Marion Isabelle Myers

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Marion Isabelle Myers's Geni Profile

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About Marion Isabelle Myers

Marion Isabelle Twiggs met Colonel Abraham C. Myers in Texas, where her father was commander of federal forces. According to historian Karl Grismer, “[Myers’] dashing manner and merry smile won her heart.” Thereafter, Major General David Emmanuel Twiggs took charge of the federal troops in Fort Brooke, with Myers becoming chief quartermaster of the Department of Florida. Abraham and Marion Myers continued their romance, becoming engaged. At the time, he was 39 and she but 13 years old. Apparently the General had no problem with the age differential, and when the War Department ordered Twiggs to re-establish a fort on the Caloosahatchee River, he mandated that the post be called Fort Myers “to honor his prospective son-in-law and please his daughter.” Interestingly, Twiggs issued those orders on Valentine’s Day, 1850. In Belles, Beaux and Brains of the 60’s, author Thomas Cooper De Leon provides an illuminating account of Marion Twiggs Myers in the months preceding the start of the Civil War. “In all the mad rush that pre-bellum winter in Washington, 1860-1861, when grave heads shook ominously and light heels danced over a powder magazine and recked little when the fuse might reach, one handsome woman was constantly in evidence,” De Leon wrote near the turn of the 20th century. “Colonel A.C. Myers, of the quartermaster-general’s department, had married the brilliant and picturesque daughter of old General David E. Twiggs, of Mexican War fame. Grave and reticent as he was polished and accomplished, the husband was much older than his wife.” “[Myers] had as perfect a contempt for what he called society as his wife held delight in it,” De Leon continued. “[But he] was General David Emmanuel Twiggs, willing to let the young beauty dance and fritter the hours away at will. For several seasons prior to the war, she had been the reigning queen at Willard’s and a favored guest at every fashionable house. Her dancing was perfect, her tact equal to it and her beauty even more exceptional. Two pretty little girls were not too much in evidence, and the youthful mother enjoyed her freedom to the full.” However, her days as a Washington socialite ended when Colonel Myers resigned his commission in the United States Army following the start of the war. He was appointed quartermaster general of the Confederate States Army in February of 1862. “Very valuable service he rendered, too, and the regular uniform adopted by the war department Maj. Abraham C. Myerswas, in larger part, of his design,” stated De Leon. But while her husband was busily requisitioning the supplies needed for war, Marion departed Richmond for Europe, where “her grace and beauty made the same impression as they had done in the older capital.” At some point, Marion returned to war-ravaged Virginia. It is unclear whether she came back with an attitude or her detractors influenced the way she is remembered today. In either case, it does appear that Marion played a role in her husband’s ensuing fall from grace within the Confederacy. Myers basic responsibility as quartermaster general was to keep the Confederate army properly clothed and shod and he had at his disposal the Confederate Army’s largest supply bureau, complete with 88 clerks, quartermasters in each state, paymasters and quartermasters in the field, manufacturing plants, purchasing agents abroad, and depot and post quartermasters. But Myers was not able to obtain the clothing, shoes and other items that were needed because of the Union naval blockade coupled with lack of manufacturing in the South. Further, he was deprived of the leather he needed for shoes by the Ordinance Department , which inexplicably felt that leather cartridge boxes and harnesses for horses pulling artillery were more important than properly shod fighting forces. Nevertheless, it was Myers who took the brunt of growing complaints and Jefferson Davis finally removed him from command following the Battle of Gettysburg. But Davis’ action may have also been motivated, in whole or in part, by a comment that Marion Myers made about Davis’ wife at a social gathering. According to several accounts, Marion ostensibly said that Varina Davis looked like “a old squaw.” The comment, said to be typical of the sharp-tongued Mrs. Myers, was only one salvo in a long war between these leading ladies of Richmond, and given the fact that Varina Davis had a dark complexion and a generous silhouette, the remark was oft repeated, not forgotten and never forgiven. It also didn’t help that Abraham Myers was the great-grandson of Charleston’s first rabbi, a descendant of an old Jewish family that settled in South Carolina generations before the war. More than 10,000 Jews fought for the Confederacy and Robert E. Lee allowed his Jewish soldiers to observe all holy days, but this did not spare Lt. Col. Myers from suggestions that he enriched himself with his office, owing his first loyalty to “the party of Moses” and “the tribe of Levi.” Marion herself, in fact, was said to be from “the Lost Tribe” of Israel. Blamed for losses on the battlefield and losing the war in the parlors of Richmond as well, Abraham Myers was replaced as Quartermaster General on August 10, 1863. Humiliated by his termination, Myers and Marion retreated to Georgia until the end of the war. They then relocated to Weisbaden, Germany, where they lived until 1876. Although 26 years his junior, Marion outlived her husband by just four years. She passed in 1893. One of their sons, John Twiggs Myers, became a Lieutenant General and earned a place in Marine Corps history as commander of the American Legation Guard at Peking, China during the Boxer Rebellion. Interestingly, it does not appear that Abraham, Marion or either of their sons ever visited the city that today bears his name.



            
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Marion Isabelle Myers's Timeline

1837
1837
1856
1856
Age 19
Alexandria, Virginia, United States
1860
1860
Age 23
Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, United States
1871
January 29, 1871
Age 34
Wiesbaden, Provinz Hessen-Nassau, Königreich Preußen, German Empire
1871
Age 34
1876
1876
Age 39
1893
1893
Age 56
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