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Manskers at War: The Military Service of the Mansker-Minsker Men


Note: this list of Manskers at War is certainly not all-inclusive, although I would like it to be. If anyone has additional information on any of the Mansker-Minsker men in the wars of the 18th & 19th Centuries, please so I can add it to this page.
Note also how many of these Mansker-Minsker men first enlisted as drummer boys. It’s almost a family trait.

The Revolutionary War

Ludwig Mäintzger: In January, 1776, Ludwig , spelled "Ludowick Minsker", is mentioned in the account book of Captain John Simpson, and in July and August of that year, his name appears in the Pennsylvania Archives as a militia man on active duty. On 2 May, 1776, while in the military, he wrote his last will and testament.

Ludwig was a private in the Pennsylvania State Rifle Regiment usually known as Miles's Regiment, under the command of Colonel Samuel Miles, who was in charge from 13 March 1776, when the regiment was organized, until he was taken prisoner at the Battle of Long Island on 27 August 1776.

Company E, in which Ludwig served, was commanded by Captain John Murray. It was made up mainly of men from Paxtang Township, in a part of Lancaster County which, in 1785, became Dauphin County. Captain Murray was from Paxtang Township himself, and prior to his assignment to Company E, he had held a commission as an ensign in the 6th Pennsylvania Battalion. On 18 March, 1777, he was promoted to major in Pennsylvania State Regiment. As recorded in the muster rolls of the Lancaster County Militia, the men of Company E went to New Jersey in August, 1776, and were absent until January or February, 1777.

The regiment was created by a resolution passed on 5 March 1776 by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the purpose of defending the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and it was to consist of 1,000 men, armed with rifles, who were to be enlisted until 1 January 1778. There were to be two battalions of 678-man companies, one battalion commanded by Lt. Colonel James Piper, who died in September 1776 after being wounded and taken prisoner at the Battle of Long Island, and the other battalion to be commanded by Lt. Colonel Daniel Brodhead.

After the heavy casualties of the Battle of Long Island, Lt. Colonel Brodhead became acting commander of the remnants of both Miles's Regiment and the Pennsylvania State Battalion of Musketry, and they were consolidated into a single battalion. The major of the 1st Battalion of the regiment was Ennion Williams; John Patton was the major of the 2nd Battalion until 25 October 1776, when he was transferred to the 9th Pennsylvania Regiment.

Ludwig died near Coryell's Ferry, Pennsylvania, on 24 November, 1776, but the cause of his death is not known. He may have died of wounds, or, more likely, he may have died from illness caused by poor rations, or inadequate clothing and blankets, as did many of his fellow soldiers.

George Mansker, Sr.: In 1778, George appeared on the roll of Captain Jonathan McClure's Company, 4th Class, 4th Battalion, of the Lancaster County Militia, and on 11 August 1749, he was listed in rosters of the 7th and 8th Classes that had been called to Northumberland County, Pennsylvania to protect settlers there from the Indians. On 15 October 1779, he again appeared on the rolls of Captain Jonathan McClure. On 26 March 1778, George Mansker's name appeared on list of Paxtang Township citizens who took the oath of allegiance to the State of Pennsylvania.

John Minsker: John was a private in Captain John McClure's Company, 4th Class, 4th Battalion in 1778 and in 1779, he served under Captain John Rutherford and Captain Crouch. In April 1779, John went with his unit to Bedford County for a period of six weeks where they protected farmers who were putting in their spring crops.

Ludwig Minsker Jr.: In 1781, Ludwig Minsker Jr. served with the 10th Battalion, Captain James Murray's company; he appeared on a muster roll dated 12 April 1781.

John Mansker: According to his son, Samuel Mansker (see below), his father, John, the son of John Minsker, was a drummer boy during the Revolutionary War.


The War of 1812

John Mansker: John, the son of George Mansker Sr., served with the Company of Captain William McCall, regiment of Colonel John K. Wynne, Robert's Brigade, in the Tennessee Militia, from 4 October 1813 to 26 January 1814.

