Lt. Col. Thomas T. Crittenden

7th Missouri State Militia Cavalry

Col. Thomas T. Crittenden

Born in Kentucky, Thomas Theodore Crittenden moved to Lexington, Missouri, in 1856 and started a law practice. In May 1862, Crittenden volunteered for service and was commissioned lieutenant colonel in the 7th Missouri State Militia Cavalry. In 1864, Missouri Governor Willard Preble Hall appointed Crittenden to fill a vacancy as the state’s attorney general.

On the morning of October 23, 1864, took command of the 7th MSM Cavalry after Col. John F. Philips was elevated to brigade command right before the attack at Byram's Ford. During the battle at Byram's Ford, Crittenden was "struck with a spent ball and temporarily disabled, notwithstanding he cheered and pressed his men forward and held them in line under galling fire after their ammunition was exhausted. At the battle of the Osage he dashed into the midst of a party of twelve rebels, killed 4 and took the other 8 prisoners."

After the war, Crittenden relocated to Warrensburg, Missouri, to becomes a law partner with Francis M. Cockrell. Crittenden was elected to two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1880, Crittenden ran as a Democrat and was elected Governor of Missouri. While governor, Crittenden convinced the railroads to pay a reward for the capture of Frank and Jesse James. As a result, Jesse James was killed, and Frank surrendered to state authorities. After one term as governor, Crittenden moved to Kansas City, Missouri, to continue practicing law. President Grover Cleveland appointed Crittenden to be the United States consul general in Mexico City.