William Harrison Martin

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This article is about the Texas politician. For the American cryptologist and defector to the Soviet Union, see Martin and Mitchell Defection. For other uses, see William Martin.
William Harrison "Howdy" Martin
United States Congressman
Texas 2nd Congressional District
In office
November 4, 1887 – March 3, 1891
Preceded by John Henninger Reagan
Succeeded by John Benjamin Long
District Attorney
Kaufman, Smith
Henderson, Anderson counties
In office
unknown dates – (between Congress and State Senate)
Texas Senate, District 22
In office
Preceded by John O. Meusebach
Succeeded by Francis Marion Martin
Personal details
Born (1822-09-02)September 2, 1822
Twiggs County, Georgia
Died February 5, 1898(1898-02-05) (aged 75)
Hill County, Texas
Resting place Hillsboro Cemetery
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Martha Elizabeth Gallemore
Children Six children
Residence Hillsboro, Texas
Alma mater Troy State College
Profession Attorney
Military service
Allegiance Confederate States Army
Service/branch Hood's Texas Brigade
Battles/wars Eastern Theater of the American Civil War

William Harrison "Howdy" Martin (September 2, 1822 – February 5, 1898) was a Texas State Senator, U.S. Representative from Texas and veteran of the Confederate States Army who served under Robert E. Lee.


William Harrison Martin was born(see talk page) to Robert[1] and Charlotte Martin,[2] in Twiggs County, Georgia on September 2, 1822. He married Martha Elizabeth Gallemore on February 12, 1867, in Navarro County, Texas. The couple had six children. Martha[3] was born in Twiggs County, Georgia on June 22, 1846.

Martin attended the common schools in Alabama. He studied law at Troy State College, and was admitted to the bar. In 1850, he moved to Texas and engaged in the practice of law in [2] Henderson County.

Military service[edit]

Harrison enlisted in the Confederate States Army in 1861,[4] with the Company K, 4th Infantry, Hood's Texas Brigade[5] in the Texas Confederate Regiments during the Civil War. His regiment fought in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War. The brigade served throughout the war in Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia and in James Longstreet's First Corps. In April 1864, Martin was promoted to the rank of Major.

Nobody is sure how he got the nickname of "Howdy," but one war-time legend has it that he saw Robert E. Lee, stood up in his stirrups and yelled, "Howdy!"[6]

Public service[edit]

He served as a member of the Texas State Senate 1853–1857[2] representing Freestone, Limestone, Henderson and Navarro counties.

After the war, Martin returned to Texas, continuing his law paractice in Athens.

Martin was elected district attorney[2] for Kaufman, Smith, Henderson and Anderson counties.

On February 12, 1887, he was elected as a Democrat to the 50th United States Congress to fill the vacancy of John H. Reagan who was chosen to serve in the United States Senate . Martin was reelected[2] to the 51st United States Congress and served from November 4, 1887, to March 3, 1891. After whhich, he resumed his law practice.


William Harrison Martin died at his home near Hillsboro, Texas, February 5, 1898. He is interred[7] in Hillsboro Cemetery.


  1. ^ "William Harrison Martin genealogy". LDS Compact Disc #70 Pin #950191: LDS Family Search.org. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Walkup, David: William Harrison Martin from the Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved 18 June 2010. Texas State Historical Association
  3. ^ "Martha Elizabeth Gallemore genealogy". LDS Compact Disc #70 Pin #950192: LDS Family Search.org. 
  4. ^ "Texas Confederate Regiments". Texas in the Civil War. Retrieved 18 June 2010. 
  5. ^ Hood's Texas Brigade from the Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved 18 June 2010. Texas State Historical Association
  6. ^ Guttery, Ben R (2008). Representing Texas: A Comprehensive History of U.S. and Confederate Senators and Representatives from Texas. BookSurge Publishing. p. 106. ISBN 978-1-4196-7884-4. 
  7. ^ "William H. Martin-Hillsboro City Cemetery". Find A Grave. Retrieved 18 June 2010. 


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 2nd congressional district

November 4, 1887 - March 3, 1891
Succeeded by
John B. Long