Thomas Leonidas Crittenden

Thomas Leonidas Crittenden—son of United States Senator John J. Crittenden, younger brother of Major General George B. Crittenden of the Confederate Army, and first cousin of General Thomas T. Crittenden—was born in Russellville, Kentucky, May 15, 1819. He was admitted to the bar in 1840 and two years later was elected commonwealth attorney for his district. At the outbreak of the Mexican War, Crittenden enlisted and served successively as aide to General Zachary Taylor and as colonel of the 3rd Kentucky Infantry, whose major was John Cabell Breckinridge, later Vice-President of the United States and Confederate major general and Secretary of War. In 1849, President Taylor appointed Crittenden consul at Liverpool. In 1853 he returned to Kentucky and resided in Frankfort and Louisville. Adhering to the Union, as did his father, Crittenden became commander of those state forces which remained loyal after General Simon B. Buckner had led the others south for service in the Confederacy. Crittenden was commissioned a brigadier general of volunteers in September, 1861, and at the battle of Shiloh the following spring commanded the 5th Division of Don Carlos Buell's Army of the Ohio, which arrived in time to reinforce U. S. Grant's troops. Crittenden was commissioned major general on July 17, 1862. During the campaigns of Tullahoma and Chickamauga he was one of General William S. Rosecrans' principal lieutenants, commanding the XXI Corps in the latter campaign. Subsequently, Rosecrans attempted to transfer some of the responsibility for the disaster at Chickamauga by preferring charges against Crittenden, as well as against Generals Alex. McD. McCook and James S. Negley. All were formally acquitted following an exhaustive inquiry conducted at Nashville, but none of their military careers was thereafter embellished. Crittenden resigned his volunteer commission in December, 1864, and in January, 1866, was appointed state treasurer of Kentucky. Subsequently, President Andrew Johnson offered him a colonelcy in the Regular Army, which he accepted, serving until retirement in 1881. General Crittenden died at Annandale, Staten Island, New York, October 23, 1893, and was buried in Frankfort, Kentucky.

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