Marcus L. Golden, 1847-1864, 12th Tennessee Cavalry Regiment (Union)

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Marcus L. Golden

Birth 1847, (Pickens) South Carolina

1864 Feb – Joined Company H, 12th Tennessee Cavalry (UNION) at Charleston, McMinn County, TN

Death October 22, 1864 at Pulaski, Tennessee due to military service (wounded in action; lingered in wounded status for almost a month; died of secondary hemorrhage).

Certificate of Death and Burial
Certificate of Death and Burial, shared by Carole Golden Alessi.


Why was Nathaniel Green Golden (NGG), father of Marcus Golden, listed on the death certification as being resident at Nashville, Tennessee?

The family home was 100 miles to the east on the South Carolina border. Marcus joined the cavalry with his Home-of-Record listed as Charleston TN (McMinn County) which is just a very few miles from NGG’s Golden family home in Polk County.

Golden family Nashville 1864

Family lore has it that Marcus lingered for several days before dying from his wounds and that my gggrandfather NGG, Marcus’ father, was there at his death.

MY THEORY is that my gggrandfather, as a country doctor (herbal medicine was his specialty), had perhaps been drafted or contracted to help care for the wounded troops. Maybe he even volunteered. Much of Nashville had been in Union control for months before its final fall in December 1864. This is where the battle lines were. Perhaps it brought father and son together, however unintentionally.

By this stage of the war Nashville was all that was left of Southern controlled areas in Tennessee — and Nashville finally fell on Dec 15th.



Nathaniel Greene “Samuel” Golden

Birth 1812 in South Carolina

Death aft 1882/83

Arzela Moore

Birth Abt. 1825 in Fannin County, Georgia

Death 2 Nov 1886 in (Fannin County, Georgia)

Military Service: Company H, 12th Calvary Regiment of Tennessee, Union Army, aka 12th Mounted Infantry Regiment, Tennessee, Army of the Union.

Rank: Private

Enlisted: Febrary 26, 1864 at Charleston, McMinn, TN

Mustered: March 7, 1864 — Company H.

Died: October 22, 1864 from wounds received at Pulaski, Tennessee on September 27, 1864.

Calvary Swords - Union ArmySouthern Unionist forces (3rd and 12th Mounted Infantry Regiments) were constantly engaged in running skirmishes with military and guerrilla forces led by Gen Nathan Bedford Forrest. Forrest was fast and furious … catching the 12th off guard in late September. In a rush back to protect Pulaski from falling into Forrest’s control, a series of hasty skirmishes were waged between 24-28 September 1864. Marcus Golden was wounded on the 27th and died from his wounds on October 22nd, 1864. General Forrest went on to be a cofounder of the KKK and its first Grand Dragon.

Military Action during Marcus Golden’s period of service

On the 22d of February, 1864, six companies had been mustered and George Spalding was commissioned Lieut. Colonel. The Regiment was assigned to the second brigade, fourth division, Cavalry A. C., commanded by Gen A. C. Gillem and was ordered to section 51, N. & N. W. R. R. for the purpose of protecting it against the numerous bands of guerrillas infesting that portion of country. On April 14th, Lieut. Col. Spalding was placed in command of the 2d Brigade. In obedience to orders from Gen. Gillem the Brigade left section 51 N. & N. W. R. R., May 27th, and arrived at Nashville May 29th, 1864. June 1st the Brigade was ordered to Tullahoma, Tenn., to report temporarily to Brig. Gen. Payne. June 8th the Regiment was ordered to Dechard, Tenn., on the N. & C. R. R. While at Tullahoma and Dechard it was continually scouting and had several severe skirmishes with guerrillas. Capt. J. C. Rodgers, Co E, was killed June 14th in one of these engagements. June 23d the Regiment was ordered to Pulaski, where it arrived on the 26th. July 15th it was ordered to Huntsville, Ala., but upon arrival at Elkton, Tenn., the orders were countermanded, and it was ordered to return to Pulaski, Tenn. July 20th it was ordered on a scout to Florence, Ala. Returned to Pulaski the 26th. August 8th the Regiment engaged Roddy’s forces at Florence, Ala., in which engagement Lieut. Cunningham, Co. L.,was killed. It then proceeded to Clifton, Tenn., where it had a severe engagement with the rebel Biffles’ command, in which the Regiment lost one man killed and Lieut. Col. George Spalding was commissioned and mustered Colonel. General Gillem, having been assigned to the command of the Governor’s Guard, Col Spalding being the ranking officer present assumed command of the Division August 18th, 1864. August 26th the Regiment, with the Brigade, went to Tullahoma, Tenn., to oppose the forces under the rebel Gen. Wheeler then making a raid through Middle Tennessee. From Tullahoma it moved to Murfreesboro in pursuit of Gen. Cerro Gordo Williams, who was commanding a division of Wheeler’s cavalry. Continued the pursuit to Triune, Tenn., where it had a severe engagement with William’s command, capturing many prisoners and causing the rebels to make a hasty retreat. In obedience to orders from Maj. Gen. Rousseau, the Regiment started to join him, who was then in the vicinity of Columbia, pursuing the larger part of Wheeler’s cavalry. From Columbia it proceeded to Pulaski, arriving there Sept. 7th; thence to Elkton, thence to Shoal Creek, where it joined Gen. Rousseau’s command. Gen. Wheeler having escaped across the Tennessee river, the Regiment was ordered to Pulaski where it arrived Sept. 12th. Sept. 21st the Regiment left Pulaski to make a reconnaissance in the direction of Florence, Ala., where it ascertained that Gen. Forrest had crossed the Tennessee river, at the mouth of Cyprus Creek, and was making in the direction of Athens, Ala. The Regiment, after capturing several wagons and a number of prisoners, returned with all possible speed to Pulaski, arriving at that place on the night of the 25th inst. It left Pulaski at 3 o’clock on the morning of the 26th to contest the approach of Forrest who had captured Athens, Ala., and was moving on Pulaski, tearing up the railroad as he advanced. The Regiment engaged the enemy at Sulfur Branch Trestle Sept. 26th; at Richland Creek Sept. 27th and 28th, and at Pulaski the 28th.

Marcus L. Golden died on October 22, 1864 from wounds received at Pulaski, Tennessee on September 27, 1864.

His mother applied for a war pension in 1881, and his brother Joseph H. Golden applied in 1893.

Marcus L Golden
Application record for a pension due to death while in military service.

It is unclear if Marcus was reinterred or the cemetery at Nashville was formally designated a national cemetery. Regardless, this is the post-1928 interment document for his grave: G-8171

Marcus L Golden
Marcus L Golden interment document – Nashville National Cemetery, Tennessee

You are welcome to add to or to correct this story by contacting: Bill Golden,

BTW – I look forward to sharing your stories, photos and in-search-of quests. Contact me at the email address above.