Bio: Lancaster, Leonard L. (1914)


----Surname:s Lancaster, Tourtelette, Washburn, Grearson, Sherman, Forrest, Humphrey, Holland, Custer, Sheridan, Crocket, Miller 

----Source: History of Eau Claire County, Wisconsin (1914) pages 766-767 

Leonard L. Lancaster, pioneer and retired lumberman of Eau Claire, was born in Maxfield, Piscatauquis county, Maine, October 26. 1829, and is a son of Levi and Olive (Tourtelette) Lancaster, and comes from colonial stock. He received a common school and academic education in his native state and on attaining his majority, went to Michigan and there engaged in the lumber business for five years. In 1856 he settled in Eau Claire and here continued in the lumber business until 1861. On December 9, of that year, he enlisted in Company L, 2d Wisconsin Cavalry, was sent to Benton Barracks, Missouri, and later to Jefferson City, Missouri, where he remained until 1862, when he crossed the Ozark Mountains to Springfield. On July 4, 1862, he was at Helena, Arkansas, and later at Canton, White River, Arkansas post, Cold Water, Tallahasse, under C. C. Washburn. He returned to Helena and was at Memphis, Tennessee, under the command of General Grearson, and from there he marched with his regiment to Vicksburg, Mississippi, a distance of 800 miles, making the trip in fifty-five days. He was then transferred to General W. T. Sherman's command and took part in the capture of Jackson and Canton, Mississippi, Pearl river, Tombigbee river, and then returned to Vicksburg and Memphis, arriving there in 1865. He then went to Granada, Mississippi, and with 250 men captured General Forrest and 1,500 men, thence went to Natchez and up the Red river to Alexandria where he became a leader of a so-called meeting to displace his lieutenant colonel for which he was court-martialed and sentenced to be shot by General Custer. At the last moment he was reprieved and his sentence changed to three years' banishment to Dry Tortugas, which, through the efforts of friends among whom was C. C. Washburn, was changed so that his release at the end of three months was brought about by order of General Sheridan. On his return Mr. Lancaster received transportation to Madison, Wisconsin, where upon his arrival he received a dishonorable discharge without pay. From there he had to walk home and so wasted was he by his hardships, only his dog recognized him. Later through the efforts of C. C. Washburn, and Congressman Humphrey, of Hudson, Wisconsin, his dishonorable discharge was changed to one of honorable and he received back pay amounting to $1,000.00. 

Mr. Lancaster married on April 12, 1851, Miss Sarah Holland, a native of Bangor, Maine, and daughter of Fredrick and Lydia (Crocket) Holland, whose mother was a descendant of the famous David Crocket. The issue of this union was four children, viz.: Ella L., deceased wife of John Miller; Tirzah A; Carrie B., and Elmer E., who is deceased. Mr. Lancaster is one among the few surviving pioneers of Eau Claire. He is a Republican in politics, a member of the Odd Fellows and Eagle Post. No. 52, G. A. R., of Eau Claire. After the war, Mr. Lancaster engaged in the lumber business which he followed until 1900 when he retired and has since lived in retirement.




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