Joseph Stockwell Manning MOH

b. 13/04/1845 Ipswich, Massachusetts. d. 27/12/1905 Somerville, Massachusetts.

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 29/11/1863 Fort Sanders, Knoxville, Tennessee.

Joseph S Manning MOH

Joseph Stockwell Manning was born in 1845, the son of Leighton Wilson Manning of Ipswich and his wife Caroline Stockwell of Somerville. According to Volume II of Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, they lived in the house at 9 High Street built by Samuel Newman, still standing. At the age of 18, Joseph volunteered to fight in the Civil War and served as a private in Company K, 29th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry.

During a battle at Fort Sanders on November 29, 1863 his attachment was sent to dislodge Confederate forces from the 16th Georgia infantry who had retreated and were taking cover in a ditch. Private Manning set out to join this force but became separated. He continued forward alone and jumping into the ditch found himself next to a Confederate colour-bearer and 200 of his comrades, many grievously wounded.

Knowing the northern forces were not far behind him, the quick-thinking Manning demanded the immediate surrender of all of the soldiers. His ruse succeeded in confusing the rebels long enough for Union troops to arrive and take them as prisoners.

In his report, Private Manning wrote “A wounded rebel in the ditch asked me to take him inside the works as he was in danger of being shot where he lay. I made him climb over the dead and wounded and passed up the colors to him–till I climbed up. I placed the colors and my gun over my left shoulder and supported him with my right arm as we walked over a hundred yards.”

This was only one of Manning’s accomplishments during the war. He was cited for helping prevent the capture of the crew of the USS Congress, which was sunk by the CSS Merrimac. After he returned to Ipswich, he worked in the wholesale grocery business in Boston and had a residence in his mother’s home town, Somerville. Joseph Manning died on December 27, 1905 and is buried in the Manning family plot at the Old North Burial Ground in Ipswich.



Capture of flag of 16th Georgia Infantry (C.S.A.).