The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939 Page: 123
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Colonel J. K. F. Mansfield's Inspection Report of Texas 123
Redoubt. He was breveted colonel for gallant and meritorious
conduct in the battle of Buena Vista, Mexico, February 23, 1847,
and it is claimed that he planned the battle, and that its success
was partly due to his military acumen and prompt decisions at
From 1848 to 1853 he served on the Board of Engineers, plan-
ning our coast defenses on both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
On May 28, 1853, he was appointed inspector general by Sec-
retary of War Jefferson Davis, who had learned of his suitability
for this position by observing him during the war with Mexico.
He inspected the Department of New Mexico in 1853; of Cali-
fornia in 1854; of Texas in 1856; the Utah army in 1857; the
departments of Oregon and California in 1858 and 1859, and
the Department of Texas again in 1860 and 1861. During the
last inspection he became aware that steps were being taken in
Texas that would lead up to the war between the states, and,
appreciating the impending crisis, he hurried to Washington to
communicate his observations to the War Department. Unfor-
tunately, the Secretary of War, the archtraitor, James Buchanan
Floyd, had just resigned under a cloud late in December, 1860,
after first sending all the spare rifles and field artillery available
to the southern states. His adjutant general, Samuel Cooper,
followed his footsteps and also resigned March 7, 1861, to step
across the line and to occupy a similar position in the Confederate
Army with the same rank. With such men at the head of the
War Department it is no wonder that his words of warning passed
unheeded. Mansfield was appointed brigadier general in the United
States Army May 14, 1861. Ignorant politicians were demanding
an "On to Richmond" movement while they were sitting in their
homes. Mansfield's prudent advice was looked on with disfavor
and part of his command was taken from him. He chafed under
the unjust treatment and tried hard to be put on field service,
like all true soldiers. When the Army of the Potomac returned
from the Peninsula he was put in command of the Twelfth Army
Corps, which he led into action at Antietam, Maryland, September
17, 1862. He was on the extreme right in support of Hooker's
Corps, which was visibly melting away. Mansfield's Corps were
mostly raw troops and sustained a heavy fire from the defenders
of Dunker Church. Seeing his men waver, he tried to inspire
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939, periodical, 1939; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101107/m1/137/: accessed March 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.