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Martin Relatives in the Civil War

The American Civil War, from 1861 to 1865, was an all-consuming national tragedy, affecting all American families to one extent or another.  So far, I have identified only three direct descendants of John and Sarah (Stanley) Martin who served in combat units during this monumental struggle, but the Martins had many in-laws, cousins, and other relatives who served and fought, some of whom were injured and some of whom lost their lives.

Photo of John I. Martin
John I. Martin  

The Direct Descendants

  • John Irwin Martin enlisted in Iowa 8th Cavalry, Company A, at Sidney, IA, 9 Aug. 1863, as 4th Corporal.  He served 2 years and was promoted to Second Sergeant by the time he mustered out 13 Aug. 1865, at Macon, GA.  The 8th Iowa Cavalry engaged in several battles in Tennessee and Georgia.  John later applied for a pension based a disability that resulted from mumps and measles he had contracted while in the service.
    John was a son of Isaac Martin.

Photo of tombstone
  Levi Martin's head≠stone, Camargo, IL

  • Levi Martin enlisted in the 79th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Company E, at Tuscola, IL, on 7 Aug. 1862.  On account of physical disability he was mustered out at Nashville, TN, 29 Jan. 1863.  Having healed, he enlisted again in the 18th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Company D, at Danville, IL, on 4 Nov. 1864.  He was sent to Little Rock, AR, where the regiment was reorganized and he was elected Orderly Sergeant of his company, then on 28 June 1865, he was commissioned Second Lieutenant.  He was mustered out of the service 13 Jan. 1866 at Springfield, IL.  He was on regiment and garrison duty principally, and had charge of building pontoon bridges at Little Rock, AR.
    Levi was a son of John Martin, Jr.

  • Oren B. Martin (shown as "Orren" in the official roster) enrolled in 140th Ohio Infantry, Company C, 2 May 1864 at Gallipolis, Ohio; held rank of Sergeant; mustered out with company 3 Sept. 1864.
    Oren was the son of Joseph Martin.

Other Relatives and Associates

  • James Barnett enlisted in the 79th Illinois Infantry, Company G, 18 Aug. 1862; deserted 10 July 1863.
    James married John Martin Jr.ís daughter Nancy A. Martin after the war (1867).

  • Andrew J. Harshbarger enlisted in the 7th Regiment of the Indiana Infantry, Company B, on 30 Aug. 1861.  Later, Corporal Andrew J. Harshbarger transferred to Company A of the Reorganized 20th Regiment on 14 Dec. 1863 and mustered out as a Sergeant on 12 July 1865.  Andrew saw many engagements during his service, including Second Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, the siege of Petersburg, and the Battle of Gettysburg.
    Andrew married Ambrose Martinís daughter Louisa after the war (1866).
     
  • Eli G. Irwin enlisted in the Iowa 4th Cavalry, Company A, on 10 Aug. 1861, and was promoted to Saddler June 30, 1862.  Eli died on 4 Sept. 1863 at Vicksburg, MS, of disease, and is buried in the National Cemetery at Vicksburg, Sec. F, Grave 480.
    Eli was a son of Mary Irwin Martinís brother John (and also the younger brother of Isaac M. Irwin, listed below).

Photo showing rows of identical tombstones in cemetery
  The National Cemetery at Vicksburg, MS

  • Emerick Irwin enlisted in the Iowa 4th Cavalry, Company A, on 21 Dec. 1863.  Mustered out with company at Atlanta, GA, on 8 Aug. 1865.
    Emerick was a son of Mary Irwin Martinís brother William.

Photo of Isaac M. Irwin
Isaac M. Irwin    

  • Isaac M. Irwin enlisted in the Iowa 4th Cavalry, Company A, on 10 Aug. 1861 and was appointed as 3rd Corporal on muster-in.  He was captured in action on 11 Oct. 1862 at Jones's Lane, AR; paroled and returned on 8 Nov. and exchanged on 1 Dec. 1862.  Isaac reenlisted as a veteran on 12 Dec. 1863 and was promoted, eventually, to 3rd Sergeant.  Isaac died on 15 Mar. 1865, at his home in Fremont County, IA, of disease contracted in the service.
    Isaac was a son of Mary Irwin Martinís brother John and also was probably named after Mary's husband, as his full name was Isaac Martin Irwin.
     
  • James Irwin enlisted in 44th Iowa Infantry and was appointed Surgeon 5 May 1864.  Mustered out 15 Sept. 1864 at Davenport, Iowa.
    James was a brother of Mary Irwin Martin.
     
