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Shelby, Joseph Orville

Joseph Orville Shelby, 1830–97, Confederate cavalry commander in the American Civil War, b. Lexington, Ky. He made a considerable fortune in rope manufacturing in Kentucky and Missouri. While in Missouri he participated in the Kansas-Missouri border war on the proslavery side. When the Civil War broke out he organized a cavalry brigade in Missouri. He participated in numerous raids in the Southwest, was wounded at Helena, Ark. (July, 1863), but joined Sterling Price in his invasion of Missouri in 1864. Shelby and his men had sworn never to surrender; after Appomattox his forces crossed the Rio Grande into Mexico and offered their services to the French puppet ruler, Emperor Maximilian. Shelby ultimately returned to the United States. From 1893 to 1897 he served as U.S. marshal for the Western District of Missouri.

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