Lt. Col. Troy D. Marshall, Virginia Museum of the Civil War and New Market Battlefield State Historical Park site director, died June 17, 2021, after rescuing his son from drowning in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. He was 54.
A native of Petersburg, Virginia, he was an Eagle Scout and a member of the Order of the Arrow. After serving for four years in the U.S. Coast Guard, he attended the College of William & Mary, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history in 1995.
He began his career in museums and historical interpretation in 1996 as the acting chief of interpretation at Pamplin Historical Park in Petersburg. After working at other historical sites, including the Sherwood Forest Plantation—the home of President John Tyler—for several years, he joined the staff at New Market in 2001 as the supervisor of visitor services. The following year, he became the supervisor of historical interpretation. In that position, he was responsible for guided tours, special events, and interpretive activities.
After a national search for a new director of the Virginia Museum of the Civil War and the New Market Battlefield State Historical Park, Marshall received the job in July 2011. In that position, he improved the site’s programs and was responsible for executing several significant capital improvements at the park.
Marshall had a well-earned reputation as a gifted museum professional who shared his passion and knowledge freely. He particularly enjoyed welcoming visitors to the site and presenting the many stories related to the museum and the battlefield, including the Bushong Farm. He was also a prolific writer whose work appeared in numerous publications, including Civil War News and The Artilleryman, a journal of history of artillery. He was in high demand as a speaker, as well.
Col. Keith E. Gibson ’77, VMI Museum System executive director, recalled, “When I interviewed Troy before hiring him 20 years ago, his question to me was to ask about opportunities for advancement. Ten years later, I was delighted to ‘advance’ him to site director. Troy’s perpetual smile was a great asset to his leadership skills.”
Franklin Van Valkenburg ’13 began historical reenacting as a cadet and attended several of the annual reenactments of the Battle of New Market. He described Marshall as “an exceptional man whose passionate dedication to his profession was matched only by his infectiously charismatic energy. The memory of the New Market cadets and soldiers on both sides of that battle was commemorated to the fullest measure possible through Troy’s exceptional work.”
Marshall is survived by his wife, Samantha, and son, Nathaniel, as well as his mother, three siblings, and numerous nieces and nephews. His father, William E. Marshall, predeceased him.
Scott Belliveau '83 Communications Officer - Executive Projects
The communications officer supports the strategy for all communications, including web content, public relations messages and collateral pieces in order to articulate and promote the mission of the VMI Alumni Agencies and promote philanthropy among varied constituencies.