Gen, Thomas Marshall April 13, 1799, died March 28, 1853

Wikipedia Article

The Encyclopedia of the Mexican-American War: A Political Social ..; Volume: 1

Early Colonial Settlers
of Southern Maryland and Virginia’s Northern Neck Counties

Source – Entry #176 in Paxton’s Marshall Family
(written circa. 1885)

176 (a)    GEN. THOMAS MARSHALL, b. in Mason Co., Ky., April 13,  1793;  d.   in Lewis  Co.,  Ky.,  March  28,  1853;   = about 1819, in Virginia, Catherine Taylor, who died in Kentucky in 1820; =.2d, in Washington City, November 6, 1821, Julianna Winchester Whetcroft, b. at Annapolis, Maryland, 1805, died in Fleming Co., Ky., October, 1860.

Mr. Marshall received the best education the ·west, in his day, afforded, and he was prepared for his future career by the study of law. His frame was large and muscular, his eyes were black and piercing, his voice was loud and commanding, and his courage quailed before neither man nor demon.

Yet withal, he was a true and generous friend, a skillful and suc­cessful politician, an able statesman, a sincere  patriot and a fearless soldier. His temperament suited the times when the duel was the arbiter of all disputes. April 19, 1812, Mr. Marshall fought his celebrated  duel with  Chas. S.  Mitchell, on  the  banks of  the Ohio, above Maysville.    He challenged   Mitchell  for  some  insult offered his father, Capt.  Marshall.    Mitchell  was  an  expert  with  the   pistol, and  at   the  first fire, shot Mr. Marshall in the hip.  But the latter was not satisfied, and wanted  a  second  round.   This was refused by his friends.

Mr. Marshall received from his father a tract of three thousand acres of land in ·Lewis Co., Ky., and here he lived from his marriage until his death.  He lorded  over a large number  of  tenants.  Though overbearing and profane, he was liberal in his charity. His tenants loved  him in spite of his faults, and they found him a  powerful  pro­tector. No one near him was permitted to suffer, if relief was in his power.     His  irritability  was  increased  by the  occasional  torture produced by a broken ankle, caused  by his fall from a horse.  He  as a decided Democrat, and frequently a candidate for the Legislature. He represented Lewis County for six terms, 1817, 1828, 1836, 1839, 1842’and 1844. At one time he was-Speaker of the House.

When the Mexican war broke out, President Polk appointed him Brigadier General of volunteers, and he served from July 1, 1846, to July 20, 1848. He was with Gen. Taylor in the Buena Vista campaign, and was with Gen. Scott in his invasion of Mexico. During the last six months of the war, he was the Military Governor of Mexico. His daughter, Mrs. Bland, (632) just before her death, wrote me her version of her father’s life and death, from which I make some ex­ tracts:“My father went to the Mexican war when about 52 ears  of age. I remember one instance of his  promptness, which I  will  relate:  He had been ordered to guard a very dangerous pass between :Monte­rey and Buena Vista, and had labored twenty-four hours to throw up immense breastworks, when, just at dark, he received a peremptory order to hasten on to Buena Vista under cover of night and darkness, with his heavy artillery. He called his officers together, and informed them of the command he had received, and the necessity of immediate relief to their endangered  comrades. Each  man  hastily swallowed  a cup of coffee, and eagerly commenced his rugged march  of  thirty miles. Frequently they would have to dismount, and push the heavy guns up the mountains. The General himself assisted in this work. The Mexicans had heard that Gen. Marshall’s command consisted of six thousand men, when, in truth, he had only one thousand. When he reached the summit overlooking the bloody field of Buena Vista, he announced to his men  that it  was either victory  or death  for them, an,l h gave orders that the first man that faltered  should  be shot down by his comrades. The cannon were posted, and the cavalry charged down on the enemy. The Mexicans supposing the Americans were reinforced by a large army, fled in confusion.   On reaching  the bloody  bat­tle ground, Gen. Marshall found no enemy. In his bitter disappoint­ment be is said to have wept the only tears that ever moistened his eyes. The battle of Buena Vista was gained by father’s stratagem and by his prompt and heroic obedience. But of this he never bad the credit. He always complained of injustice from both Taylor and Scott.

Gen. Marshall always claimed to have been  the “Blucher” of Buena Vista, and often cursed his fate in having been placed be­hind, where he could not share the glory of the victory he achieved without striking a blow.  Mrs. Bland  thus details the circumstances of Gen. Marshall’s death:

Mv father was murdered by a desperado named Tvler, of Mt. Car­mel, Fleming Co., Ky. Tyler attempted to ingratiate lather’s favor by telling on the tenants. He bought a piece of land off father, and  made only one payment. He proved very troublesome, and father, trying to get rid of him, got another tenant to buy Tyler out. Learning the facts Tyler became exasperated, and threatened to kill father. With an accomplice, Tyler attacked father on the highway one dark night, when coming home. But this attempt at assassination failed. Tyler  then burned, as believed, a new distillery of my father’s, containing several thousand bushels of  glain.  Tyler  told  the  neighbors  that  he intended to insult Gen. Marshall, so that he might have a pretext to shoot  him. This he did, when Gen. Marshall was in his field  measuring com;  but my father struck and choked him. Tyler  went off  muttering  revenge. He procured a double-barrel shotgun, and went to a tenant’s, where father was, and called. for him. Father went  to  the  door,  and  Tyler asked “Are you  ready?” My father  answered “Yes,” as he went down the steps into the yard. Someone then offered him an empty rifle, saying, “Take this, General; it will  scare  him.”  My  father  remarked, “Let’s have fair shooting, Tyler. Don’t get behind a tree.  We  have carried this thing far enough.” Just then Tyler fired both barrels into father’s breast. Without speaking, he fell on his knees and died. Tyler escaped to Ohio and died there.

( d) Mrs. Marshall left her husband some before his death, and lived with her daughter, Mrs. Fleming. She was a lovely wo­ man. Her  soft, sweet  temper, contrasted  with  the  violent  na ure of  her   husband.    She was  a  daughter  of  William  Whetcroft andAnne Winchester/of Annapolis, Md. She had two sisters and a brother: 1, Mary F. Whetcroft, = Samuel Chase, of New York; 2, Sa.rah Ann Whetcroft, = Judge Alfred Cavalry; 3, William Whet­croft, who died single.     Gen. Marshall  was  buried  at Washington, Ky.    His  wife was interred  at  Maysville, Ky .

I Charles William Marshall am writing this paragraph March 17 2019. While I believe it to be fact it is based on oral history I heard from CA Marshall Jr. and may not be as accurate as I think. Paxton says “Mr. Marshall received from his father a tract of three thousand acres of land in ·Lewis Co., Ky.,”. I believe this to be located just outside Tollesboro KY.