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1862 November 19: News of Local Soldier James S. Armstrong, Benefit for families of Pierce County Volunteers, Death of General Ormsby Mitchel

November 24, 2012

Following are the smaller items from November 19, 1862, issue of The Prescott Journal.

— Jas. Armstrong, of Capt. Converse’ company, arrived here yesterday.  He is in poor health.¹

— We have just returned from Camp Randall, and left the boys—officers and men—in good health and spirits.  We will give a more extended notice of matters next week.

— At a meeting of the citizens of Martel, held Aug. 8th, 1862, the following subscriptions were raised for the benefit of families of Volunteers in Pierce Country:

J. Isaacson, $5; H. Halverson, $5; L. Halverson, $5; Ole Borgeson, $5; O. Rasmason, $2.50.

— It is intimated that Gen. Rufus King will supercede [sic] Gen. Viele² as Military Governor of Norfolk, and will enter upon his duties within the next few days.

— There is a report in circulation that the President has withdrawn his Emancipation Proclamation.

Advice from Washington thus disposes of the matter:

Gen. Hunter’s [David Hunter] return to South Carolina does not indicate a purpose on the President’s part to rescind or modify his proclamation, as the democrats claim, but decidedly the contrary.  All rumors to that effect are rediculous [sic] and groundless.

Gen. Hunter will leave within three or four days for the South, where he will have means for greater efficiency  and be charged with the execution of plans far more important than any yet entrusted to any general in command of a sea coast expedition.

Portrait of Brig. Gen. Ormsby M. Mitchel, from the Library of Congress

DEATH OF GEN. MITCHELL [sic]³—This gallant officer died at Beaufort, S. C., of yellow fever, on the 30th ult.  This will send a pang to every loyal heart in the land.  He was one of the noblest men in the army.

The yellow fever is said to be prevailing at Beaufort.

1.  James S. Armstrong, from Trimbelle, had enlisted in Company B of the 6th Wisconsin Infantry on June 1, 1861, but was detached to Battery B of the 4th U.S. Artillery from December 1, 1861, until he was discharged with a disability on October 25, 1862.  Rollin P. Converse became the captain of Company B when Daniel J. Dill was promoted to colonel of the 30th Wisconsin Infantry.
2.  Egbert Ludovicus Viele (1825-1902) graduated from West Point and served in the U.S. military from 1847 to 1853 when he resigned to become a civil engineer. In 1855 he became the State Engineer of New Jersey. Viele was a captain in the Engineer Corps of the Seventh New York Regiment in 1860, and at the beginning of the Civil War became a brigadier general of U. S. Volunteers. He commanded forces on the Savannah River during the siege of Fort Pulaski and was appointed military governor of Norfolk, Virginia, in May 1862. He will resign from service in October of 1863.
2.  Ormsby MacKnight, or McKnight, Mitchel (1810-1862), a graduate of West Point, was an American astronomer, attorney, surveyor, professor, and publisher. He joined the Union Army as a brigadier general of volunteers and his first command was organizing the northern Kentucky defenses around Cincinnati. He then commanded the Department of the Ohio in the fall of 1861. It was during this period that he was involved in what became known as the Great Locomotive Chase. Mitchel led a division in the Army of the Ohio from December 1861 to July 1862, and was placed in charge of the defense of Nashville, Tennessee. In April 1862, he seized the city of Huntsville, Alabama, in without a shot being fired; he was promoted to major general for his efforts. In September 1862, he assumed command of the Department of the South at Hilton Head, South Carolina. Mitchel died in Beaufort, S.C., of yellow fever on October 30, 1862. The image of Mitchel is from the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs.

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