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JKF Mansfield before Antietam

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  • eighth_conn_inf
    I finally found the source of an interesting incident about Joseph King Fenno Mansfield while he was in Norfolk before his mortal wounding at Antietam as a
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 18 2:57 PM
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      I finally found the source of an interesting incident about Joseph King Fenno Mansfield while he was in Norfolk before his mortal wounding at Antietam as a corps commander. Shelby Foote quoted Mansfield's comment after he shelled Rebel vessels tying up to the Congress which had flown the white flag. Unfortunately, Foote supplied no source (vol. 1, p. 257). The day before the famous Monitor/Virginia battle on 9 March 1862, Mansfield was in command of the 1st Brigade in the 1st Division in the Department of Virginia (Eicher 363).

      "She [USS Congress] had repeatedly been set on fire; her decks were covered with the dead and wounded; and the loss of life (including that of her commander) had been very great. She was run ashore, head on, and not long after hoisted the white flag. Two tugs were sent by the enemy alongside the 'Congress' to take possession and to remove the prisoners, but a sharp fire of artillery and small arms from the shore drove them off. General Mansfield had directed the Twentieth Indiana to deploy along the beach and behind a sand ridge; and a couple of field-guns under command of Lieutenant Sanger were also wheeled into position to prevent the enemy from hauling away their prize. Captain Reed, of the Twentieth, — who had been as good a lawyer as he was now a good soldier, — raised a question of military law: 'Since the ship has surrendered, has not the enemy the right to take possession of her?' The question was answered by General Mansfield (Judge Mansfield in this instance), in one of the shortest and most conclusive opinions on record. "I know the d — d ship has surrendered," said he, 'but we haven't.' That settled it."

      The source for this is Israel N. Stiles who was an officer in the 20th Indiana Infantry, "The Monitor and the Merrimac," read 5 April 1885, Military Essays and Recollections: Papers Read Before the Commandery of the State of Illinois, Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (Chicago, IL: A.C. McClurg and Company., 1891), 128. I wonder if Stiles was an eyewitness or heard about the affair from a brother officer. Coincidentally, Stiles was a Conn. native, captured at Malvern Hill, and later became a brig. gen. Anyone have other sources for Mansfield's quote?

      Interesting insight into Mansfield's character during this time of what was still a "soft" war.

      Thank you,
      Larry
    • Thomas Clemens
      Larry, Can I borrow this for my Mansfield article? I knew he opened fire, but i don t think I have seen the quote before. Would you like to see the
      Message 2 of 3 , Jun 18 8:21 PM
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        Larry,
        Can I "borrow" this for my Mansfield article? I knew he opened fire,
        but i don't think I have seen the quote before. Would you like to see
        the article?

        Thomas G. Clemens D.A.
        Professor of History
        Hagerstown Community College


        >>> "eighth_conn_inf" <eighth_conn_inf@...> 06/18/10 5:57 PM >>>
        I finally found the source of an interesting incident about Joseph King
        Fenno Mansfield while he was in Norfolk before his mortal wounding at
        Antietam as a corps commander. Shelby Foote quoted Mansfield's comment
        after he shelled Rebel vessels tying up to the Congress which had flown
        the white flag. Unfortunately, Foote supplied no source (vol. 1, p.
        257). The day before the famous Monitor/Virginia battle on 9 March 1862,
        Mansfield was in command of the 1st Brigade in the 1st Division in the
        Department of Virginia (Eicher 363).

        "She [USS Congress] had repeatedly been set on fire; her decks were
        covered with the dead and wounded; and the loss of life (including that
        of her commander) had been very great. She was run ashore, head on, and
        not long after hoisted the white flag. Two tugs were sent by the enemy
        alongside the 'Congress' to take possession and to remove the prisoners,
        but a sharp fire of artillery and small arms from the shore drove them
        off. General Mansfield had directed the Twentieth Indiana to deploy
        along the beach and behind a sand ridge; and a couple of field-guns
        under command of Lieutenant Sanger were also wheeled into position to
        prevent the enemy from hauling away their prize. Captain Reed, of the
        Twentieth, — who had been as good a lawyer as he was now a good soldier,
        — raised a question of military law: 'Since the ship has surrendered,
        has not the enemy the right to take possession of her?' The question was
        answered by General Mansfield (Judge Mansfield in this instance), in one
        of the shortest and most conclusive opinions on record. "I know the d —
        d ship has surrendered," said he, 'but we haven't.' That settled it."

