Inclusive dates
Papers, 1871-1888, of Marcellus French (1831-1919) of Halifax County, Virginia consisting of an autobiographical sketch, n.d., of Marcellus French; a deed, 14 April 1888 and recorded 11 September 1888, for 285 acres in Bedford County, Virginia, from French and his wife Elizabeth French (1831-1905) to C. C. Carrington of Halifax County; a sketch of French's part in delivering a second dispatch from General Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) to General Robert E. Lee (1807-1870) concerning the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia; and a copy of THE COMANCHES: A HISTORY OF WHITE'S BATTALION, VIRGINIA CAVALRY, a history of the 35th Virginia Cavalry, written by Frank M. Myers (d. 1906) and published in 1871. The book is annotated in French's handwriting
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Biographical or historical data
Marcellus French was born 14 February 1831 in Fauquier County, Virginia, to James French and Sarah Scarborough French. In 1852 French moved to Texas, where he became the first judge of Atascosa County. French also became a 1st lieutenant in the Texas Rangers, before resigning to serve as a captain in the Alamo Rangers in 1857 during William Walker's (1824-1860) filibuster in Nicaragua. After he escaped with his life from a steamer explosion, French was captured by the British and returned to the united States. He returned to Texas and to the Rangers, and was appointed a lieutenant in the army upon Texas' secession. When Virginia seceded from the Union, French returned to Virginia and enlisted in the Richmond Howitzers in July 1861. In May 1862, he transferred to Scott's Battalion where he served as a scout. French was wounded 27 August 1862 at the second battle of Manassas. In November 1862, he transferred to the 35th Virginia Cavalry Battalion, Company F. When the company's commander was killed at the battle of Brandy Station, French took command of the company and was appointed its captain in October 1863. He served with the army until it surrendered at Appomattox. French moved to Pittsylvania and Halifax Counties, Virginia, where he became a farmer. He married Elizabeth Harietta Logan 28 October 1857, and they had five children. French died 13 December 1919 in Halifax County, and was buried in St. John's Episcopal Church.
Cataloging source
Form designation
  • The Library of Virginia
Immediate source of acquisition
French, Wyatt
Type of unit
cubic ft.

Library Locations

    • Library of VirginiaBorrow it
      800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA, 23219, US
      37.5415632 -77.4360805
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