lucas was made a brigadier general of volunteers, and in the operations designed to take the city of Mobile, he commanded first a brigade and then a division, leading raids into west Florida, south Georgia, and Alabama. Brevetted major general to rank from March 26, 1865, "for faithful and meritorious service against the city of Mobile," he was commanding a brigade of cavalry at Vicksburg at the war's end. He returned to civilian life in Lawrenceburg early in 1866. From 1875 until 1881 General Lucas was employed in the U. S. Revenue Service, and from 1881 until 1885, during the administrations of Presidents Garfield and Arthur, was postmaster of his hometown. In 1886 he ran unsuccessfully for Congress on the Republican ticket. Lucas died on November 16, 1908, and was buried in Greendale Cemetery in Dearborn County, Indiana.

Previous Page

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