The camp had been constructed as a short term training camp for Union soldiers but was converted to a prisoner of war camp for captured Confederate soldiers after the fall of Fort Donelson, on February 16, 1862.  One in eight of the prisoners from Fort Donelson died of pneumonia and various diseases. The camp became infamous for its inhumane condition and large death toll. Mulligan may have been a poor administrator, but unlike some later commandants, he had made efforts to improve conditions at the camp which were hampered by an inadequate budget and bureaucratic indifference.  He may have been influenced in his effort to improve conditions at the camp by his treatment by General Price after he was captured at Lexington, Missouri. Mulligan and his regiment were assigned to the Railroad Division of the Middle Department between December 17, 1862 and March 27, 1863.  Then they were assigned to 5th Brigade, 1st Division, VIII Corps in the Middle Department between March 27, 1863 and June 26, 1863.
Between August and December 1863, Mulligan oversaw the construction of Fort Mulligan, an earthworks fortification located in Grant County, West Virginia. Jubal Early would later pay tribute to Mulligan's engineering skill after occupying the fort during his Valley Campaigns of 1864.This fort remains one of the best-preserved Civil War fortifications in West Virginia, and has become a local tourist attraction. On July 3, 1864, only three weeks before his death, Mulligan distinguished himself in the Battle of Leetown, fought in and around Leetown, Virginia between Union Maj. Franz Sigel and Confederate Maj. Federal troops were retreating in the face of Early's relentless advance down the Shenandoah Valley during his Second Valley Campaign. The colonel was only allotted two regiments of infantry (including his old 23rd Illinois), five pieces of artillery, and 1,000 dismounted cavalrymen; he faced six Confederate infantry divisions, five brigades of cavalry and three battalions of artillery. Mulligan was told to expect no help whatsoever; he was to hold as long as possible, then conduct a fighting retreat as slowly as possible to cover the other withdrawing Union units. The battle began at 6:00 a. On the morning of July 3 when Maj. Robert Ransom, in command of Early's cavalry, ordered Brig.
Johnson to attack at Leetown. At the same time another cavalry unit charged 600 Union cavalry stationed at Darkesville, while 1,100 Confederate cavalry under Brig. John McCausland swung around the Union force at North Mountain and Williamsport Road, capturing the North Mountain Depot. Mulligan led his minuscule force out of their trenches after Johnson's initial charge, driving the attackers back upon the divisions of Generals Robert Rodes and Stephen D. Although the outcome of the battle was a foregone conclusion, Mulligan managed to hold Early's main force at Leestown for the entire day before being compelled to give wayalbeit very slowly.On July 24, 1864, Mulligan led his troops into the Second Battle of Kernstown, near Winchester, Virginia. Late in the afternoon, Maj. Gordons Confederate force attacked Mulligan's 1,800 soldiers from ground beyond Opequon Church. Mulligan briefly held off Gordon's units, but Confederate Maj. Breckinridge led a devastating flank attack against the Irishmen from the east side of the Valley Pike. Sharpshooters under Ramseur then attacked Mulligans right flank from the west. Now encompassed on three sides, the Union battle line fell apart. With Confederates closing from all around, Mulligan ordered his troops to withdraw. As he stood up in his saddle to spur his men on, Southern sharpshooters concealed in a nearby stream bed managed to hit the Union commander. Mulligans soldiers endeavored to carry him to safety, but the unyielding Confederate fire made this an impossible task.
Mulligan was well aware of his situation, and the danger his men were in, and so he famously ordered: Lay me down and save the flag.  Mulligans men reluctantly complied. Confederate soldiers captured Mulligan, and carried the mortally wounded colonel into a nearby home, where he died two days later.
The item "Civil War CDV Union General James A Mulligan KIA Opequan" is in sale since Sunday, June 7, 2020. This item is in the category "Collectibles\Militaria\Civil War (1861-65)\Original Period Items\Photographs". The seller is "civil_war_photos" and is located in Midland, Michigan.
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