Family Fact Sheets
MANSON, Mahlon Dickerson, 1820-1895
Portrait & Biographical Record of Montgomery, Parke and Fountain
County, Indiana P 117
General Mahlon D. Manson. The life and character of the gentleman
whose well known name opens this article may be studied with profit
by the young, contemplated with satisfaction by the patriotic and
referred to with pride by his kindred and friends. His name is honorably
mentioned on many pages of the history of the late war and in the
political life of the State of Indiana he has taken a prominent
part. In private life he has sustained an unsullied reputation,
and has deserved the confidence and good will of his fellow men.
General Manson was born near Piqua, Miami County, Ohio Feb 18, 1818.
His Christian name was given him as a mark of regard for Governor
Mahlon Dickerson of NJ, who was Secretary of War under General Jackson.
The father of our subject died when he was but 3 years old and he
early became the support of his mother. After some years of his
boyhood had been spent in mechanical pursuits, he became a druggist's
clerk and soon after set up for himself in ! that business. In October,
1842, he removed to Indiana and taught school in Montgomery County.
He studied medicine and attended a course of lectures in Ohio Medical
College, Cincinnati, and a partial second course in New Orleans.
However, he did not practice medicine in Crawfordsville, but continued
as a druggist. Upon the commencement of the war with Mexico, General
Manson entered the service as Captain, Co I 5th Indiana regiment,
Col. James H. Lane commanding with which he participated in the
campaign with General Scott from Vera Cruz to the Capital. Upon
his return to Crawfordsville at the close of the war he resumed
his business as a druggist, and in 1851 was elected Representative
from Montgomery County to the General Assembly. He served during
the important sessions of 1851-52, in which the laws of the state
were revised and which adopted the new constitution. In 1856 he
was a delegate to the National Democratic Convention which nominated
Buchanan and Breckenri! dge. In 1860 he was an ardent supporter
of Stephen A. Douglas, and when the war broke out he placed himself
in the ranks of the union and took an active part in the recruiting
of the first company raised in Montgomery County under General Lew
Wallace. Two days afterward, in five hours he raised a company,
with which he marched to Indianapolis. From the men he brought into
camp, two companies of the 10th Indiana Regiment were formed, and
Co. G elected Mr. Manson captain. Upon the organization of the regiment
Mr. Manson was commissioned Major and within 10 days afterward was
promoted to Colonel. Early in June his regiment was ordered to W.
Va, and participated in the battle of Rich Mountain. His regiment
was placed in advance with General Rosecrans and on the 19t of Jan
1862, Col. Manson and his brigade participated in the battle of
Mill Spring. After that battle the Union forces returned to Louisville
and the ladies of that city presented the 10th Indiana with a beautif!
ul flag, which was received by Col. Manson in behalf of his regiment.
March 24, 1862, Col. Manson was appointed Brigadier General by President
Lincoln and this promotion was valued, as it came to him without
solicitation. To give the war record of this brave general would
include the most brilliant and effective portion of the army's movements
during those years. On the 14th of May 1864, the army corps with
General Manson was connected moved upon the Confederate works at
Resaca and it was at this place that this brave officer made one
of those displays of courage which make patriots' hearts glow with
pride. To show Gen. Haskell how he might best avoid the enemy's
fire, General Manson sprang upon the works, when he was struck by
a piece of shell upon the right shoulder and his arm was thereby
disabled forever. Although he was carried off the field insensible,
in a few days he resumed command, but he was finally obliged to
enter the hospital at Nashville. He was there at t! he time of the
battle of Franklin, but was later removed to Louisville, where he
remained for 85 days and here, after having an operation performed,
he became satisfied that he would not be able to again take his
command and so Dec 21, 1864, he resigned. During his career Gen.
Manson was never known to complain of any duty assigned to him,
and he was distinguished for accuracy of judgment and promptness
in action and was respected by his equals and loved by his men.
Gen. Manson was nominated by the Democratic party in 1864 as their
candidate for Lt. Governor, on a ticket headed by the late Joseph
E. McDonald but while he ran ahead of his ticket, he was defeated.
In 1866 he was nominated for Sec. Of State but was defeated and
in 1868 he was nominated as a Candidate for Congress in the 9th
District but the district was largely Republican and he was defeated.
In 1870 he was again the Democratic candidate for Congress, and
was elected over General Lew Wallace, and served in ! the 42nd congress.
General Manson was a member of the Committee on Invalid Pensions
and performed a great amount of labor, rendering great service to
his disabled companions. In 1873 he was appointed and served as
a member of the Democratic State Central Committee and in 1875 made
its Chairman, in which capacity he served during the memorable campaign
of 1876; he represented the state at large in the convention at
St. Louis and supported the candidacy of Thomas A. Hendricks for
the nomination for President. He was one of the number who went
to New Orleans after the election in 1876 to represent Mr. Tilden
and in that year he was elected to Auditor of the state with a plurality
of votes amounting to 14,000. In 1884 he was elected Lt. Gov, but
resigned to accept the office of Collector of Internal Revenue in
TH District. In 1886 Pres. Cleveland appointed Thomas Hanlon Collector
of Internal Revenue, but as he was not confirmed, Gen. Manson received
the appointment the sam! e year. Our distinguished subject is a
member of the commission in charge of building the Soldiers & Sailors'
Monument at Indianapolis and by organization of the Mexican War
Veterans of Indiana was unanimously selected to represent the period
of the Mexican War on the monument. He has long been a prominent
member of the Grand Army and became a member of the Masonic fraternity
in 1841, in which he has taken all of the degrees, including the
32 and has filled the offices in the subordinate as well as the
Grand Lodge of the State. He was Deputy Grand Master for 2 years.
