The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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educated. Judge Murphey, Judge McCay, Governor Morehead, and others, received from this excellent teacher their early education.

        He married in 1765, Rachel, the third daughter of Rev. Alexander Craighead, of Mecklenburg County. After a long life of usefulness and honor, he died August 25, 1824.

        Alexander Martin, died in 1807, who for a long time resided in this county, was born in New Jersey. He was liberally educated. His brother, Colonel James Martin, who resided in Stokes, was a colonel in the revolution, and the father of the late Judge James Martin of Salisbury, who moved to Alabama and there died. Another brother, Thomas, was an Episcopal minister, a graduate of Princeton, and taught school in Virginia. Another brother, Samuel, was a captain in the revolutionary war, and was at the battle of Eutaw. He married in Charlotte, where he died.

        Alexander, the subject of this sketch, moved to Virginia, and thence to Guilford County; in 1772, he was its representative in the colonial assembly.

        He was a member of the first provincial congress that met at New Berne, 1774, in opposition to the royal government, and again in 1775. The provincial congress that met at Halifax, (April 4, 1776) appointed him colonel of the second regiment in the continental service, with John Patton as lieutenant-colonel. He joined the grand army of the north, under General Washington. He was at the battles of Brandywine, September 11, 1777, and at Germantown, October 4, 1777, where his brigade commander, Nash, was killed.*

        * The following is extracted from the University Magazine, V, 363:

        "Our brigade from North Carolina was inspected; the seven regiments, which had been two years in service, were ascertained to be too small for their complement of officers, the brigade was reduced to three regiments, the surplus officers were discharged and sent home. The first regiment was commanded by Thomas Clarke, of Hanover to which the 6th was attached; the second was commanded by Colonel Patton, to which the 4th regiment was attached; the third regiment was commanded by Jethro Sumner, to which the 5th regiment was attached. The oldest captain of each regiment, that was broken up was retained in the new regiment, with the priviledge of selecting the men who should compose their company from the regiment to which they first belonged.

        "Alexander Martin, colonel of the second regiment, at the battle of Germantown, seeing a soldier slip into a hollow of a gum tree, ordered him out, threatening to run him through with his sword. The soldier obeyed, and our gallant colonel took shelter from danger by getting into his place. This was proved next day in court-material, and he was sent home to Hillsboro with a wooden sword.

        "At the same court. General Stevens, of the Virginia line, was sentenced to go home to his plantation also with a wooden sword, for drunkenness and disobedience, and to never appear again in the American service."

        This battle terminated his military career. Degraded by the court martial, he returned home, and the magazine, from which we have quoted, adds that "these officers who were dismissed proved very useful. On their return they found the state in great confusion; tories were very abundant; robberies and murders frequent. These officers used their influence and experience in quelling and taking these tories prisoners and hanging many of them; thus proving themselves in their own state more useful than they could have been to the country had they been retained in the army."

        This sentence of the court martial did not affect, as it is shown by subsequent events, the character, usefulness or popularity of Colonel Martin, for, in 1779, he was elected senator from Guilford, and re-elected in 1780,-'81,-'82, 1787,-'88, and was chosen speaker of the senate during all these years.

        On the capture of Governor Burke, 1781, by the tories, under David Fanning, at Hillsboro, then the seat of government, as speaker of the senate, he became ex-officio governor of the state, and exercised the functions of that office.

        In 1782, and again in 1789, he was elected governor of the state, and was senator in congress from 1793 to 1799.

        Governor Martin, by his support of John Adams and the alien and sedition laws, lost
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