Humphrey Marshall (general)
January 13, 1812|
|Died||March 28, 1872
|Place of burial||the State Cemetery, Frankfort, Kentucky|
|Allegiance||United States of America
Confederate States of America
|Service/branch||United States Army
Confederate States Army
|Years of service||1832–33, 1846–47 (USA)
|Rank|| Colonel (USA)
Brigadier General (CSA)
- Battle of Buena Vista
American Civil War
- Battle of Middle Creek
|Other work||U.S. and Confederate Congressman|
Humphrey Marshall (January 13, 1812 – March 28, 1872) was a four-term antebellum United States Congressman and a brigadier general in the Confederate States Army and a Confederate Congressman during the American Civil War.
Early life and career
Marshall was born in Frankfort, Kentucky, to John Jay (1785-1846) and Anna Birney Marshall. John Jay Marshall was a legislator, law reporter and judge, whose father, also named Humphrey Marshall, was a member of the United States Senate from Kentucky. This elder Humphrey Marshall was a nephew of Chief Justice John Marshall's father, Thomas Marshall. The younger Humphrey Marshall's uncle James G. Birney was a well known abolitionist, and two first cousins, William Birney and David B. Birney, served as major generals in the Union army. Another cousin later served as the Lieutenant Governor of Michigan.
Marshall graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 1832, was assigned to the mounted rangers, served in the Black Hawk War, and was breveted as a second lieutenant. However, he resigned from the Army in April 1833 to study law. He was admitted to the bar in 1833 and practiced in Frankfort for two years before moving to Louisville. He became captain in the Kentucky militia in 1836, major in 1838, and lieutenant colonel in 1841. In 1836 he raised a company of volunteers and marched to defend the Texas frontier against the Indians, but his force disbanded on hearing of General Sam Houston's victory at San Jacinto. In 1846 he became colonel of the 1st Kentucky Cavalry during the Mexican-American War, where he fought at the Battle of Buena Vista as a part of Zachary Taylor's Army of Occupation. Returning from Mexico, Marshall engaged in agricultural pursuits in Henry County, Kentucky.
He was elected from Kentucky's 7th District as a Whig to the Thirty-first and Thirty-second Congresses and served from March 4, 1849, until his resignation on August 4, 1852. During this time, he supported Henry Clay's Compromise of 1850. Marshall was then appointed Minister to China from 1852–54. Returning to Kentucky, he was elected on the American Party ticket to the Thirty-fourth and Thirty-fifth Congresses (1855–59). He was renominated by acclamation, but declined to run for a fifth term. In 1856, he was a member of the national council of the American Party in New York City, where he was instrumental in abolishing all secrecy in the political organization of the party.
Civil War and later career
Marshall's native Kentucky was a border state. Marshall, a moderate in his political views, supported John C. Breckinridge for president in the Election of 1860 and advocated the commonwealth's neutrality. When his efforts failed and Union troops occupied Kentucky, Marshall enlisted in the Confederate army with the rank of brigadier general, and aided the recruitment effort. He was stationed in western Virginia, but saw limited combat. In January 1862, he lost a minor battle in eastern Kentucky to future President James A. Garfield. Garfield's Federal cavalry had chased off Marshall's cavalrymen at Jenny's Creek near Paintsville, Kentucky. Marshall withdrew to the forks of Middle Creek, two miles from Prestonsburg, on the road to Virginia. Garfield attacked on January 9, precipitating the Battle of Middle Creek. He eventually forced Marshall to withdraw after a day's fighting.
Frustrated by his inability to secure a good assignment, Marshall briefly resigned his commission in June 1862. However, he soon returned to the army and participated in Braxton Bragg's Kentucky operations in the fall of 1862. Resigning again from the army in June 1863, he moved to Richmond, Virginia, and continued the practice of law. In November, he was elected to the Second Confederate Congress as a representative from Kentucky's 8th District. With the collapse of the Confederacy, he briefly fled to Texas.
After the war, Marshall moved to New Orleans. His citizenship was restored by President Andrew Johnson in December 1867. He later returned to Louisville and resumed his law practice. He died in Louisville and was buried in the State Cemetery in his native Frankfort.
Humphrey Marshall's daughter, Nelly Nichol Marshall (born in Louisville, Kentucky, 8 May 1845; died in Washington, D.C., 19 April 1898), was an author. In addition to numerous poems and many magazine articles, she published novels entitled: Eleanor Morton, or Life in Dixie (New York, 1865), Sodom Apples (1866), Fireside Gleanings (Chicago, 1866), As by Fire (New York, 1869), Wearing the Cross (Cincinnati, 1868), Passion, or Bartered and Sold (Louisville, 1876), and A Criminal through Love (1882). She married Col. John J. McAfee, of the Confederate army, in 1871.
- This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- Allen, William B. (1872). A History of Kentucky: Embracing Gleanings, Reminiscences, Antiquities, Natural Curiosities, Statistics, and Biographical Sketches of Pioneers, Soldiers, Jurists, Lawyers, Statesmen, Divines, Mechanics, Farmers, Merchants, and Other Leading Men, of All Occupations and Pursuits. Bradley & Gilbert. pp. 336–337. Retrieved 2008-11-10.
- Warner, Ezra J. Generals in Gray: Lives of the Confederate Commanders. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1959. ISBN 0-8071-0823-5.
- "Confederate Brigadier General Humphrey Marshall" — Article by Civil War historian/author Bryan S. Bush