  • John C. Irwin enlisted in the Iowa 4th Cavalry, Company A, 22 Dec. 1863.  Mustered out with company at Atlanta, GA, 8 Aug. 1865.
    John C. Irwin was a son of Mary Irwin Martinís brother James.
     
  • John M. Irwin enlisted in the Iowa 4th Cavalry, Company A, on 22 Dec. 1863.  Mustered out with company at Atlanta, GA, on 8 Aug. 1865.
    John M. Irwin was a son of Mary Irwin Martinís brother William.
     
  • Levi Irwin enlisted in Iowa 8th Cavalry, Company A, 15 Aug. 1865.  Mustered out 13 Aug. 1865, at Macon, GA.
    Levi was a son of Mary Irwin Martinís brother Hugh.
     
  • Wesley Irwin enlisted in Iowa 15th Infantry, Company F, 10 Oct. 1861.  He died in battle 3 Oct. 1862 at Corinth, MS.
    Wesley was a son of Mary Irwin Martinís brother Hugh.

Painting of troops engaged in battle
  Artist's depiction of the Siege of Corinth, MS

  • William H. Irwin enlisted in Iowa 15th Infantry, Company F, 21 Jan. 1862.  Mustered Feb. 19, 1862, Shiloh, Tenn.  Discharged for disability 4 Aug. 1863 at St. Louis, MO.
    William was a brother of Mary Irwin Martin.
     
  • Hamlin R. Laird enlisted in Iowa 4th Cavalry, Company A, 10 Aug. 1861; appointed 4th Corporal on muster-in.  Mustered out Dec. 4, 1864.
    Hamlin was a brother of Sarah Martinís husband William T. Laird.
     
  • Samuel K. Lyon (shown as Lyons in the official roster) enlisted in the 7th Independent Battery, Ohio Light Artillery on 5 March 1862 and mustered out on 6 March 1865, at Vicksburg, Miss.  During his service, he participated in the siege of Corinth, Miss., the Battle of Hatchie River, and the siege of Vicksburg, Miss.
    Samuel married Joseph Martinís daughter Louisa after the war (1866).

Photo of Samuel Macomber
Samuel P.      
Macomber     

  • Samuel P. Macomber enlisted in 23rd Iowa Infantry, Company F, 4 Jan. 1864; died of disease at Morganza, LA, 13 Aug. 1864.
    Sam was not related to the Martins and probably never even met any of them, but his death greatly affected the family, inasmuch as Samís widow, Eliza Ann (Holland) Macomber, became Elza Martinís third wife in 1867, gave him three children, and lived with him for 37 years.
     
  • John Martin enlisted in Iowa 4th Cavalry, Company A, 3 Sept. 1861; appointed Farrier on muster-in.  Reenlisted as a Veteran 12 Dec. 1863 and was reappointed Farrier 4 Aug. 1864.  Mustered out with company at Atlanta, GA, on 8 Aug. 1865.
    This John Martin was a son of Abner C. Martin and, hence, was not directly related to OUR Martins, but he was also an uncle of Susanna Martinís husband James H. Wilson.
     
  • Irwin Mooney enlisted in Iowa 4th Cavalry, Company A, 10 Aug. 1861.  He died 3 June 1862 at James's Mills, MO, of camp fever.
    Irwin's relationship is unknown, but he was listed in the household of Ambrose and Jane (Martin) Humphrey in the 1860 census.
     
  • Abner Martin Reeves enlisted in Iowa 46th Infantry, Company B, 16 May 1864.  Mustered out 23 Sept. 1864 at Davenport, IA.
    Abner was a cousin of John I. Martinís wife, Rachel Reeves, and was also listed in the household of Ambrose and Jane (Martin) Humphrey in the 1860 census.
     
  • Alexander Reeves enlisted in Iowa 46th Infantry, Company B, 28 May 1864.  He died of disease 27 Sept. 1864 at Keokuk, IA.
    Alexander was a cousin of John I. Martinís wife, Rachel Reeves, and also the younger brother of Abner Martin Reeves.
     
  • Elza Armstrong Reeves (the elder, b. 1827) enlisted in Iowa 4th Cavalry, Company A, 10 Aug. 1861.  Reenlisted as a Veteran 12 Dec. 1863; promoted eventually to 6th Corporal.  Wounded in action, slight, 16 Apr. 1865, Columbus, Ga.  Mustered out with company at Atlanta, GA, 8 Aug. 1865.
    This Elza was the son of Samuel Reeves and Susannah Martin, who was (a) a daughter of Abner C. Martin and (b) a sister of Martha Martin Wilson, the mother of James H. Wilson, who married Isaac Martinís daughter Susanna.  Hence, Elza Armstrong Reeves was James H. Wilsonís cousin.  He was also a brother-in-law of Mary Irwin Martin, as he had married Maryís sister Susannah.  (Got that?  Yes, there were THREE Susannahs:  Elza Reevesís mother was Susannah Martin, his wife was Susannah Irwin, and his cousin James Wilson married another Susanna Martin.)

