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Charles K. Marshall 1, researched by Oey and Kwok

A Chinese Confederate Veteran and Methodist Missionary, Charles K. Marshall

A Chinese Confederate Veteran

The Authors of this essay:

Thomas G. Oey, Ph.D.
Gordon Kwok, J.D.
July 2007

Charles K. Marshall (1847-1902)
aka Dsau Sier Whoa
aka Dzau Tsz-zeh
aka Cao Zishi
aka Marshall-Tsao
aka Dzau Tse Zeh
aka Tsao Tsz-zeh

( I ) Introduction

A Civil War friend forwarded an email to me. The email asked for assistance in researching on an Chinese in America during the Civil War years. I am more than willing to help since I am researching on Chinese serving in the American Civil War. That was how I contacted Dr. Thomas G. Oey, Ph.D. who is interested in researching the comparative cultural history of China and the United States from 1835 to 1877, with emphasis on missionaries to China from the American South. Dr. Oey is also enchanted by the China missionaries and the American Civil War. The person he is interested in researching is Charles K. Marshall. This article is a joint effort of Dr. Oey and myself, Gordon Kwok. He wrote the pre-civil-war and the post-civil-war periods while I wrote the Introduction, the Civil War era and the Postscript.

After Dzau Tsz-zeh landed in America, he met a doctor named Charles K. Marshall, and he used this name, Charles K. Marshall, as his name in America, since he was treated as if he were the doctor’s adopted son. (1) Dr. Charles K. Marshall's profession was a Methodist minister and planter of Vicksburg, Mississippi. (2)

There were other versions of his name translated by pronunciation from Chinese to English. But since Chinese had many dialects, the pronunciation translation took several versions. The name Dsau Sier Whoa appeared in some of the 19th century document. Dsau is the family name and most likely it was translated from the Soo-Chow (Suzhou) dialect.

Dzau Tsz-zeh is the Wade-Giles form of spelling in Mandarin. This name-form also appeared in the 19th century writing, filed in Emory University.

Cao Zishi is the modern 20th century Hanyu Pinyin {Han language pronunciation} and wasn't used in the 19th century, and so this name form is not likely to appear in the 19th century documents.

The Marshall-Tsao name form was used by researcher Ruthanne McCunn. She got this name from Marshall-Tsao’s relative, Dr. C.Y. Shu. Both Marshall and Tsao are his last name.

Researcher Robert Hale quoted his name as Dzau Tse Zeh, a variation of the spelling.

Apparently, Marshall also used Tsao as his last name, because his son had Tsao as last name. Tsao appeared in some Methodist Church documentary (Golden Jubilee).

Let's start with how we determined Charles K. Marshall was a Chinese Confederate Veteran. There are four independent source showing Charles K. Marshall was a Chinese Confederate Veteran.

(a) In 1996, researcher Ruthanne McCunn published her essay "Chinese in the Civil War---Ten who served" in a Journal called Chinese America: History and Perspective, published by the Chinese Historical Society of America, San Francisco, California. Ms. McCunn got her information from a Dr. C.Y. Shu, whose grand-aunt married Charles K. Marshall. According to her research, nothing much was known to this Confederate veteran.

Marshall Tsao (Charles K. Marshall), other than that he returned to China after the war and became a Methodist minister, and that one of his sons served as president of Tsing Hua University in Beijing (Peking). Ms. McCunn attempted to follow up on the research, but unfortunately, Dr. C.Y. Shu suffered a stroke, and couldn’t remember anything afterward, and couldn't provide further information.

This is the correspondence that Ruthanne has regarding Marshall Tsao (Charles K. Marshall).
On May 23, 1986, Dr, C. Y. Shu wrote Ms. Ruthanne a letter,
"I am a retired physician living in Connecticut………"
"I am in the process of gathering information about a Mr. Marshall Tsao who served in the Confederate army during the Civil War. He went back to China, married my maternal grandfather's sister and became an Episcopalian (should be, Methodist Episcopalian) minister." (3)

This is the first eye-witnessed evidence showing Charles K. Marshall is a Chinese Confederate Veteran, and Ms. McCunn attempted to look for the rest of the story since 1986.

(b) Next, in 2007, Mr. Robert Hale, a reader of my website, Chinese serving in the American Civil War, emailed me and asked for assistance in researching Charles K. Marshall. He intended to write a 20-page research paper on Charles K. Marshall. We exchanged information. Robert Hale found an article through Emory University databases. He was pretty sure it mentioned something to the effect that Charles K. Marshall served in Forrest’s raiders. So, this is a piece of documentation showing Charles K. Marshall is a Confederate veteran.

It stated,"Dzau Tse Zeh, a large athletic Chinaman, was a member of Forrest’s cavalry during our Civil War. Now he is Dr. C.K. Marshall of Soo-Chow (Suzhou), and has come to this country as a delegate from China to the Methodist Conference in St. Louis, after which he will go to New York and take a post-graduate course in medicine", Chicago Daily Tribune, May 1, 1890, page 4, PERSONALS, ProQuest Historical Newspapers. (4)

This is the second independent evidence from a well known U.S. newspaper showing Charles K. Marshall is a Chinese Confederate Veteran.

