Col. Marshall Spring Howe  Howe family photo
Brenda Watson
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Col. Marshall Spring Howe

Historical Register and Dictionary of United States Army 1, Blue Water Creek and First Sioux War 1854-1856

DOB 1804 Standish, Cumberland, Maine
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Brenda Watson COLONEL M. S. HOWE

The newspapers of the day have announced the death of Colonel M. S. Howe, U. S. A., (retired) at Harrodsburg, Ky., on the 8th inst.

A few words in memoriam of this old and faithful officer may well find their place in the ARMY and NAVY JOURNAL.

Marshall Spring Howe was born in June 1804, in the town of Standish, at that time in the State of Massachusetts, but now within the Limits of the State of Maine. In the year 1836, when the U. S. 2nd Dragoons was first organized, he was appointed a first lieutenant in that regiment, standing third upon the list. During the course of his 42 years' continuous service he passed through the grades of 1st lieutenant, captain, major, and Lt. Colonel in the same regiment, and was finally promoted to the colonelcy of the 3rd Cavalry.

Two years mounted and dismounted service in the swamps of Florida, and the hard riding and general exposure incident to twenty years cavalry service west of the Mississippi River, made some inroads upon a Constitution that was originally unusually strong. The spirit of the soldier, however, remained altogether unimpaired. On the breaking out of the great civil war, Col. Howe did not deem himself too old or too infirm for active service; with a grim humor, quite charac¬teristic of the man, he declared that he was daily riding a horse too spirited for any member of a retiring board to mount with safety. He served through the war and was placed upon the retired list in August, 1866.

During most of his subsequent life he resided at Harrodsburg, Ky., in charge of the Government military property at that place.

Colonel Howe was, by nature, too self-reliant and too independent a spirit, caring too little for personal popularity to cultivate those graces of suavity of manner and deference for the opinions of others which tend to make hosts of friends. To those, however, who understood his real character, he gave abundant evidence of sterling worth. Ill traits of character were all salient and positive. If he was a man of strong prejudices, he was also one of warm and constant affections; if his convictions were decided and firmly rooted, he was always manly and bold enough to have the courage of them; if he possessed an irrepressible contempt for every sort of cant and sham, occasionally giving expression to his contempt in terms, perhaps, a trifle too vigorous, his eye was quickly moistened by the tale of sorrow and his purse ever ready to afford generous relief. However rug¬ged or crisp his manner might often be, he was most truly warmhearted, charitable, hospitable and generous.

As an officer, he was characterized by strict morali¬ty, stern integrity, and a conscientious and thorough performance of every military duty. He was never known to shirk any responsibility that properly devolved upon him; nor did he ever fail to render a prompt and cheerful obedience to the legal orders of his military superiors.

The death of Colonel Howe reduces to a very few individuals those who now remain of that notable body of genial men and 2ood soldiers who composed the original roll of commissioned officers of the old 2nd Dragoons. Twiggs, Ashby, Winder, Ben Ball, Ker, Macomb, Thornton, Charley May, and many others have all answered their last earthly roll call. Harney, Fauntleroy, Lloyd Beall and Blake are now believed to be the only representatives of the old regiment who still live.
Reply posted Mar 09, 2013 8:40 am
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