Biographical Profile: Corporal Thomas John Martin, Company F, Pennsylvania Volunteers, 100th Regiment

Transcribed by Tami McConahy, 2nd great-grandniece of Corp. Thomas John Martin, Co. F. from available Historical Sources.

"A Martin Family Genealogy", by Ralph G. Nash, 1980.

"Thomas (T.J., or Tommy) was educated in the Washington township schools and worked on his parents' farm until 1862. He arranged with William Young in Grove City, Pennsylvania, to learn the (hide) tanning trade (Ann Eliza “Ziza” Martin, 1925). However, the excitement of the War of Rebellion (Civil War) was so great that it changed his plans.

T.J. enlisted under Colonel Daniel Leasure, 9 September 1862, at North Liberty, Pennsylvania, in Company F of the 100th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers. The 100th was commonly known as the Round Heads of the English Revolution and by Scotch-Irish Covenanters. Colonel Leasure was to recruit an infantry regiment from among the descendants of the Covenanters and of Cromwell's army, because they possessed a devotion to the principles of liberty (S.P. Bates, 1870). Tommy's first camp was at Alexandria, Virginia, under Captain Hamilton.

From Alexandria, the 100th Round Heads were sent to Annapolis, Maryland. On 19 October, the Round Heads sailed from Annapolis to rendezvous at Fort Monroe, Virginia. On 29 October the Round Heads again set sail under sealed orders along with five companies of the 50th Pennsylvania on the Ocean Queen. "On the second day out the fleet was overtaken by a violent storm, which raged with unabated fury for 36 hours. On the morning of 3 November, all the other vessels of the fleet being out of sight, Colonel Leasure opened his orders and 'Sail for Port Royal Entrance.'" (S.P. Bates, 1870)

An exasperated President Lincoln had replaced General McClellan, Commander of the Army of the Potomac, with General Burnside, because of McClellan's slowness in attacking the rebels. The Round Heads were with Burnside for three days during the attack on Fredericksburg, Virginia, but were thrown back on the 13 December 1862 when the Union lost 12,653 men to the entrenched rebels under General Lee (Jordan, 1969).

The Round Heads were then sent west to Lexington, Kentucky, then to Green River, Camp Dick, Robinson, and Cairo, Illinois, enroute to Vicksburg, Mississippi (which fell 4 July 1863), with General Grant's forces in the Army of Tennessee.

While at Vicksburg, Thomas sent a letter to brother William, who was at Vicksburg also, telling him that he was at Youngs Point. William obtained a pass and rode seven to eight miles to his rear and visited overnight with T.J., his brother-in-law Math Stewart, and several other neighbors from near Eastbrook, Pennsylvania. The next week, T.J. received a pass and visited overnight with William. Later, when T.J.'s army was passing about a mile or so from William's encampment to return to the East, William obtained a pass and ran three or four miles to visit T.J. He found T.J. lying down with his hat over his face resting before moving off (William Martin, “Out and Forward or Recollections of the War of 1861 to 1865” 1941).

After Vicksburg, the Round Heads were in the battles of Knoxville (29 November 1863) and Blaines Cross Roads, Tennessee.

The Round Heads returned to the East. About 1 May 1864 they left Annapolis, Maryland, and with the 9th Corps joined Grant's Army of the Potomac. In the wilderness, near Chancellorsville, Virginia, the Round Heads were ordered over the breastworks into the dense woods early on May 6. Casualties were heavy on both sides and the battle raged throughout the day. Late in the day the Union soldiers were routed, but Colonel Leasure ordered a counter-attack with three brigades, which included the Round Heads. The rebel advance was halted with only a few casualties to the 100th. The Round Heads crossed the Ny River on the 9th of May only to meet entrenched rebel troops again at Spotsylvania Court House, which Grant vowed to hammer away at with his superior forces regardless of his heavier casualties, T.J. was wounded when a mini ball passed through his right leg. "Missile cut through the tissues on outer and back aspect of the right leg, 4 inches 10 cm above the ankle joint, leaving a broad scar 4 inches long and a deep indentation - - from the marked deformity there was evidently much sloughing of the soft tissues -- bones were not injured-- it involved the extreme lower part of the calf of the leg-- the leg at this point is one inch 2.5 cm in circumference less than the left leg at a corresponding point. This wound resulted in weakness and lack of strength in the exterior muscles and resulting in poor locomotion" (Martin, 1862)

T.J. spent four days in a Washington, D.C. hospital during the latter part of May, then was sent to McDougall hospital at Fort Schuler (Schyler), New York. On 17 June 1864, he was furloughed for 30 days, then admitted to a hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Martin, 1862).

