Guide to the Eugene Marshall Papers, 1839-1962
Farmer, banker, and Union Cavalry officer of Caledonia, Minnesota. Collection includes correspondence, diaries, writings, legal documents, printed material, record books, scrapbooks, and photographs, chiefly relating to Marshall's military service with Brackett's Battalion, Minnesota Cavalry, in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama (1862-1864) and on the Northwest Indian expedition (1864-1865). Diaries include comments on his immigration from Brockton, MA to Minnesota in 1853, and on secessionist spirit in Texas, 1859-1860. Letters from his sister reflect impact of immigrants on Brockton, 1890-1910. Includes material documenting aspects of the Dakota Territory in the 1860s; Plains Indians; Red River carts; the impact of the Civil War on southern unionists, middle Tennessee, and African Americans; religion; education; the status of women; towns in southeastern New England, upper Middle West, Tennessee, and Mississippi River Valley; and Ignatius Donnelly, Horace Mann, and William T. Sherman.
- Collection Number
- Eugene Marshall papers
- Marshall, Eugene, 1832-1919
- 3.7 Linear Feet
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
The papers of Eugene Marshall (1832-1919) span 1847-1962 and consist primarily of diaries kept by Marshall during his military service in the Civil and Sioux Wars and correspondence exchanged with his sister, Olive (Mrs. Frederick Trow). The collection is divided into the following series: the Diaries (1851-1895); Correspondence (1847-1918; 1958-1962); Writings, both printed and manuscript, including poetry, speeches, newspaper articles, and letters to the editor (1863-1918 and undated); Legal and Business Documents (1855-1935); Printed Material mostly related to veterans’ reunions and newspaper clippings (1858-1915); Genealogy of Marshall and related families; Records and Scrapbooks (1858-1908); Photographs (1858-1913 and undated); and a small folder of miscellaneous material. There is also an oversize folder in the collection, which contains a certificate attesting to Marshall's membership in the Minnesota chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.
Stored separately from the body of the collection is one of the Indian arrows that wounded Marshall during the campaign of 1864. The arrow is kept in the library vault. Supplementary material includes: correspondence generated by Clark G. Reynolds and Anna Marshall Staer, Eugene's daughter, in 1961-1962; copies of biographies of some of the individuals mentioned (filed with the first box of correspondence); and an article on George W. Northrup, Marshall's wartime friend (filed with writings).
The diaries have been individually labeled in chronological order. Smaller volumes are stored vertically in folders, while wider volumes are housed in flat boxes. A guide correlating volume numbers to dates has been filed with them. In some instances, wear on the pencil entries has rendered some pages nearly illegible. Some effort has been made to provide reconstruction of the entries. Diary entries after 1866 are few and scattered - clustered around and primarily concerned with the illnesses and deaths of Marshall's wife and eldest daughter.
The diaries, 35 small volumes and related materials, contain information on Marshall’s activities in the years 1851-1861, but are primarily devoted to his military service (1861-1866). An edited version of these years of the diary, "The Civil and Indian War Diaries of Eugene Marshall, Minnesota Volunteer," a 1963 master's thesis by Clark G. Reynolds, may be found in this library. A typescript of a portion (1861, Nov. 20-1864, Mar. 14) of the war diary prepared by Marshall's daughter, Ethel, also forms part of the collection.
- 1) An Abstract of the history of Captain A. B. Brackett's 3rd Company - Minnesota Cavalry - organized at Fort Snelling Minnesota November 1st 1861
- 2) Narrative of the Civil War by Eugene Marshall
- 3) Report of the physical condition and natural products of that part of the Dakota Territory which was passed over by the Northwestern Indian Expedition commanded by Brevet Major General Alfred Sully during the summer of 1865. by Sigismund M. Rothhammer, and Remarks Upon Report of S. M. Rothhammer Acting Naturalist Northwestern Indian Expedition by Eugene Marshall, 1865
- 4) Battalion Order Book of A. B. Brackett
The Abstract covers the activities of the company of the title from its organization until it went into winter quarters at Ft. Ridgely, Minn., after the 1864 campaign of the Sioux Wars. The Abstract, a very terse outline of the unit history, was submitted by Lt. Mortimer Neeley, the last company commander, and was probably prepared by Marshall himself. Although the Abstract might serve as a reference tool for chronology and unit lineage matters, it is only 15 pages long and therefore can provide only a little detail of the-military actions it covers, such as the Tullahoma and Chattanooga campaigns and the Battle of Kildeer Mt.