William Mansker: William, another son of George Mansker, Sr., also served in the same company.

Kasper Mansker: Although he was in the neighborhood of 60 years of age, Kasper enlisted in Captain William Martin's company, of Colonel Thomas Williamson's Second Regiment of Tennessee Volunteer Mounted Gunmen. He saw action at the Battle of New Orleans.

Lewis Mansker: Lewis, another son of George Mansker, Sr., also enlisted with his uncle Kasper in the same unit and was in the Battle of New Orleans.

Samuel Mansker: Like his father, John, before him, Samuel was a drummer boy; he appears on a unit muster roll of 3 September 1812 in the 1st Regiment of the Illinois Militia under the command of Captain Absalom Cox at Kaskaskia, Illinois.

John Mansker: This John Mansker appears on the rolls of Captain Gordon's Company of Mounted Spies, Tennessee militia. His indentity is uncertain, but he could have been the John Mansker who married Elizabeth Dugger (see the "Missing" Manskers Page).


The Mexican War

William Henry Mansker, George W. Mansker and William L. Mansker enlisted into Captain Bird. M. Simpson's Company G of the 5th Regimental Mounted Gunmen, Arkansas Volunteers, in August, 1836. The regiment proceeded first to Fort Towson in the Choctaw Nation, and then to Fort Gibson in the Cherokee Nation, where it relieved three troops of dragoons and six companies of the 7th Infantry who had been ordered to the Texas border in anticipation of a war with Mexico. The war didn't happen for another ten years, but this was cold comfort to the George Mansker, Jr., family, the parents of George W. and William L. Mansker, who died a month apart at Fort Towson, probably from a mumps epidemic. William Henry Mansker (see the Texas Manskers Page) was the son of William Mansker, brother to George Jr., and all three of the volunteers were grandsons of George Mansker, Sr.
See alsoThe Mexican-American War and Arkansas Militia and the War With Mexico on Wikipedia.

Josiah Mansker was a private in Company C, (-?-) Regiment, Arkansas Infantry. He was also the son of William Mansker and grandson of George Mansker, Sr. See the Texas Manskers Page.

Thomas Mansker served as a corporal in Company H, 2nd Illinois Infantry.

John G. Mansker was a private in Company A, 2nd Illinois Infantry. John was a son of Lewis Mansker and another grandson of George Mansker, Sr. He was wounded in the Battle of Buena Vista (La Angostura, Mexico) on 23 Feb 1847.

There is also a Thomas W. G. "Manseker", a native of Nashville, Illinois, who served in the Mexican War.


The Civil War

Note: See also the Civil War page for a list of Manskers who served, along with their units.

John R. Mansker, John S. Mansker, Joseph Mansker, and David T. Mansker

From the time most of us were children, the description of the Civil War being fought "brother against brother" has been a cliché. It wasn't until I discovered that my great-grandfather, John S. Mansker, served in the 2nd Regiment of Arkansas Infantry, U.S. Volunteers, while his father, John R. Mansker and his brother, Joseph Mansker, served the Confederacy in the Arkansas cavalry, that I realized the true and awful import of that trite saying.

John S. Mansker's service record shows that he enlisted as a private in Company H, commanded by Captain Charles E. Berry, of the Second Regiment of Arkansas Militia Infantry, commanded by Colonel M.L. Stevenson, on 26 January 1864 at Dover, Arkansas, and was mustered in at Fort Smith, Arkansas, on 18 February 1864. His father-in-law, David Allen, also was in the same unit.

Interestingly, he also apparently shows up on the rolls of Co I, 35th Arkansas Infantry, as J. S. "Manskel". The company was made up primarily of men from the Dover, Arkansas, area, where John S. was known to reside. Also appearing in the same company are his brother-in-law G. W. Macomb (husband of his sister, Nancy), and G. W.'s brother, Peter, along with another brother-in-law, Robert Brashears, husband of his sister, Samantha Rebecca.

