Friday, February 3, 2012

February 3, 1862 - A Florida Volunteer dies in Columbus, Georgia

Riverwalk in Columbus, Georgia
The following item appeared on page 3 of the Columbus, Georgia, Daily Enquirer on February 3, 1862, 150 years ago today:

Recovering. – Marshall Lamb, the young Florida volunteer accidentally shot by a fellow-soldier at our railroad depot last Friday, is reported to be in a fair way of recovery from a wound at first supposed to be mortal. He belongs to the 1st Florida regiment. - Columbus Daily Enquirer, February 3, 1862.

The original account of the shooting, published two days earlier, indicated that the unfortunate soldier had been accidentally shot after arriving in Columbus from Montgomery, Alabama. He was on his way home on leave as the original 12-months term of service of the "old" First Florida Infantry Regiment was nearing its end.

Antebellum Home of Dr. John Pemberton
The Columbus resident invented Coca-Cola.
Columbus was a common transfer point for trooops from Florida. The rail lines from Montgomery, Atlanta and Macon connected in the city, which also was the head of navigation for paddlewheel steamboats on the Chattahoochee River. Florida soldiers often boarded boats at Chattahoochee for transport up to Columbus where they were loaded aboard trains for movement to key pointed throughout the Confederacy. When they came home on leave, as Lamb was doing, they often made the same trip in reverse, taking trains to Columbus and then paddlewheel steamboats back home to Florida.

Antebellum Home in Columbus
According to his service record, Marshall Lamb was mustered into Captain Myers' company (Old Company H) of the 1st Florida Infantry as a private on April 19, 1861, at Camp Magnolia, Florida. He was then 17 years old and had enlisted on April 2nd at Houston, Florida. His company was raised primarily in Alachua County.

Lamb spent the first year of the war at Pensacola Bay where the 1st Florida was part of General Braxton Bragg's Army of Pensacola. He reenlisted for 2 years service on January 29, 1862, and was transferred to the command of Captain W.G. Poole. His service record makes no mention of the shooting incident, but notations regarding his service end at that time. This was because 18-year-old Marshall Lamb did not survive.

Confederate Section of Linwood Cemetery
Columbus, Georgia
The following notice appeared in the Columbus Daily Enquirer on February 27, 1862:

We are requested to state that the funeral services over the remains of MARSHALL LAMB (the young Florida volunteer who was wounded at the depot in this city, two or three weeks since, by the discharge of a pistol in the hands of a comrade) will be held in the Baptist Church at 11 o'clock to-day. The procession will start from the residence of Mrs. Carnes. The volunteers in the city are especially requested to attend.

Accidental and friendly fire shootings were a major cause of injury and death during the War Between the States. Most notably, General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson died from wounds received when he was shot by his own troops at the Battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia.

To learn more about the historic city of Columbus, Georgia, please visit

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