Funny, Funny Stories From my days at Eden, P.D.

By Michael D. Martin, E.C.P.D. Retired

About the author...Michael Martin (pictured front row, far right in the 1981 photo) is a retired veteran of 25 years on the Eden City Police Department, and has penned a number of anecdotal writings recalling his experiences.

XXVI. Leaksville-Spray's Civil War Heritage

   I think the Marshall-Field Company began recruiting workers a little prior to 1900. The Company sent recruiters into the Virginia counties of Henry, Floyd and Patrick and promised men $14.00 a week and company housing for their families. They promised company stores where a workers account was good. They promised a whole new life to men who were living on less than three dollars a week.  Men who were the sons and grandsons of the Army of Northern Virginia flocked to Leaksville and Spray to work in the mills and make fabulous salaries. There were boarding houses where the newcomers came and mill housing that was modern and cheap and a salary that was unimaginable by Patrick County standards.


     If you obtain a copy of the "Regimental History of the 51st Virginia Volunteers," and compare it to the Eden Phone book, you will get some idea. These were tough, mountain men and they made good workers and they were the backbone of the Marshall-Field company just as their fathers had been the backbone of General Lee's Army.


     Deputy Sheriff Eugene "Buddy" Moretz's great-great grandfather was Harvey Cockram of Company  D of the 51st Virginia of General Gabriel Wharton's Brigade of Early's Division of Stonewall Jackson's 2nd corps. Cockram joined the Confederate Army the 14th of June 1861 and fought every battle of the Civil War until he was shot thru the breast and captured at the battle of Winchester on the 19th of September, 1864.


     My great grandfather was "Dick Martin" who was wounded on Lookout Mountain on the 25th of November 1863, the same battle that killed my great great uncle James S. Martin, 2nd Cpl. Co-I 63rd Virginia. great-great uncle, John Brammer Jr. was killed in a fight along the Rappahannock River on February 4th, 1863.


     The people of Leaksville, Spray and Draper have no idea of their Civil War heritage. The lads grew up, listening to their grandfathers telling stirring tales of how they routed the British Redcoats and when the Civil War broke out, the lads wanted to be soldiers too.  It was a terrible price we paid because grandpa's left out the bad parts.

Michael D. Martin

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