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Guide to the Eugene Marshall Papers, 1839-1962

Abstract

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.

Descriptive Summary

Collection Number
RL.00850
Title
Eugene Marshall papers
Date
1839-1962
Creator
Marshall, Eugene, 1832-1919
Extent
3.7 Linear Feet, 873 Items
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Language
English.

Collection Overview

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. 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. 2) Narrative of the Civil War by Eugene Marshall
  3. 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. 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.

Restrictions on Access & Use

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warning Access Restrictions

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.

warning Use Restrictions

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.

Contents of the Collection

Information Folder
Box 1
1847-1953
Box 1
1854-1959
Box 1
1860-1863
Box 1
1864 Jan. - Oct.
Box 1
1864 Nov. - 1865 Mar.
Box 1
1865 Apr. - Dec.
Box 1
1866-1869
Box 1
1870-1879
Box 2
1880-1883
Box 2
1894-1895
Box 2
1896
Box 2
1897
Box 2
1898-1889
Box 2
1900-1902
Box 2
1902-1906
Box 2
1907-1911
Box 2
1912-1918
Box 3
1958-1962
Box 3
undated
Box 3

3. Diaries

Guide to the Diaries
Box 3
#1 1851
Box 7
#2 1852
Box 7
#3 1853
Box 3
#4 1859-1860
Box 3
#5 1857-1861
Box 7
#6 1859-1860
Box 3
#7 1861
Box 3
#8 1861
Box 7
#9 1862
Box 3
#10 1862
Box 3
#11 1862
Box 3
#12 1862
Box 3
#13 1862
Box 3
#14 1862
Box 3
#15 1862-1863
Box 4
#16 1852
Box 7
#17 1863
Box 4
#18 1863
Box 4
#19 1863
Box 4
#20 1863
Box 4
#21 1863-1864
Box 4
#21A 1863
Box 4
#22 1864
Box 4
#23 1864
Box 4
#24 1864
Box 4
#25 1864
Box 4
#25A 1864
Box 4
#26 1864
Box 4
#27 1864
Box 4
#28 1864
Box 4
#29 1864
Box 4
#30 1865
Box 7
#31 1865
Box 7
#32 1863-1865
Box 7
#33 1865-1866
Box 4
#34 1890
Box 7
#35 1895
Box 5
Typescript: 1862 Mar. 1 - Jun. 30
Box 5
Typescript: 1862: Mar. 1 - Oct. 10
Box 5
Bound transcript of diaries
Box 9
1864-1897 and undated
Box 5
Article on Civil War Experiences, Dec. 1861- Feb. 1862, in Manchester Times, July 1918
Box 5
Article on 1864 Expedition in St. Paul Press, Jan. 25, 1897
Box 5
Poetry, 1863-1914
Box 5
Typescripts: Poems: 1855, 1863, 1880s, and undated
Box 5
Drafts: letters and and articles for St. Paul Press, 1864-1865
Box 5
Commentary on Reconstruction and the causes of the Civil War, 1865-1876
Box 5
Notes for Report on National Resources and Topography of Dakota Territory, ca. 1865
Box 5
Account of "The Great North Westerns Indian Expedition of 1864"
Box 5
Reminiscences of George W. Northrup and related materials, 1898
Box 5
Commentary on Indian Policy
Box 5
Autobiographical sketch
Box 5
Typescripts: Sketch of History of Brackett's Battalion, Address to a Grand Army of the Republic Gathering
Box 5
Legal and Business Documents, 1855-1935
Box 5
1864-1915
Box 5
Clippings: 1815-1914, undated
Box 5
Ancestry of Olive Hayward
Box 5
Ancestry of Francis Cooke
Box 5
Genealogy of the Wild Family, 1897
Box 5
Miscellaneous
Box 6
Record of business and agricultural activity, 1858-1860, 1867
Box 8
Scrapbook and ledger, 1857-1861, 1866-1867
Box 8
Ledger, 1906-1908
Box 8
Record book 1858-1860, 1867-1883
Box 8
Eugene Marshall 1913 (2 copies)
Box 6
Folder 1
Eugene Marshall 1913
Box 6
Folder 1
Mrs. Eugene (Elizabeth "Lizzie" Williams) Marshall ca. 1868-1880
Box 6
Folder 2
Eugene Marshall 1865
Box 6
Folder 2
Eugene Marshall and E.D. Peebles 1865
Box 6
Folder 2
Eugene Marshall and daughter Ethel
Box 6
Folder 2
Eugene Marshall's birthplace and boyhood home at Marshall's Corners, North Bridgewater Mass.
Box 6
Folder 3
Haywood Marshall, Eugene Marshall's father
Box 6
Folder 3
Photograph of arrow taken from Eugene Marshall's side after a fight with the Sioux Indians. Arrow housed in Rubenstein vault.
Box 6
Folder 4
Eugene Marshall, cased tintype ca. 1865-1866
Box 6
Folder 5
Eugene Marshall, cased Daguerreotype ca. 1865-1866
Box 6
Folder 5
Elizabeth Marshall, cased ambrotype
Box 6
Folder 6
1 empty case
Box 6
Folder 6
Tintypes
Box 6
Eugene Marshall
Eugene Marshall
W.W. Williams, ca. 1858
Copies of photographs
Box 6
Miscellaneous Oversize
Oversize-folder 1

Historical Note

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.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], The Eugene Marshall Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The Papers of Eugene Marshall were acquired by Duke University in 1960-1962.

Processing Information

Processed by David A. Keough

Completed 1997

Encoded by Stephen Douglas Miller

Reprocessed by Katrina Martin, February 2015