Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Important Military Order, Ormsby Mitchel

The following appears in the Washington dispatches, Thursday:

"An order was issued from the War Department to-day that the Military Department of Ohio will in future consist of the State of that name, Indiana and as much of Kentucky as lies within fifteen miles of Cincinnati, under the command of Brigadier General Mitchell (sic) of the United States Volunteers, headquarters at Cincinnati.
This article was from the Covington Journal of September 21, 1861

It refers to Brigadier General Ormsby Mitchel (whose last name only contained 1 "l" even though the city of Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, named after the general doubles that. That town is located within the fifteen miles of Cincinnati mentioned in the article) Mitchel was a fascinating man, an astronomer and teacher, who helped create the observatory in Cincinnati, including raising funds to buy the lens, then traveling to Germany to make the purchase.

Here is a brief biography of General Mitchel, who passed away in late 1862 while serving in the Carolinas.

Ormsby Mitchel


  1. Great post, Richard! I knew nothing of Ormsby Mitchel until I read Russell Bonds' "Stealing the General" about the Great Locomotive Chase, in which Mitchel is featured. I'm always fascinated by generals and officers who were scientists in peacetime.

  2. Mitchel was a fascinating man, and it's a shame he did not live longer - one of those casualties of the war even though no bullet touched him.


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