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Term: Rusk, Gov. Jeremiah M. (1830-1893)

Definition:

b. Morgan County, Ohio, June 17, 1830
d. Viroqua, Wisconsin, November 21, 1893

Jeremiah Rusk was a farmer, soldier, and politician who commanded the 25th Wisconsin Infantry during the Civil War and served as Wisconsin's 15th governor.

Early Life

Rusk grew up in a log cabin in rural Ohio and as a young man worked as a farmer, stage driver, and barrel maker. In 1853 he followed neighbors and relatives who had moved to Wisconsin and settled in Vernon County. He opened a tavern, engaged in farming, and served for several years as county sheriff beginning in 1855. In the fall of 1861 he was elected to the state Assembly, but resigned to form a regiment of Wisconsin volunteers.

Civil War Service

In July, 1862, Rusk accepted an appointment as major of the 25th Wisconsin Infantry, a regiment composed largely of soldiers from western Wisconsin. After several months dispersed across Minnesota following the Sioux Uprising of 1862, the 25th Infantry traveled south in time to participate in the Siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi, during June 1863. Rusk was promoted to lieutenant colonel in August 1863 while his regiment was operating in the lower Mississippi Valley.

In 1864 the 25th Infantry joined the Union advance on Atlanta, and Rusk fought at Resaca, the Peach Orchard, and other battles along the route. On June 15, 1864, he was wounded at Kennesaw Mountain, near Marietta, Georgia. After his colonel was severely wounded, Rusk assumed command of the 25th Infantry for most of 1864 and 1865. After Atlanta fell he led the regiment on Sherman's March to the Sea, the capture of Savannah, and the Campaign of the†Carolinas.

In honor of his bravery and leadership, Rusk was brevetted a brigadier general in March 1865.

Political Career

After mustering out in June 1865, Rusk returned to Wisconsin and entered politics. He was elected to U.S. Congress in 1870 and was twice re-elected, serving from 1871-1877.

In 1881, he was elected governor of Wisconsin, serving from 1882-1889. During his administration, he dealt with railroad bankruptcies and labor disputes. He called out the National Guard during the 1886 strikes for the eight-hours day, leading to the Bay View Massacre in Milwaukee. After leaving the governorship, Rusk served as the nationís first Secretary of Agriculture from 1889-1893.

After leaving the Cabinet, Rusk returned to Viroqua where he died on November 21,†1893.

Links to Learn More

1866 biographical sketch of Gov. Rusk by E.B. Quiner in his book, "Military History of Wisconsin" (Chicago, 1866)

1886 Campaign biography of Gov. Rusk, Chicago Times, May 1, 1886

Gov. Rusk's 1887 memoir of his Civil War service

Original documents related to Gov. Rusk's Civil War service

[Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin Biography (Madison, 1965); Quiner, E.B. Military History of Wisconsin (Chicago, 1866); History of Vernon County, Wisconsin (Springfield, Ill., 1884); Casson, Henry. Uncle Jerry: Life of General Jeremiah M. Rusk… (Madison, 1895). ]

98 records found

Race, John A. 1914
Radcliffe, John Q. 1920
Radcliffe, Margaret Porter
Radisson, Pierre Esprit 1636 - 1710
Radosevich, Michele G. 1947
Radtke, Randall J. 1951
Rafn, Carl Christian, 1795-1864
Ragueneau, Fr. Paul, 1608-1680
Randall, Clifford Ellsworth 1876 - 1934
Randall, Gov. Alexander W. (1819-1872)
Rankin, Joseph 1833 - 1886
Rankin, Walter Laurie 1841 - 1910
Raskin, Ellen 1928 - 1984
Rasmusen, Holger B. 1894
Read, Sister Joel (Janice) 1926 -
Reaume, Charles 1752 - 1821
Reber, Louis Ehrhart 1858 - 1948
Red Bird, Ho-Chunk chief, 1788 - 1828
Reed, Curtis 1815 - 1895
Reed, George 1807 - 1883
Reed, Harrison 1813 - 1899
Reed, William W. 1825 - 1916
Reese, Oliver William, 1924 - 2005
Reformed Churches in Wisconsin
Reger, Fred C. 1916
Rehnquist, William H., 1924-2005
Reich, Frank Albert 1884 - 1946
Reid, Alexander James 1846 - 1910
Reilly, Michael Kieran 1869 - 1944
Reinsch, Paul Samuel 1869 - 1923
Reuss, Henry S. 1912-2002
Rexford, Eben Eugene 1848 - 1916
Reymert, James De Noon 1821 - 1896
Reynolds, Edwin 1831 - 1909
Reynolds, John W. 1921
Reynolds, Martin L. 1950
Reynolds, Tom 1956
Rhoades, Kitty 1951
Rhode, Paul Peter 1871 - 1945
Rice, Ora R. 1885
Rich, Martin 1835 - 1915
Richards, Harry Sanger 1868 - 1929
Richards, Jon 1963
Richardson, Robert Kimball 1876 - 1952
Riddles, Libby (born 1956)
Riehle, Ben A. 1897
Rigaud de Vaudreuil de Cavagnial, Pierre de, Marqu
Rigaud de Vaudreuil, Philippe de, Marquis de Vaudr
Riley, Antonio R. 1963
Rincker, Leroy Carl 1896 - 1953
Rindisbacher, Peter 1806 - 1834
Ringling [Rungeling], Albert 1852 - 1916
Risser, Fred 1927
Roberts, Virgil 1922
Robertson, Alan S. 1941
Robinson, Charles D. 1822 - 1886
Robinson, John H. 1955
Robinson, Robert P. 1884 - 1953
Robson, Judith Biros
Roessler, Carol A. 1948
Roethe, Henry Edgar 1866 - 1939
Rogers, William J. 1930
Roggensack, Patience Drake 1940
Rohan, Sue 1952
Rohl, Edwin C. 1908
Rohner, Henry 1919
Rolette, [Jean] Joseph 1781 - 1842
Rolle, Dale J. 1923
Rolle, Everett E. 1919
Romell, Louis C. 1899
Rooney, James F. 1935
Root, Eleazer 1802 - 1887
Rose, David Stuart 1856 - 1932
Roseleip, Gordon W. 1912
Rosenzweig, Peggy A. 1936
Roshell, Marvin J. 1932
Ross, Edward Allsworth 1866 - 1951
Ross, John Donald 1841 - 1917
Ross, William 1888 - 1951
Roth, Toby 1938
Rothwell, Angus B. 1905
Rountree, John Hawkins 1805 - 1890
Rubin, Ben 1887 - 1942
Rublee, Horace 1829 - 1896
Rude, Brian D. 1955
Rueping [Ruping], William ["Heinrich","Wilhelm"] 1
Ruger, Gen. Thomas H. (1833-1907)
Rusk, Gov. Jeremiah M. (1830-1893)
Russell, Harry Luman 1866 - 1954
Russians in Wisconsin
Rusy, Benjamin Franklin 1894 - 1953
Rutkowski, James A. 1942
Ryan, Edward George 1810 - 1880
Ryan, Mark W. 1924
Ryan, Paul 1970
Ryan, Samuel [Jr.] 1824 - 1907
Ryba, John Joseph 1929
Ryczek, Ervin John 1909

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