(c) The third independent source came from the Librarian of the Emory University Manuscripts Archives And Rare Books Library, Ms. Naomi Nelson, who said, "And this Chinese man we believe fought for the Confederacy in our Civil War." Ms. Naomi Nelson had done research on D.C. Kelley (David Campbell Kelley) and had read about Charles K. Marshall. (5)

Robert Hale had searched Duke University which had a large collection of D.C. Kelley's manuscripts and letters from the Campbell (his middle name) family. He requested some of this information sent to him. He also went to the Emory's Theology library and planing to research the Episcopal records. He later found out that the D.C. Kelley's manuscripts and letters were not that useful, since the content didn’t mention his relationship with Dzau Tse Zeh (Charles K. Marshall).

Robert Hale completed his essay in the Spring of 2007. We are very glad that some of the facts of our discovery are confirmed by Mr. Hale independent research and source. His source will strengthen the historical accuracy of our essay, and we will credit Mr. Hale’s findings with the proper citations.

(d) The great grand daughter of Rev. and Mrs. James William Lambuth; the granddaughter of Dr. William Hector Park and Nora Kate Lambuth, Margarita Park Sherertz Messersmith, contacted me in September 2007, and sent me the unpublished document "Kate in a Heathen Land", written by Rev. J. W. Lambuth about their traveling experience during 1862-63 to 64, confirming C.K. Marshall was riding with D.C. Kelly and Forrest in Ft. Donelson, in February 1862, experiencing combat (cannon balls exploded all around him.) and the strategic retreat from Ft. Donelson by refusing to surrender.

We continued to search the muster roll in order to confirm his Confederate veteran status and focused my search in the State of Tennessee. We would like to step back a little bit and relate what we know. An American missionary brought Dzau Tsz-zeh from China to the United States to educate him and train him to be a missionary, to be sent back to China to preach the Gospel. Dzau was 13 years old in the year 1859. Dzau was sent to parson D.C. Kelley (David Campbell Kelley), who became Dzau’s patron / teacher / mentor, and Dzau became Kelley’s student / apprentice / servant. It was said that Dzau served Kelley as a servant first, living with Kelley and following him. In 1861, D.C. Kelley, a devoted religious man and also a devoted Confederate believer, organized a Confederate cavalry when Dzau was about 15 years old. Kelley later joined Nathan Bedford Forrest. Dzau (aka Charles Marshall) therefore experienced the American civil War, first as an observer, and later, as a Confederate Veteran. We don’t know the exact date he made the transition, as we had difficulty in locating his service record.

We searched the name Charles Marshall in the internet on Civil War muster roll, using Ancestry.com, about 180 Charles Marshall showed up. When we narrowed our search to the Tennessee muster roll, 4 Charles Marshall showed up. But none of them had the "K." as the middle name initial, and none of the Charles Marshall served under DC Kelley’s regiment. Therefore, by tracing the Civil War experience of DC Kelley, we will find a glimpse of Dzau’s Civil War experience, since Dzau followed D.C. Kelley.

There are several explanations I could think of on why we couldn’t find his name in the Confederate muster roll:
1. The internet record may not be a complete transcription of the original pen-and paper record.
2. The collection of the original record may not be a complete set of record, since many Confederate records were burned at the end of the Civil war in 1865.
3. Dzau might not officially enroll to the Confederate regiment, and he might just merely fight along side with Kelley’s regiment.
4. There was a slight possibility that Dzau might take a supportive/logistic role to the Confederate regiment and might not involve in active combat.
5. I had searched his various known last names, Marshall, Dsau, Dzau, Tsao, Cao and I got no luck.

I know the Confederate Army often named their regiment after the commander, even after the original named commander had deceased, the name still remained and commanded by a replaced commander. Some had a regimental number attached to it.

D.C. Kelley first joined Forrest in 1861, and that regiment was simply known as the Old Forrest Cavalry in the State of Tennessee. Later, Kelley joined 3rd Tennessee Cavalry (Forrest's). After that, Kelley was part of the 18th Battalion (Balch) Tennessee, under Forrest. And lastly, Kelley commanded the 26th Battalion (McDonald) TN, under Forrest. I could not find Marshall’s name on the muster roll of the above units.

Marshall served D.C. Kelley as a servant and followed him during the first two years of the Civil War. By tracing D.C. Kelley’s Civil War experience, we could find out C.K. Marshall’s Civil War experience, first as an observer, and later, as a participant.

With inadequate documentary, we have to play historical detective and use logic to project the possible role he acted during the Civil War. Dr. Thomas Oey took a conservative view: since he could not find any historical document stating that C.K. Marshall was involved in actual combat, he could not comfortably state that C.K. Marshall fought in the Civil War. The term Confederate Veteran included non-combat services in supportive role.

For example,
a. Marshall could likely be a horse holder. Forrest commanded his men as infantry fighter, and the horses were means of quick transportation. When the cavalry dismounted and fired their rifles, they needed horse-holder to hold their horses, usually one person taking care of four horses.
b. D.C Kelley needed dispatch carrier. Marshall might play that role.
c. Foraging. Searching for food and water. This is an important job that non-combatant could do for the regiment.
d. Picketing is another role that Marshall could do.
e. Guarding captured Union prisoners. Forrest captured a lot of surrender Union prisoners and he could use non-combatant to do this job, thus, freeing the combatant to do the fighting.
f. Acted as a medic. Marshall could help to attend Confederate soldiers with slight wounds. David C. Kelley was a medical missionary when he went to China in 1854, and so he could treat the injuried Confederate cavalrymen. But it was not likely, since Kelley was too busy acting as a deputy commander, and no record showing Kelley acted at that capacity. Marshall had not acquired his medical training at that time and he was not ready to attend serious wounds.(6)

Researchers Gordon Kwok and Robert Hale took the view that C.K. Marshall highly likely was involved in actual combat. When your regiment was thrown in a tight spot, you fought back, regardless whether you were a combatant or non-combatant. You would take a rifle and shoot at the enemy, when the enemy attacked your men.

