James G. Martin
Featured Character – 1861-1862
A native of Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County, and an 1840 graduate of West Point, James G. Martin served with distinction in the Mexican War. At the Battle of Churubusco in Mexico, his right arm was shattered by grapeshot and had to be amputated. When North Carolina left the Union, Martin resigned his commission in the United States Army and offered his services to his native state. He served ably as state adjutant general in 1861-1862 and worked hard to arm and supply Tar Heel soldiers. It was Martin’s suggestion that blockade-running ships be used to bring supplies from Europe to the state. After attaining the rank of brigadier general, Martin’s men were called to Petersburg, Virginia and arrived on May 14, 1864. The brigade fought at Second Drewey's Bluff six days later, and at the siege of Petersburg. During the siege, Martin's health began to fail so he was sent to Asheville to command the District of Western North Carolina. On May 10, 1865, he surrendered at Waynesville and began to practice law in Asheville, where he died five months later on October 4, 1865.