Mitchell married Berrien “Red” Kinnard Upshaw, an ex-football player from a prominent Raleigh (North Carolina) family, on September 2nd 1922, but their stormy marriage
After four months Upshaw left Atlanta for the Midwest and never returned.
Married in September 1922, they were separated by July. Three months later, Red drove up unexpectedly to the door. Peggy spoke with him briefly and then invited him into the house. In the divorce deposition, Peggy stated that "Mr. Upshaw demanded his connubial rights after striking me with his fist upon my left arm..." She refused on the grounds that she feared he would treat her in a "cruel and inhumane manner." Her counsel stated that he "jerked her against the bed, causing her to be bruised all over her body." Peggy fought him off, screaming for help. Bessie Berry, her housekeeper, appeared in the doorway as Red was leaving the bedroom. Peggy in tears, ran after him, yelling at him to get out of the house. At that, her husband turned around and punched her full in the face.
The marriage was annulled two years later after it was revealed that he was a bootlegger and an abusive alcoholic.
She later married Upshaw`s friend, John Marsh, on July 4, 1925; Marsh had been best man at her first wedding and legend has it that both men courted Mitchell in 1921 and 1922, but Upshaw proposed first.
Mitchell claimed that Upshaw sexually assaulted her after their divorce.
A brief visit by Upshaw in 1932 forced Margaret to flee to Gainesville, Georgia. During this time Mitchell was working on revising Gone With The Wind, preparing it for publication.