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Major Lionel F. Booth was the alias used by George H. Lanning. 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 "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."[1]

Major Booth commanded the 6th United States Colored Troops Heavy Artillery. He enrolled as a 1st Sergeant in the 1st Missouri Light Artillery, from which he was promoted to Major and transferred to commanding the 6th Heavy Artillery. He spent a good time in St. Louis, Missouri at Jefferson Barracks, where he met and married his wife, Lizzie Wayt in September 1861. Lanning was killed in action on April 12, 1864 at the Battle of Fort Pillow.[2]


  1. Lanning, George H. Approved Widows' Certificates, WC 61248. Record Group 15, National Archives and Records Administration.

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