Mortimer Dormer Leggett

Mortimer Dormer Leggett was born on a farm near Ithaca, New York, April 19, 1821. At the age of fifteen he was taken by his parents to Geauga County, Ohio, where he helped his father to hew a farm from the wilderness. By his own unaided efforts he secured an excellent education, was admitted to the bar in 1844, and in 1846 moved to Akron. One of the founders of the graded-school system in Ohio, he lived successively in Akron, Warren, and Zanesville, serving as school superintendent in all three towns while practicing law. For a time he was professor of law in the Ohio Law College at Poland and a law partner of General Jacob D. Cox. During the first months of the Civil War, Leggett served as a civilian aide on the staff of his friend, George B. McClellan, in western Virginia; he was commissioned colonel of the 78 th Ohio in January, 1862. This regiment was present but not seriously engaged at Donelson and Shiloh; one man was killed and nine were wounded at Shiloh, where it was a part of Lew Wallace's division. By the fall of 1862, Leggett had progressed to brigade command and was formally commissioned on April 15, 1863, to rank from the preceding November 29. During the campaign which culminated in the surrender of Vicksburg, Leggett was distinguished as commander of a brigade in Logan's division of McPherson's XVII Corps. In the Atlanta campaign he directed a division of the corps and on July 22 ably defended a key position on the left of the Federal line which came to be known as Leggett's Hill. For a time in the autumn of 1864 he commanded the corps and marched with Sherman to the sea and in the campaign of the Carolinas in the ensuing months, being brevetted major general of volunteers as of September 1, 1864. At the time of the surrender of Joseph E. Johnston in North Carolina, General Leggett was again directing the 3rd Division of the corps. On August 21, 1865, he was made a full major general but resigned on September 28 to return to private life. He practiced law in Zanesville until 1871 when President Grant appointed him commissioner of patents, a post in which he served three years. In 1884 he organized a company which became highly successful and ultimately a part of the General Electric Company. General Leggett died in Cleveland, January 6, 1896, where he was buried in Lakeview Cemetery.

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