Lionel F. Booth

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Major Lionel F. Booth also known as George H. Lanning, was the commander of the 6th U.S. Regiment Colored Heavy Artillery. Lionel F. Booth was the alias used by Lanning. He 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]

It is unknown what led Lanning to use an alias, but it is safe to assume he was attempting to hide his whereabouts from certain members of his family. In his widow's pension file, Lanning alludes to estranged family in Iowa, remarking to his aunt about his deceased parents, "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. 
  2. ^
  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.