Sunday, September 23, 2012

Retired Naval Commander Donates Civil War Escutcheon of General Manning Force

Ken Juul and General Manning Force's Civil War Escutcheon

This past week, during a visit to the Hayes Presidential Center, retired Naval Commander Ken Juul and his wife Vicki donated the Civil War escutcheon of Juul's great grandfather General Manning Force to the institution. Because of the lifelong friendship that existed between General Force and President Rutherford B. Hayes, Juul felt that the Hayes Presidential Center was an appropriate repository for the escutcheon and other family materials. President Hayes and Lucy named their eighth child and the only one born at Spiegel Grove for General Manning Force. 

Done in oil most likely by the J. P. Reynolds Company of Massachusetts in the 1880s, the escutcheon provides a visual record of his ancestor's Civil War service.  Force, who commanded the 20th Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War, received the escutcheon as a gift from his comrades. The escutcheon is on display in the Center's Library Reading Room.

General Manning F. Force

Manning Force was born Dec. 17, 1824 in Washington, D.C. to Peter and Hannah Force, the fourth of ten children. He attended Harvard University and Harvard Law School. Upon graduation in 1848, he moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, and entered the practice of law. Force joined the Literary Club of Cincinnati where he met fellow lawyer Rutherford B. Hayes with whom he would form a lifelong friendship

Prior to the Civil War, Manning Force served as a member of the Burnett Rifles.
On August 26, 1861, he was appointed major of the 20th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. The following month, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel. The first battle for the 20th O.V.I. was at Fort Donelson in February 1862. Shortly after the battle of Shiloh, Force was promoted to colonel and placed in command of the regiment. During the 1863 siege of Vicksburg, he served as acting commander of the 2nd Brigade of Mortimer Leggett’s Division, 17th Corps, and was then promoted to brigadier general.

In the summer of 1864, Leggett’s Division joined William T. Sherman’s drive on Atlanta. While leading his brigade in the defense of Bald Hill, Force was struck by a Minie ball. The ball struck him on the left side of his face and exited the upper right side of his skull. Believing the wound fatal, Force was sent home to die. Instead, he recovered and rejoined Sherman’s Army, taking part in the March to the Sea. For his actions at Atlanta, Force was promoted to major general and, in 1892, awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Following the Civil War, he was appointed military commander of the District of Mississippi, a position he held until January 1866 when he was mustered out.

Manning Force returned to his law practice in Cincinnati, Ohio. From 1866 to 1875 he served as judge of the Hamilton County Common Pleas Court. He married Frances Dabney Horton of Pomeroy, Ohio, on May 13, 1874. They had one son, Horton Caumont Force

In 1876, Manning Force was defeated in his bid for the U.S. House of Representatives. He later joined the faculty of the Cincinnati Law School and was also elected judge of the Superior Court of Cincinnati. Suffering from overwork, Force resigned his seat on the bench. He spent time with his good friend Rutherford B. Hayes at Spiegel Grove in Fremont, Ohio. After his stay in Fremont and a month long vacation in Europe, Force returned to Cincinnati. In 1888, he was appointed Commandant of the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home in Sandusky, Ohio, a position he held until his death May 8, 1899.
Force wrote papers and books on Native Americans and the Civil War and contributed to legal publications. His interest in music led to his affiliation with the Cincinnati Musical Festival Association. He was a member of numerous archaeological and historical societies.