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Civil War Soldiers - Mitchel

Mitchel, Ormsby M., major-general, U.S. Army, was born in Morganfield, Ky., Aug. 28, 1810. He was graduated at the United States military academy in 1829, served as assistant professor of mathematics at West Point for two years, and was then on garrison duty until Sept. 30, 1832, when he resigned. He was in that year admitted to the bar, practiced two years in Cincinnati, was chief engineer of the Little Miami railroad, 1836-37, and professor of mathematics, astronomy and philosophy at Cincinnati college, 1834-44. He raised almost all the money for the establishment of an observatory at Cincinnati, which was the first of the larger observatories to be built in the United States, and in 1843 the corner-stone of the pier for the great telescope was laid by John Quincy Adams. Prof. Mitchel lectured extensively throughout the United States from 1842 to 1848; was adjutant-general of the state of Ohio, 1841-48; chief engineer of the Ohio & Mississippi railroad, 1848-49, and again in 1852-53, and was director of the Dudley observatory at Albany, N. Y., in 1859-61. He invented a number of valuable mechanical devices for use in astronomy, and gained great distinction in his profession. He was commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers, Aug. 9, 1861, and at first reported to Gen. McClellan, who assigned him the command of Gen. William B. Franklin's brigade in the Army of the Potomac; but at the request of the citizens of Cincinnati he was transferred to that city and commanded the Department of the Ohio from Sept. 19 to Nov. 13, 1861. He served with the Army of the Ohio during the campaigns of the winter of 1861- 62 in Tennessee and northern Alabama, took part in the occupation of Bowling Green, Ky., Nashville, Tenn., the march to Huntsville, Ala., in the action near Bridgeport, Ala., April 30, 1862, and was promoted major- general of volunteers to date from April 11, 1862. He took possession of the railroad from Decatur to Stephenson, by which the control of northern Alabama was secured to the Federal authorities. He was anxious to advance into the heart of the South, but was restrained by his superior officer, Gen. Buell, and in consequence of a dispute with Buell he tendered his resignation to the secretary of war and was transferred to the command of the Department of the South, with headquarters at Hilton Head, S. C., Sept. 17, 1862. He died of yellow fever at Hilton Head, Oct. 30, 1862.

Source: The Union Army: A History of Military Affairs in the Loyal States 1861-1865, Volume 8 Biographical, 1908

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