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Albert Rust (1818 – April 4, 1870) was a member of the United States House of Representatives from Arkansas, and a delegate to the Provisional Confederate Congress. He is also known for being a Brigadier General in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War.

Early life and political career[]

Albert Rust was born in 1818 in Fauquier County, Virginia; his exact birth date is not known. In 1837, he moved from Virginia to Arkansas, settling in Union County, Arkansas.[1] After arriving he bought land and a store near the river. He was admitted to the bar in 1836 and, by 1838, was contracted by the U.S. government to survey land in the new state.[2] In 1839, the county seat was moved present day Champagnolle after 1839. As Rust owned the only building suitable, it was decided that his storehouse would be used for the courthouse.[2] He then started studying law and was admitted to the bar. In 1842, Rust won a seat in the Arkansas House of Representatives, one of four that he would serve.[2]

Rust ran in a special election for an open congressional seat in 1846. He won fourteen counties, yet got only third place. In 1852 he was elected Speaker Pro-Tempore of the Arkansas House of Representatives a very powerful position.[2] Then two years later Rust was nominated by the Democrats for United States Congress.[2] He won the general election and went to Washington, D.C..

In 1856, Rust became the center of attention in his efforts to make a compromise over the election of a new speaker. The single candidate who was shown as the most possible favored was Nathaniel P. Banks of Massachusetts. Banks was well known for his opposition to the further extension of slave territory. According the Rust family history, while writing for the New York Tribune, newspaperman Horace Greeley quickly “characterized Rust’s resolution as an attempt to make it appear that the contest over the speakership was one of personal rivalries among the candidates and not of principles, and its true purpose to ride the opposition of the powerful candidate, Banks. After the adjournment of Congress on the day The Tribune reached Washington, Rust accosted Greeley on the Capitol grounds and felled him with his cane.” A few days later, Rust struck Greeley again on the streets of Washington.

Rust began to show little interest in many things other than military matters. He was not renominated and his seat was taken by Edward A. Warren.[2] After working to gain his political future back Rust once again one a seat in the House of Representatives in 1858. Rust continued his interest in military affairs in his second term.[2]

A supporter of Stephen A. Douglas in the 1860 Presidential election and strong advocate for Union, Rust shifted his position after Lincoln’s call for troops. In May 1861 Arkansas seceded from the Union, and Rust was named a delegate to the Provisional Confederate Congress. When elections for the Confederate Congress were held later in 1861, Rust resigned from his post.[2]

Civil War service[]

Returning to Arkansas, Rust assisted Van H. Manning in the organization of the 3rd Arkansas Infantry Regiment, and was appointed colonel of that unit.[3] The 3rd Arkansas would become Arkansas's most celebrated Civil War regiment and the only Arkansas regiment to be permanently assigned to General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia.[3] In the fall of 1861, Rust and the 3rd Arkansas took part in the Battle of Cheat Mountain under Lee. During the winter of that year he and the regiment were under the command of General Stonewall Jackson. They would go on to serve in almost every major battle fought in the east, including the Battle of Gettysburg, most occurring after Rust was transferred from the regiment.[4]

Rust was raised to the rank of brigadier general on March 4, 1862, and was transferred back to Arkansas, where he was assigned to General Earl Van Dorn's Army of the West.[3] Rust led Confederate troops at the Battle of Hill's Plantation in July 1862. After the Battle of Pea Ridge, most Confederate forces were removed from Arkansas and transferred east of the Mississippi River.[3] Rust fought at the Battle of Shiloh and the Battle of Corinth. In April 1863, Rust was once again transferred back to Arkansas and placed under Maj. Gen. Sterling Price.[3] He later served under General Thomas C. Hindman in Arkansas and General John Pemberton and Richard Taylor in Louisiana.[4]

Rust eventually lost his command based upon questions regarding his loyalty to the Confederate cause. Giving up active military service, he moved to Austin, Texas to be with his family, who had abandoned their home in Arkansas, during the Federal occupation of the place. According to a biographical sketch of Gen. Rust, near the end of the war he became quite outspoken and bold critic of the Confederate government, regularly expressing Unionist sentiments.

After the war[]

After the war Rust moved from his home in El Dorado, Arkansas across the Arkansas River from Little Rock.[2] He returned to Washington as a member of the US House of Representatives and was even a Republican candidate for the US Senate in 1869 before he withdrew himself from candidacy. On 3 April 1870, Rust died near Little Rock, Arkansas of an inflammation of the brain, while his wife and children were away visiting family in Virginia. His burial place is the subject of some dispute. Contemporary accounts state that he was buried at the historic Mount Holly Cemetery in Little Rock, but other accounts indicate that he was buried in an unmarked grave next to the Confederate monument in Oakland Cemetery.[2] A memorial marker to General Rust is located in the Confederate section of the Little Rock National Cemetery [5] His Congressional biography states that he is buried in "Old Methodist Cemetery."[6]

See also[]


  1. McPheeters's pg. 353
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 [1] Encyclopedia of Arkansas (Albert Rust)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Evans's pp. 414-416
  4. 4.0 4.1 Eicher's pp. 115-116
  5. [2]
  6. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress (RUST, Albert)

External links[]

  • Evans, Clement Anselm; "Confederate Military History: A Library of Confederate States History" (1899)
  • Eicher, David J.; "The Longest Night: A Military History of the Civil War (2001)"
  • McPheeters, William M., Pitcock, Cynthia Dehaven, Gurley, Bill J.; "I Acted From Principle: The Civil War Diary Of Dr. William M. Mcpheeters, Confederate Surgeon In The Trans-Mississippi" (2005)
  • Encyclopedia of Arkansas (Albert Rust)
  • Biographical Directory of the United States Congress

Template:Start box |- ! colspan="3" style="background: #cccccc" | United States House of Representatives |- style="text-align: center;" |- style="text-align:center;" |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"|Preceded by
Edward Allen Warren |width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="1"|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Arkansas's 2nd District
March 4, 1855 – March 3, 1857 |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"| Succeeded by
Edward Allen Warren |- |- style="text-align: center;" |- style="text-align:center;" |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"|Preceded by
Edward Allen Warren |width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="1"|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Arkansas's 2nd District
March 4, 1859 – March 3, 1861 |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"| Succeeded by
Edward Allen Warren |- |- ! colspan="3" style="background: #cccccc" | Confederate States House of Representatives |- style="text-align: center;" |- style="text-align:center;" |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"|Preceded by
(none) |width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="1"|Representative to the Provisional Confederate Congress from Arkansas
1861–1862 |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"| Succeeded by
(none) |- |}

de:Albert Rust (Soldat)