A Civil War Biography
Mortimer Dormer Leggett
Leggett was born 19 April 1821 near Ithaca, New York. As a teenager,
he moved to Geauga County, Ohio with his family. He was educated at
a teacher's academy in Kirtland, Ohio graduating at the top of his
class then attended Western Reserve College and Willoughby Medical
School studying both law and medicine. He was admitted to the bar
and moved to Akron, Ohio where he worked as a school superintendent
before starting a law practice in 1850. In 1856 he joined the
faculty of the Ohio Law College.
When the Civil War started he joined the staff of his friend George
B. McClellan, serving as the aide-de-camp during the western
Virginia campaign of 1861. Leggett helped raise the 78th Ohio
Infantry regiment and became the regiment's colonel in January 1862.
The 78th Ohio became part of the 3rd Brigade/ 3rd Division/ Army of
the Tennessee and fought at Fort Donelson, Corinth and Shiloh.
Leggett was promoted to brigadier general to rank from 29 November
1862. He commanded the 2nd Brigade/ 3rd Division/ XVII Corps during
the Vicksburg campaign. He commanded 3rd Division/ XVII Corps during
the Atlanta campaign. He led a victorious charge on Bald Hill which
became known as Leggett Hill and was brevetted major general of
volunteers on 1 September 1864 for the effort. He remained with
William T. Sherman's Army during the March to the Sea and as it
moved through the Carolinas. Leggett was promoted to major general
in August 1865. He resigned a month later and returned to practice
law in Zanesville, Ohio and was involved in manufacturing.
President Ulysses S. Grant appointed Leggett Commissioner of Patents
in January 1871, a post he held until 1874. He was a co-founder of
the Brush Electric Company a forerunner of General Electric. Leggett
died 6 January 1896 in Cleveland, Ohio.
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