In 1859, C.K. Marshall was 13 years old. In 1861, he would be about 15 years old, and in 1862, 16 years old. 16 years old is old enough to engaged in combat, since I have read many Civil War veteran, would join the army at age 16. The official age to join the army was actually age 18. But the recruiters were not too particular to check the enlistee's age. I read a story that a youth wrote the number 18 on a piece of paper and put it under his feet inside his shoe. He could swore that he was "over 18" with full confidence, and not lying.

Lambuth's Mississippi home is located in Madison county not far from the Natchez Trace, near what is now known as Pearl River church. This place saw heavy fighting in the Spring of 1863, when Union General U.S. Grant launched the moving campaign of the battle of Champian Hill and the battle of Big Black River against the Confederate, commanded by General John Pemberton in defense of Vicksburg. On July 4, 1863, Vicksburg surrendered to the Union force. Mary Isabella McClellan Lambuth's relatives lived in Cambridge, New York, which is located East of Saratoga Spring, New York, at today's intersection of Route 22 and Route 313, southwest of the State of Vermont, and very close to the northwestern border of Western Massachusetts. The Lambuths were on furlough from their China Missionary work in Mississippi in 1863. It is interesting and ironic to note that Mrs. Lambuth's name is Mary Isabella McClellan Lambuth, the cousin of the Union General George B. McClellan, commanding the Army of the Potomac at the beginning of the War.(7) This would explain why Mary Isabella McClellan Lambuth, who married a Southerner, Rev. James William Lambuth, would go to Yankeeland to visit her relatives during the Civil War. The Lambuths planned to go to China to continue their missionary work in 1864. New York City was the port of entry and departure for many ships going oversea. Apparently she wanted to stop by to visit her folks in Cambridge, New York enroute.

So Marshall would miss his Civil War experience from 1864 to 1865 with D.C. Kelly. Marshall followed Kelley for 2 to 2 1/2 years, 1861 to 1863+. Kelley attempted to resign in the summer of 1862 but was denied. He applied for leave and was again denied. But at last he got his leave for health reason.


Hale, Robert E., Death, Beginnings and the travels of C.K. Marshall, submitted to Emory University, unpublished paper (essay), 2007.


(1) Lucy M. Cohen, Chinese in the Post-Civil-War South, A People Without a History, Louisiana State University Press, 1984, p. 63
(2) Hale, Robert E., Death, Beginnings and the travels of C.K. Marshall, submitted to Emory University, unpublished paper (essay), 2007.
(3) Correspondence (2007) written by Ruthanne Lum McCunn to the webmaster.
(4) Correspondence (2007) written by Robert E. Hale to the webmaster.
(5) Correspondence (2007) written by Robert E. Hale to the webmaster.
(6) Correspondence (2007) written by Dr. Tom Oey to the webmaster.
(7) Correspondence (2007) written by Dr. Tom Oey to the webmaster.

( II ) The pre-Civil-War years

Rev. Cao Zishi (Dzau Tsz-zeh a.k.a. C.K. "Charlie" Marshall), a native of Jiaxing, Zhejiang, was born in 1847. English translation of his autobiography published following his death in 1902:

"At the age of three, [in 1850] he lost his mother. Soon after that he almost succumbed to a severe attack of smallpox. His father was a physician, having five sons and one daughter to care for. Mr. Dzau was the youngest in the family. At the age of ten, he attended a primary school for a half year but could not continue to study because his father became mortally ill. All the other children were away when his father died. This lad was the only one child present at the death bed and the only one who witnessed the funeral arrangements as made by some of his father’s friends. When the funeral was over, the older brothers returned home, gathered together the assets of the family, divided them among themselves and departed. The little orphan was taken in by one of his father’s friends. He stayed there for about seven months and then decided to start out to make a living by himself. On the way he met his second older brother who gave him some information about his fourth older brother. He learned that his father had sold this boy when he himself was only four years old. Now his second brother asked him to go with him to Shanghai to locate the "Joseph" who was reported to be living there. When they failed to find him, his second older brother deserted him. Being alone in a strange city, the lad did not know where to turn. One day he went into a temple and accidentally met a former friend of his father’s who invited him to stay with him in the temple.

At another time he met another of his father’s friends who name was Li, and he told the boy about an American missionary Rev. J.W. Lambuth and his plan of finding Chinese boys to be sent to America to be educated. The boy was interested in such a plan and agreed to see Dr. Lambuth with Mr. Li. On seeing the boy, Dr. Lambuth was pleased with him and asked him to stay in the chapel. The boy began to study both English and Chinese in Rev. J.W. Lambuth’s American missionary in China.

In 1859 when he was thirteen years old, Mrs. Lambuth took him and another boy with her to America. Rev. James William Lambuth (1830-1892) and his wife, Mary Isabella McClellan Lambuth settled in Madison county, Mississippi, not far from the Natchez Trace, near what is known as Pearl River church. (1)

In America, Dzau met Charles K. Marshall, a Methodist Minister and planter, who was from Vicksburg, Mississippi. Marshall treated Dzau very well.(2) Dzau liked Marshall so much that he decided to change his name to Charles K. Marshall. From then on, Dzau was known as Charles K. Marshall. In 1861 the young man was baptized by Bishop O.F. Andrew (Bishop James Osgood Andrew), a very important figure in the Southern Methodist Missionary who later found Emory University. While in the States, Dzau served in hotels, candy stores and tea stores to make his living. Dzau (Marshall) liked to continue his Religious Education, and he was introduced to a Methodist parson named D.C. Kelley (David Campbell Kelley), who became Dzau’s patron / teacher / mentor, and Dzau became Kelley’s student / apprentice / servant. The most likely reason why the Lambuths asked D.C. Kelley to look after Dzau was because Kelley had been a missionary in China, serving as a medical doctor, and knew the Chinese culture.

