Private James A. Mansker (1844-1883).
James A. Mansker was the son of
Michael W. Mansker
At age 17, on 25 August 1861, he enlisted in the Union Army at Chicago. He and his brother
William served with Company F of the 44th Illinois Volunteers.
James was a drummer boy and fought at Murfreesboro, and at the Battle of Stone's River,
where he was wounded in the left arm. He was taken prisoner at Chickamauga on 20
September 1863. He was sent first to Libby Prison at Danville (VA) and then to the infamous
Andersonville Prison in Georgia. He was a prisoner of war for a total of 17 months.
Finally, in June 1865 he was honorably discharged from the army at Springfield, IL.
By taking up drumming, James followed a family tradition dating back at least
to the Revolutionary War (See the
Manskers at War Page).
Photo taken circa 1861, reconstructed from an old damaged and blackened tintype.