Carlisle Barracks photo. 
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Private William J. Mantanye, Co. D

From the Regimental History of the 76th New York

MANTANYE, WILLIAM J. - Taken prisoner at Gettysburg July 1st, 1863; re-enlisted, February 9th, 1864; detailed to Brigade Headquarters October 8th, 1864; discharged at close of war, by General Order No. 158.

From "Grips" Historical Souvenir of Cortland, 1899

William Jameson Mantanye was born at Freetown, Cortland county, New York, October 17, 1843, and was a son of William Mantanye who then carried on a wagon factory at that place, but later on changed to mercantile pursuits and was for many years before and during the Civil War supervisor of his town. His mother was Betsey Fuller, daughter of Eleazer Fuller, who came from Monson, Massachusetts, in 1810 and settled upon one hundred acres about a mile north of Freetown Corners, purchased by him by contract of Nicholas Fish of New York, the deed being given in 1815. First living in a log house, Squire Fuller made out of the forest the best farm in Freetown and built the finest house in the town - a large two-story mansion, later owned by Chauncey Tuttle and thence known as the 'Tuttle Farm."  William J. Mantanye attended the district school at Freetown and after he was 12 years old worked on a farm every summer. In the fall of 1859 and again in 1860 he attended the Homer academy. In the winter of 1860-61 he taught school in one of the lumbering districts on the north fork of the Conanesque, near Westfield, Tioga Co., Penn. 

On the first call for three-year troops he enlisted in Co. D, 76th N. Y. Infantry, and served through the war at the front in the Army of the Potomac. He was wounded at second Bull Run Aug. 29, 1862, but not seriously and returned to his regiment next day. At Gettysburg he was taken prisoner July 1, 1863, and paroled on the field July 4, but as the government held and continuing it ever since. 

In May, 1869, he opened a law office at Marathon where he practiced until the spring of 1888, when he removed to Cortland, which has ever since been his residence. In 1872 Mr. Mantanye married Emma, the oldest daughter of David C. Cloyes, a prominent merchant of Cortland. They have one child, a daughter, Fanny. 

Mr. Mantanye has been a steadfast Republican all his life. After the war he was active in the party, being frequently a delegate to State conventions and a member of the Republican county committee. In 1882-3 he was a member of the Republican State committee for the Onondaga-Cortland district and of the executive committee of the State organization. In 1893 he was elected as delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1894 from the 25th Senate District, then composed of Cortland, Broome, Tioga, Chenango and Delaware counties. 

In that convention he was a member of the important committees on powers and duties of the Legislature and on county and town officers. He introduced some important amendments which were adopted and two which were defeated. One of the latter was to make the term of office of Governor and Lieutenant-Governor four years and make them ineligible to election for the next succeeding term. The other was a provision for biennial sessions of the Legislature, which was on the suggestion of Gov. Black, introduced in the Legislature and passed but failed in the Legislature of 1899. He also advocated the amendment as to employment of convicts in penal institutions, forbidding their labor being sold out to contractors, and it was adopted. 

In June, 1895, Mr. Mantanye was appointed by Gov. Morton as a member of the Commission of Prisons created by the constitution of 1894, and was made chairman of the Committee on Annual Report in which position he has since been continued. He was also put upon the Committee of Legislation which had charge of the drafting and introduction in the Legislature of the proposed laws known as Chapter 429 of the Laws of 1896, which were enacted and have since been carried into the general revision of the prison laws. By these laws the taking of convicts from without the State by penitentiaries to board was ended, and it is now required that felons be sent to the reformatory and State prisons, and misdemeanants only to the jails and penitentiaries. The labor of convicts is also to be utilized in producing supplies for the public institutions of the State. The system has proved successful and is being adopted in other States. 

He is a member of the Tioughnioga Club and of the Legion and was the Colonel of the latter organization during the first two years of its organization.

Larger version of Grips' photo available (174K)

There is an article on the Mantanye (Montanye) family from Cutters Genealogies of Central NY, Vol 1, at William J. Mantanye is the last mentioned in the article.

New York State Archive
GAR RECORD GROUP HH 12074, Box 26, Folder 25 - Mantanye 5pgs

Cortland, NY January 19, 1898

Hon. Hugh Hastings State Historian

My Dear Mr. Hastings:

I have received Vol 1 of your report for 1896 and acknowledge myself indebted to you for the favor and kind remembrance. I find it a very interesting document indeed and I hope I may be so fortunate as to receive the other volumes. I always take much interest in historical matters and the history of our own State in early times as well as in later times is of particular interest to me.