Tommy returned to duty 1 October 1864. On the 27th of October, the Round Heads were again engaged in battle at Hatchees Run, Virginia. The Round Heads then overwintered with the 9th Corps, who were part of the Union Army besieging Petersburg, Virginia. When the Union Army was about to begin their spring offensive, the rebel forces massed and attacked Fort Steadman before dawn on the 25th of March with the intent of breaking the lines and destroying the vast military supplies there. The Fort was captured and T.J. took a mini ball "missile on the left side and base of left buttock, passed directly just posterior to the coryx, pierced and passed through the right buttock and made its exit at the base of the right buttock - - From point of entrance to point of exit the exact measurement is 11 inches 28 cm - - both scars are well defined and about the size of a silver quarter - - The bones were not injured - - it was a flesh wound but a severe one" (Martin, 1862). He had to lie on his stomach in the hospital.

Corporal Martin entered a field hospital at City Point, then was transferred to Mt. Pleasant hospital in Washington, D.C. on 2 April 1865. On April 14, the night that President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, the nurse told T.J. such a wild story that his grief and chills (fever) nearly killed him. He could hear the sound of the cavalry in the street starting out after the assassination. T.J. was furloughed starting on the 24th of April, then transferred to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on July 1, and finally mustered out (discharged) of the Army at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on 24 July 1865 (Martin, 1862).

Tommy worked for the Reno Railroad Company for a while in Oil City, Pennsylvania, and the coal mines of Western, Pennsylvania also. Then he married Jemima Davis at the home of her parents John and Nancy (Calderwood) Davis in Northwestern Scott Township, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania. Rev. J.G. Smith officiated.

Jemima was kidded about making a "mixed marriage" because Tommy was always black with coal dust when he came home form work. T.J. married the best quilter in the country. He built Jemima a quilting frame on pullies so she could lower the quilt to a working position or raise it to the ceiling when not working on a quilt. There is a stained glass window in the Covenanter Church in Eskridge, Kansas, in memory of Jemima Davis Martin. Unfortunately, vandals broke the window in 1979.

Tommy and Jemima continued to live near Eastbrook, Pennsylvania for a couple of years after their marriage. Then they followed T.J.'s older brothers west to near Wyman, Iowa on 24 September 1868. They bought a farm and settled down to family living in Washington County, east of Crawfordsville, until the early 1900's. Their membership in the Slipperyrock RP Church at Rosepoint, Pennsylvania, was released on 11 January 1869.

From T.J. Martin's obituary, which appeared probably in the Crawfordsville, Iowa, newspaper about 1 May 1924, was the following: "Mr. Martin was a life long Covenanter and always at his place of worship unless sickness prevented. He was a member of the RP Church at Los Angeles, California...After leaving Iowa in 1905 (Jemima had died early in 1904), he spent a few years with his children at Eskridge, Kansas, then went to California in 1918 to make his home with his son, Will.

"Many pages would be required to record the eulogies that may be given to Jemima. Her vivacious, gracious manner, goodness of heart, and hospitality are kept forever in the remembrance of her friends. As wife and mother, she served her generation will" (Ziza).

The goodness of T.J. and Jemima is demonstrated by the following: A sister of Jemima's died, leaving Robert and Edwin Buck orphaned. Jemima took Robert to rear and another sister took Edwin (apparently three Davis daughters all lived in Washington and Louisa County areas). However, Edwin (Ed) kept running away and coming to Tommy Martin's where his brother, Robert, was staying. Eventually the Martin's took both boys and treated them as they did their own sons.

In addition to the several farms and lands Tommy and Jemima owned in Washington County Iowa, he owned land in Wabaunsee County in 1893, before moving there in 1905.

Thomas John Martin was the son of John Martin of Mullyash Townland, County Monaghan, Ireland. His mother was Margaret Dodds of County Monaghan, Ireland. Thomas John Martin was born September 14, 1842 in Eastbrook, Mercer County, PA and died at the Pacific Branch National Soldiers Home, in Sawtell, California on April 24, 1924. He is buried in Crawfordsville, Iowa. He and his wife, Jemima Davis, had six children: Sarah Matilda (Tillie); John Eugene; Anna Mary (Nan); William George (poem by) ; James Blackwood Dodds; and Maggie Irena Belle."

1908 History of Lawrence County by Aaron L. Hazen

Page 583

George Martin, a leading citizen of Slippery Rock Township, whose well improved farm of 150 acres is situated seven miles southeast of New Castle, was born December 17, 1839, in what was then Mercer County, Pennsylvania. His parents were John and Margaret (Dodds) Martin.

