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| || GENERAL MANSFIELD MONUMENT |
Indian Hill Cemetery
383 Washington Street
Type: Sandstone sarcophagus topped by flag, hat, and sword
GENERAL MANSFIELD MONUMENT, Indian Hill Cemetery, Middletown, is significant historically because it is a memorial to Middletown's great Civil War hero. Joseph King Fenno Mansfield (1803-1862) was born in New Haven, Connecticut. He graduated second in his class from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1822. After serving in the Mexican-American War, in 1853 he became Inspector General with the rank of colonel. At the beginning of the Civil War he was in charge of the defense of Washington, D.C., going on to fight in the battle of Antietam, Maryland, where he was mortally wounded.
When his body was brought back from Antietam, the general was interred elsewhere in Middletown. He was moved to Indian Hill Cemetery ca.1867; presumably the monument was erected at that time. His home, 115 Main Street, Middletown is now occupied by the Middlesex County Historical Society.
GENERAL MANSFIELD MONUMENT is significant artistically because it is a good example of funerary stonecutting. The sarcophagus shape and crowning military trophies are well proportioned and carefully executed. The sculptor, perhaps an employee of a quarry, is unknown, as is the quarry. The fact that the stone is not of Connecticut River Valley origin is also unexplained.
GENERAL MANSFIELD MONUMENT faces west on a central roadway about two-thirds of the way back in the cemetery. MANSFIELD POST CIVIL WAR MONUMENT is on the opposite side of the roadway, about 50 yards to the south. The sandstone GENERAL MANSFIELD MONUMENT is in the shape of a sarcophagus with flag, hat, and sword on its top.
The monument is sited on a bank, five or six feet above the roadway, resting on a tan granite slab. The sandstone of the monument is a tan color with a yellow-green cast, not the usual Connecticut River Valley brownstone. The base tier of sandstone has a pitched top, with fillet leading to the upper base, which is divided from the sarcophagus by a cyma molding and fillet. The sarcophagus is tapered under a projecting cornice of torus, scotia, fillet, and torus moldings. Each of the four faces has a recessed panel with lettering.
The flag drapery above the cornice is several inches high, with raised stars. The sword and hat are on top of the flag. The blade of the sword is broken off. The hat with front and back embellished visors may be a formal officer's dress hat called a light French chapeau.
Front (west) face of sandstone base, raised caps:MANSFIELD
Above, in recessed panel of sarcophagus, incised caps and u.c. and l.c.:MAJOR GENERAL
JOSEPH K.F. MANSFIELD,
killed at the battle of Antietam, Md.
Sept. 17, 1862; aged 58 y'rs. 9 mo's.
South, panel:MARY LOUISA,
Jos. K.F. and Louisa M.
died June 22, 1863:
aged 22 y'rs. & 3 mo's
above, panel:LOUISA MATHER,
JOSEPH K.F. MANSFIELD
Born June 14, 1808,
Died Feb. 22, 1880
Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord.
North:JOSEPH TOTTEN, son of
Jos. K.F. and Louisa M.
died July 15, 1844;
aged 9 mo's. & 11 days.
History of Middlesex County, Connecticut (New York: J.B. Beers & Co., 1884), pp. 156 and 157.