Martin Witherspoon Gary

Brigadier General

Headstone: Find-a-Grave

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Reference: Alabama Department of Archives & History. Custodian of the original pictures. Confederate Officers photo album.

Martin Witherspoon Gary, a brother-in-law of General N. G. Evans, was born in Cokesbury, South Carolina, on March 25, 1831. Expelled from South Carolina College as the result of a rather humorous incident known as the "biscuit rebellion," he entered Harvard and was graduated in 1854. He then studied law and soon became a markedly successful criminal lawyer and a member of the South Carolina legislature. Entering the service of the Confederacy as a captain in the Hampton Legion, he commanded it at First Manassas after the wounding of Hampton and the death of Lieutenant Colonel Johnson. First dismounted and later as cavalry, the legion was led by Gary, with the rank of colonel, throughout most of the war. He was promoted brigadier general from May 19, 1864, and had his brigade enlarged by three additional regiments. Commanding the last Confederate troops to leave Richmond, General Gary cut his way out after Lee's surrender at Appomattox and helped escort Jefferson Davis and his cabinet south. The last meeting of the cabinet took place in the home of Gary's mother at Cokesbury. A most effective stump speaker, he championed the cause of white supremacy after the war, along with Generals Hampton and Butler, and served four years in the state senate. Twice defeated for the United States Senate by his onetime associates, with whom he had broken politically, he died in Edgefield County, South Carolina, April 9, 1881, and is buried in Cokesbury.

Ref: Generals in Gray, Lives of the Confederate Commanders by Ezra J. Warner.  Printed by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge and London.