Later, Mrs. Lambuth transferred Marshall to the care of Dr. and Mrs. David C. Kelley in October, 1860, in Lebanon, Tennessee.(3) Marshall became a servant to Dr. David C. Kelley, one of the original Southern Methodist missionaries. When Kelley organized his Cavalry in 1861, he took Marshall along to serve him first as a servant, and then, as a Confederate Veteran through 1864.

Marshall followed D.C. Kelley and was housed with the black slaves of other officers. Marshall developed a strong backwoods accent and an impressive stock of Southern idiom and accent and he spoke Southern English really well. With that language skill, he could continue to study religion. He was accepted by the Southern folks, since he picked up their accent.

From "Jubilee China Conference, 68-69."

( III ) The Civil War years

A. Organizing a Cavalry Regiment

Spring 1861

Charles K. Marshall followed D.C. Kelley to war from 1861 to 1863 and survived the War. It would be a logical projection that he would follow Kelley most of the time. By tracing the military movement of D.C. Kelley, we could trace the movement of Charles K. Marshall.

D.C. Kelley was closely associated with Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Cavalry, from 7/1861 to 6/1862 and from 7/1864 to 4/1865. And Forrest was a self-taught fighting man. When we counted the battles where he was the ultimate commander, he won them all, except the last one in Selma MS, in Spring 1865.


Wyeth, John Allan, That Devil Forrest, Life of General Nathan Bedford Forrest, Harper & Brothers, Louisiana, 1959
Henry, Robert Selph, First with the Most, William S. Konecky Associates, Inc., New York, 1992
Jordan, Thomas & Pryor, J.P., The Campaigns of General Nathan Bedford Forrest and of Forrest’s Cavalry, First Da Capo edition 1996
Lytle, Andrew Nelson, Bedford Forrest and His Critter Company, J.S. Sanders & Company, Nashville, 1992
Wills, Brian Steel, A Battle from the Start, The Life of Nathan Bedford Forrest, HarperCollinsPublishers, 1992
Official Records of the Union and the Confederate armies, Government Printing Office.

(1) J. B. Cain, "From Pearl River to the Ends of the Earth," which appeared in the Mississippi Methodist Advocate. Also, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Russell_Lambuth
(2) Correspondence from Dr. Oey to the webmaster
(3) Correspondence from Robert E. Hale to the webmaster

B. First fight

7/1861 to 12/1861

Captain David C. Kelley, a young Methodist minister with burning zeal in faith and in fight, commanded a company raised at Huntsville, Alabama, traveled to Tennessee to face the Union Army. Kelley did great preparation in gathering supplies and ordnance for his Cavalry.(4) Kelley was very active in preaching in camps and active in defending his homeland.(5)

He met Nathan Bedford Forrest. Forrest was elected Lieutenant Colonel, and Kelley, Major.(6) They moved to Kentucky, Hopkinsville and then to Princeton to intercept a Union raiding party. In the Official Records, (7) It was reported that Forrest was a self-made commander, and he needed not to be told what to do. He assessed the situation quickly, and knew how to take the initiative and made all the correct moves to secure victory. It was reported that Major Kelley’s battalion had arrived at Hopkinville in good order on the evening of 11/11/1861, and on the 13th had departed for the lower part of the Cumberland to intercept a Union raiding party reported to be coming after a drove of the Confederate commissary’s hogs.

They fired their canons at a Union gunboat Conestoga in the Cumberland River from the shore in Canton landing, and drove the gunboat away with considerable damages. This was their first victory. Intelligence informed them the Union troopers appeared in the village of Sacramento, Kentucky.(8) Forrest and Kelley and Starnes (a young physician turned soldier) charged from flanks and front, and the Union forces broke into retreat.(9) & (10). Kelley afterward wrote on the brilliant and dashing affair at Sacramento, "In the vigilant and wary advance, the skillful disposition of the slender forces to the best advantage, the timing of simulated retreat in the front and surprise attack upon the flanks and, at the last, the thunderbolt charge with everything hurled into a never-let-up, never-slow-down, driving fight, Forrest’s men saw him demonstrate an instinctive mastery of military principles -----------" (11)


(4) Wyeth, p.26.
(5) D.C. Kelley, The Methodist Review (Nashville), Vol. 49 (March-April, 1900), p. 221.
(6) Henry, p.39.
(7) Official Records, Series No. 4, p.512.
(8) Henry, p. 44.
(9) Manuscript notes of Major Kelley, Jordan & Pryor, p.53
(10) Confederate Veteran, Vol. XXV, p.358.
(11) Henry, p 46.

C. No surrender at Fort Donelson

12/1861 to 4/1862

Union Brig. General Ulysses S. Grant and Commodore Andrew Foote captured Fort Henry on the Tennessee River and marched toward Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River in 2/1862.(12)

Confederate General Gideon Pillow ordered Forrest’s men to scout the road from Fort Henry. They encountered a Union cavalry force, and engaged in a brief running fight, and drove the Union off.(13) The Union attacked but repulsed by the Confederate, including Kelley’s men.