The Narrative gives only a history of the formation of the Minnesota cavalry companies Marshall was associated with and the operations of the 5th Iowa Cavalry from the fall of 1861 to the end of 1862. Marshall presumably wrote and sent the Narrative to the Minnesota Historica1 Society in 1909, but his considerable use of the diaries he had kept during the war provided a greater feeling of immediacy than might be expected of a memoir of events 45 years past. The Narrative is 21 pages long, but it manages to include anecdotes and descriptions of insight and color concerning Gen. William T. Sherman, the appearance of Ft. Henry after its capture and occupation, and details concerning supply, the exchange of prisoners, and action at Ft. Donelson and Clarksville, Tenn.
The Report (24 pp.) was a survey of Dakota Territory, particularly of present North Dakota, by a hospital steward of German extraction temporarily acting as the naturalist for the Northwest Indian Expedition. The report covered the territory along the army's line of march in 1865; apparently a similar report had been filed for the area of operations in 1864. Rothhammer attempted to cover flora, fauna, geologic formations, climatic conditions, and the suitability of the area for agriculture. His report spent a considerable amount of time on the extensive deposits of lignite or low-grade, “brown” coal found in the area. In his remarks on the report (16 pp.), Marshall indicated that he had transcribed and edited the report and had eliminated material he thought inaccurate, overly florid, or not germane, particularly most of Rothhammer's commentary on the Plains Indians. Marshall also added a long section on a plateau region of present-day North Dakota which lies northeast of the Missouri River, which he called "the great Coteau of the Missouri," where many of the rivers of the Upper Plains found their headwaters. The remarks also disagreed with the report's evaluation of the region's agricultural potential and its explanations of various geological and hydrographic phenomena. Rothhammer's commentary, corrected by Marshall, appears to be among the first moderately thorough surveys of the Dakota area since that of Lewis and Clark.
The Order Book of Brackett's Battalion (88 pp.) begins with the order from Washington of Feb. 25, 1864, which separated the Minnesota cavalry companies from the 5th Iowa Cavalry and established them as an independent battalion. It ends with the expedition encamped back near Sioux City, Iowa, on Oct. 25, 1864. Orders include those pertinent to the battalion issued from other headquarters as well as those published by the battalion commander. Of special interest are the orders pertaining to the Battle of KiIdeer Mt. and those dealing with problems of military discipline. Most of the orders issued by Brackett's Battalion are countersigned by Marshall, who was battalion sergeant major and acting adjutant at the time.
Access to the Collection
Collection is open for research.
Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.
Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.
Use & Permissions
The copyright interests in the Eugene Marshall Papers have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information consult the section on copyright in the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
How to Cite
[Identification of item], The Eugene Marshall Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
8. MiscellanyBox 6
Eugene Marshall (1832-1919), born in North Bridgewater, Massachusetts, was a surveyor, farmer, and banker who served as a volunteer in the Union Army during the Civil War and Sioux Wars (1862-1865) while with units known successively as Curtis' Horse, the 5th Iowa Cavalry, and Brackett's Battalion. He married Elizabeth “Lizzie” Williams (1843-1895) in 1866 following his medical discharge from the Army. They had four children together: Ella Fannie (1868-1888), Hayward (1870-1923), Anna Olive (1876-1967), and Ethel Eugenia (1880-1958). Marshall left his family home early and spent most of his adult civilian life in Minnesota and Iowa, and his retirement years in Manchester, Tennessee. While on his travels in and out of uniform, he recorded a wealth of observations concerning the events, people, and environments in each area. Marshall supplemented his observations with accounts of his own participation in politics and economic endeavors, as well as commentary on national figures and events. His experiences in the Midwest and the South are complemented by letters from his sister who had remained in North Bridgewater.
Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.
- Donnelly, Ignatius, 1831-1901
- Marshall, Eugene, 1832-1919
- Mann, Horace, 1796-1859
- Sherman, William T. (William Tecumseh), 1820-1891
- United States. Army. Cavalry -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865
- United States -- Description and travel
- Emigration and immigration -- United States
- Indians of North America -- Great Plains
- Indians of North America -- Wars 1862-1865
- Migration, Internal -- United States
- Voyages and travels
- Alabama -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865
- Kentucky -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865
- Southern States -- Social conditions
- Southern States -- Politics and government -- 1865-1950
- Texas -- Politics and government 1846-1865
- Tennessee -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865
- West (U.S.) -- Description and travel
The Papers of Eugene Marshall were acquired by Duke University in 1960-1962.
Processed by David A. Keough
Encoded by Stephen Douglas Miller
Reprocessed by Katrina Martin, February 2015