        The source for this is Israel N. Stiles who was an officer in the 20th
        Indiana Infantry, "The Monitor and the Merrimac," read 5 April 1885,
        Military Essays and Recollections: Papers Read Before the Commandery of
        the State of Illinois, Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United
        States (Chicago, IL: A.C. McClurg and Company., 1891), 128. I wonder if
        Stiles was an eyewitness or heard about the affair from a brother
        officer. Coincidentally, Stiles was a Conn. native, captured at Malvern
        Hill, and later became a brig. gen. Anyone have other sources for
        Mansfield's quote?

        Interesting insight into Mansfield's character during this time of what
        was still a "soft" war.

        Thank you,
        Larry
      • Larry Freiheit
        Tom,   Yes, use this info as you wish. Here is the link to the book:  
        Message 3 of 3 , Jun 19 5:24 AM
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          Tom,
           
          Yes, use this info as you wish. Here is the link to the book:
           
          http://books.google.com/books?output=text&id=mNcSAAAAYAAJ&dq=monitor+and+merrimac&q=mansfield#v=snippet&q=mansfield&f=false
           
          Yes I would like to see your article. As you know, once I publish my cav book, my next one will be the Mansfield bio. BTW, Mansfield's HQ was shelled soon after this although he was not hit; I've seen a couple of references to this shelling.
           
          Larry

          --- On Fri, 6/18/10, Thomas Clemens <clemenst@...> wrote:


          From: Thomas Clemens <clemenst@...>
          Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] JKF Mansfield before Antietam
          To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Friday, June 18, 2010, 11:21 PM


           



          Larry,
          Can I "borrow" this for my Mansfield article? I knew he opened fire,
          but i don't think I have seen the quote before. Would you like to see
          the article?

          Thomas G. Clemens D.A.
          Professor of History
          Hagerstown Community College

          >>> "eighth_conn_inf" <eighth_conn_inf@...> 06/18/10 5:57 PM >>>
          I finally found the source of an interesting incident about Joseph King
          Fenno Mansfield while he was in Norfolk before his mortal wounding at
          Antietam as a corps commander. Shelby Foote quoted Mansfield's comment
          after he shelled Rebel vessels tying up to the Congress which had flown
          the white flag. Unfortunately, Foote supplied no source (vol. 1, p.
          257). The day before the famous Monitor/Virginia battle on 9 March 1862,
          Mansfield was in command of the 1st Brigade in the 1st Division in the
          Department of Virginia (Eicher 363).

          "She [USS Congress] had repeatedly been set on fire; her decks were
          covered with the dead and wounded; and the loss of life (including that
          of her commander) had been very great. She was run ashore, head on, and
          not long after hoisted the white flag. Two tugs were sent by the enemy
          alongside the 'Congress' to take possession and to remove the prisoners,
          but a sharp fire of artillery and small arms from the shore drove them
          off. General Mansfield had directed the Twentieth Indiana to deploy
          along the beach and behind a sand ridge; and a couple of field-guns
          under command of Lieutenant Sanger were also wheeled into position to
          prevent the enemy from hauling away their prize. Captain Reed, of the
          Twentieth, — who had been as good a lawyer as he was now a good soldier,
          — raised a question of military law: 'Since the ship has surrendered,
          has not the enemy the right to take possession of her?' The question was
          answered by General Mansfield (Judge Mansfield in this instance), in one
          of the shortest and most conclusive opinions on record. "I know the d —
          d ship has surrendered," said he, 'but we haven't.' That settled it."

          The source for this is Israel N. Stiles who was an officer in the 20th
          Indiana Infantry, "The Monitor and the Merrimac," read 5 April 1885,
          Military Essays and Recollections: Papers Read Before the Commandery of
          the State of Illinois, Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United
          States (Chicago, IL: A.C. McClurg and Company., 1891), 128. I wonder if
          Stiles was an eyewitness or heard about the affair from a brother
          officer. Coincidentally, Stiles was a Conn. native, captured at Malvern
          Hill, and later became a brig. gen. Anyone have other sources for
          Mansfield's quote?

          Interesting insight into Mansfield's character during this time of what
          was still a "soft" war.

          Thank you,
          Larry











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