Marshall Durrett Piper was born in Albemarle County, Virginia on April 26, 1818, the son of William Piper and Elizabeth White Piper. Marshall Durrett Piper died by execution by Union troops in Arrow Rock, Missouri on August 9, 1864. He married Sarah Ann Brown of born in Kentucky, the daughter of Bernis Brown, Jr. and Nancy Burton. He was by profession , a farmer in Saline County, Missouri. He and his wife had 7 children.
Marshall D. Piper on the 8th of August 1864 along with all male residents of the area were ordered to report to Arrow Rock by Lieutenant Colonel Bazel F. Lazear of the First Cavalry Regiment of the Missouri State Militia (Union). On August 9, 1864 Piper was arrested by a detachment of Lazear's troops, tried by 'drumhead' court martial and shot within the hour. He was shot by a detail of ten men, but upon examination, eleven bullet wounds were found upon the body. (This mystery of eleven wounds was partially solved several years later when a very old Negro women told Mrs Frank Flynn of Slater, Missouri, a grand daughter of Marshall Piper, "The night of your grandfathers execution , I heard the man of the house where my mother was employed tell his wife and children that he had put the 'eleventh bullet into in Piper's body. The man's wife and children cried in shame and for many years after, did everything they could to make life easier for Mrs Piper. The man's name is known by Mrs. Flynn, but for the sake of his living relatives in Slater refuses to let the name be printed.)
(This from an 1960 essay by Gloria Howard of Gilliam, Missouri, a grand Neice of Mrs. Flynn, written for the Saline County Historical Society on the centennial of the start of the Civil War)
Allegedly Marshall Piper was accused of harboring and feeding 'Bushwackers' and refusing to give information concerning same. Lazear said, the act had more good effect on giving the Union People peace and protection than any one act he had done during the war. Mr Piper's relatives deny yet that he was guilty as charged, and his friends, both Union and Confederate, pronounced his execution simply an atrocity. Alonzo (Lon), Piper's son, only 11 years old, swore vengeance. Several days later, Mason Brown heard that he was to be the next example of Lazear. He sent word to Lon Piper who concealed himself in bushes on the way to Mason Brown's farm. When Lazear approached he shot Lazear with his father's pistol. The dead Colonel lay in the road several days before his body was found. (Details of this story can be found in a essay written by Gloria Howard in The Daily-Democrat News, Marshall, Missouri, November 28, 1961.)
It is this submitters belief that Colonel Lazear was not shot and if anyone was shot it was another soldier in the command. Lon Piper died June 13, 1949 and was said to have repeated this story prior to his death but I believe Colonel Lazear survived the War.
Submitted: Kevin Pickard