William T. Martin

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William Thompson Martin
William T Martin.jpg
Born (1823-03-25)March 25, 1823
Died March 16, 1910(1910-03-16) (aged 86)
Natchez, Mississippi
Allegiance Confederate States of America
Service/branch Confederate States Army
Rank Confederate States of America General.png General
Battles/wars American Civil War

William Thompson Martin (March 25, 1823 — March 16, 1910) was an American lawyer and politician who became a Confederate States Army general of cavalry during the American Civil War.


Early life[edit]

William T. Martin was born on March 25, 1823 in Glasgow, Kentucky.[1] His father was John (Henderson) Martin (1789-1841) and his mother, Emily (Monroe Kerr) Martin (1800-unknown).[1] He graduated from Centre College in 1844 and was admitted to the bar in Mississippi.


He served multiple terms as district attorney before the war.[1] While himself opposing secession, he raised the Adams County cavalry troops, when war broke out, riding with them to Richmond, Virginia, the new Confederate capitol. He quickly rose to colonel of the Jeff Davis Legion, and served with J.E.B. Stuart's command through Autumn 1862. Promoted to brigadier general, he was ordered to the Western Theater, where he commanded divisions at the Tullahoma Campaign and the Battle of Chickamauga and served as cavalry commander under James Longstreet at Knoxville. After Longstreet's return to the east, he was promoted to major general, led a division under Joseph Wheeler at Atlanta and rose to command of the military district of Northwest Mississippi by war's end.

After the war, he returned to his law practice in Mississippi, becoming a trustee of both University of Mississippi and Jefferson College in Washington, Mississippi. He served in the state senate, and was a delegate to Democratic National Conventions in 1868, 1872, 1876, and 1880. He was the president of the Natchez, Jackson, and Columbus railroad, of which he oversaw the construction in 1884.

Personal life[edit]

He married Margaret (Dunlop Conner) Martin (1836-1920), the daughter of William C. Conner (1798-1843) and Jane Elizabeth Boyd Gustine Conner (1803-1896).[1] They resided at Montaigne, a mansion in Natchez, Mississippi, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[2] They had eleven children:

  • Margaret (Spencer Martin) Shields (1855-1932).[1]
  • Emily (Monroe Martin) Lanneau (1856-1900).[1]
  • Jane (Gustine Martin) Balfour (1857-1936).[1]
  • Mary (Conner Martin) Chase (1859-1944).[1]
  • William (Conner) Martin (1861-1938).[1]
  • Ellie (Lee Martin) Luckett (1866-1938).[1]
  • Lewis (Randolph) Martin (1867-1929).[1]
  • Spencer (Wood) Martin (1869-1870).[1]
  • Farar (Conner) Martin (1871-1913).[1]
  • Caroline (Ker) Martin (1873-1939).[1]
  • John (Henderson) Martin (1874-1957).[1]


He died on March 16, 1910 in Natchez, Mississippi.[1] He is buried in Natchez City Cemetery.[1]

See also[edit]


  • Boatner, Mark Mayo, III. The Civil War Dictionary New York: McKay, 1959; revised 1988. ISBN 0-8129-1726-X.
  • Warner, Ezra J., Generals in Blue: The Lives of the Union Commanders, Louisiana State University Press, 1964, ISBN 0-8071-0822-7.