1862: General Mansfield Falls at Antietam

General Joseph MansfieldOn this day, Major General Joseph King Fenno Mansfield was mortally wounded leading his men at the Battle of Antietam near Sharpsburg, Maryland.

Having been raised in Middletown, and entering West Point just several months shy of his 14th birthday, Mansfield spent 14 years building Fort Pulaski in Savannah, was wounded at the Battle of Monterey in the Mexican War, and rose to become Inspector General of the entire US Army. At the outbreak of the war, President Lincoln placed him in charge of the defenses of Washington, DC and he later participated in the battle of the ironclads, the Monitor and the Merrimac from the shore batteries.

On September 15, 1862, he arrived in Sharpsburg to assume command of the 12th Corps of the Army of the Potomac, commanded by General George McClellan. After his death the day after the battle, his body was returned to Middletown accompanied by his son Samuel who had just graduated from West Point. He is buried in Indian Hill Cemetery.

Story contributed by Deborah Shapiro.

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