Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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LYTLE, William Haines, soldier, born in Cincinnati, Ohio, 2 November, 1826; killed in the battle of Chickamauga, 20 September, 1863. His great-grandfather, William, fought in the old French war, and his grandfather, of the same name, was an early pioneer in Ohio, and active in border warfare. His father, Robert T. Lytle, was a member of congress in 1833-'5, and surveyor of public lands in Ohio in 1835-'8. William Haines was graduated at Cincinnati college, studied law, and began practice, but at the beginning of the Mexican war volunteered, and was chosen captain of a company in the 2d Ohio regiment. He served through the war, resumed practice at its close, was elected to the Ohio legislature, and in 1857 was the unsuccessful candidate of the Democratic party for lieutenant-governor. Soon afterward he became major-general of Ohio militia, and at the beginning of the civil war he was commissioned colonel of the 10th Ohio regiment, which he led in West Virginia in 1861. At Carnifex Ferry, 10 September, 1861, he commanded a brigade and was severely wounded. When he had recovered he had charge of the Bardstown camp of instruction, and then of a brigade in General Ormsby M. Mitchell's operations along the Memphis and Chattanooga railroad. He was again wounded and taken prisoner at Perryville, Kentucky, 8 October, 1862, but was soon exchanged, and on 29 November promoted to brigadier-general of volunteers. Thereafter he served actively in the west under Rosecrans till he was killed while leading a charge of his brigade at the battle of Chickamauga. General Lytle was a poet of much merit, but no collection of his verses has appeared in book-form. His best-known poem is that written in 1857, beginning "I am dying, Egypt, dying; Ebbs the crimson life-tide fast."
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