In another reconnoiter, Forrest shouted excitedly to Kelley," Parson! For God’s sake, pray; nothing but God Almighty can save that fort!"(14)

The next day, Kelley’s men involved in vicious fighting against the Union front, and they had great success. (15)

At midnight, Forrest was summoned to headquarter for a conference. He couldn’t believe what he heard. The triumvirate (Generals Floyd, Pillow and Buckner) of West Pointers were discussing surrender. They decided to surrender their command. Forrest was angry and told his superior he had not come here for the purpose of surrendering his command. He had promised the parents of his boys to look after them, that he did not intend to see them die that winter in prison camps in the North. (16)

He would marched out of Fort Donelson with his command and with whoever wanted to follow him.(17) He led his cavalrymen in front as guide and vanguard, following the Clarksville route heading south and cut his way out. He ordered Kelley to command the retreat, (18) and if there were any mishap to him, Kelley would take over the command. They didn’t lose any men. "Not a gun had been fired at us. Not an enemy had been seen or heard." He led his men to safety -------No surrender for Forrest and Kelley’s men.

Union General Grant demanded "Unconditional Surrender". Both Floyd and Pillow abandoned his men and ran away. The command passed to Buckner who surrendered his Army to the Union. From then on, U. S. Grant became Unconditional Surrender Grant.

Nashville was in total panic. Again Forrest and Kelley took control of the mob and brought order back, evacuating the city and burned the remaining Supplies.

Eventually the cavalry was ordered to Burnsville, seven miles west of Iuka, Mississippi. Another Company was added, and Forrest was elected colonel and D.C. Kelley was promoted to lieutenant colonel.(19)

(12) Will, p. 57
(13) Will, p. 58
(14) Will, p. 60
(15) Will, p. 62
(16) Lytle, p. 76
(17) Will, p. 64
(18) Henry, p. 59
(19) Wyeth, p. 60

D. Shiloh, a place of peace

3/1862 to 5/1862

Shiloh Church, Tennessee, a place of peace, turned to a slaughter pan. What an irony!

General U.S. Grant led his Union force marching south, and General Albert Sidney Johnston, abandoning their occupation of Bowling Green, Kentucky, and Nashville, and moved and concentrated his 40,000 Confederate infantry at Corinth, Mississippi, and marched North to meet the Union force, in 4/1862. Meanwhile, General Buell was about to transport his troops in steam-boats down the Tennessee towards Pittsburgh Landing to reinforce Grant. Johnston had to strike first before the Union joined force.

The big picture event opened like this. Johnston surprised the Union force on the first day of the battle of Shiloh and defeated the Union. A bullet cut Johnston’s artery and he bled to death. His command passed to Beauregard, of Sumter’s fame. Grant arrived and reorganized a counter attack, with Buell’s force landed in Pittsburgh Landing. Beauregard ordered his force to retreat. Union won with many lives lost.

Forrest and Kelley did reconnoitering work, trying to warn the Confederate high command of the counter attack danger, but could not find any high command General who could order the reverse of the situation on a timely manner. (20)

Forrest did rear guard action protecting the Confederate infantry to retreat to safety in Corinth, while Kelley was assigned to the duty of escorting to the rear the Federal prisoners from General Prentiss' Division.(21)

(20) Wyeth, p. 65
(21) Tennesseans in the Civil War, Vol. 1. Copyrighted 1964 by the Civil War Centennial Commission of Tennessee.

E. Kelley said Goodbye to Forrest

6/1862 to 6/1864

Confederate Gen. Beauregard noticed Forrest’s performance and ability at Shiloh, and he wanted to increase Forrest’s sphere of command. He sent Forrest to Chattanooga under Major General Kirby Smith with instruction to take command of several cavalry regiments and organized them into a brigade.

Forrest turned over his original "old regiment" to Lieut. Col. D.C. Kelley and went to Chattanooga.(21) Kelley’s "old regiment" was re-organized and joined the cavalry brigade commanded by Confederate Brigadier General William N. R. Beall in the Army of the Mississippi.(22)

On July 13, 1862, Lieutenant Colonel Kelley commanding four companies, stationed near Priceville, Mississippi, was absorbed into Brigadier General Frank Armstrong's Cavalry Brigade, Army of the West. (23) The overall Confederate chief of cavalry at that time, was commanded by Joseph Wheeler.

Lieutenant Colonel Kelley tendered his resignation on August 18, 1862. It was not accepted, but he must have been granted a leave of absence about this time, for the next reference to the regiment was as Balch's Battalion.(24)

Why did D.C. Kelley want to resign?
This is the background story.
Confederate Western Theatre commander, Major General Braxton Bragg took away Forrest's old command, and to give it to Joseph Wheeler in 1862. Bragg made Wheeler chief of Confederate cavalry while Wheeler had not shown much significant merit for this promotion. And Bragg and Wheeler were West Pointers, whereas, Forrest was not. Forrest won many victories, showing plenty of merit and yet, he didn’t get this promotion. Don’t know whether it is elite discrimination or not. Added insult to injury, Bragg ordered Forrest to middle Tennessee to recruit raw recruits. In other words, to start over again from scratch. Forrest was angry for the injustice. D.C. Kelley was also angry for separating him with Forrest. But Forrest decided to obey the order, for the good of the Confederate Service. So his new raw and ill-equipped recruits managed to achieve a great victory in Mureesborough, soundly defeated the two Union regiments and captured the town.

