Sunday, October 7, 2012

From 1862: Gen. Mansfleld

The following article appeared about 150 years ago today, published in Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, on October 4th, 1862. The bottom image is from the same article, it is a drawing apparently of the photograph reproduced on the Mansfield Wikipedia entry (top image), with the addition of a sword, more hair, and a smaller waist.

The Mansfield House, home of the Middlesex Historical Society, was General Mansfield's home. The Society's Civil War Day last month reenacted the fall of 1862, when Mansfield was killed in the battle of Antietam.

Joesph K. Fenno Mansfield was born in Connecticut in 1800. He was appointed to West Point Academy from that State in October, 1817. He entered the service on the 1st of July, 1822, as a 2d Lieutenant of Engineers, and afterwards rose to higher position, as his merits became appreciated. In March, 1832, he was made 1st Lieutenant, and in July, 1832, became Captain. During the Mexican war (in 1846-7) he rose to the position of Chief Engineer of the army under Gen. Taylor. He was breveted Major for gallant and distinguished services in the defence of Fort Brown, May 9, 1846. In the storming of Monterey he received no less than seven wounds, several of which were most severe; and for gallant and meritorious conduct in those conflicts he was honored with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. His gallantry at Buena Vista won him his Coloneley. In the war for the Union, his services have been equally conspicuous. On the 14th of May, 1861, he was commissioned a Brigadier-General in the regular army.

Our pages have so frequently borne testimony to his services that it is needless to recapitulate them. He commanded a division of the Union army during the eventful Peninsula campaign, and was killed at the bloody fight at Sharpsburg, on Wednesday, 17th Sept., while gallantly leading his men on to the charge. A presentiment of his approaching fate had been over him for some time, for, dining with Eli Thayer only 1 days before the battle, but just before taking leave seemed abstracted, and, after a few moments silence, said, "Mr. Thayer, I am going into battle. If I fall, have my body sent to my friends at Middletown, Conn." He left immediately after making the request.

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