Miles Marshall was always an abolitionist. He and a great many others thought the Whig party would abolish slavery. Two of his sons served in the War Between the States, and also three grandsons–Clayton (Clate), Swain, and Alonzo (Lon).
The grandsons were the older sons of Thomas Marshall (Miles Marshall’s oldest son) of Wayne County, Indiana. Both Swain and Lon served with Indiana infantries. Lon was wounded by a minie ball but was kept to work in the military hospital. Swain made it through the war, marching in the parade in Washington, DC, at the end of the war, as did his brother Clayton (even after having been a POW at Belle Isle prison until exchanged).
Their brother Clayton served with his uncles Collin and Bob (Miles C.) Marshall–who had all settled in Dallas County, Iowa–under Col. James Redfield in Company H of the 39th Regiment, Iowa Infantry. A flagpole in the Redfield park marks the spot where they mustered for the Civil War in 1862. Most of them were ex-Hoosiers. According to historian, C. E. Charles, all three were young farmers whose families would suffer from their absence.
Collin’s wife Sallie said, “I thought I never could bear for Coll to go in the war, but he thought it was his duty.”
On July 4, 1863, the 39th Regiment was encamped at Iuka Springs, Mississippi, guarding a corral of cattle destined for the army. Collin’s sister, Minera (Marshall) Thornburg, related the sad news to relatives in Indiana: “I must first tell of the death of Coll. He was shot in the afternoon of the 4th, inst., while riding out about a mile from camp, by a company of Guerillas, some eight or ten in number, who lay hid, then halloed to surrender and fired a volley at the same time, two balls passing through the breast and one through the neck. His horse was wounded also. He raised his hand for them not to shoot, but they only wanted his life.”
Lieutenant Collin Marshall, age 36, was killed at Corinth, Mississippi. They sent to Memphis for a coffin, had his body embalmed, and started it home two days later accompanied by his brother Bob.
Ten days later, Bob arrived in Redfield without the coffin. He got as far as Eddyville, Iowa, eighty miles from home, but there was no freight service from there. He had his brother buried temporarily, then came on alone.
Their older brother, Calvin (Peet) Marshall drove his team and a wagon to Eddyville, returning home seven days later with Collin’s casket. They buried him “in Masonic style” on a hill at Wiscotta, overlooking the town of Redfield.
Col. James Redfield was killed in 1864. His obelisk is just northwest of Collin Marshall’s modest tombstone.
“Founder of yonder town” is engraved on the stone, meaning the town of Wiscotta, which no longer exists.
Our American Stories produced this story, lasts about 10 minutes.