You see, Forrest equipped his first cavalry with his own personal fund and trained them to become a veteran cavalry. His lieutenant, DC Kelley did the same. It is a big injustice to take away his command and gave them to Wheeler. When Forrest was separated with DC Kelley, DC Kelley was not happy at all. Apparently Kelley didn't want to serve under Wheeler, unhappy that he could not serve with Forrest, so he submitted his resignation. Not accepted. Applied for leave. Not accepted. And finally, Kelley got his wish with a health leave in the late summer of 1862. (24)

Between the late summer of 1862 and the end of 1863, mostly likely C.K. Marshall continued to followed and stayed with Kelley, to continue to study religion.

The document "Kate in a Heathen Land" stated that C.K. Marshall stayed in Tennessee in 1863 and did not accompanied the Lambuths going to Cambridge NY and NYC. C.K. Marshall got employed as a farmer and continued to educate himself.

Mary Isabella McCellelan Lambuth took another Chinese youth, Nie Pau, with her at the end of 1863 when she traveled to Cambridge, New York to visit her family, and then, the Lambuths went to New York city and sailed for China in 1864 to continue their Missionary work. Nie Pau did not become a missionary and did not do any missionary work in China.

Marshall left America and headed back to China in 1869. (25) (26). Marshall was then about 22 or 23 years old. There was some document saying that Dsau took one year to return to Shanghai, and that he worked his way on a ship back to Shanghai.(27) So Dsau could have left United States going back to China in 1868. We had not found any document on the port Dsau departed. It was most likely that Dsau followed the Lambuth's route of departure, via New York City.

In the summer of 1864, Kelley re-joined Forrest and served through the end of the Civil War, through the summer of 1865.

(22) Tennesseans in the Civil War, Vol. 1., by the Civil War Centennial Commission of Tennessee, 1964.
(23) ibid
(24) ibid
(25) Naomi Nelson, Head Librarian of MARBL, Emory University.
(26) Dr. Oey’s source said the same: Marshall was in New York City from 1864 to 1869.
(27) Correspondence from Dr. Tom Oey to Gordon Kwok.

(IV) The Post-Civil-War years

[1] C.K. Marshall returned to Shanghai June 19, 1869 having worked his way on a sailing boat which took about half a year to make the voyage from New York to China. While in the States he had made up his mind to be a preacher. So upon his return, he offered himself to the Church and was appointed to work in Soochow. In 1871 he started our first school for boys in the home of Mr. Yung Chun-san on Zeh Zien Ka.[2] Later his school was moved to Tien Sze Tsang in that city and became the foundation of Buffington Institute."

"Mr. Dzau was very versatile so while he was in Soochow, he studied medicine under Dr. W.R. Lambuth. Dr. Walter Russel Lambuth, born in China, was the oldest son of Rev. James William Lambuth and Mary Isabella McCllelan Lambuth. Walter R. Lambuth graduated from Emory and Henry College in 1875, and later received theology and medical degrees from Vanderbilt University.

Dzau's preaching was made doubly effective by his ministry of healing. He served our Church faithfully in many capacities, not only in Soochow but in Shanghai, Sungkiang,[3] Nansiang, Nanzing, Loh Zeh and Quinsan. In Mr. Dzau’s day, every type of mission work was in the pioneering state. It was fortunate that in those difficult and formative years we could secure the services of so capable a man as Rev. Dzau Tsz-zeh. He stood between the missionary and the Chinese, understanding both and it was largely through his leadership that the Church was established on the broad foundations where it rests today. His was one of the first strong Christian families in China and his sons and daughters as well as his daughters-in-law have made a splendid contribution to the Christian Movement in China. Among them are S.K. Tsao of the Y.M.C.A., F.K. Tsao who was in official circles, Miss Tsao Vong-jung (Lavinia Marshall) an educator, and Dr. Li-yuen Tsao, one of the foremost woman doctors of China. These have all passed away, but the wife of Mrs. S.K. Tsao is the treasurer of the Official board of Moore Memorial Church, and the wife of Mrs. F.K. Tsao is a member of the Executive Council, the highest body in our Church, and is treasurer of the China Conference Woman’s Missionary Society."

Dr. W.R. Lambuth returned to China after one year furlough in the US, establishing himself in Suzhou in 1882. After Dr. W.H. Park and Dr. W.R. Lambuth established Soochow Hospital in 1883, C.K. Marshall assisted Dr. Park for several years, and subsequently conducted medical work in Nanzing. Rev. Cao Zishi (C.K. Marshall) also established Soochow Women’s Hospital in 1887 with the assistance of Dr. Mildred Philips who had arrived in 1884. (MacGillivray, 418-419).

Dzao Tsz-zeh’s eldest son S.K.Tsao (1873-1927) was a noted leader of the YMCA (portrait, Jubilee, 68-69).

In 1876 Bishop Enoch M. Marvin, accompanied by Bishop E.R. Hendrix. paid the first Episcopal visit to Asia, and on December 22, 1876, at Dr. Lambuth’s home, ordained a number of Chinese to the Methodist ministry. "It was reported that three missionaries, six Chinese, preachers, and six helpers constituted the working force of the Mission, with a membership of 104 and a Sunday school enrollment of 141. Marvin published "To the East by Way of the West" and Hendrix "Around the World" to describe their journey.

(From "Jubilee China Conference, 68-69.’)


