Brig. General Humphrey Marshall (CSA), U.S. and Confederate Congressman

Is your surname Marshall?

Research the Marshall family

Brig. General Humphrey Marshall (CSA), U.S. and Confederate Congressman's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Brig. General Humphrey Marshall

Death: March 28, 1872 (60)
Immediate Family:

Son of Judge John James Marshall and Anna Reed Marshall
Husband of Frances E. McAllister
Father of Nelly Nichol Marshall
Brother of Charles Edward Marshall, Sr

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Brig. General Humphrey Marshall (CSA), 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 a distinguished family. He was the grandson of Humphrey Marshall, a member of the United States Senate from Kentucky. His 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 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 served in the state militia, and then in 1846 became Colonel of the 2nd 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. 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.

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. 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.

view all

Brig. General Humphrey Marshall (CSA), U.S. and Confederate Congressman's Timeline