Vannoy Hartog Manning was born on July 26, 1839 near Raleigh, North Carolina. His family moved to Mississippi in 1841, where he attended Horn Lake Academy and married Mary Wallace.
He studied law at the University of Nashville, then moved to Arkansas in 1860. In 1861 he became a lawyer in Hamburg, when he and Mary lost their eldest son.
After Arkansas seceded from the Union, Manning and Dr. William H. Tebbs formed two companies which became the nucleus of the 3rd Arkansas Infantry Regiment. Originally turned down for Confederate service, Manning allied with Arkansas congressman Albert Rust to get the 3rd accepted, giving him the colonelcy while he and Tebbs became captains.
The 3rd was the only Arkansas regiment sent to Virginia, taking part in Lee’s Cheat Mountain expedition before becoming part of Jackson’s command in the Shenandoah Valley. When Rust was promoted to brigadier general on March 4, 1862, Manning, who had been promoted to major by this time, became colonel of the 3rd.
He led the regiment in most of the battles of the Army of Northern Virginia, receiving wounds at Sharpsburg (Antietam), Gettysburg and the Wilderness. Manning was cited seveal times for his heroism and ability, and was credited as being largely responsible for the Confederate success at Devil’s Den on the second day of Gettysburg. But Manning’s third wound at the Wilderness, where he was shot through the thigh, resulted in his capture, and he sat out the remainder of the war as a Union prisoner.
After the war Manning returned to the law in Holly Springs, Mississippi. He was elected to three terms in the United States House of Representatives, from 1877 until 1883. His election in 1884 was contested, and the seat was awarded to his opponent. Manning stayed on in Washington, however, practicing law.
He died on November 3, 1892 in Branchville, Maryland, and is buried in Washington’s Glenwood Cemetery.
Official Records of the War of the Rebellion