SIXTH PLATE AMBROTYPE OF UNION GENERAL R.B. MITCHELL: MEXICAN WAR, KANSAS FREE-STATER, WIA WILSON’S CREEK, DIVISION COMMANDER AT PERRYVILLE

$2,750.00 ON HOLD
Originally $4,500.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 846-244

This sixth-plate ambrotype shows Brigadier General Robert Byington Mitchell in a seated pose from the waist up, wearing his regulation general’s uniform and turned slightly to display the brigadier general’s star on his shoulder strap. At Wilson’s Creek in August 1861, as colonel of the 2nd Kansas, he had been mentioned in official reports for his gallant behavior and was severely wounded by the same fire that killed General Lyon as he brought his regiment forward.

Mitchell (1823-1882) was born in Mansfield, Ohio, where he opened a practice after studying law in nearby Mount Vernon. From September 1847 to late July 1848 he served as a second lieutenant in the Second Ohio Infantry. He moved to Kansas in 1856, served in the state legislature and participated in the Free-Stater’s Leavenworth Convention, which drafted the most progressive of four constitutions proposed for the state. He was treasurer of the Kansas Territory from 1859 to 1861, and also participated in the 1860 Democratic Convention in Charleston, S.C.

At outbreak of the war he was Kansas Adjutant General and received a commission as colonel of the 2nd Kansas Volunteers as of 23 May 1861 and took part in Nathaniel Lyons’s campaign to keep Union control of Missouri. After recovering from his wounding at Wilson’s Creek he was appointed Brigadier General of Volunteers in April 1862, was posted to Fort Riley, Kansas, and then in October saw further action as a 3rd Corps division commander in Buell’s Army of the Ohio at the Battle of Perryville, which turned back Bragg from Kentucky. He was subsequently posted to Nashville and then as Chief of Cavalry Army of the Cumberland under Thomas.

Before the final battles around Chattanooga he was summoned to Washington for courtmartial duty and then dispatched west as military commander of the districts of Nebraska, North Kansas, and Kansas in turn, and in January 1865 led forces in pursuit of Indian raiders in Colorado. He was mustered out in January 1866 and appointed Governor the New Mexico Territory, but apparently relished neither the job nor living in Santa Fe, absenting himself frequently and resigning in 1869 to return to Kansas. He ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 1872, moving then to Washington, D.C., where he died in 1882 and was interred at Arlington.

The photo is in very good condition, with mat, frame, glass and leatherette case intact, thought showing some wear to the edges of the case and hinge.  [sr]

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