Maj. Gen. Ormsby MacKnight Mitchel was the commander of the Ohio Division of the 2nd, 21st, and 33rd Ohio Infantry Regiments. Mitchel was in charge of the defense of Nashville, Tennessee, with headquarters in the vicinity of Shelbyville. His plan was to advance on Chattanooga with the probability of liberating East Tennessee. He authorized James Andrews' plan to wreak havoc on the Western & Atlantic Railroad.
General Mitchel was born in Union County, Kentucky in 1810 and graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1829. He served as assistant professor of mathematics, philosophy, and astronomy at Cincinnati College. For a time he practiced law and at the time of the Civil War was director of the Dudley Observatory at Albany, New York. Upon entering the army he received a commission as brigadier-general of volunteers. From September to November of 1861 he was the head of the Department of the Ohio and had a division in the Army of the Ohio from December, 1861 to July, 1862. He led a brilliant expedition into Alabama which won him a promotion to major-general of volunteers.
In September, 1862 he was placed at the head of the Tenth Army Corps. He died at Hilton Head, South Carolina of yellow fever on October 27, 1862.
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