Marcus Lafayette Wilkins was the son of John F. Wilkins and Sarah Jane Beam. He married Martha Tabitha Anderson, the daughter of Ensley Benton Anderson and Mary Ann Blackwell, on September 24, 1865, in Gilmer County, Georgia. They had eight children: William, Mary, Nancy, John, Joseph, Robert, Floyd, and James. During the Civil War, he enlisted on July 22, 1861, at Forsyth County, Georgia as a private in D Company, 2nd Battalion, North Carolina Infantry, CSA. On April 11, 1864, he was transfered to E Company, 21st Georgia Infantry Regiment, CSA. He was captured at the Battle of Roanoke Island (Fort Huger) and later paroled, and he was captured at the Battle of Gettysburg and remained as a POW until paroled for exchange on February 18, 1865, at Pea Patch Island, Delaware City, Delaware. After the war, he moved to Arkansas where he farmed in Madison and Benton Counties. He later moved to the Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory and eventually moved to Golden, Barry County, Missouri, where he died.