(1837 - 1905)
Home State: Texas
Education: Bowden (now West Georgia) College
Branch of Service: Infantry
Unit: 1st Texas Infantry
Raised in Atlanta, Georgia, he went to Texas in 1856 and was a lawyer in Alto. At the start of the war he recruited and organized a company of troops in Alto and was elected Captain, but when they chose to go west, he instead enlisted in a Company going east. He mustered with them as Private in Company I, First Texas Infantry on 24 June 1861 in New Orleans and was promoted to First Sergeant, date not given.
On the Campaign
He was wounded by gunshot to the head in action at Sharpsburg on 17 September 1862, which fractured his skull.
The rest of the War
He recuperated at his brother's home in Thomasville, GA, was reduced to Private for "inefficiency" on 28 February 1863, and then assigned as a nurse and wardmaster at the Institute military hospital in Atlanta and did not return to his Company.
After the War
He married in 1865, was successful in the cotton business in his wife's home state of Florida, and then with a lumber mill in Atlanta. He was said to be one of the wealthiest men there and was on the City Council in 1872, an Alderman 1877-80, and mayor pro tem in 1880. He retired in 1900 after being struck by a streetcar in Atlanta.
References & notes
Service information from Davis,1 who has him as R.O. Mitchell, and Simpson.2 Some personal details from a bio piece Margaret Mitchell wrote about him for the Alto (TX) Herald on 25 February 1937 and in Candler & Evans' Georgia (Vol. 2, 1906). His gravesite is on Findagrave. His picture from a photograph sold by Brunk Auctions, published in McBride, Owen & Allport's Texans at Antietam (2017).
He was paternal grandfather to Margaret Mitchell, author of the novel Gone with the Wind (1936), and an important source of her early fascination with the Civil War, from his stories of the evacuation of Atlanta. He died when Margaret was 5.
02/27/1837; Madison County, GA
01/20/1905; Atlanta, GA; burial in Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, GA
1 Davis, Rev. Nicholas A., The Campaign from Texas to Maryland, Houston: Telegraph Book and Job Establishment, 1863, Pg. 142 [AotW citation 1541]
2 Simpson, Harold Brown, Hood's Texas Brigade: a Compendium, Hillsboro: Hill Junior College Press, 1977, pg. 69 [AotW citation 20926]