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H.R. Mighels

H.R. Mighels

Federal (USV)


Henry Rust Mighels


(1830 - 1879)

Home State: Nevada

Command Billet: Division AAG

Branch of Service: Staff

Unit: 2nd Division, 9th Corps

Before Antietam

He went from Maine to Cincinatti, OH with his family in 1847, and studied medicine with his physician father for a year. In August 1850 he went to California by way of Nicaragua and was a sign painter. From 1856 he was writer or editor of newspapers in Butte, Sacramento, Marysville, and San Francisco.

He was appointed Captain and Assistant Adjutant General, US Volunteers on 14 April 1862.

On the Campaign

He was General Sturgis' Assistant Adjutant General in Maryland.

The rest of the War

He continued on General Sturgis' staff in the western theater into August 1863, was on sick leave in Cincinnati, OH and Lexington, KY to January 1864, then back with the General to May 1864. He was with the First Brigade of the Division when he was shot through both thighs near Petersburg, VA on 18 June 1864 and resigned his commission on 15 October 1864.

After the War

He returned to San Frensisco then went to Nevada in late 1865 and was editor of the Carson City Morning (later Daily) Appeal; he soon became sole proprietor of the paper. He was elected to the Nevada Senate in 1868, to the House in 1876 and was Speaker, and was an unsuccessful Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor in 1878. He died the next year at age 48 of stomach cancer; Nevada Governor J.H. Kinkead was one of his pall bearers.

References & notes

Service dates from Heitman1 and Letters Received by the Commission Branch, Adjutant General's Office, USA 1863-1870, online via fold3. Maryland details from the General's after-action Report. Personal details from family genealogists, the US Census of 1870, a bio sketch in Nevada: A Narrative of the Conquest of a Frontier Land (Vol. II, 1935), and his obituary in the Reno Weekly Gazette of 5 June 1879. His gravesite is on Findagrave. His picture from a photograph in the Special Collections Department, University of Nevada, Reno.

He married Lucy Ellen "Nellie" Verrill (later Davis, 1844-1945) in August 1866 "after a lengthy courtship by mail" and they had 4 children; she still owned the Appeal to at least 1934 at her 90th birthday.

After his death Nellie published a collection of his essays and sketches, along with a brief bio and remembrance of him, as Sage Brush Leaves (1879).

More on the Web

His wartime and post-war correspondence with Nellie are in a collection at the University of Nevada, Reno [finding aid]


11/03/1830; Minot, ME


05/27/1879; Carson City, NV; burial in Lone Mountain Cemetery, Carson City, NV


1   Heitman, Francis Bernard, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army 1789-1903, 2 volumes, Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1903, Vol. 1, pg. 708  [AotW citation 28775]