Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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HITCHCOCK, Ethan Allen, soldier, born in Vergennes, Vermont, 18 May, 1798; died in Hancock, Georgia, 5 August, 1870. His father was a circuit judge during Washington's administration, and his mother was a daughter of General Ethan Allen. The son was graduated at the United States military academy in 1817, commissioned 1st lieutenant in 1818. adjutant in 1819, and captain in 1824. In 1824-'7 he was assistant instructor of military tactics, and in 1829-'33 commandant of cadets at West Point. For the next ten years he was on frontier duty, served in the Seminole war, was acting inspector-general in General Edmund P. Gaines's campaign of 1836, was transferred to recruiting service, and afterward to Indian duty, where his administration as disbursing agent was of great value in protecting the Indians against swindlers. He was promoted major of the 8th infantry in 1838, became lieutenant-colonel in 1842. and during the Mexican war was engaged in all the important battles, serving a part of the time as inspector-general on General Winfield Scott's staff, and receiving the brevet of colonel for gallantry at Contreras and Churubuseo, and that of brigadier-general for Molino del Rey. In 1851 he was promoted colonel of the 2d infantry, and in 1851-'4 commanded the Pacific military division. In October, 1855, he resigned his commission in consequence of the refusal of Jefferson Davis, secretary of war, to confirm a leave of absence that had been granted him by General Scott, and resided in St. Louis until 1861, devoting himself to literary pursuits. At the beginning of the civil war he re-entered the army, was made major-general of volunteers, and stationed in Washington, setting on the commission for exchange of prisoners and that for revising the military code. He was the warm personal friend and the military adviser of President Lincoln. General Hitchcock was a disciple of Emanuel Swedenborg, and attempted to prove in his works that a subtle and elevated theology is taught in the hermetical sys-tern of philosophy. He published " Remarks on Alchemy and the Alchemists" (Boston, 1857); "Swedenborg a Hermetic Philosopher" (New York, 1858); "Christ the Spirit," in which he attempted to show that the gospels were symbolic books, written by members of a Jewish secret society (1860); "The Sonnets of Shakespeare" (1865); "Spenser's' Colin Clout' Explained "(1865); and "Notes on the Vita Nuova of Dante " (1866).
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