Re: [TalkAntietam] JKF Mansfield before Antietam
Yes, use this info as you wish. Here is the link to the book:
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.
--- On Fri, 6/18/10, Thomas Clemens <clemenst@...> wrote:
From: Thomas Clemens <clemenst@...>
Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] JKF Mansfield before Antietam
Date: Friday, June 18, 2010, 11:21 PM
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
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
Interesting insight into Mansfield's character during this time of what
was still a "soft" war.
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