The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

COLONEL J. K. F. MANSFIELD'S REPORT OF THE
INSPECTION OF THE DEPARTMENT
OF TEXAS IN 1856
PREFATORY STATEMENT
The Department of Texas in 1856 was the training ground of
many of the leading generals of the Civil War. The subject of
problem succession had been a common topic for many years. As
far back as August 1, 1837, William E. Channing, the publicist,
wrote Henry Clay as follows: "This (the annexation of Texas)
cannot, ought not to be borne. It will justify, it will at length
demand the separation of the states."
Therefore a preview of the actors of our great American Tragedy,
written by the most competent observer in our army, should be
of interest to students of Texas history.
I herewith publish, I believe for the first time, the report of
the inspection of the Department of Texas in 1856. It was made
by Colonel J. K. F. Mansfield, Inspector General, U. S. Army,
who held that position from May 28, 1853, until he was appointed
brigadier general May 14, 1861.
The author of this inspection report, Colonel Joseph King Fenno
Mansfield, was born in New Haven, Connecticut, December 22,
1803, and descended from one of the earliest settlers in that
colony. His uncle, Colonel Jared Mansfield, was the first pro-
fessor of natural and experimental philosophy of the U. S. Mili-
tary Academy, and his cousin, George Dutton, graduated at the
head of his class. Mansfield graduated second in his class on
July 1, 1822, at the age of eighteen years, seven months, and ten
days. He was assigned to Topographical Engineers by virtue of
his class standing and was put on duty preparing the defenses of
New York, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Florida, and
Georgia. During our war with Mexico he served as chief engineer
under General Zachary Taylor, and he constructed and defended
Fort Brown, Texas. He was breveted major for gallant and dis-
tinguished services in the defense of Fort Brown, May 3 to 9,
1846; lieutenant colonel for gallant and meritorious conduct in
several conflicts at Monterrey, Mexico, September 23, 1846, where
he was painfully wounded in leading the assault on the Tannery

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101107/. Accessed August 21, 2014.