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Kentucky Genealogy and Biography Volume III, Battle – Perrin – Kniffin, 2nd ed., 1885.
COL. ABSALOM R. SHACKLETT, McLean County, was born December 7, 1826, in Meade County County, Ky., and is a son of Gen. Blancet and Rachel (Ashcraft) Shacklett, natives of Fayette County, Penn.; the former was a soldier in the war of 1812, and a brigadier-general of Kentucky State militia, when the position was one of honor and responsibility. Gen. Shacklett immigrated to Kentucky, and settled in Meade County in 1806; he was a son of John and Barbara (Quick) Shacklett. Barbara Quick was born on shipboard in 1744, when her parents were on their way to the United States. After her husband’s death in 1808, she removed to Kentucky with her family; it is said there is but one family of Shacklett in the United States. Col. Shacklett’s maternal grandfather was Richard Ashcraft, who married Elizabeth Carr, and settled in Nelson County, Ky., in an early day, participating in the Indian wars of pioneer days in Kentucky. Col. Shacklett was brought up to farm life, received a common school education, and at the age of eighteen, commenced business for himself. In 1847, he enlisted in Company A. First United States Voltiguers Rifle Infantry for service in Mexico (with eight others same name), and while out was in three engagements of that war; was wounded in battle of Molino-Del-Rey. In August, 1848, he was discharged and returned home and engaged in farming. He then moved to this county in 1859, and settled on a farm of 187 acres. In October, 1861, he enlisted in Company H, Eighth Kentucky (Confederate) Infantry, and in November following his enlistment, was elected captain of his company; he took part in the battle of Fort Donelson and was there captured. After his exchange he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel, (in September, 1862), and afterward participated in the battles of Coffeeville, Fort Pemberton, Champion Hill, Big Black, Vicksburg and Jackson (Miss.). In February,1864, the regiment was mounted and joined Forrest’s Cavalry. In July, 1864, he was commissioned colonel, and was in all the battles of Forrest’s Cavalry until the surrender at Columbus, Miss., in May, 1865. He was a brave and gallant officer, and with his sword boldly maintained the principles he believed to be right. When the Confederacy went down he boldly accepted the situation, and quietly returned, Cincinnatus-like, to his plow, and, though still in the prime of life, the hero of two wars. He was married January 25, 1849, to Minerva J., born in Meade, a daughter of George, born in Washington, Fayette Co., Penn., and Barbara (Jenkins) Humphrey, born and reared in Washington County, Ky. Colonel and Mrs. Shacklett had six children: William W., Sallie C., Stonewall, Jesse K., Mary C. and Sophia H., all living. Mrs. Shacklett died January 26, 1882. Col. Shacklett was a Whig, and gave his first presidential vote to Gen. Taylor in 1848. Since the war he has voted the Democratic ticket, and is representative in the lower house of the general assembly from McLean in 1885-86.