A History of the Southern Methodist Church in China, by Joseph Stephen Shen, 1925. Emory University
The Missionary Life and Work of W. R. Lambuth, by H. D. Hart, 1924. Emory University
The Missionary Policy of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in China, 1848-1911, by Robert Fielden Lundy, 1944. Emory University

[1] Sterling Seagrave, The Soong Dynasty, 50: "As a boy, Marshall had gone to America for fourteen years as a servant to Dr. D.C. Kelley, one of the original Southern Methodist missionaries. During the Civil War, Marshall followed his master into the Confederate Army, and was housed with the black slaves of other officers. Thanks to them, he developed a strong backwoods accent and an impressive stock of Southern idiom." Although we may discount the length 14 year as contradicting Cao’s autobiography, it is not implausible that after arriving in the United States Mrs. Lambuth transferred Dzau to the care of the Kelleys.

[2] In 1872 Cao (Marshall) rendered assistance to Rev. and Mrs. Hampden DuBose, who had arrived in Suzhou to establish a southern Presbyterian mission station.

[3] Cao and Y.J. Allen opened the Songjiang Methodist Station in 1881. Christopher Tang, p.441.


The great granddaughter of Rev. and Mrs. James William Lambuth contacted the webmaster

The great granddaughter of Rev. and Mrs. James William Lambuth; the granddaughter of Dr. William Hector Park and Nora Kate Lambuth, Margarita Park Sherertz Messersmith, wrote to me on 9/22/2007. She mentioned her friend forwarded to her my website, the essay written by Robert E. Hale. Ms. Messersmith was especially interested because she is currently working on her family papers. Dr. William Hector Park was her grandfather and Rev. and Mrs. J. W. Lambuth were her great grandparents. She recently read a detailed account of the Lambuths' travels from Mississippi to New York in 1863. It mentioned two Chinese boys traveling with them, but it uses the name "Sier Whoa" for the boy who had previously fought at Fort Donelson with D. C. Kelley. She believes he must be the same person as the name "Dzau Tse-zeh" as appeared in Hale's article. (My essay confirmed that, Dsau Sier Whoa and Dzau Tse-zeh was the same person.)

Ms. Messersmith further states that she has a very detailed account written by Rev. J. W. Lambuth, her great grand father, about the trip the family and two Chinese boys made in 1863 going from Mississippi to Cambridge, NY, and then to New York city. Rev. Lambuth stated that Sier Whoa was an assistant to Dr. D. C. Kelley and was in Fort Donelson when the cannon balls would come whizzing by and sometimes tremendous shells would explode near him. He also tells how Sier Whoa and others escaped under cover of night and rushed through swollen streams. She finds this account very interesting in the details of life. It is written in the first person, as though Rev. J.W. Lambuth's daughter, Nora Kate Lambuth (Margarita Park Sherertz Messersmith's grandmother), is speaking. The title is "Kate in a Heathen Land," A Sketch written by Nora Kate's father, Rev. J. W. Lambuth. From the context she concluded it was actually written in 1872 when Nora Kate was 9 years old, but it begins with her birth in 1863 and the trip to New York. She will probably give the papers eventually to the Methodist Archives at Drew University in Madison, NJ.

Ms. Messersmith has been interested to read Robrt E. Hale's work on Charles K. Marshall. She had heard the name Dzau Tse-Zeh from her grandmother and also the name Mr. C. K. Marshall. What she is doing at present is going through her family papers which her sister, Olive Sherertz Lanham, had collected. Lanham died last June and afterwards Ms. Messersmith offered to sort through these papers, four large cardboard boxes full and one suitcase. Her sister had hoped to write a book about our missionary family, but her health gave out before she was able to get it done. Now these papers are at Ms. Messersmith's home and she first objective is just to learn what they are about. Eventually she plans to donate some of them to the United Methodist Church Archives at Drew University in Madison, NJ. She is also interested to keep some just for family interest. She don't know if she will write a book, but she definitely want to organize the papers. One of the interesting items was the sketch written by her Great Grandfather Rev. J. W. Lambuth about the early life of his daughter, Nora Kate Lambuth, her grandmother. She was born in Mississippi in 1863 and was taken to China as an infant, having to travel many difficult miles during the Civil War. Rev. Lambuth writes this sketch as if "Kate," as he called her, was doing the talking. From the content of what he wrote, Ms. Messersmith determined he wrote the article in 1872, when Kate was 9 years old. Ms. Messersmith had assumed the Chinese boy who traveled with them was the same as Dzau Tse-Zeh, but they called him Sier Whoa, so she was glad to have that confirmed by my writing.

The 18 pages article that Ms. Messersmith owns was typed some time ago. After C. K. Marshall went back to China, he worked with her grandfather, Dr. W. H. Park, in Soochow Hospital. It is really an interesting story.

Highlight of "Kate in a Heathen Land"

Estimated date of the writing is in the year 1872, Written by Rev. J.W. Lambuth, in a narrative style as if his daughter, Nora Kate made all these observation. In fact, Kate was born in 1863, and the events described covered roughly from 1857 to 1864.

p. 5 para 2: "One was named Sier Whoa and the other Nie Pau."

p. 6: ". . . my Father mentioned Sier Whoa and Nie Pau who had come from that strange land . . . "

p. 11: "Sier Whoa and Nie Pau attracted much attention every where and were called Mexicans."

p. 12: "You will be surprised when I tell you that Sier Whoa was there when the battle was fought . . . went not as a soldier but as assistant to one of the Officers, Dr. D.C. Kelley. He says while in the fort he was nearly worn out and sick with continual watching. Often heavy canon balls would come whizzing by him and sometimes tremendous shells would explode near him. . . There was a small part of this noble army which refused to acceed to this and determined to retire under cover of night which they did. Sier Whoa was with this party of the army."

p. 13: "We had left Sier Whoa behind in Tennessee."

p. 18: "Nie Pau . . . was able to return through England and see London . . . . "

Kate in the Heathen land
The Webmaster visted Cambridge, N.Y.