William Martin, the grandfather, lived out his life in Ireland. He was the owner of a farm of some extent, which in that country is known as "forever land." John Martin, father of George, was born also in Ireland and was reared to manhood on his father's farm. Six years after his marriage to Margaret Dodds he brought his family to America and settled near Eastbrook, in Washington Township, in what is now Lawrence County. He continued to live there until the death of his wife, in 1871, when he moved to the farm owned by George Martin, with whom he lived until his death, which took place March 20, 1877. Of their ten children, two were born in Ireland and all lived to maturity except one. The following survived youth: Elizabeth, who married Henry Gillespie, both deceased, had two sons and two daughters; Anna, who married William McConahy, both deceased, had five sons and three daughters; Margaret, who is the widow of Robert Armstrong, has a son and daughter and resides with the latter, Anna Catherine, who is the wife of Newton Nelson, of Lawrence County; Mary, who married Ezekiel Wilson, both deceased, had five sons; James D., who married Amanda Garvin, resides at Lamar, Colo., and they have three sons and six daughters; William, who married (first) Sarah Stewart, of Lawrence County, and (second) Margaret Dodd, of Westmoreland County, has three sons and three daughters by his second union. He served three years of the Civil War as a member of the Eleventh Regiment, Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and now resides in Eskridge, Kansas; George, Daniel C., who is a clergyman, having a charge in Pittsburg, married Lucretia Mott McIntosh, who was named for the great Quakeress philanthropist, and they have three daughters and four living sons, one being deceased. Thomas J., the youngest member of this large family, resides on his farm in Waubunsee County, Kansas, twenty-five miles southeast of Topeka. In 1862 he enlisted in Company F, One Hundredth Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, in which he served three years, taking part in many battles. During the battle of the Wilderness he was wounded in the leg and was sent to a hospital, returning to his regiment as soon as sufficiently recovered. At the battle of Spottsylvania Court House he was very seriously injured, and was again sent to a hospital and again returned to his regiment, finally receiving his honorable discharge from the service. He married Jemima Davis, of Lawrence County, who died in 1904, while they were living at Crawfordsville, Iowa, after which he moved to his present farm. He has three sons and two daughters.

George Martin attended the schools near his home through boyhood and assisted in cultivating the home farm. When the first call was made for soldiers, in 1861, he enlisted under Col. Robert McComb, but the quota was filled before his regiment was made up and their services at that time were not needed. Mr. Martin then went to Oil City, where he worked for a year and then went back to the farm, taking the management of it for his father and operating it until his marriage, in 1866, when he moved to Washington County, Iowa, where he bought and operated a farm, remaining there until after the death of his wife, when he came back to Pennsylvania, and after his second marriage he bought his present farm. When Mr. Martin first acquired the place scarcely any improving had been done and little clearing. Years of the utmost activity followed and he each year made improvements. In 1876 he replaced the old barn with the present substantial structure, and in 1877 the old log house gave away to the present handsome residence. The fine condition of his land gives testimony to the work that has been put upon it. Mr. Martin has carried on general farming and has dealt largely in live stock and has a heavy shipper of cattle to Pittsburg and Philadelphia, and of milch cows to the latter place.

Mr. Martin was married (first) to Marrietta Hope, who died in January, 1871, in Washington County, Iowa. She was a daughter of Hugh Hope, of North Beaver Township, Lawrence County. She left no children. Mr. Martin was married (second) to Rosa A. Douthett, who is a daughter of William and Mary Douthett, of Brownsdale, Butler County, Pennsylvania, of which place her father was a native. Her mother was born in Mercer County. Mr. and Mrs. Martin have three sons and one daughter, namely: John W., who resides near Edenburg, in North Beaver Township, married Harriet A. Taylor and they have three sons, Merle K., Francis R. and Paul E. Wilson D., residing in Iowa, married Susan McCleary; George E., residing on Martin Street, New Castle, which was named in honor of his father, is a contractor, and married Amanda Patterson; and Mary W., who married William Munnell, a farmer, lives near Hermon Church in Slippery Rock Township.

Mr. and Mrs. Martin are strong workers for the cause of temperance, Mrs. Martin being an active member of the W.C.T.U. and Mr. Martin deeply in sympathy with the Prohibition movement. Mr. Martin has accepted no public office except that of school director, but has ever shown his interest in the welfare of the community. He is a leading member of the Covenanter or Reformed Presbyterian Church, and was a delegate in June, 1908, to the General Assembly of this religious body, which was held at Philadelphia.

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