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R.H. Rush

R.H. Rush

Federal (USV)


Richard Henry Rush

(1825 - 1893)

Home State: Pennsylvania

Education: US Military Academy, West Point, NY, Class of 1846;Class Rank: 26

Command Billet: Brigade Commander

Branch of Service: Cavalry

Unit: 3rd Brigade, Cavalry Division

Before Antietam

Son of Pennsylvania Attorney General (1811), US Attorney General (1814-17), and Secretary of the Treasury (1825-39) Benjamin Rush, Jr., he was born in London while his father was US Minister to England (1817-25). He graduated from the US Military Academy and was brevetted 2nd Lieutenant, 2nd United States Artillery on 1 July 1846 and commissioned 2nd Lieutenant on 3 March 1847. He was an instructor at West Point and had service in the Mexican War. He was promoted to First Lieutenant on 6 December 1847 but resigned his commission on 1 July 1854.

In September 1861 Governor Curtin authorized him to raise a cavalry regiment, officially the 70th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers, better known as "Rush's Lancers" - the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry. He was appointed Colonel on 27 July 1861.

On the Campaign

He commanded the Brigade in Maryland as senior Colonel.

The rest of the War

He resigned on 1 July 1864.

After the War

By 1870 and to at least 1880 he was in Philadelphia, PA.

References & notes

His service from Heitman1 and Cullum;2 his Cullum #1297. Personal details from family genealogists and the US Census of 1860-1880. His gravesite is on Findagrave. His picture from a photograph in the Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs at the Library of Congress.

He married Mary Anna Blight (1830-1852) in February 1851 and they had a son, Murray. He married again, Susan Bowdoin Yearby (1829-1889) in December 1856 and they had 6 children.

Rush was also a grandson of Benjamin Rush of Philadelphia, a signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and the son of the United States minister to England's Court of St. James.

More on the Web

See also the "Rush's Lancers" site for well annotated research about Colonel Rush and his Lancers.

We have 1857 portraits of Richard and Susan Rush over on the blog.


01/14/1825; London, England


10/17/1893; Philadelphia, PA; burial in Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA


1   Heitman, Francis Bernard, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army 1789-1903, 2 volumes, Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1903, Vol. 1, pg. 852  [AotW citation 29534]

2   Cullum, George Washington, Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the US Military Academy, 2nd Edition, 3 vols., New York: D. Van Nostrand, 1868-79, Vol. II, pg. 276  [AotW citation 29535]