Killed in Action on Independence Day 1863

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.

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Collin Marshall

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.”

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Collin Marshall (1826-1863)

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.

The Marshall stone was recently cleaned by historian Rod Stanley.
The recently restored Marshall GAR Post at Redfield was named for Collin Marshall.


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Dan Rittel, Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Highway Officer for the Department of Iowa Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, recently visited the grave of Collin Marshall.

Col. James Redfield was killed in 1864. His obelisk is just northwest of Collin Marshall’s modest tombstone.

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Col. Redfield’s memorial was restored by Dexfield Questers #604.

“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.




  1. May the memories of our military be kept and told for generations to come. History must be preserved. It’s our legacy. Our feeedoms we hold dear – sacred.
    Thanks to all who brought these things to light 🙂

  2. Thank you for sharing this touching story. Although my ancestors were Confederates, their stories are similar. The war was a tragedy for many families on both sides and their stories need to be told and remembered. The telling will honor all who served and perhaps prevent history from repeating itself.

  3. Thank you for keeping stuff like this alive. I’ve heard little pieces about some members of my family but can’t tell you much about them. One is supposed to have been at Bataan, another a gunner on a B-29. What they did and etc, I’ve no clue. I don’t even know who to ask, so their stories are falling by the wayside.

    • A lot of my research was done before the internet, and I joined WWII reunion groups to find men who knew a Wilson brother in combat, etc.

      If you’re serious about it and have names and those clues, you’d be surprised what you can dig up on . . . . Facebook! There are groups for just about everything. I interact on all of them that have anything to do with my interests–reposting B-29 stuff on their FB page, Civil War on the Iowa Civil War one. People will post a name with just a sketch of details and there’s always someone on there who either knows information or will connect you with who can help.

      When there was no FB page for what I was looking for, I just started my own and watched them grow. Have added other admins and they pretty well run themselves these days.

  4. […] Collin Marshall (1826-1863) He and wife Sarah June “Sally” moved to Iowa before the war. A lieutenant in Co. H, 39th Iowa Inf., he served under Col. James Redfield in the same unit as his brother Miles C. “Bob” and nephew Clayton. Collin Marshall was killed by guerillas at Corinth, Mississippi, July 4, 1863. His body was brought back to Dallas County, Iowa, by his brother Bob–as far as Eddyville, as far as there was freight service, buried temporarily–and their brother Calvin drove a team and wagon there to bring him the rest of the way. Collin Marshall is buried at Wiscotta. […]

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