Gen. Manson was united in marriage on the 24th of May 1850 with
Miss Caroline Mitchell, a daughter of Joseph Mitchell of Crawfordsville.
Mrs. Manson was born at Camden, Preble County, Ohio. Gen. And Mrs.
Manson have had born to them 6 children, 3 sons and 3 daughters,
the eldest child and daughter being now deceased. Mrs. Manson for
many years has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
General ! Manson is a man of commanding presence, and until disabled
by his wound, a man of strong constitution. His manner is frank
and engaging, and he has an invaluable faculty, springing from the
kindness of his heart and goodness of motive of making men feel
at home when in his presence. An eloquent orator, he commands the
attention, convinces the reason, arouses the enthusiasm and awakens
the zeal of his hearers. A brave and gallant soldier, a prudent
and conscientious statesman, a public spirited citizen, a faithful
friend, an honest man in business, and a true man in all the relations
of life, it is not surprising that he holds a high position in the
esteem and affection of the people of the State. He rose from poverty
to justly deserved eminence and the bright light which beats upon
his life discovers no flaw in his character. Not by accident or
aid of others, but by earnest toil, constant perseverance, through
smoke and blood of battle, he has attained success in life, ! military,
glory, political and social popularity and the love and honor of
his fellow-citizens. Such men as he make all men their debtors.
Biographical Directory of
the United States Congress
MANSON, Mahlon Dickerson, a Representative from
Indiana; born in Piqua, Ohio, February 20, 1820; attended the common
schools; moved to Montgomery County, Ind., and taught school for
a year; studied medicine at the Ohio Medical College at Cincinnati;
served as captain of Volunteers in the Mexican War October 8, 1847-July
28, 1848; member of the State house of representatives 1851 and
1852; engaged in the retail drug business at Crawfordsville; commissioned
captain of the Tenth Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry, April
17, 1861, and promoted through the ranks to brigadier general of
Volunteers March 24, 1862; resigned December 21, 1864; unsuccessful
Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Indiana in 1864;
elected as a Democrat to the Forty-second Congress (March 4, 1871-March
3, 1873); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1872 to the Forty-third
Congress; elected auditor of Indiana in 1878; elected Lieutenant
Governor in 1884; appointed collector of internal revenue of the
seventh district of Indiana August 11, 1886, and resigned November
5, 1889; died in Crawfordsville, Montgomery County, Ind., on February
4, 1895; interment in Oak Hill Cemetery. Mahlon Dickerson Manson
(1820-1895) of Crawfordsville, Montgomery County, Ind. Born in Miami
County, Ohio, February 20, 1820. Democrat. Candidate for Indiana
state house of representatives, 1849; delegate to Democratic National
Convention from Indiana, 1856, 1876; general in the Union Army during
the Civil War; U.S. Representative from Indiana 7th District, 1871-73;
Indiana state auditor, 1879-81; Lieutenant Governor of Indiana,
1885-87. Died in Frankfort, Clinton County, Ind., February 4, 1895.
Interment at Oak Hill Cemetery. See also: congressional biography.
Mahlon Dickerson Manson was born February 20,
1820, in Piqua, Ohio. He received a common school education and later
moved to Montgomery County, Indiana where he taught school for a year.
He briefly studied medicine in Cincinnati at the Ohio Medical College.
From October 8, 1847 to July 28, 1848, he served as captain of the 5th
Indiana Volunteers in the Mexican War. He was a member of the State
House of Representatives in 1851-1852 and was a druggist in Crawfordsville.
Manson was mustered into service April 17, 1861, as captain of the 10th
Indiana and promoted to colonel the following month. He led the regiment
at the battle of Rich Mountain in July 1861 and the following January
commanded a brigade at Fishing Creek, Kentucky in the defeat of Confederate
General F. K. Zollicoffer. He was promoted to Brigadier General March
24, 1862. Colonel Manson was wounded and captured October 30, 1862,
in Richmond after his horse took a bullet to the head and rolled on
top of him, and he was not exchanged until December. Upon his return
to the field, he faced General John Pegram who was plundering beef cattle.
Manson commanded the XXIII Corps in Knoxville and a brigade of Cox's
division of the corps (now the Army of Ohio) in the Atlanta campaign.
On May 14, 1864, he was severely wounded by the explosion of a shell
near Resaca, Georgia. Unable to return to service, he resigned December
21, 1864. Mahlon Dickerson Manson was an unsuccessful Democratic candidate
for Lieutenant Governor of Indiana in 1864. He served in Congress from
March 4, 1871 to March 3, 1873, but was defeated in his attempt for
re-election. He was elected auditor of Indiana in 1878, Lieutenant Governor
in 1884, and was appointed collector of internal revenue of the seventh
district of Indiana on August 11, 1886. He resigned that position November
5, 1889. Manson died February 4, 1895, in Crawfordsville and was buried
in Oak Hill Cemetery.