John Grant Mitchell

John Grant Mitchell, one of the youngest civilians to attain the full rank of general officer during the Civil War, was born November 6, 1838, in Piqua, Ohio. He was graduated from Kenyon College in 1859 and then studied law in Columbus, Ohio. On June 27, 1861, he enlisted in the first battalion of Ohio reserves, and on July 30 was appointed first lieutenant and adjutant of the 3rd Ohio Infantry, whose colonel was John Beatty. His early service was under General W. S. Rosecrans in West Virginia; then his regiment served in General O. M. Mitchel's campaign in Tennessee and Alabama, and he was promoted to captain and commander of Company C. In the summer of 1862 he went back to Ohio on recruiting service, was made lieutenant colonel of the 113th Ohio on September 2 and colonel on May 6, 1863. At Chickamauga, Mitchell commanded a brigade of Steedman's division of Granger's corps, whose heroic defense of the celebrated "Horseshoe Ridge" helped to make possible the retirement of the remnant of the Federal army commanded by G. H. Thomas which got off in reasonably good order toward Chattanooga. He seems not to have been present at the battles of Chattanooga, when his brigade reverted to Beatty's command and his regiment was under its major. However, during the subsequent Atlanta campaign, Mitchell reassumed brigade command, directing the second brigade of Jefferson C. Davis' division of the XIV Corps, Army of the Cumberland. The brigade formed the right of the assaulting column at Kennesaw where it suffered frightful losses. Mitchell accompanied General Thomas back to Tennessee, was present at the decisive battle of Nashville, and later took part in the campaign of the Caro-linas. He was appointed a brigadier general of volunteers on January 12, 1865, and on March 13 was promoted major general by brevet "for gallant and meritorious services in the war, especially at the battle of Averysboro and Benton-ville, North Carolina." General Mitchell resigned on July 3, 1865, and returned to Columbus to practice law. He served several terms on the city council and upon the accession of Benjamin Harrison to the presidency was appointed pension commissioner for Ohio at the instance of ex-President Hayes, who was his wife's uncle. He died in Columbus on November 7, 1894, and was buried in Green Lawn Cemetery.

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Reference: Generals in Blue. Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge.