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Mansfield responded to President Abraham Lincoln's call to arms in 1861 following the secession of the twelve Southern states that comprised the Confederacy. He enlisted in a local Wisconsin company, the Portage Guards, which became a part of the 2nd Wisconsin, initially brigaded under William T. Sherman. Mansfield first saw action at the First Battle of Bull Run. He served at many of the important battles of the Army of the Potomac, including the battles of South Mountain, Antietam, and Gettysburg, where, as the regiment's major, he assumed command of the 2nd Wisconsin after the senior officer, Lucius Fairchild, was shot. He was subsequently promoted to lieutenant colonel and served in the Bristoe and Mine Run Campaigns. As Colonel of the 2nd Wisconsin, he was wounded and captured in May 1864 at the Battle of the Wilderness.
Towards the end of the Civil War, Mansfield became colonel of the 12th Veteran Reserve Corps, a regiment of former soldiers who had reenlisted. In the omnibus promotions in 1866 following the cessation of hostilities, he was brevetted as a brigadier general of volunteers for "gallant and meritorious services during the war," a rank to date from March 13, 1865.
Mansfield moved to California after resigning from the army and was a delegate to the 1880 Republican National Convention. He served as Lieutenant Governor under George C. Perkins for the next three years as a Republican.
- Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 198.
James A. Johnson
| Lieutenant Governor of California
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