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General Leonard Fulton Ross (1823-1901) was born in Lewistown, Illinois. In 1844 he was admitted to the Illinois bar and moved to Vermont, Illinois. In 1846 Ross volunteered for service in the Mexican-American War. After the war, Ross was elected Probate Judge and, later, Fulton County Clerk. In 1861 Ross organized a company in the Civil War, eventually becoming part of the Illinois Seventeenth Regiment. Ross saw action in Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee. In 1862 President Lincoln named Ross a Brigadier General. After the War he returned to Fulton County, Illinois and turned his attention to agriculture and stock-breeding interests. Later he ran unsuccessfully several times for Congress, and in 1882 he moved to Iowa City, Iowa. In 1894 Ross returned to Fulton County where he organized the Lewistown National Bank.
The General Leonard Fulton Ross Papers (1834-1888) documents Ross's life, with special attention paid to his early business dealings, Civil War-era correspondence, and post-war agricultural and livestock breeding career. It offers unique insight into nineteenth century life in Fulton County and provides an Illinois perspective to the Civil War.
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