Manning Ferguson Force

Taken in the Spring Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati, Ohio, Hamilton County.

Civil War Union Brigadier General, Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient, Author. He was born in Washington DC, where his father, Peter Force, was the city's mayor. He attended Harvard graduating in 1845, he then graduated from its school of law in 1848. In 1850, he moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, and began his law practice. He entered the 26th Ohio Volunteer Infantry as a Major in 1861, taking part in the Union army's first Western successes at Forts Henry and Donelson. He also took part in the near disaster at Shiloh in April 1862, where he fought on the Union's far right and commanded a portion of Major General Lew Wallace's troops on the second day of fighting. During the first years of the war he was promoted twice: to Lieutenant Colonel on September 11, 1861 and to full Colonel on May 23, 1862, the latter for his performance at Shiloh. In Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant's army, he fought through the Vicksburg Campaign, taking part in the engagement at Raymond and serving on the Vicksburg siege lines with the XVII Corps. This last service won praise from corps commander Major General James B. McPherson, the award of a XVII Corps Medal, and the promotion to Brigadier General on August 11, 1863. He soldiered with this corps through the north Georgia fighting and the Battle of Atlanta as a part of Brigadier General Mortimer D. Leggett's division. Commanding the division's 1st Brigade he saw heavy combat on July 22, 1864, on the Union left in front of the city and in the fighting distinguished himself for bravery, receiving the Medal of Honor on March 31, 1892. But the cost was high; he was badly wounded in the face and permanently disfigured. His wound kept him from the field until October, when he rejoined the Army of the Tennessee in Atlanta and with it set out on the March to the Sea and the Carolinas Campaign. Through the latter campaign and until the Confederate surrender, he commanded the XVII Corps' 1st Division. In January 1866 he was mustered out of service after being brevetted Major General for his bravery in the Battle of Atlanta. He returned to Cincinnati a hero and was shortly elected to a judgeship, sitting on the state bench from 1866 to 1867 and finally serving as a superior court judge. He then accepted a post as head of the Ohio Soldiers' and Sailors' Home, which he held until his death in Cincinnati. He was also the author of 5 books, president of the Cincinnati Historical Society and a member of the Literary Club, among many other achievements. One of his closest friends was President Rutherford B. Hayes; he had known Hayes long before he became President; Hayes named one of his sons after him (sadly the boy died before reaching the age of 2). He was also the brother-in-law of Major General John Pope (he and Pope married sisters). In 2004, his and four other Medal of Honor recipient's graves in Spring Grove were finally marked with a Medal of Honor marker. His Medal of Honor citation states "Charged upon the enemy's works, and after their capture defended his position against assaults of the enemy until he was severely wounded". (bio by: Ugaalltheway)

Medal of Honor citation
Rank and organization: Brigadier General, U.S. Volunteers. Place and date: At Atlanta, Ga., July 22, 1864.
Entered service at: Cincinnati, Ohio.
Born: Washington, D.C. December 17, 1824.
Date of issue: March 31, 1892.
Charged upon the enemy's works, and after their capture defended his position against assaults of the enemy until he was severely wounded.

MANNING FERGUSON FORCE was born December 17,1824, in Washington, D. C. He was the son of Peter Force, whose collection of books and papers became an important part of the foundation of the Library of Congress. After graduation from Harvard, he came to Cincinnati, studied law, and was admitted to the bar. He entered the Civil War as major of the 20th Ohio, of which he soon became colonel. He took part in the battles of Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Vicksburg, Atlanta, and Sherman's march through Georgia and the Carolinas. He was successively promoted to brigadier general and brevet major general, and by the end of the war was a division commander. He refused a commission in the regular army and returned to Cincinnati where he resumed the practice of law. He was president of the Historical and Philosophical Society of Ohio (now The Cincinnati Historical Society) from 1870 to 1888. He was the author of five books, ranging from accounts of Civil War campaigns to a critique of Darwinism. He served as judge of the Court of Common Pleas in Cincinnati and judge of the Superior Court of Ohio. Ill health forced his retirement from public life, and he was named commandant of the Ohio Soldiers' and Sailors' Home at Sandusky, Ohio, where he died May 8,1899, at age seventy-four.

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