Marshall Veterans History

Boom!  The first Confederate shell exploded over Charleston’s Fort Sumter in the spring of 1861.  Over eighty men volunteered to don the Union Army Blue, under the leadership of the local postmaster, Captain Bradford Hancock.  Another 14 were drafted.  Four long years later, the end of the civil war came when Lee surrendered at Appomattox.  Marshall will always remember the twenty-four men who remained buried behind at the battlefields of Chickamauga, Vicksburg, Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and many others.  They were: Aaron Twining, Silas Hatfield, Peter Lusk, Daniel Norton, Edwin Hancock, Hiram Miller, William Berge, Abraham Wilsey, Carl Kappin, Charles Matthrews, Isaac Warren, John Cruger, Charles Wendt, Hiram Smith, Lucius Gregg, Delbert Lee, William King, Charles Lintner, John Agnew, Charles Calkins, Butler, Merrey, Kinney and Hays.


The sinking of the U.S.S. Main in Cuba’s Havana Harbor sent Marshallites to their second war in 30 years.  Several men enlisted, including W.D. McNeill.  A private in Co. A. 1st Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, Willie McNeill died of typhoid fever in August in Florida and was buried in the Medina Cemetery.


Among the many to serve in the European war were William Luther and Edward Hampshire.  Private Luther, Co. A. 343rd Infantry, died in England on October 1918 of a deadly Influenza that swept the globe.  Private Hampshire, Co. K. 341st Infantry, also succumbed to Influenza shortly before Armistice.


Eighteen area veterans formed Marshall Post 279 of the American Legion on July 22, 1920.  The post was named in honor of Luther/Hampshire and eventually settled into their current building along the Maunesha River on September 8, 1968.


One hundred thirty-nine men between the ages of 21 and 36 registered for the 1st Selective Service Draft in 1940, and as the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Marshall, once again, awaited the news of the fate of its two “boys.”  James Taylor and Vernon Pearsall were in the Philippines when the island was seized.  Taylor survived the battle, only to be held in a Japanese prison camp for nearly four years.  Pearsall did not survive, and his name was added to Luther and Hampshire on Marshall’s American Legion Post 279.  Two other Marshallites were lost to the Japanese.  Herbert Woerpel, a fighter pilot with the Thunderbolt flying 79th Fighter Group, was killed by German ground fire on August 13, 1944, near Marseille, France.  AAF B-29 photo officer W. James Porter drowned September 16, 1945 in the surf off Guam while rescuing a buddy.


For the fifth time since the Bird Brothers and Aaron Petrie began the construction of civilization to our area, our men went to war.  On June 25, 1950, the cold war erupted between the United States and the Communist-bloc nations.  Clifford Otis died on September 1, 1950, on the banks of the Naktong River.  Donald Wolfe, 1st Cavalry Division Rifleman, died Feb. 11, 1951, during firefight with the Chinese volunteers near Chipyong-ni.  Mourned the same, as those lost in “police action,” was Eddie Larson.  A stray rifle round on a target range in Hawaii killed Larson in August, 1955.


A recent graduate of Marshall Schools and a Corporal in the Marines was killed on June 27, 1967.  James Shephard was killed near Khe Sanh in the Vietnam War.  Shephard was buried in the Medina Cemetery with full military honors.


Please note:  Additional Veteran History will be added soon!