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Jefferson B. Mansfield

"Dress on the Colors" by Ron Lesser

 
 

'DRESS ON THE COLORS'  is a copyrighted image. All rights are reserved.  Used here with permission of the Artist's agent.

 
 

Copyright 2005. All Rights Reserved. Paths of History Art Publishers - a subsidiary of DesMark International, Inc.
The limited use of "Dress on the Colors" by Ron Lesser, and the following descriptive quote excerpt
has been granted through the courtesy of Jerry Ross, Director of   Paths of History Art Publisher

 
     
 

Quote from Paths of History provenance "Dress on the Colors":

Dress on the Colors
Gettysburg - Seminary Ridge - July 1, 1863
26th North Carolina
Colonel Henry King Burgwyn, Jr., Lt. Col. John R. Lane, Sgt. Jefferson Mansfield, and Pvt. John Vinson
Pettigrew’s Brigade - Heth’s Division - Hill’s Corps


Mr. Lesser's description, and other details,
are available at Paths of History Art Publisher
( http://www.pathsofthecivilwar.com/artprints.asp?p=edition&ref=SFBURGO)
Paths of History is a nice experience. Go there when you have time.

 
 

Mid-afternoon July 1, 1863:
at or about “Willoughby's Run”/” McPherson's Woods” at Gettysburg.

"Burgwyn stood at the center of the unit, with Lane on the right and Maj. John Jones on the left. Four paces in front of the center stood Color Sgt. Jefferson B. Mansfield with the regimental flag. Accompanying him(1) were the eight men of the color guard…
….
By this time, the colors of the 26th North Carolina had fallen nine times. The entire color guard lay dead or wounded.(2) Captain W. W. McCreery, of Pettigrew's staff, rushed to Burgwyn with a message from the general. "'Tell him' says Gen. Pettigrew, 'his regiment has covered itself with glory to-day.'

McCreery saw the flag on the ground. Taking the fallen ensign, he waved it high in the air and advanced. He fell dead instantly as a bullet pierced his heart. Lieutenant George Wilcox, from Company H, pulled the blood-soaked standard from underneath McCreery's body and started forward. He too fell after taking only a couple of steps....
....
...As the line reformed, Lane raised the flag and shouted "Twenty-Sixth, follow me."…
...As the Federal troops fell back, a Michigan sergeant took careful aim at Lane. As Lane turned to see if the regiment was following him, the sergeant fired, hitting Lane in the back of the neck. For the fourteenth and final time that day, the regimental colors fell to the ground….
….Of the more than 800 men in the ranks on July 1, 734 fell or were captured in less than two hours of combat. Among the casualties were Col. Burgwyn (dead), Lt. Col. Lane (severely wounded), all twenty men who had carried the regimental colors, eighty of the eighty-two men in Company E, and all ninety-three men of Company F. This last company contained three sets of twins. At the end of the battle, five of the six lay dead. The losses suffered by the 26th North Carolina at Gettysburg were the highest of any regiment in a single battle during the war.

http://www.26nc.org/History/26th-Full-History/26th-full-history-chapter-4.html

… On April 9, Lee surrendered to Grant. Three days later Lt. Col. James T. Adams signed the paroles for those who remained with the regiment. Out of a unit that had one time numbered nearly 1,200 soldiers, only 120 were left to receive their paroles.
http://www.26nc.org/History/26th-Full-History/26th-full-history-chapter-6.html

 
     
 

And here is an excerpt from
A Speech given July 3, 1903 by Col. John Lane 26th NC
to the North Carolina Society of Baltimore.

"...Suddenly, about 2 p.m. there came down the line the long-awaited command "Attention." The time for this command could not have been more inopportune. Our line had inspected the enemy and we knew the desperateness of the charge we were to make. But with the greatest quickness the regiment obeyed. All the men were up at once and ready, every officer at his post. Col. Burgwyn in the centre, Lieut. Col. Lane on the right; Major Jones on the left. Our gallant standard bearer, J. H. Mansfield, at once stepped to his position--four paces to the front, and the eight color guards to their proper places. At the command "Forward March" all to a man stepped off apparently as willingly and as proudly as if they were on review. The enemy at once opened fire, killing and wounding some,(2) but their aim was rather too high to be effective. All kept the step and made as pretty and perfect a line as regiment ever made, every man endeavoring to keep dressed on the colors. We opened fire on the enemy. On and on we went, our men yet in perfect line, until we reached the branch (Willoughby's Run) in the ravine. Here the briers, reeds and underbrush made it difficult to pass. There was some crowding in the center, but the right and left crossed the stream where they struck it. The enemy's artillery (Cooper's Battery) on our right got an enfilade fire. Our loss was frightful….."

Lane speaks of "J.H. Mansfield" in this quoted newspaper article. Of course, that is "J.B. Mansfield"...
Complete story here Charlotte Daily Observer Saturday Morning, July 4, 1903
Speech text here http://civilwartalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22032

 
     
 

 

The  Jefferson B. Mansfield / Ann Cornelia Gean Letters  Courtesy of the 26th NCT "Company Front" Sept/Oct 1995 - March 1996

Letters between a Chatham County North Carolina couple during the early America Civil War Years

 

Lucy Jane Gean Williams (1840-1934):

Memories of a Long Life  1840- 1929: Lucy's autobiography. Written about 1929, when she was about 89 years old.

The History of the Mount Zion M.E. Church, South   1851-1928: "My father haulded with his wagon and team the first sills and sleepers..."

Lucy Jane Gean Williams  at Our Special Net Images, contains some personal letters written by Lucy.

 

William Polk Gean  a working timeline, originally from a Gean-ealogy.com forum...

 

Resolving a Date Discrepancy: How February 26 1876 = March 9 1877

 

Basic Indexes for the Historical Documents above are available: http://ourspecial.net/refindex/

 

 

 

 


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