Kentucky Cavaliers in Dixie: The Reminiscences of a Confederate Cavalryman

By Geo. Dallas Mosgrove | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III.
GENERAL HUMPHREY MARSHALL.

"Yet, hear," quoth Howard, "calmly hear,
Nor deem my words the words of fear;
For who, in field or foray slack,
Saw the blanch lion e'er fall back?
But thus to risk our Border flower
In strife against a kingdom's power,
Ten thousand Scots, 'gainst thousands three,
Certes, were desperate policy."

THE massive form of General Humphrey Marshall, an intellectual giant, presents itself vividly to my retrospective eye, and demands a first and conspicuous place in my "picture gallery." His prominence, as an orator, lawyer, soldier and statesman, requires one to assign more space to him than I shall be able to accord to many other generals mentioned on succeeding pages. He was the first general under whom the brigade served, and the boys cherish fond recollections of the singularly kind-hearted, broad-minded, massive-bodied chieftain.

Upon his graduation at West Point, in June, 1832, General Marshall was assigned to the regular army with the rank of second lieutenant. He immediately attracted the attention of General Cass, Secretary of War, who offered to place him in any branch of the service he should prefer. He was in the campaign against Black Hawk and the Sac Indians, and received honorable mention from Major-General Winfield Scott. There being no war, Lieutenant Marshall left the army, studied law and began the practice at Louisville, Ky., in November, 1834. In 1836, President Jackson called for volunteers to march to the Sabine to defend the frontiers of Louisiana against the Mexicans. A company was formed in Louisville, which elected Marshall captain. It did not march, however, as the battle of San Jacinto settled the status of Texas. In 1837, after an exciting contest, he was defeated for the Legislature by the Hon. S. S. Nicholas, who

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