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Lucius Marshall Walker
Born October 18, 1829(1829-10-18)
Nickname "Marsh"
Place of birth Columbia, Tennessee
Place of death Little Rock, Arkansas
Place of burial Elmwood Cemetery, Memphis, Tennessee
Allegiance United States of America
Confederate States of America
Service/branch Confederate Army
Years of service 1850–52 (USA), 1861–63 (CSA)
Rank Brigadier General (CSA)
Battles/wars American Civil War

Lucius Marshall "Marsh" Walker (October 18, 1829 – September 7, 1863) was a Confederate general during the American Civil War. He was mortally wounded in a duel with fellow general John S. Marmaduke.


Early life and career

Walker was born in Columbia, Tennessee. He was a nephew of President James K. Polk. Walker graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1850, placing 15th out of a class of 44. He was brevetted second lieutenant of dragoons and served on frontier duty. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1852, shortly before resigning to return to Tennessee, where he established a successful mercantile business.

Walker lived in St. Francis County , Arkansas, at the time of his enlistment; as can be can be verified by the 1860 census. He owned about 20 slaves. It was a cotton plantation. The property might have been owned by a relative. As General Walker lay dying, his wife rode from St. Francis to Little Rock, and gave birth there to their son L M Walker, JR.

Civil War service

With the outbreak of the Civil War, Walker was commissioned Colonel of the 40th Tennessee Volunteer Infantry on November 11, 1861. His first assignment was to command the post at Memphis. In 1862, he and his 40th Tennessee were ordered to New Madrid, Missouri to prepare for the Battle of Island Number Ten.

Walker was commissioned brigadier general on March 11, 1862, and was posted at Kentucky Bend, with the command of the 40th Tennessee falling to Lt. Col. C. C. Henderson. He retreated in the face of a much larger Union force, which threatened to capture all of Walker's command. Being forced to surrender at Island #10, Walker was exchanged and rejoined the army at Corinth, Mississippi, before it retreated to Tupelo. At the May 9, 1862, Battle of Farmington, his brigade attacked and drove a Union force from its entrenchments. He was reassigned to the Trans-Mississippi Department on March 23, 1863, commanding a brigade of cavalry under Lt. Gen. Kirby Smith at the Battle of Helena.

The duel

After the Battle of Reed's Bridge on August 26, 1863, Brig. Gen. John S. Marmaduke accused Walker of imperiling Marmaduke's men by being absent from the field in the face of the enemy. Walker, judging from the indications that the enemy was about to flank his position, had withdrawn his troops after dark. Walker felt that he had been unjustly accused of cowardice and challenged Marmaduke to a formal duel. “I have not pronounced you a coward,” Marmaduke wrote, “but I desire to inform you that your conduct as commander of the cavalry was such that I determined no longer to serve you.” Maj. Gen. Sterling Price ordered both officers to remain in their quarters in an attempt to prevent the duel. However by an unfortunate series of mishaps, the orders were not delivered to Walker.

At dawn on Sunday, September 6, Walker and Marmaduke squared off with Colt Navy revolvers on the north bank of the Arkansas River near Little Rock. Both fired and missed. Marmaduke then recocked and fired a second time, mortally wounding Walker in the right side, just above the beltline. Walker forgave Marmaduke when the latter offered his assistance.

Lucius M. Walker died at 5 p.m. the next day. He is buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Memphis.

He was the brother-in-law of fellow Confederate general Frank C. Armstrong.

See also


  • U.S. War Department, The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Washington, D.C., 1880-1901, Series I, Vol XXII, Part 1, pages 520-522 and others.

The Reverend Lucius Walker (August 3, 1930 – September 7, 2010) was an American Baptist minister who served as executive director of the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization in the 1960s and was a persistent advocate for ending the United States embargo against Cuba. He made multiple trips to Cuba with supplies provided in violation of the embargo.


Walker was born on August 3, 1930, in Roselle, New Jersey and was recognized for his preaching skills by the time he was in his teens. He earned his undergraduate degree from Shaw University and then earned a Doctor of Divinity degree from Andover Newton Theological School as part of his "love affair with the teachings of Jesus" and received his ordination in 1958. He later earned a master's degree from the University of Wisconsin, where he majored in social work.[1]

During the 1960s Walker served as executive director of the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization, where he pushed for greater cooperation between local religious organizations in helping to improve declining neighborhoods, saying in 1969 that "It's a travesty how much churches have said about social justice and how little they have done". Rabbi Marc H. Tanenbaum, who had been the foundation's president, pulled the American Jewish Congress out of the organization in protest against a demand that religious organizations allot $500 million as reparations for slavery.[1][2] Walker was named associate general secretary of the National Council of Churches in 1973 and returned to the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization in 1978 after he had been fired for making excessive contributions to community organizers.[1]

In August 1988, Walker was on a river boat that was attacked by Contras in Nicaragua in which two people were killed. Walker said he had come "face to face with the terrorism of our own government" and blamed President Ronald Reagan for the deaths.[3] This event led Walker to create Pastors for Peace, to fight what he saw as American imperialism. The organization made aid shipments to Latin America providing tons of much-needed supplies.[1]

As part of Pastors for Peace, Walker made 21 annual missions to Cuba, what he called "friendshipments", by way of Canada and Mexico. During his final trip, in July 2010, Walker brought medical equipment, including EKG machines, incubators and medicines.[4] Despite offers to assist in all of the processes necessary to obtain licenses needed to make the shipments on a legal basis, Walker refused to cooperate in what he saw as an unjust process. Following his death, Granma, the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party, stated that "Cubans, in gratitude, have to say that we don't want to think of a world without Lucius Walker".[4]

A resident of Demarest, New Jersey, Walker died at age 80 on September 7, 2010, at his home there of a heart attack. He was survived by three daughters, two sons and three grandchildren. His wife, the former Mary Johnson, died in 2008.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Martin, Douglas. "Lucius Walker, Baptist Pastor for Peace, Dies at 80", The New York Times, September 11, 2010. Accessed September 12, 2010.
  2. ^ Dugan, George. "Forman Stands, Silent, Through Riverside Church Sermon", The New York Times, May 12, 1969. Accessed September 12, 2010.
  3. ^ Staff. "the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party", The Washington Post, August 4, 1988. Accessed September 12, 2010.
  4. ^ a b Llorente, Elizabeth. "Rev. Lucius Walker, activist who defied U.S. embargo on Cuba, dies at 80", The Record (Bergen County), September 8, 2010. Accessed September 12, 2010.


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