The mysteries and the challenges of genealogy are what makes it enjoyable - EW Marler is a one of those mysteries of genealogy. On a regular basis I receive email telling me of the "new discoveries" which are actually legends retold. EW claimed to be from Connecticut, France, England -- there is no record of any Marlers in Connecticut at that time. I can find no proof of him being in New England. Even though it does upset a family legend, he was not an officer in the Union Army -- he was a civilan employee for Sherman's Construction Gang. I have heard his name as Emannuel and Eli -- one of his sons is Emmanuel Warren and he is recorded as Eli in a census but in all of the documents that he personally signed he only used the intials EW.
There is a division in the family over the spelling of the surname some use Mahler some use Marler. EW used Marler in his documents but I think either way is correct and do not see any reason for contention. I too am descened from EW through his son Sam P. Who was named Preston Primrose (a surname in NC in that time period - which may be a friend or a relative) as an infant but changed his name to Samuel Preston as an adult.
I am more that willing to share my research and the research I have on file done by others with anyone interested in this brick wall. Helen R. Marler