William A. Mitchell

b. circa 1878

Col William A Mitchell, Corps of Engineers
  • William A. Mitchell was born circa 1878 in Seale, Russell County, Alabama.
  • James Billingslea Mitchell and Rebecca Stone Ryan appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1880 in Seale, Russell County, Alabama. Other members of the household included William A. Mitchell, Americus C. Mitchell, Frances Phillips Mitchell, James Billingslea Mitchell Jr. and H. (?). And also in the household was one female domestic servant.
  • William A. Mitchell appeared in the US federal census of 15 April 1910 in Orange County, New York, at West Point Military Reservation. Other members of the household included Rebecca Stone Ryan, Frances Phillips Mitchell and Mary Mitchell. And there was one female domestic servant in the household.
  • He was a soldier, according to the 1910 census.
  • The following appeared on 4 September 1910 in The Columbus Enquirer-Sun: Mrs. Rebecca Stone Mitchell, of West Point, New York, announced the engagement of her daughter, Mary, to Lieut. Harold C. Fiske, Corps. of Engineers, U. S. A. [:CR] [:TAB] The above announcement is taken from the army and navy journal and is of great interest to the many Columbus friends of the bride, Miss Mitchell, who has resided with her mother for the past six or seven years iin West Point. She is the sister of Capt. Americus Mitchell, U. and S. A., and also of William A. Mitchell, Corps of Engineers, and the family formerly resided in Columbus. Miss Mitchell is a bright and charming young woman and has visited Columbus several times since her residence out of the state. [:CR] [:TAB] Lieut. Fiske is instructor in the Department of Engineering at the Military Academy at West Point, New York.
  • The following appeared on 28 October 1920 in The Columbus Ledger: A Columbus Boy's Distinguished Military Service. We still think of him as a Columbus "boy," although it has been years and years since this quiet, modest youngster was in our midst, and he has since then reached manhood's estate plus. Hundreds of Columbus people recall him pleasantly-- plain Will Mitchell then, now Colonel William A. Mitchel of the United States army. [:CR] [:TAB] The "official History of the Second Engineers in the World War, 1916-1919," as compiled by the Regimental Headquarters, Second Engineers, lies before me. It is not as dry and musty as the title might imply, for it is saturated with human interest as well as stories of valor-- stories that thrill, even if the are couched in quiet, contained sentences. It is a book of 257 pages. Among the many illustrations are pictures of two officers whose record in the war was particularly gallant and distinguished. One of these is Colonel William A. Mitchell, whose picture occupies a place of honor-- the full-page opposite the introduction. [:CR] [:TAB] . . . William A. Mitchell was born in Seale, Ala., in the neighboring county of Russell, his father being Hon. James B. Mitchell, a lawyer, who represented that county for two terms in the Alabama senate and who died in the prime of life at 46. His grandfather, A. C. Mitchell, of Glenville, Ala., also represented Barbour county for four years in the Alabama senate. His ancestors have been Americans since before the revolution. [:CR] [:TAB] After his father's death Mr. Mitchell came to Columbus and was a resident of this city (including the 2-1/2 years he was at Auburn, at college) for about seven years. For several years he was with J. Kyle & Co. at the time Mr. F. B. Gordon, as managing partner, was in charge of that extensive mercantile enterprise. He was Mr. Gordon's private secretary and even in those days distinguished himself by a thoroughness and quality of service that attracted the attention of his employers. It was only natural that the young man's thoughts should turn toward a military career, as his older brother, Colonel Americus Mitchell, was then an officer in the United States army. Mr. Gordon became greatly interested in him and was of substantial assistance in obtaining his appointment to the West Point Military Academy from the Fourth Georgia district. His army record subsequently was one of steady advancement. [:CR] [:TAB] During the world War Colonel Mitchell organized the 20th Engineers (a forestry regiment) containing about 27,000 men, and shipped it to Europe, going over himself with the last detachment of the regiment. This was, perhaps, the largest regiment ever organized. Shortly after he reached France Colonel Mitchell was placed in command of the 2nd Engineers, this regiment constituting the Engineer regiment of the 2nd Division. He served with this regiment from Chateau Thierry to the armistice, and later on became corps engineer of the 8th corps. [:CR] [:TAB] Those familiar with world-war history of course know of the famous Second Division, and his regiment constituted one of the most eicient [sic] parts of this great division. For his services he was awarded several medals by the French (one of them the second highest honor given by the French government) and the distinguished service medal by the United States. [:CR] [:TAB] Colonel Mitchell is now an instructor at Fort Leavenworth. His brother, Colonel Americus Mitchell, is now stationed at Camp Benning.
  • Last Edited: 20 Aug 2010