Rousseau, Lovell H., major-general, was born in Stanford, Lincoln county, Ky., Aug. 4, 1818, his father having emigrated from Virginia. He received the ordinary school advantages afforded the pioneer settlers of that early period and then devoted his attention to the study of law. Subsequently he removed to Bloomfield, Ind., and was admitted to the bar of that state in 1841. He became an active political leader at once, and was elected to the state assembly in 1844 and to the state senate in 1847. He took part in the Mexican war as captain of the 2nd Ind. regiment of volunteers, and received special mention for his gallantry at Buena Vista, Feb. 22-23, In 1849 he made Louisville, Ky., his home and there opened a law office, where he soon attained prominence as a criminal lawyer. He was elected to the Kentucky state senate in 1860, being the choice of both parties. On the outbreak of the Civil war in 1861, he used his earnest efforts to restrain Kentucky from joining the Confederacy, and was especially active in recruiting troops and providing for their proper drill and equipment. He resigned from the legislature to serve better the Federal cause, and to this end he proposed and established Camp Joe Holt, near Louisville, which became a prominent rendezvous for troops. He raised the 5th regiment, Ky. volunteers, and was made colonel in Sept., 1861, becoming brigadier-general on Oct. 6, following. He led the 4th brigade of the 2nd division, Army of the Ohio, at the second day’s battle of Shiloh, and greatly distinguished himself by retaking the headquarters abandoned by Gen. McClernand the day before and otherwise contributing to the success of the Federal army on that day. He again distinguished himself at the battle of Perryville, Ky., on Oct. 8, and that day gained his promotion to major-general of volunteers. He was next in the field at Stone’s river on Dec. 31, and from Nov., 1863, to the close of the war, was in command of the districts of Tennessee. He led an important and successful raid into the heart of Alabama in 1864 and defended Fort Rosecrans during the siege of Nashville. He resigned from the army on Nov. 30, 1865, and four days later took his seat in the Thirty-ninth Congress, to which he had been elected as a Republican representative from Kentucky. In June, 1866, Gen. Rousseau made a personal assault on J. B. Grinnell of Iowa, for words spoken in debate, and was, by resolution of the committee appointed to investigate, recommended to be expelled. The house, however, adopted the minority report to reprimand him, whereupon he resigned his seat. He was re- elected during the subsequent recess to the same Congress and served on the same committees as in the first session. He was appointed on March 28, 1867, by President Johnson, a brigadier- general in the regular army, being given on the same date the brevet rank of major-general U. S. A., and he was assigned to duty in the new territory of Alaska to receive that domain from the Russian government and assume control of the territory. He succeeded Gen. Sheridan in command of the Department of the Gulf, and continued in that command with his headquarters at New Orleans up to the time of his death, which occurred Jan. 7, 1869.
Source: The Union Army, vol. 8