Luke Freet

Nov 8, 2018

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, March 10th 1824.
Served as a Lieutenant in the 1st Kentucky Mounted Rifles during the Mexican war; got captured and remain a pow for the rest of the war.
Moved to Little Rock, Arkansas in 1848, and was appointed by President Buchanan as the postmaster of Little Rock from 1857 to the start of the war.
Became Colonel of the 1st Arkansas Mounted Rifles (which served dismounted for most of its existence) and fought at Wilson's Creek.
March 4th, 1862, promoted Brigadier General and led a brigade of Arkansan East to join Kirby Smith's Army of Kentucky. Fought at Richmond Kentucky in command of a division.
Later in '62, was assigned to command the Texans and Arkansans defending Arkansas Post. Fought here January 9th-11th. One of his subordinates raised the flag of surrender without his permission, and the rest of the troops surrendered. They were exchanged and sent East as a brigade, joining Patrick Cleburne's Division (fittingly, Churchill had fought alongside Cleburne at Richmond). He was soon after sent back across the Mississippi; his brigade from Arkansas Post would go on to become Granbury's Texas Brigade.
He commanded a demi-division of Arkansans during the Red River Campaign and at Jenkins Ferry. He was promoted a Major General March 17th, 1865.
After the war, he took part in the Brooks-Baxter war, backing the Democrat Brooks, who would appoint Churchill as the State Treasurer, serving from '74 to '78. In 1881, he was elected Governor of Arkansas. His time in this office was controversial, as discrepancies in the accounting under his eyes as the treasurer raised questions. He would resign in 1883.
It is claimed that he set the standard for the pronunciation of the state name as "Arkansaw".
He died in 1905.

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