Rev. John Manly of Edgefield County, South Carolina

Rev. John Manly married a daughter of Zebulon Rudolph, of Red Bank, about the year 1825, and remained in Edgefield a good many years. The mention of Rudolph recalls to my memory an old Edgefield tradition that the celebrated Marshal Ney of France, the bravest of the brave, was a Rudolph, born on Red Bank, in Edgefield District, and that his name was Michael Rudolph; that in his youth he went to France; enlisted in the army; soon became noted for his bravery; was made corporal, sergeant, lieutenant. At that period, in the history of France when promotion once began it was rapid, and before many years he rose to the highest rank in the army, that of Marshal of France. It is really wonderful how such traditions begin, and how they hold their own, once started.

There is, however, this much of truth in the story to build upon. Ney’s name was Michael. Alison in his History of Europe, and Ney’s biographers, name the place of his birth, his education, his father, his enlistment, his rise from the ranks, &c. It is impossible for him to have been Michael Rudolph of Red Bank in Edgefield. But perhaps not, after all, for the Rudolphs of Edgefield were of noble German or Alsace origin.

Source: Chapman, John Abney; History of Edgefield County from the earliest settlement to 1897; Newberry, S.C.: E. H. Aull, 1897.

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