In October 2007, the Webmaster visted Cambridge, N.Y.
We found the McClellan House (Mary Lambuth's parent's house).

My wife and I were vacationing in the Berkshire area that week, and visited Cambridge, NY, the girlhood home town of Mary McClellan Lambuth. On Route 22 NY I traveled, southwest of Vermont, and slightly northwest off Massachusetts. Cambridge, NY is on the intersection of route 22 and route 313. There happened to be a fund raising baking sale at the center of town, near a Church, by some elderly group. I went there to talk with them, and asked about the McClellan family. They showed me the direction, route 22N, turning right on the IGA store, to a big white house called "The Common Sense Farm" I got there to look at the house, and visited the nearby old cemetery.

I also found the Historical Society of Cambridge, NY. They were honoring a Mary McClellan, who made contribution to build a local hospital. She wasn't the same Mary that we looked for. Her full name was Mary Jane Gilchrist McClellan, born in 1861. I talked to some people there, and apparently they didn't know our Mary McClellan Lambuth. There were an old name list of name and address of the residents in 1860s or 1870s, and I saw 4 or 5 names named McClellan.

The town is quite big. I would estimated about a thousand+ houses there in Cambridge, NY. The advantage of visiting a small town is that nothing much has changed during these 150 years, and almost everyone knows everyone.

It is quite a fruitful and enjoyable trip for me.

McClellan's ancestors and Lambuth-McClellan's Missionary work in China/Japan

An email to me, written by Margarita Park Sherertz Messersmith

Dear Gordon,
I was interested to read that you have visited Cambridge, NY, recently looking for information about the McClellans. I have a fair amount of information in my home. The first is a copy of notes on the McClellan family by William McClellan, born Mickleknox, Scotland 1755, Died Hebron, NY 1834. One of his sons was William Gordon McClellan, born 1801, died 1877. His first wife was Sarah Ann Cleveland. They married about 1830. Mary Isabelle McClellan was born in 1833 in Hebron, NY. They had another daughter named Jeanette. After this, Sarah Ann Cleveland died and William took a second wife and they had many children, all of whose names I don't know. However, this could explain why there are many McClellans in the area. Mary Isabelle (later spelled Isabella) McClellan married Rev. James William (J. W.) Lambuth in Mississippi in 1853 and the two of them first went to China as missionaries in 1854 on a sailing ship from New York City. They worked in China, with various trips back and forth to America until 1886 when they were transferred to Japan. Rev. J. W. Lambuth died in Japan in 1892 and is buried in Kobe. Mary Lambuth continued working in Japan for some years until her health failed and she moved to Soochow to live with Dr. and Mrs. Park (her daughter and my grandparents). She died in 1904 and was buried in Shanghai. When her son, Bishop Walter Lambuth died in 1921, he was buried beside his mother in Shanghai. During the Cultural Revolution in China the foreign cemeteries were destroyed so there are no longer any grave sites there.

Margarita Park Sherertz Messersmith

(Credit of the postscript goes to Ms. Margarita Park Sherertz Messersmith, and her daughter, Dr. Donna Messersmith Jones.)
Cao Zishi (a/k/a Charles K. Marshall) is discovered to be the founder of the Suzhou University in China
On May 12, 2010, I was pleased to meet Prof. Wang Guoping at Suzhou University. I was accompanied by Prof. Thomas G. Engel of Martin Methodist College, Pulaski, Tennessee.
Prof. Wang gave me a history of Suzhou University, which included some information about Cao Zishi. He agreed with me that Cao should be considered the founder of this university.
We viewed the Cao Zishi Memorial Hall on the campus of Suzhou University, and Prof. Wang kindly sent me a photo afterwards. I thought I would send it to both of you. (Ruthanne McCunn and Gordon Kwok)
Suzhou University, or Soochow University, is located in the city of Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, about one hour from Shanghai.

Best regards,

Thomas G. Oey, Ph.D., Independent Scholar, May 29, 2010.     

Special Thank You to

(A)(a) Ruthanne Lum McCunn, author, for pioneering the research project, and for finding out and confirming from Dsau (Tsao)'s relative that Tsao was a Chinese Confederate Veteran.
(b) Robert E. Hale, researcher, for finding out a document confirming Dsau (Marshall) was a Chinese Confederate Veteran and for his independent research confirming that our works are accurate. Thank you.
(c) Margarita Park Sherertz Messersmith, the great granddaughter of Rev. and Mrs. J. W. Lambuth; the granddaughter of Dr. William Hector Park and Nora Kate Lambuth, for providing me with her documentary information.
(d) Dr. Thomas G. Oey, Ph.D., the co-author of this article. He contributed many of his research material and shared them with me. The combination of his and my works constitute the backbone of this article. Many thanks to Dr. Oey.

(B)(a) Helen Hannon, the former President of the Boston Athenaeum Civil War Discussion Group, and
(b) Dr. Michael Chesson, Ph.D., History professor of the University of Massachusetts and also a member of the Civil War Discussion Group. They forwarded Dr. Oey's email to the webmaster via a Civil War organization in Texas, and that made it possible for Dr. Oey and myself able to work together on this essay. Thank you.

The Authors of this essay:

Thomas G. Oey, Ph.D.
Gordon Kwok, J.D.
July 2007


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October 1, 2007
Updated on March 17, 2008
Revised and uploaded on January 29, 2009