Albert Rust was born in 1818 in Virginia. He moved to Arkansas in 1837, settling in Union County on the banks of the Ouachita River where he built a storehouse and became a county surveyor. The county seat was moved to his settlement in 1839 and his storehouse became the courthouse. Rust studied law and was admitted to the bar, and in 1842 was elected to the state House of Representatives. He moved to El Dorado in 1842.
Rust made an unsuccessful attempt to run for U.S. Congress in 1846, but was successful in returning to the state House of Representatives in 1852. In 1854 he succeeded in his second attempt at U.S. Congress, winning 67% of the vote as a Democrat. He failed to be renominated in 1856, but was elected again in 1858.
Rust was a major proponent of seccession, and when Arkansas did so in May of 1861 he represented Arkansas in the Provisional Confederate House of Representatives.
A colonel in the state militia, Rust returned to Arkansas when fighting broke out and formed the 3rd Arkansas Infantry Regiment with Arkansas lawyer Van Manning. Rust became colonel of the regiment, which was sent to Virginia, becoming the only Arkansas regiment in the Army of Northern Virginia.
Rust commanded the 3rd in Robert E. Lee’s Cheat Mountain Campaign, then joined Jackson’s command in the Shenandoah Valley.
Rust was also a delegate to the Confederate Congress in 1861 and 1862. On March 4, 1862 he was promoted to brigadier general and returned to Arkansas. He commanded troops in General Van Dorn’s Army of the West at Hill’s Plantation and Pea Ridge, and at Shiloh and Corinth east of the Mississippi.
In 1863 Rust again returned to Arkansas and commanded troops under Generals Price and Hindman, and in Louisiana under Pemberton and Taylor.
After the war Rust moved near Little Rock. He died on April 4, 1870. His burial loction is somewhat of a mystery. A marker is in the Confederate section of Little Rock National Cemetery, but other stories say his is buried in Oakland Cemetery next to the Confederate monument and in Mount Holly Cemetery in Little Rock. His official congressional biography states he is buried in the Old Methodist Cemetery in El Dorado.
The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture
Offical Records of the War of the Rebellion