Brigadier General Joseph K. Mansfield


Joseph King Fenno Mansfield (1803–62) was a Union general in the American Civil War. Born in New Haven, Connecticut, he graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1822. Mansfield served in the Army Corps of Engineers planning fortifications along the southeast coast, such as Fort Pulaski, Georgia. He served with distinction as chief engineer under Colonel Zachary Taylor in the Mexican War (1846–48), which led to his promotion to inspector general of the army. With the outbreak of the Civil War in April 1861, Mansfield commanded the Military Department of Washington, DC, where he worked successfully to fortify the capital. After the reorganization of the army, he assumed command of a brigade in the Department of Virginia, and he was later assigned to command the Union 12th Corps in the Army of the Potomac. Mansfield was mortally wounded during the Battle of Antietam (September 17, 1862) while ordering his corps into position. He was posthumously promoted to major general. The image is from an album of mostly Civil War-era portraits by the famous American photographer Matthew Brady (circa 1823‒96) that belonged to Emperor Pedro II of Brazil (1825‒91), a collector of photography as well as a photographer himself. The album was a gift to the emperor from Edward Anthony (1818‒88), another early American photographer who, in partnership with his brother, owned a company that in the 1850s became the leading seller of photographic supplies in the United States. Dom Pedro may have acquired the album during a trip to the United States in 1876 when he, along with President Ulysses S. Grant, opened the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. Brady was born in upstate New York, the son of immigrants from Ireland. Best known for his photographs documenting the battles of the American Civil War, he began his career in 1844 when he opened a daguerreotype portrait studio at the corner of Broadway and Fulton Streets in New York City. Over the course of the next several decades, Brady produced portraits of leading American public figures, many of which were published as engravings in magazines and newspapers. In 1858 he opened a branch in Washington, DC. The album, which also contains a small number of non-photographic prints, is part of the Thereza Christina Maria Collection at the National Library of Brazil. The collection is composed of 21,742 photos assembled by Emperor Pedro II throughout his life and donated by him to the national library. The collection covers a wide variety of subjects. It documents the achievements of Brazil and Brazilians in the 19th century and also includes many photographs of Europe, Africa, and North America.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Edward Anthony, New York

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 photographic print : carte-de-visite, albumen paper ; 8.6 x 5.5 centimeters


  1. William B. Skelton, “Mansfield, Joseph King Fenno,” in American National Biography (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999).

Last updated: March 22, 2016