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Joseph K. F. Mansfield, Brigadier General of the U.S. Army A Narrative of Events Connected with His Mortal Wounding at Antietam, Sharpsburg, Maryland, September 17, 1862   By: (1839-1930)

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Joseph K. F. Mansfield, BRIGADIER GENERAL OF THE U. S. ARMY.

A NARRATIVE OF EVENTS CONNECTED WITH HIS MORTAL WOUNDING AT ANTIETAM, Sharpsburg, Maryland, September 17, 1862.

BY JOHN MEAD GOULD, LATE ACTING ADJUTANT 10TH MAINE VOLUNTEERS, AND MAJOR 29TH MAINE VETERAN VOLS.

PORTLAND: STEPHEN BERRY, PRINTER. 1895.

Joseph King Fenno Mansfield was born in New Haven, Conn., December 22, 1803. His early education was obtained in the common schools of his state. At the age of fourteen he entered the military academy at West Point, being the youngest of a class of forty. During the five years of his course, he was a careful and earnest student, especially distinguishing himself in the sciences, and graduating in 1822, second in his class.

He was immediately promoted to the Corps of Engineers, in which department he served throughout the Mexican war. In 1832 he was made 1st Lieutenant; three years later Captain.

His gallantry and efficiency during the Mexican war were rewarded by successive brevets of Major, Lt. Colonel and Colonel of Engineers.

In 1853 Mansfield was appointed Inspector General of the army, and in the prosecution of his duties visited all parts of the country.

At the outbreak of the War of the Rebellion he was in the Northwest, but in April, 1861, was summoned to Washington to take command of the forces there. On May 17, 1861, Mansfield was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General in the regular army.

He rendered valuable service at Fortress Monroe, Newport News, Suffolk, and finally at Antietam, where he was mortally wounded, September 17, 1862.

NARRATIVE.

It was bad enough and sad enough that Gen. Mansfield should be mortally wounded once, but to be wounded six, seven or eight times in as many localities is too much of a story to let stand unchallenged.

These pages will tell what the members of the 10th Maine Regiment know of the event, but first we will state what others have claimed.

The following places have been pointed out as the spot where Mansfield was wounded and all sorts of particulars have been given. Besides these a man with a magic lantern is traveling through the country showing Burnside's bridge, and remarking, "Here Mansfield fell."

The spot marked =A= on the map is said to have been vouched for by a "New York officer of Mansfield's staff."

=B= is where the late David R. Miller understood the General was wounded by a sharpshooter stationed in Miller's barn, west of the pike.

=C= is where Capt. Gardiner and Lieut. Dunegan, of Co. K, 125th Penn. Vols., assured me[1] that the General fell from his horse in front of their company.

=D= is where, in November, 1894, I found a marker, that had been placed there the October previous, by some one unknown to me. These are the four principal places which have been pointed out to visitors. Still another spot was shown to our party when the 1 10 29th Maine Regiment Association made its first visit to the field, Oct. 4, 1889; it is south of =A=, but I did not note exactly where.

=E=. There has also been published in the National Tribune, which has an immense circulation among the soldiers, the statement[2] of Col. John H. Keatley, now Commandant of the Soldier's Home, Marshall town, Iowa, who locates the place near the Dunker Church.

Col. Keatley's letters show that he has been on the field several times since the war, which makes it harder to believe what would seem very plain otherwise, that his memory of locations has failed him. He appears to have got the recollection of the two woods mixed. Keatley was Sergeant of Co. A, the extreme left of the 125th Penn.

Mr. Alexander Davis, who resided and worked on the field before and after the battle, points out a place several rods northeast of the present residence of Millard F. Nicodemus (built since the war and not shown on the map). Some Indiana troops were the supposed original authority for this place, which is not far from =B=. It is only fair to Mr. Davis to add that he claims no personal knowledge... Continue reading book >>




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