Apparently military life was not to his liking, since he deserted on 21 March 1864 at Clarksville, Arkansas, and remained away until 6 June 1865. After his return from desertion, he was reinstated in the company with loss of all pay and allowances due him up to 31 July 1865. He was mustered out at Clarksville on 8 August 1865, and the record shows that he was assessed an amount of $23.46 for payment for the equipment he took with him when he deserted, including an Austrian rifle.

John S. Mansker died on 27 December 1883, the result of long-term complications from the loss of a leg in the Civil War; it isn't clear exactly when John could have lost the leg since he apparently spent so little time on active duty, but a family story handed down over the years holds that his wife, Margaret Allen Mansker, hid him for a time during the war when he was hurt, even keeping his location secret in the face of threats to her baby. It could be that he had been wounded in the leg prior to his desertion and the leg had to be amputated some time later.

John R. Mansker, John S. Mansker's father, appears as a private in the muster rolls of Company B, 1st Battalion (Stirman's) Arkansas cavalry. (See the Unit Roster of Co. B.)

John R's service record shows that he enlisted on 3 August 1861 in Marion County, Arkansas, and was last paid on 31 December 1861. The company muster rolls for January and February 1863 show him absent, "detached in Arkansas". Interestingly enough, he also appears in Company H, 2nd Arkansas Infantry, the same unit as his son, John S., and the application for widow's pension completed by his wife, Nancy Holland Mansker, on 24 April 1882, supports this.

Joseph Mansker, the son of John R. and the brother of John S. Mansker, also served as a private in Company A, 1st Battalion (Stirman's) Arkansas cavalry, enlisting the same day as his father. The January and February 1863 muster rolls show him as present. He was captured at the Battle of Vicksburg on 4 July 1863 and taken as a prisoner of war. He was paroled on 8 July 1863 after signing a pledge to return home and not take up arms against the union again.

David Thomas Mansker, another son of John R. Mansker and brother to John S. and Joseph, was a seventeen-year old cavalryman in Jackman's Cavalry Regiment, C.S.A, which was organized in the spring of 1864. Under General Shelby's division, he participated in Sterling Price's Missouri Raid.

David Moore Mansker:
Company muster rolls show that David Mansker was a private in Company C, 1st Regiment, Mississippi Light Artillery. He enlisted on 27 March 1862 in Choctaw County. Col. W. J. Winters was the officer in charge. He was 33 years old at the time of his enlistment, he was 5 feet 9 inches in height, and his hair, eyes and complexion were listed as "dark". He died from pneumonia at Mobile, Alabama, on 8 March 1864. His next of kin was listed as Emily Mansker, Huntsville, Choctaw County, Mississippi. See photograph.

Other Manskers in the Confederate Forces

G. N. Mansker, 13th Mississippi Infantry

Henry L. Mansker, Private, Company A, 25th Arkansas Infantry

J. C. Mansker, Corporal, Company A, 9th Alabama Infantry

Lewis Mansker, Private, Sommington's Company, 1st Arkansas Volunteers

Mathew Mansker, Private, Captain Ballard's Company, Arkansas Infantry (30 Days 1861)

Samuel Mansker, Private, Company I, 10th Texas Cavalry

William D. Mansker, Private, Company D, 8th Arkansas Infantry

William J. Mansker, Corporal, Captain Ballard's Company, Arkansas Infantry (30 Days 1861).
This William was probably the son of George W. Mansker (see above), grandson of George Mansker, Jr., and great-grandson of George Mansker, Sr.

William Mansker, Private, Company K, 2nd (Robinson's) Tennessee Infantry.
He was wounded in the thigh and captured at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, on 31 December 1862. He was sent to prison at Rock Island, Illinois, from which he was paroled on 22 April 1865.

W. L. Mansker, Private, Company A, 45th Tennessee Infantry.

W. R. Mansker, Private, Company A, 15th Texas Infantry.
This is could be William Richard Mansker, a son of Joseph/Josiah Mansker (but see below).

Josiah Mansker, Private, Company H, 19th Texas Cavalry. Presumably this is the same Josiah that served in the Mexican War.

