Mann, James DeFrees, 1LT

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Last Rank
First Lieutenant (Cavalry)
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
Last MOS Group
US Army
Primary Unit
1890-1891, HHT, 7th US Cavalry
Service Years
1877 - 1891


First Lieutenant (Cavalry)

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This Military Service Page was created/owned by COL Samuel Russell to remember Mann, James DeFrees, 1LT.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address
Not Specified

Casualty Date
Jan 15, 1891
Hostile, Died of Wounds
Gun, Small Arms Fire
South Dakota
Wounded Knee Massacre
Location of Interment
Alexandria National Cemetery - Alexandria, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

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 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
Indian War Fallen
  1891, Indian War Fallen

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 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
7th US Cavalry
  1877-1890, HHT, 7th US Cavalry
  1890-1891, HHT, 7th US Cavalry
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1878-1879 Cheyenne War
  1890-1890 Wounded Knee Massacre
 Colleges Attended 
United States Military Academy
  1873-1877, United States Military Academy1
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

First Lieutenant James DeFrees Mann, K Troop, 7th Cavalry

James D. Mann graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1877 and served with the 7th U.S. Cavalry for over 13 years. As a platoon in K Troop, Lt. Mann was in the thick of the fight at the Battle of Wounded Knee, in which his troop commander, Capt. Wallace, was killed. The following day Lt. Mann was commanding K Troop at the Drexel Mission fight along the White Clay Creek and was wounded in the foot. He was evacuated to Fort Riley, Kansas for recuperation, but died two weeks later.   On his death bed at Fort Riley Mann provided his brother the following account of the battle:

In front of me were four bucks--three armed with rifles and one with bow and arrows.  I drew my revolver and stepped through the line to my place with my detachment.  The Indians raised their weapons over their heads as in votive offering, then brought them down to bear on us, the one with the bow and arrow aiming directly at me.  They seemed to wait an instant.  The Medicine Man threw a handful of dust into the air, put on his war bonnet, and then I heard a gun fired near him.  This seemed to be the signal they were waiting for, and the fire immediately began.  I ordered my men to fire and the reports were almost simultaneous.[i]

Upon learning of Mann's demise, his battalion commander, Maj. Whitside, had this to say of the officer in a letter:

Mann was a fine, brave and gallant officer, always ready and willing for service and did his duty cheerfully. There is many a sad heart here to day among the officers and especially among the enlisted, as he was a great favorite of the men, as he always treated them kindly. I will miss poor Mann as I have always been fond of him and appreciated his many good qualities.[ii]

[i] E. D. Scott, , “Wounded Knee: A Look at the Record,” Field Artillery Journal, January-February 1939, 13.

[ii] Samuel L. Russell, “Selfless Service: the Cavalry Career of BG Samuel M. Whitside from 1858 to 1902,”

Headquarters 7th Cavalry,
Fort Riley, Kansas,
February 14, 1891.
Orders No. 21.
            Lieutenant Mann was born in Syracuse, Indiana, May 15, 1854. He was appointed a cadet at the United States. Military Academy and entered the class which graduated June 15, 1877. He was assigned to the 7th Cavalry and joined his troop, E, at Fort A. Lincoln, North Dakota, October 1st of that year. On July 4th of the next year he accompanied his troop on the march to Bear Butte, S. D., and later in the same summer, on the campaign against the Cheyennes in Dakota and Nebraska. Returning to Bear Butte he remained with his troop in the winter camp which preceded the building of Fort Meade in 1879. He remained on duty at Fort Meade until May, 1882, when he was detailed on special recruiting duty at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, remaining on that duty until August, 1883. He was then transferred to troop G, stationed at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. While stationed at that post he took the course in the Infantry and Cavalry School, graduating very high in his class. In 1885 his troop was ordered to Fort Keogh, M. T., for station. Having been ordered from that post to Fort Buford, D. T., to temporarily command troop " F," he became partially paralyzed from exposure during the trip and never fully recovered, although he continued to zealously perform such duties as came to his lot. In 1886 his troop, was ordered overland to Fort Meade, S. D., and in 1887 was changed again to Fort Riley Kansas, from which time until his death, Lieutenant Mann continued almost uninterruptedly on duty at this post, performing various staff duties to the entire satisfaction of his superior officers, his aim being to well perform the duties of whatever detail came to him. He was promoted 1st Lieutenant July 22d, 1890, and assigned to troop H, at Fort Sill, I. T., but was transferred to troop K at this post, and accompanied his troop to Pine Ridge, S. D., for duty during the recent Indian troubles. He was engaged with hostile Indians at Wounded Knee, S. D., December 29, 1890, and conducted himself with marked ability and courage. On the following day he took part in the engagement on White Clay Creek, S. D., and while on the skirmish line with his troop, he received the wound which from complications caused his death on January 15, 1891, at 1.15 A. M. Lieutenant Mann gained the respect and esteem of all with whom he was associated.
            As a mark of respect for the memory of Captain Wallace and Lieutenant Mann, the officers of the regiment will wear the usual badge of mourning on their sabres for the period of thirty days.
By order of
        Colonel Forsyth,
1st Lieutenant 7th Cavalry, Adjutant

General Order No. 100, Adjutant General’s Office, Dec. 17, 1891
The Major General Commanding takes pleasure in publishing in orders to the Army the names of the following officers and enlisted men who, during the year 1890 and in the recent campaign in South Dakota, distinguished themselves by “specially meritorious acts or conduct:
                December 30, 1890. 1st Lieutenant James D. Mann, 7th Cavalry (since deceased): For gallantry in action against hostile Sioux Indians, near the Catholic Mission, on White Clay Creek, South Dakota, where he was mortally wounded.

[1] Adjutant General’s Office, General Orders, G.O. 100 page 4.
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