My ancestor was one of the first settlers of Harlem and that Johannes D.L. Mantanye who was Secretary of the original Harlem Colony and our family remained that yet others in Westchester, Orange, Kingston and a few father west. My Grandfather and two brothers of his came into the Western NY about 1800. So you see the Colonial history is interesting to me.

The Civil War history is also of interest to me as I served in it about four years in that 76th NY Infantry that was lead in the First corps July 1st 1863 at Gettysburg and was the first infantry Regiment to open fire in that battle, losing 213 of its officers and half it men in killed and wounded alone in the first 20 minutes.

I notice you do not concede its place of honor, but it was conceded July 1, 1893 at the unveiling of the NY State monument and the 76th was there given the right of the time and a special flag of honor. I suppose you have a copy of the report of Gen. L. Cutler, who commanded the Brigade at Gettysburg July 1, 1863 in which the 76th was engaged, showing the part taken by the Brigade and the Regiments composing it. If not I have a certified copy of it, which I obtained from the Brigade record before the war closed. Again thanking you, I am,

Sincerely Yours

Wm J. Mantanye

William Mantanye gave the following deposition January 15, 1896 to the NY State Historian:

[He First listed the officers of the Regiment and battles with regimental and Corps commanders names which have not been transcribed.]

At the Wilderness May 5, 1864 three companies B, F and K were on skirmish line to protect the flank and were captured entire with Maj. J. W. Kinsey who was in command of the detachment and of the skirmish line.

The 76th N.Y. Vols. was the first Infantry Regiment to fire at the battle of Gettysburg July 1, 1863. It occupied the extreme right of the 1st Army Corps commanded by Gen. Reynolds and was first in position. It fought all day and was the last to leave the field acting as rear guard to cover the retreat at night of that day. The Commander of the Regiment Maj. Grover was Killed. The Regiment opened the battle with 27 officers and 348 men. In the first half hour it lost 2 officers killed and 16 wounded leaving only 9 and cost 27 men killed and 124 wounded thus losing 43 of the 2/3 of the officers and nearly half of the men in half an hour. But it held its ground, though outflanked.

At Yellow tavern near Petersburg Aug 21, 1864 on the rebel assault on the temporary breastworks Capt. Hatch was in command and jumped over the breastworks and personally captured and carried back a rebel battle flag.

Every commander of the Regiment was killed or wounded at different battles except Col. Livingston who only commanded in one engagement - Hatcher's Run Oct. 27, 1864. The Regiment lost heavily at Bull Run and Gainesville, South Mountain, Fredericksburg, Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Petersburg and the other battles of Grant's campaign of 1864. It was three times filled up with recruits. At South Mountain the Color bearer was killed and at Wilderness two color bearers were killed but the colors were rescued and saved by Capt. S. M. Byram and Corporal N.W. Smith.

President of the 76th NY Volunteer veteran association was T H McClenthen, Spragueville, NY. Secretary is Lucius Davis of Cortland, NY.

Transcribed by B. Conrad Bush.

Mantanye's Obituary

Cortland Standard, July 10, 1912

Civil War Veteran Goes to Sleep Under Tree and Passes Away

W.J. Mantanye, one of the most widely known lawyers of the county, died at his home, 16 Arthur Avenue, yesterday afternoon, shortly before 4 o'clock at the age of 68 years. Death came very suddenly and with no warning illness to precede it.  Mr. Mantanye appeared to be in his usual health at noon and was working around the yard, as was his custom, until about 3 o'clock, when he lay down beneath a tree to rest and recover from the heat. When a member of the family went out to him at about 4 o'clock it was found that he had passed quietly away. 

Mr. Mantanye was born in Freetown Oct. 17, 1843. He attended a district school in Freetown during his early boyhood and later went to Homer to attend the Homer academy. In the winter of 1860-61 he taught school near Westfield, Pa., in one of the lumbering districts. 

When the first call for three troops in the Civil war was issued, he enlisted in Co. D of the 76th Vol. Inf., and served with distinction during the entire war. At the close of the war he entered the law office of Hon. Arthur Holmes in Cortland, and was admitted to the bar in May, 1867. He opened an office in Marathon shortly afterward, and practiced law there until his removal to Cortland in 1888, where he has since lived. He played a prominent part in the Republican politics of the county until his retirement from the active field several years ago. 

He is survived by his widow, one daughter, Miss Fanny T. Mantanye, and a brother, Austin Mantanye of Washington, D.C. 

The funeral arrangements will be announced later. Friends are requested to omit flowers. 

- Obituary supplied by Andrew Palm, Superintendent, Cortland Rural Cemetery.

Photo by Mike Brown

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- Last Updated November 11, 2000