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Lucien Phillip Greathouse
Lucien was born on June 7, 1842, at Carlinville, IL. He was the sixth child and fourth son of John Stull Greathouse and Lucy Mills Clarke. His Greathouse genealogy in America went back five generations to Herman Groethausen who migrated from northern Germany to America in 1710.
When Lucien was born in 1842, John Stull was a successful attorney & was serving as States Attorney. Then in April of 1843 when Lucien was 10 months old his mother died at the age of 33. Devastated, John sold everything, resigned, & returned to Shelbyville, KY. There he courted and married Catherine Waring in Uniontown, Ky on Aug. 20, 1844. His sister Elizabeth was married to William S. Smith in 1855, and Lucien went to live with them. Lucien went to school the next term at Mckendree College at Lebanon, IL. Then he entered Indiana Univ. and graduated from there when he had just turned sixteen in 1858.
Lucien began teaching school and studying law under the guidance of his brother, Tevis in Vandalia. The call was from the White House for volunteers to preserve the Union. Lucien at 18 immediately answered & enlisted. He then helped to recruit what was known as the 48th Illinois Regiment. He rose quickly in rank to Colonel and Commander of the 48th. The men in the 48th thought so highly of him that they honored him by giving him an inlaid jewelled sword.
The 48th Illinois was part of 36,290
young men from IL that were in Gen.
At what was called the Battle of Atlanta, one of the rebel strongholds was a large southern brick home owned by Troupe Hurtt. The 48th IL went to battle with Colonel Lucien, barely 22 years old, leading the charge.
He was riding a great claybank horse. With the rebels in pursuit of the broken"Yankee" line, one of them yelled "Surrender, Can't you see you are beaten." Col. Lucien replied, "Beat hell, we've just come into the fight!" He bore down on the rebel with his saber in his hand, but at that moment a rebel bullet struck him in the chest. Lucien went down with his life and blood flowing from his body. The charge of the 48th IL turned the tide of that part of the battle and Troupe Hurtt House was captured. Atlanta fell and Gen.Sherman burned the great City to the ground. Lucien met his untimely death on July 22, 1864 when he was 22 years, one month, & 15 days old, the youngest Col. in the Union Army. However, his promotion to Brevet Brig. General had been in the mail for two days.
Lucien's body was brought back to Vandalia, IL and laid to rest in the Vandalia Cemetery. Today lying beside his brother, Tevis and Julia Prentice Greathouse, Tevis' wife, their father, John Stull Greathouse, and Tevis' children.
A monument approximately 12 feet tall was erected as his head stone. Later another large granite stone was set at his feet. The inscriptions state: "HIS EXAMPLE WAS WORTH A THOUSAND MEN", GEN. W. T. SHEMAN "THE BRAVEST MAN IN THE ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE". GEN J. A. LOGAN; HE LED THE COMMAND IN FORTY HARD FOUGHT PITCHED BATTLES AND WAS KILLED WITH THE FLAG OF HIS REGIMENT AND COUNTRY IN HIS HANDS STANDING UPON THE BREAST WORKS OF THE ENEMY BEFORE THE CITY OF ATLANTA, GA IN THE MEMORABLE FIGHT OF JULY 22, 1864. MAY HIS GOD AND HIS COUNTRY DEAL JUSTLY BY HIM.
BORN CARLINVILLE, ILLINOIS 7TH DAY OF
JUNE 1842 A. D. AND WAS KILLED AT THE HEAD OF HIS REGIMENT BEFORE
ATLANTA, GEORGIA 22ND JULY 1864 A. D.
WE CANNOT WIN HIM BACK
Odd as history is, Lucien's young brother, Isaac Ridgley, became a Primitive Baptist Preacher. In Atlanta, GA, at the very site where Lucien was killed at the Troupe Hurtt House, a Primitive Baptist Church was built. Isaac Ridgley in his widely traveled life prayed and preached in that little church many times before he died on Jan. 10, 1935.
Paraphrased by Pat Greathouse.
© Copyright 1998 - 2008, Guild Greathouse.
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