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John Mansfield was born in 1748. He was the son of Moses Mansfield (1709-1754) and Ann Mary Kierstead (1709-1742)
He died at Wallingford, Connecticut on 01 June 1823. His obituary appeared in the Connecticut Herald on 10 June:
At Wallingford, on the 2d inst. Capt. John Mansfield, in the 75th year of his age – He served his country faithfully during the Revolutionary War—was the same man (then Lieut. Mansfield) who commanded the ”Forlorn Hope”, at the storming of the redoubts at Yorktown—and whose name was honorably mentioned by Col. Hamilton, the Commander of the Detachment—he received a wound in that attack, which would have entitled him to a pension, but he refused to apply for it. When peace was concluded and the Independence of his country acknowledged, he was discharged from the service, with a captain’s commission and the thanks of the Commander and Chief. Poor in purse, but rich in honor, he returned to his family, and by strenuous exertions, succeeded in accumulating a small property. When the pension law was passed in 1818, his friends believed he was entitled to the benefit of that act; he petitioned and received a pension until the law was amended – the stipend was then withdrawn, on the ground that he was not wholly destitute of property, (although his circumstances were far from affluent.) He sustained through life the character of an industrious, honorable, upright man, died lamented by all the friends of worth who knew him.
John Mansfield was twice married. First to Sybil Sexton on 20 February 1772, and second to Esther Lewis.
He had two children: Ira Mansfield who settled at Atwater, Ohio, and Sybil Mansfield who married John Hiddleson of Georgetown, South Carolina. Ira Mansfield, who married Susan Kirtland, died at Atwater in 1849. Sybil Hiddleson and her husband, John, both died in Wallingford, Connecticut.
Sergeant 1st Connecticut, 1st May to 28th November, 1775; Ensign of Douglas’ Connecticut State Regiment, 20th June to 25th December, 1776; 2d Lieutenant 6th Connecticut, 1st January, 1777; 1st Lieutenant, 18th April, 1779; transferred to 4th Connecticut, 1st January, 1781; wounded at Yorktown, 14th October 1781; transferred to 2d Connecticut, 1st January, 1783, and served to 3d June, 1783.
A more expansive discussion of John Mansfield’s military service follows:
John Mansfield was a Sergeant in the company of Isaac Cook, Jr., in the 1st regiment, Colonel David Wooster, raised on the first call for troops in April-May, 1775. He served in New York and on Long Island during the summer. In September, his unit marched to the Northern Department, where it served under General Schuyler about Lakes George and Champlain. In October, he was present at the reduction of St. Johns. He was discharged 28 November 1775.
In June, 1776, he was Ensign of the 6th company of the 5th battalion, Wadsworth’s brigade, commanded by Colonel William Douglas, raised to reinforce Washington’s army at New York. He served in the city and at the right of the line during the Battle of Long Island, 27 August; was at the battle of White Plains, 28 October, and continued in service until 25 December 1776. He reenlisted in the Connecticut Line on 01 January 1777. On 14 March 1777, he was commissioned a Lieutenant in the 6th regiment, Connecticut Line which was raised to continue through the war. The regiment went into camp at Peekskill in the summer and served during the fall in Parsons’ brigade on the Hudson. It wintered, 1777-78, at West Point and in the summer was encamped with the main army at White Plains. It wintered, 1778-79, at Redding, and in the summer of 1779 served on the east side of the Hudson. It wintered, 1779-80, at Morristown Huts, New Jersey, and in the summer of 1780, it served on both sides of the Hudson. It wintered, 1780-81, at camp “Connecticut Village,” opposite West Point, and there consolidated for formation of 1781-1783. In this formation, John Mansfield continued as a Lieutenant in the 4th regiment, Connecticut Line, and was present with the regiment at Yorktown.
In the attack upon Redoubt #10 at Yorktown, a “forlorn hope” of 20 men under Lieutenant Mansfield led the column. Mansfield was among the first to enter the redoubt and received a bayonet wound. The entire action was accomplished in less than 10 minutes in which under furious fire the attacking troops climbed over or broke through obstructions, crossed a defensive ditch, scaled the parapet and captured the redoubt. Lt. Col. Alexander Hamilton reported that Mansfield, of Lt. Col. Jean-Joseph Sourbader de Gimat’s battalion, deserved particular recognition for his “coolness, firmness, and punctuality”.
In the formation of January-June, 1783, he continued as Lieutenant in the 2nd Regiment, Connecticut Line, commanded by Colonel Heman Swift, in service at West Point and vicinity, until in early June when the regiment was disbanded with the greater portion of the army by orders of Washington.
Frances Atwater, comp. Centenniel of Meriden, June 10-16, 1906. Meriden, CT: Journal Publishing Company, 1906. pp 232-233.
Frederic William Bailey. Early Connecticut marriages as found on ancient church records prior to 1800.. vol. 4. New Haven, Conn.: Bureau of American ancestry, 1899. p. 61.
Connecticut. Adjutant-General’s Office. Record of Service of Connecticut Men In the I. War of the Revolution, II. War of 1812, III. Mexican War. Hartford: [Case, Lockwood & Brainard Co.], 1889.
“Died”. Connecticut Herald. New Haven, Connecticut. 10 June 1823. p 3., col. 4.
William Richard Cutter. Genealogical and family history of the state of Connecticut: a record of the achievements of her people in the making of a commonwealth and the founding of a nation. vol. 4. New York: Lewis historical publishing company. 1911. pp 1734 & 1738-1739.
Charles Henry Stanley Davis, History of Wallingford, Conn., From Its Settlement In 1670 to the Present Time, Including Meriden, Which Was One of Its Parishes Until 1806, And Cheshire, Which Was Incorporated In 1780. Meriden: The author, 1870. p. 847.
Eckenrode, H. J. Official guidebook of the Yorktown sesquicentennial celebration, October 16-19, 1931. Richmond: Virginia Yorktown sesquicentennial commission, 1931. p. 14.
“Letter from Alexander Hamilton to Marquis de Lafayette, [15 October 1781],” Founders Online, National Archives (http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Hamilton/01-02-02-1200-0001 [last update: 2015-12-30]). Source: The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, vol. 2, 1779–1781, ed. Harold C. Syrett. New York: Columbia University Press, 1961. pp. 679–681.
Francis B. Heitman, Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army during the War of the Revolution April, 1775, to December, 1783. Washington, D.C.: The Rare Book Shop Publishing Company, 1914. p. 378.
Henry Phelps Johnson, The Yorktown Campaign And the Surrender of Cornwallis, 1781. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1881. pp. 145-146.
J. E. Norris, R. C. Brown, Warner & Beers. History of Portage County, Ohio: Containing a history of the county, its townships, towns, villages, schools, churches, industries, etc; portraits of early settlers and prominent men; biographies; history of the Northwest territory; history of Ohio; statistical and miscellaneous matter, etc., etc. . . Chicago: Warner, Beers & co., 1885. p 583.
Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 15. Fold3.com(http://www.fold3.com/image/23586654/). Connecticut. John J.
Sons of the American Revolution. Connecticut Society. Year-book of the Connecticut Society of the Sons of the American Revolution for 1897-1898. [S.l.]: Committee on Publication, Connecticut Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, 1900. p. 537.
Biographical information compiled by V. Allen Gray.