Steven L. Ossad

writer, historian, technology analyst, and Wall Street staff ride guy

BG Joseph Mansfield, Military Heritage Magazine, February 2007

Joseph Mansfield, Steven L. Ossad, Graphite on paper, 2006

A SINGLE MOMENT OF GLORY
For more than forty years Joseph King Fenno Mansfield (1803-1862) prepared himself for the ultimate test of a soldier - high command in war. After a long and successful career marked by bravery in the field and rapid promotion during the Mexican War, celebrated achievements as a military engineer, recognition as an expert on defensive fortifications, and a distinguished tenure as Inspector General of the U.S. Army, the moment he’d been waiting for arrived on the morning of September 17, 1862. At the small western Maryland village of Sharpsburg - where the Potomac runs west and Antietam Creek runs east of the town – Mansfield’s brief moment of glory came just two days after assuming command of XII Corps, Army of the Potomac. Personally leading one of his regiments into battle, he was struck by a bullet in the chest and taken to a makeshift hospital where 24 hours later, he lay dead. About these basic details there is no dispute, but for almost a century and a half the rest of the story has generated controversy – sometimes bitter – among the participants and then among historians.


Highlights of Mansfield's Career


DISTINGUISHED ENGINEER:


STAFF OFFICER IN THE MEXICAN WAR:

Chief Engineer to General Zachary Taylor's Northern Army, he was brevetted three times for bravery and seriously wounded (Middlesex County Historical Society)

INSPECTOR GENERAL OF THE US ARMY:


DEFENDER OF THE NATION'S CAPITAL:


SHORE COMMANDER AT HAMPTON ROADS:


Updated: August 25, 2013

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Selected Works

Finalist, 2011 Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Writing Award A hero who faced down Pancho Villa with only a pistol and turned the tide of battle during the Salerno Operation in late 1943, John Lucas discovered at Anzio that his comrades were more dangerous than his enemies.
Brevet Colonel, Commander of the 30th Indiana Volunteers, and recipient of the Medal of Honor - all by the age of 23 - Henry Lawton's career spanned four decades until he fell in battle "bringing democracy to a distant land."
Featured on the Center of Military History Civil War Website
The only American armored division commander to die in battle, Maurice Rose was the son and grandson of rabbis who rose from private to general to lead the premier American armored force to victory over the Nazi empire.
Winner, 2003 Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Writing Award
Sixteen of the McCook Family served in the Union Army or Navy during the Civil War. Seven became generals. Four gave the last full measure.
Daniel Judson Callaghan's heroic sacrifice off Guadalcanal saved the embattled defenders of Henderson Field at the cost of his life and the destruction of his fleet.
Creator of the modern American Rangers, Darby led his men to great victories and a catastrophic defeat, but was always in the thick of the action.
Martin Blumenson spent his life writing the history of an institution he respected greatly and knew intimately, the United States Army. He inspired generations of his students and successors to the highest standard of excellence.
Described by some pretty eminent art historians as perhaps his greatest work, Leonardo Da Vinci's "Battle of Anghiari" defined for centuries the way artists portray the fury of battle and the anatomy and motion of warriors and horses in combat. The lost work sparked intense and on-going debate, and inspired many other great masters working in a variety of media. But, the battle has disappeared from history. Why?
Soldier, historian, biographer, memoirist, "novelist", and companion of Socrates, at the end of his life Xenophon wrote a small book proposing reform of the Athenian cavalry. A discussion of specific suggestions, the Hipparchicus reflects decades of the author's experience as an army commander. The wily survivor of battles and court intrigues offers subtle insights on leadership as well as observations valuable to modern theorists and practioners of the "mounted service" that will always resonate.
The Battle of Kadesh, the greatest chariot clash in all recorded history, pitted the war-hardened Hittites against a young, untested Pharaoh in a struggle that shaped the destinies of the two dominant empires of the early Iron Age. Recorded by Rameses as a great Egyptian victory, it is a case study of how a brilliant and well-executed public relations campaign can trump performance - and reality.
One of the most creative and wide-ranging thinkers of the last 150 years, Charles Sanders Peirce stands at the top of the list of greatest geniuses ever produced by our country. Neither fame nor honors came with that distinction. The subject of just one academic biography, Peirce remains totally unknown to his fellow citizens. If he lived today, he would be the subject of documentaries.
Esteemed as the "Great Tactician of the West" Omar Bradley was one of a handful of larger than life heroes to emerge from World War II. After the victory in Europe, he went on to deeply influence the post-war era. Those later contributions, aas much as his wartime leadership, shaped our history and culture in decisive, dramatic, and virtually unexamined ways. The challenges we face – fighting determined, ideologically-driven enemies, organizing our forces for every possible conflict, coordinating our global strategy with prickly allies, determining the roles and powers of our military leaders, and providing care and benefits for our veterans – were framed in the top counsels of our government by Omar Bradley as adviser to President Harry Truman.
More than 3,500 years ago, Abraham, the leader of the Hebrews, led his men on a daring, long-distance, commando raid to rescue hostages. Hidden in a very brief passage of Genesis is the story of the first organized military action and victory of the Jewish people, a tale of courage and inspired leadership, and battle far from their borders. One cannot help but think of Operation THUNDERBALL, the Israel Defense Forces dramatic rescue of Jewish hostages at Entebbe, Uganda on July 4, 1976.
Does it make any sense to talk about a "philosophy of war?" What kinds of things would be discussed in such an academic sub-category? Whose works would make up the canon of study? On that point, why is it that Carl von Clausevitz's early 19th century book "On War" is virtually the only work generally accepted as a work of philosophy? In a world where war is so common, why is there so little systematic examination of its "first principles?" These are only a few of the questions that spark this general inquiry.
A stamp "album" that illustrates the military history of the United States as depicted in postage stamps. From the US first official postage stamp showing George Washington in uniform (1857) to the present day, the nation has remembered its wars and battlefields - both famous and forgotten - and honored its heroes, its weapons, and its victories.
... how some engineers, salesmen, and venture capitalists took a small box filled with aluminum platters, recording arms, motors, and circuits - no, not a record player - and sold it to Steve Jobs, some renegades at IBM, and then everyone else - and made our digital world possible. And then lost it all.