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Eugene Marsh

Researcher: Andrew Lynch

            On September 24, 1842, Eugene H. Walsh was born. Eugene grew up in Franklin, Massachusetts and did not hesitate to volunteer when it came to fighting for his country. As part of the Rhode Island 2nd Infantry, Eugene fought for the Union army in the Civil War.

            Before becoming a soldier Eugene Marsh had a complex family life to say the least. Both his father, Lewis Marsh, and his mother Mary Morse, were born in Concord Massachusetts. Lewis and Mary married on May 1 , 1840. In 1842, Lewis and Mary had a son that they named Eugene. To support the family Lewis worked as a bonnet presser. Unfortunately on April 26 , 1846 when Eugene was 3 years old Mary Marsh died at the age of 24 from measles. Lewis eventually re-married to Susan Marsh in 1853. Shortly after getting married Lewis and Susan had a son that they named Frank. Five months after giving birth to Frank, Susan Marsh died from a fever. Eugene’s father Lewis Marsh once again re-married in 1858 to a woman named Sophia Robertson from Roxbury Vermont.  Lewis and Sophia had a son named Samuel and a daughter named Edna Eliza. In 1863, Samuel drowned under apparently suspicious circumstances at the age of 5 years.

            Eugene Marsh was one of the brave soldiers who volunteered to fight for the Union during the Civil War. Eugene was assigned to the 2nd Rhode Island Infantry (Company I) commanded by Major Augustus W. Corliss. The regiment was organized in Providence, Rhode Island in June of 1861 and mustered out (broke up) in July of 1865. Eugene entered the army as a private and left as a private. The 2nd Rhode Island fought in many important battles during the Civil War including Bull Run, Williamsburg, Fair Oaks, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, the battle of the wilderness and the battle of Opequan. A total of 196 men in the regiment died during the war.

            By the end of the Civil War at an age of 23, Eugene Marsh had fought in and survived the bloodiest war ever fought on American soil. When the opportunity to defend his country came up, Eugene accepted the challenge and fought. Eugene was one of the many soldiers from Franklin Massachusetts to fight for what they believed in the Union army. 

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