William Thompson Martin

Monument: Find-a-Grave

William Thompson Martin, a native of Glasgow, Kentucky, was born on March 25, 1823. He was graduated from Centre College in 1840. Two years later he removed to Natchez, Mississippi. He was admitted to the bar in 1844, and served several terms as district attorney. By conviction a strong Unionist Whig, he nevertheless recruited a company of cavalry in 1861, which he led to Richmond after the fall of Fort Sumter. Successively promoted major, lieutenant colonel, and colonel of the Jeff Davis Legion, he commanded the rear third of J. E. B. Stuart's column in the celebrated "ride around McClellan" in 1862, and was present during the battles of the Seven Days and at Sharpsburg. He was commissioned brigadier general on December 2, 1862, and ordered to the West. Martin commanded a division in the Tullahoma campaign and at Chickamauga, and accompanied Longstreet to Knoxville. He was promoted major general to rank from November 10, 1863. In the Atlanta campaign he led a division of Wheeler's corps, and toward the close of the war, commanded the District of Northwest Mississippi. General Martin's career after the war was distinguished by active participation in the fields of politics, education, and railroad building. A delegate to all the Democratic national conventions between 1868 and 1880, he served twelve years in the Mississippi senate. He was also a trustee both of the state university and of Jefferson College at Washington, Mississippi. In 1884 he completed the construction of the Natchez, Jackson, & Columbus Railroad, of which he was president. He died near Natchez, March 16, 1910, and is buried in City Cemetery.

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

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