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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KITCHING, John Benjamin, merchant, born in Horsforth, England, 20 April, 1818; died in New York city, 19 July, 1887. He came to the United States in 1S24, entered the business-house of Tomlinson and Booth, and afterward established himself independently. He rendered the telegraph important pecuniary aid in its early history, and was among those who were interested in the success of the Atlantic cable. Mr. Kitching spent a large amount of money in the ship "Ericsson," which was intended to demonstrate the superiority of the method of propulsion by air-engines; but on the trial-trip an accident occurred, causing the sinking of the vessel. In 1840 he removed to Brooklyn and was associated in the founding of several banks and in the establishment of the Polytechnic and Packer institutes. Later he was one of the promoters of the Manhattan market and the Garfield national bank in New York city. In 1873 he was instrumental in founding St. John's school in New York city, which was conducted by his son-in-law, the Reverend Theodore Irving, and since the death of the latter by Mrs. Irving, Mr. Kitching's daughter.--His son, John Howard, soldier, born in New York city, 16 July, 1840; died in Dobb's Ferry, New York, 11 January, 1865, was educated in private schools in Brooklyn and New York, and at the beginning of the civil war enlisted as a private in the Lincoln cavalry.. Soon afterward he received a captain's commission in the 2d New York artillery, and participated in all the battles of the peninsular campaign. In the autumn of 1862 he was made lieutenant-colonel of the 135th New York volunteers, which was afterward changed to the 6th artillery, and in April, 1863, he was appointed colonel of his regiment. Subsequently he was almost constantly in command of a brigade, and on 1 August, 1864, received the brevet of brigadier-general of volunteers. During 1863-'4 he was stationed with the artillery reserve at Harper's Ferry, Brandy Station, and elsewhere in that vicinity. In May, 1864, he joined the Army of the Potomac, and participated in the overland campaign until July, 1864, when the 6th corps was detached from the army and sent to Washington, where Colonel Kitching continued to act as a brigade-commander in charge of the defences of the capital. Later he had command of a provisional division in the Army of the Shenandoah, and in the battle of Cedar Creek received wounds from the effects of which he died some months afterward. See " More than Conqueror: or Memorials of Colonel J. Howard Kitching" (New York, 1873).
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