Lionel F. Booth

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George H. Lanning (1838 – April 12, 1864), also known by his alias Lionel F. Booth, was the commander of the 6th U.S. Regiment Colored Heavy Artillery. Lanning enrolled as a 1st Sergeant in the 1st Missouri Light Artillery. At the Battle of Wilson's Creek, he was a private in the 2nd Infantry Regiment, Company B, working as a clerk for General Nathaniel Lyon.[1] He served in St. Louis, Missouri at Jefferson Barracks, where he met Lizzie Way, and married her in September 1861 – signing the marriage certificate as George H. Lanning.[1] In 1863, he was promoted to Major and given the command of the 6th U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery Regiment. He was killed in action on April 12, 1864 at the Battle of Fort Pillow.[1][2]

Although it is unknown what led Lanning to use an alias, aliases were common in the Civil War, often used to prevent people's families from finding them. Lanning was additionally estranged from a number of people in his family; in his widow's pension file, Lanning remarks to his aunt about his deceased parents in Iowa:

... had it not been for them and their father I might have been a different and a better man, but let it rest as it is. I forgive and with him let all his injuries and faults be buried with them that remain let their faults be buried in oblivion. I forgive them, it was them that caused me to be driven from the presence of those who needed my protection, and they knew it, that if they got me once out of the way they would have things their own way.[3][4]


  1. ^ a b c Thomas Power Lowry (2006). Confederate Heroines: 120 Southern Women Convicted by Union Military Justice. LSU Press. pp. 108–109. ISBN 978-0-8071-2990-6.
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  3. ^ Lanning, George H. Approved Widows' Certificates, WC 61248. Record Group 15, National Archives and Records Administration.
  4. ^ "Another Day, Another History Mystery: It is unnecessary for me to depict the scenes that I have seen, nor to horror your mind with the dreadful slaughter of human beings that has so frequently has been my lot to behold. History alone must do that". Letters From the Front. October 22, 2010. Archived from the original on 21 July 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2014.