Mansfield Lovell
[[Image:File:Mansfield Lovell.jpg|center|200px|border]]Mansfield Lovell
Personal Information
Born: October 20, 1822(1822-10-20)
Place of Birth: {{{place of birth}}}
Died: June 1, 1884 (aged 61)
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Birth Name: {{{birth name}}}
Other Information
Allegiance: United States
Confederate States of America
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Branch: United States Army
Confederate States Army
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Rank: Major General (CSA)
Service number : {{{servicenumber}}}
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Battles: Mexican-American War

American Civil War

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Mansfield Lovell (October 20, 1822 – June 1, 1884) was a major general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. He was roundly criticized in Southern newspapers for allowing Union forces to capture the city of New Orleans.

Early life[edit | edit source]

Lovell was born in the District of Columbia. His father was Joseph Lovell, the eighth Surgeon General of the United States Army. His grandfather, James S. Lovell, was an active member of the Whig organization in Boston before the American Revolution, and was a member of the Continental Congress from 1777-1782. He was one of the prime movers in the scheme to supplant General George Washington as commander-in-chief by General Horatio Gates and an original member of the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati.

Lovell graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1842 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. artillery. He was severely wounded at Belén Gate during the Battle of Chapultepec in the Mexican-American War, receiving a brevet appointment to captain for his service in that battle. After serving on a variety of minor posts, he resigned from the army in 1854 to join the abortive Cuban expedition of General John A. Quitman. He then moved to New York City, where he engaged in business and served as deputy street commissioner.[1]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

With the outbreak of the Civil War, Lovell left New York City and enlisted in the Confederate army. He was appointed as a major general on October 7, 1861, to replace Maj. Gen. David Twiggs, who had asked to be relieved of his command because of health issues. According to the historian John D. Winters, the New Orleans citizenry expressed great disappointment over the Lovell appointment, for they had preferred either P.G.T. Beauregard or Braxton Bragg. At the time Bragg was in command of Confederate forces in Pensacola, Florida. Outraged at being passed over for the command, Bragg wrote to Governor of Louisiana Thomas Overton Moore: "The command at New Orleans was rightly mine. I feel myself degraded by the action of the government and shall take care they know my sentiments."[2]Two weeks later Bragg wrote Moore that he considered Lovell "very competent, and but for his insubordinate vanity would be a fine soldier Still we could do as well without him and he can't make me believe he was not bought."[3]

As commander of New Orleans, Lovell was highly criticized for evacuating the city and letting Admiral David Farragut capture it, despite having insufficient men or materiel to repulse the Union forces. He then commanded an infantry division under Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn at the Second Battle of Corinth in Mississippi. He was later relieved of command as a consequence of his poor performance at New Orleans. Stung by this reprimand, he demanded a court of inquiry, which met in April 1863 and declared him innocent of charges of incompetence. However, he was not given any assignments for the rest of the Civil War.[4]

Postbellum life[edit | edit source]

Lovell farmed a rice plantation near Savannah, Georgia, immediately after the war, but a tidal wave destroyed his first crop, forcing him to return with his family to New York City. He resumed his career as a civil engineer and surveyor. he worked under the supervision of former Union general John Newton on a project to clear obstructions from the East River at Hell Gate. Lovell died in New York City and was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx.[4]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Eicher, p. 355.
  2. John D. Winters, The Civil War in Louisiana, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1963, ISBN: 0-8071-0834-0, p. 64
  3. Winters, p. 64
  4. 4.0 4.1 Bergeron, pp. 101-02.

References[edit | edit source]

fr:Mansfield Lovell

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