William Mansker and John Mansker, Privates, Company H, 19th Texas Cavalry.
Joseph/Josiah Mansker had sons named William Richard and John Calvin Mansker. It seems likely that the three of them enlisted together and served in the same unit. The company was formed in McLennan County, Texas. See also the Texas Manskers Page.

Other Manskers and Minskers in the Union Forces

Henry C. Mansker, Company K, 5th Illinois Cavalry.
Henry was a son of Samuel Mansker. He died at Helena, Arkansas, in April 1863, apparently a casualty of war.

Jacob L. Mansker, Company H, 22nd Illinois Infantry.
Jacob was a son of Lewis Mansker, grandson of John Mansker and another great-grandson of George Mansker, Sr.

James D. Mansker, Sergeant, Company A, 80th Illinois Infantry.
The unit roster shows that he was "reduced, died in New Albany, Indiana, May 5, 1863". He was most likely James Daniel Mansker, son of the John G. Mansker who served in the Mexican War (see above).

James Mansker, Company F, 44th Illinois Infantry.
James was a son of Michael W. Mansker. At the age of 17, he enlisted in the 44th Illinois Infantry Volunteers, on 25 August 1861 in Chicago, and was mustered in 13 September 1861 at Chicago. He first served as a drummer boy. He fought at Murfreesboro, and he was wounded in the left hand, losing a finger in the process, at the Battle of Stones River on 28 December 1862. Later, on 20 September 1863, during the Battle of Chickamauga, he was taken prisoner and ended up in the infamous Andersonville Prison. He was a prisoner of war for a total of 17 months, until 26 February 1865, when he was paroled. (See photograph)

John G. Mansker, was a 1st Lieutenant in Company D, 18th Illinois Infantry. One source states that he was killed in action during the war. He could be the son of Lewis Mansker and Betsy Simpkins, of Cape Girardeau, MO; they had a son named John G. Mansker, who was born circa 1818 (see Descendants Page). This would have made him roughly 42 years old at the start of the war, which is not unreasonably old for service.

Matthew C. Mansker, Sergeant, Company D, 31st Missouri Infantry. He was probably Matthew Casper Mansker, Jr., grandson of George Mansker, Jr.)

Thaddeus C. Mansker, Corporal, Company D. 47th Missouri Infantry This is most likely another son of Samuel Mansker -- (see photo)

William Henry Mansker, Private, Company F, 44th Illinois Infantry.
William Henry was another son of Michael W. Mansker (see above). He also enlisted at Chicago on 28 August 1861, and by July 1865 he had reenlisted and was stationed at Port Lavaca, Texas, where he contracted a kidney ailment caused by exposure to the elements and by hard marching. He was discharged at Camp Irwin, Texas, on 25 September 1865.

William J. Mansker, Private, Company A, 32nd Missouri Infantry. William was probably the son of John Mansker and Martha Shaver, and another grandson of George Mansker, Jr.

Benjamin Minsker, Corporal, Company D, 76th Pennsylvania Zouave Volunteers.
Benjamin was the son of Peter Minsker, grandson of Benjamin Minsker, great-grandson of Ludwig Minsker, Jr., and the great-great-grandson of Ludwig Mäintzger. He enlisted as a drummer boy at Harrisburg and saw action in South Carolina, Georgia, Charleston, WV, and at the Battle of Cold Harbor, where he was wounded in the heel. After three months of recuperation, he rejoined his unit for the occupation of Raleigh, NC. By the time of the war's end, he had risen to the rank of Acting Sergeant.

Charles E. Minsker, Private, Company E, 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry

Daniel B. Minsker, Private, Company D, 106th Illinois Infantry

David B. Minsker, Private, Company D, 106th Illinois Infantry (Note: Daniel B. and David B. may actually be the same person)

William Minsker, Private, Company C, 106th Illinois Infantry

William Minsker, Private, Company I, 17th Illinois Cavalry

William Minsker, Sergeant, Company A, 50th Pennsylvania Infantry