The Civil War in Missouri

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The Artifact Gallery was made possible by a generous gift from the William T. Kemper Foundation – Commerce Bank, Trustee.


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Major William H. Lusk

ca. 1861-1865
MHM Photographs and Prints

In Missouri, feelings ran strongly in the hearts of many residents over the future of the nation. William H. Lusk, a veteran of the Mexican War whose family originated in Pennsylvania, was the owner of the Jefferson Inquirer. In his newspaper, he struck out boldly and fearlessly for the Union but in March 1861, the paper went under. After the loss of his paper, William became the confidential correspondent of Frank P. Blair and the then Captain Lyon in command of the U.S. Arsenal at St. Louis. Facts obtained through his correspondence would contribute to the removal of General Harney and the capture of Camp Jackson.After the Camp Jackson affair, he served for 3 months as Captain of Company B, Colonel Richardson’s Regiment, U.S. Reserve Corps. He was then appointed Assistant Provost Marshal and served until he was commissioned as recruiting officer with the rank of Lieutenant and raised four companies of U.S. Volunteers. On September 1, 1862, he was promoted to Captain and assigned to Company E, which later formed a part of the 10th Missouri Cavalry. On December 4, 1862, he was promoted to Major of the regiment and held the position until the close of the war. Major Lusk was chairman of the Cole Co. Democratic Committee and ran unsuccessfully for the Legislature in 1866. In 1870, he was elected Clerk of the Circuit Court and Ex-officio Recorder. On February 1, 1871, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he married Christine Hager.