  • Elza Armstrong Reeves (the younger, b. 1845) enlisted in Iowa 4th Cavalry, Company A, 5 Sept. 1864.  Mustered out 17 June 1865 at Nashville, TN.
    This man was listed as "Elza A. Reeves, Jr." in the official 4th Cavalry roster, but he was not a son of the older Elza.  My guess is that the Company clerk attached "Jr." to the younger man's name just as a means of differentiating between these two identically named soldiers.  The parents of the younger Elza were Ambrose Reeves and Sarah Irwin.  Ambrose was a first cousin of the elder Elza and, hence, the two Elzas were cousins once removed (on the Reeves side).  However, the elder Elza also had married a sister of the younger Elza's mother, which made him an uncle-by-marriage to the younger man.  The younger Elza's mother also happened to be a sister of Mary Irwin Martin (which made him Maryís nephew).
     
  • Henry W. Reeves enlisted in Iowa 4th Cavalry, Company A, 26 Dec. 1863.  Mustered out with company at Atlanta, GA, on 8 Aug. 1865.
    Henry was a son of Ambrose Reeves and Sarah Irwin, a sister of Mary Irwin Martin (hence, he was Maryís nephew).
     
  • Lewis Reeves enlisted in Iowa 46th Infantry, Company B, 30 May 1864.  Mustered out 23 Sept. 1864 at Davenport, IA.
    Lewis was a cousin of John I. Martinís wife, Rachel Reeves, and also the younger brother of Abner Martin Reeves.
     
  • Isaac H. Watkins enrolled in 135th Illinois Infantry 10 May 1864 at Tuscola, IL; mustered out 6 Jun. 1864 at Mattoon, IL.  Reenrolled in 149th Illinois Infantry, Company F, 24 Jan. 1865 at Danville, IL; mustered out 27 Jan. 1866 at Dalton, GA.
    Isaac married John Martin Jr.ís daughter Margaret after the war (1867).
     
  • Josiah B. Wilson enlisted in Iowa 4th Cavalry, Company A, 10 Aug. 1861.  Josiah died 1 June 1862, at Fairview, AR, of camp fever.
    Josiah was a brother of Susanna Martinís husband James H. Wilson.
     
  • Joseph M. Wilson enlisted in Iowa 4th Cavalry, Company A, 10 Aug. 1861; promoted to 2nd Corporal 1 Feb. 1862.  Discharged 16 Aug. 1862 at St. Louis, MO, for disability caused by disease.
    Joseph was a brother of Susanna Martinís husband James H. Wilson.
     
  • James P. Worrall enlisted in Illinois 79th Infantry, Company E, 15 Aug. 1862; transferred 10 Jan. 1865 to Veteran Reserve Corps (a military reserve organization created to allow infirm or partially disabled soldiers to perform light duty).
    James P. Worrall was the husband of Ambrose Martinís daughter Sarah.

The Southern Border Brigade

In addition to the relatives listed above, who served in regular combat units during the war, many Martins and their relatives enlisted in what was called the Southern Border Brigade.  This was essentially a local militia consisting of men from all the counties along the southern border of Iowa, organized to guard against rebel insurgents sneaking into Iowa from Missouri, and also to provide aid to Union loyalists living in northern Missouri.  These men assembled and drilled, designated sentries, and set up systems of messengers to spread the alarm if suspected intruders were spotted.

The Southern Border Brigade did not engage in any significant battles during the war, but it is likely that its presence ó its mere existence ó served as a deterrent to Confederate raids into Iowa.  Its history is described in more detail in The History of Fremont County.

Volunteers from Fremont County were organized into Company A of the 4th Battalion.  The following Martin relatives and associates were listed on its roster.  All of these men enlisted on 17 Sept. and mustered on 18 October 1862.  Some of them later enlisted in regular combat units, and so were already listed above with details of their subsequent service.

  • Humphrey, Ambrose W.
  • Irwin, Hugh.
  • Irwin, John.
  • Irwin, John C.
  • Irwin, John M.
  • Irwin, Levi.
  • Martin, Archelaus S.
  • Martin, John I.
  • Martin, Joseph W.
  • Reeves, Abner M.
  • Reeves, Christopher C.
  • VanNess, John.
  • VanNess, Moses C.
  • Wilson, James H.

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