Theodore O'Hara, one of the few poets whose title to immortality rests on a single poem, but on that account is none the less secure, was born in Danville, Ky., February 11, 1820. The family subsequently lived in Frankfort. Theodore was a very precocious child, and with him study was a passion. He studied at Bardstown, in Kentucky, and there became noted as an accomplished scholar. He afterwards studied law with John C. Breckinridge as a fellow-student.
In 1845 he held a position in the Treasury Department at Washington, but soon afterwards joined the United States army, with the rank of captain. He served with distinction through the Mexican war, and rose to the rank of major. He afterwards practiced law in Washington until 1851, when he joined other Kentuckians in assisting Lopez, who was trying to liberate Cuba. He was at one time editor in chief of the Mobile Register, and at another editor of the Louisville Times.
At the breaking out of the civil war he cast his fortunes with the South, and was placed in command of the Twelfth Alabama Regiment. Later he served on the staff of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, and was with him at Shiloh and caught the great chief in his arms when the bullet had done its deadly work. He was afterwards chief of staff to his lifelong friend, Gen. John C. Breckinridge. He died on a plantation in Alabama in 1867, and was buried at Columbus, Ga. In 1874 his remains, together with those of Gens. Greenup and Madison, and several distinguished officers of the Mexican war, were reinterred in the State cemetery at Frankfort, Ky.
This page is http://civilwarpoetry.org/authors/ohara.html
Last modified 16-April-2001