|Delegate from Arkansas|
to the Provisional Congress
of the Confederate States
May 18, 1861 – February 17, 1862
|Preceded by||New constituency|
|Succeeded by||Constituency abolished|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Arkansas's 2nd District|
March 4, 1859 – March 3, 1861
|Preceded by||Edward A. Warren|
|Succeeded by||James M. Hinds|
March 4, 1855 – March 3, 1857
|Preceded by||Edward A. Warren|
|Succeeded by||Edward A. Warren|
|Member of the|
Arkansas House of Representatives
from Union County
November 1, 1852 – November 6, 1854
November 7, 1842 – November 4, 1848
|Preceded by||Hiram Smith|
|6th Speaker of the Arkansas House of Representatives|
November 2, 1846 – November 4, 1848
|Governor||Thomas S. Drew|
|Preceded by||John S. Roane|
|Succeeded by||Edward A. Warren|
Fauquier County, Virginia
|Died||April 4, 1870 (aged 52)|
Little Rock, Arkansas
|Cause of death||Brain abscess|
|Branch/service||Confederate States Army|
|Years of service||1861–1865|
|Battles/wars||American Civil War|
Albert Rust (c. 1818 – April 4, 1870) was an American politician who served as a delegate from Arkansas to the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States from 1861 to 1862. A member of the Democratic Party, Rust was the U.S. Representative from Arkansas's 2nd congressional district, serving from 1859 to 1861. Rust also served as a senior officer of the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War.
Early and personal life
Albert Rust was born c. 1818 in Fauquier County, Virginia, to William Rust and his wife Elizabeth; his exact birth date is not known. Rust married Jane Carrington (1824-1847) of Charlotte County, Virginia, on April 17, 1844, but she soon died, and was buried in Hervey Cemetery in Hempstead County, Arkansas. He then married Anne Bouldin Cabell, and at least three of their children (raised in Virginia during the American Civil War) would survive to adulthood: Julia Rust Tutwiler (1854-1923), Breckenridge Cabell Rust (1855-1892) and author Pauline Carrington Rust Bouve (1860-1928).
Early political career
Rust was admitted to the bar in 1836 and the following year moved from Virginia to Arkansas, settling in Union County, Arkansas. Rust bought land and a store near the river in 1837. By 1838, Rust held the U.S. government contract to survey land in the new state. In 1839, the county seat was moved present day Champagnolle. As Rust owned the only building suitable, so his storehouse also became the courthouse.
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. Two years later. Democrats nominated Rust for United States Congress. He won the general election and went to Washington, D.C.
In 1856, Congressman Rust became drew public attention for his efforts to oppose Nathaniel P. Banks of Massachusetts, who appeared likely to become Speaker of the House. Banks opposed further extension of slave territory, unlike Rust and his constituents. According to the Rust family history, Rust introduced something labeled a compromise resolution, which New York Tribune newspaperman Horace Greeley characterized Rust's as an attempt to make it appear that the contest over the speakership was about personal rivalries among the candidates and not about principles. Greeley believed its true purpose was to oppose Banks's candidacy. After Congress adjourned, 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 again struck Greeley again on the streets of Washington.
Rust showed little interest other than in military matters. He was not renominated; Edward A. Warren succeeded him. After working to regain his political reputation, Rust once again won a seat in the House of Representatives in 1858. His interest in military affairs continued in his second term.
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 States Congress.
American Civil War
Returning to Arkansas, Rust received a commission as Colonel on July 5, 1861, and assisted Van H. Manning in recruiting and organizing the 3d Arkansas Infantry Regiment. The Third 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. In the fall of 1861, Rust and the Third Arkansas traveled to Western Virginia and took part in the Battle of Cheat Mountain under Lee. During that winter, 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, although mostly after Rust's promotion and transfer from the regiment.
On March 4, 1862, Rust was promoted to brigadier general, and transferred back to Arkansas, where he was assigned to General Earl Van Dorn's Army of the West. 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. Rust fought at the Battle of Shiloh and the Second Battle of Corinth, Mississippi in October.
In April 1863, Rust was once again transferred back to Arkansas and placed under Maj. Gen. Sterling Price in the Trans-Mississippi Department. He later served under Major Generals Thomas C. Hindman in Arkansas and John Pemberton and Richard Taylor in Louisiana.
Rust eventually lost his command based upon questions regarding his loyalty to the Confederate cause; he had become an outspoken and bold critic of the Confederate government, regularly expressing Unionist sentiments. After his active military service, he moved to Austin, Texas to reunite with his family, who had abandoned their home in Arkansas during the Federal occupation and spent considerable time with his brother Dr. George W. Rust in Virginia.
After the war Rust moved from his home in El Dorado, Arkansas across the Arkansas River from Little Rock. He returned to Washington as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and was even a Republican candidate for the US Senate in 1869 before Congressional Reconstruction began and former Confederates were forbidden to hold elective office and he withdrew himself from candidacy. On April 3, 1870, he died in Pulaski County, Arkansas, from a brain abscess, 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. A cenopath memorial stone is in the Oakland and Fraternal Cemetery
- Evans, Clement A., ed. Confederate Military History: A Library of Confederate States History. 12 vols. Atlanta: Confederate Publishing Company, 1899. OCLC 833588. Volume 10. Dimitry, John; Louisiana. Harrell, J. M.; Arkansas.
- Eicher, David J. The Longest Night: A Military History of the Civil War. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001. ISBN 978-0-684-84944-7.
- Eicher, John H., and David J. Eicher. Civil War High Commands. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001. ISBN 978-0-8047-3641-1.
- 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)
- Sifakis, Stewart. Who Was Who in the Civil War. New York: Facts On File, 1988. ISBN 978-0-8160-1055-4.
- Warner, Ezra J. Generals in Gray: Lives of the Confederate Commanders. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1959. ISBN 978-0-8071-0823-9.
- Encyclopedia of Arkansas (Albert Rust)
- Biographical Directory of the United States Congress