[CIVIL WAR]. MANSFIELD, Joseph King Fenno (1803-1862), Major General, USA. Autograph letter signed (''Jas. K.F. Mansfield'') to John A. Dahlgren (1809-1870), Washington, 1 June 1861. 1 page, 8vo, evidence of mounting on verso of integral blank.
[CIVIL WAR]. MANSFIELD, Joseph King Fenno (1803-1862), Major General, USA. Autograph letter signed ("Jas. K.F. Mansfield") to John A. Dahlgren (1809-1870), Washington, 1 June 1861. 1 page, 8vo, evidence of mounting on verso of integral blank.
AN ANTIETAM CASUALTY
A rare war-dated letter written by Mansfield to Dahlgren concerning several Confederate prisoners who were taken outside of Washington in the early stages of the war. Mansfield, whose distinguished military career began when he graduated from West Point in 1822, served with distinction during the Mexican War as General Zachary Taylor's chief engineer. When the first shots of the Civil War were fired in 1861, Mansfield, then Inspector General of the army, was promoted to brigadier general and placed in command of the Washington defenses. Here, he informs Dahlgren about some prisoners taken by his men: "Lieut Genl [Winfield] Scott desires you will take the charge of 4 prisoners captured today & put them with the others you have for the present. They can be allowed some latitude if they will pass their words not to escape."
Mansfield's service during the early stages of the Civil War involved little combat. His desire for an active role was fulfilled when he was awarded command of the Army of the Potomac's XII Corps just two days before the Battle of Antietam. While bringing his men forward to support troops already fighting in the cornfield, Mansfield was struck in the chest by a Confederate minie ball and died the following day.