Mahlon Dickerson Manson

Mahlon Dickerson Manson was born in Piqua, Ohio, February 20, 1820. After obtaining his early education in the local schools, he moved to Montgomery County, Indiana, where he taught school for a year. He studied medicine in Cincinnati for a time and in 1847-48 served as captain of the 5th Indiana Volunteers. In the 1850's he was a member of the Indiana legislature meanwhile pursuing the occupation of druggist in Crawfordsville, Indiana. On April 17, 1861, three days after the surrender of Fort Sumter became known, Manson was mustered into Federal service as captain of the 10th Indiana, becoming its colonel in May. That July Manson commanded the regiment at the battle of Rich Mountain, (West) Virginia, and the following January directed a brigade under G. H. Thomas at Fishing Creek (Kentucky). The latter was a complete victory over the Confederate forces under General F. K. Zollicoffer and reestablished Federal morale in the area. Manson was made a brigadier general of volunteers as of March 24, 1862. In the course of the Union disaster at Richmond, Kentucky, during General Braxton Bragg's invasion of the state, Manson was wounded and captured on October 30, 1862; he was exchanged the following December. During the raid of the celebrated Confederate John H. Morgan into Ohio and Indiana in July, 1863, Manson was occupied in resisting the draft of the Rebel General John Pegram upon the beef cattle in the neighborhood of Lebanon. Briefly after Chickamauga Manson commanded the XXIII Corps, but in the Atlanta campaign was reduced to command of a brigade of Cox's division of the corps which had become the Army of the Ohio. He was badly wounded by the explosion of a shell near Resaca, Georgia, on May 14, 1864, which is said to have compelled his resignation from service on December 21, 1864. Manson was a lifelong Democrat and in the years following the war stood for public office on a number of occasions: unsuccessful as candidate for lieutenant governor of Indiana in 1864, he served in Congress from 1871-73; then was state auditor; lieutenant governor; and district collector of internal revenue. He died in Crawfordsville on February 4, 1895, and was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery.

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Reference: Generals in Blue. Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge.