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.

LX. Gettysburg  July 1st, 2nd and 3rd. 1863

Gettysburg  July 1st, 2nd and 3rd. 1863
     As I have previously written, the recruiters for the Marshall Field company traveled into the mountains of Virginia, looking for workers in the mills in Spray about 1900. Men in  Patrick County were living on three dollars a week. They were promised the fine salary of $14.00 a week and housing and accounts at the company store. Recruiters went into Henry County, Floyd County, and Patrick County in Virginia. Many of our ancestors took the offer and came to Spray, N.C. and went to work. These men became the backbone of the Marshall-Field Company and their fathers and grandfathers had been the backbone of General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia.


     My grandfather, Nick Martin worked in the mills 42 years, His daddy, Andrew "Dick Martin  was with Company H of the 24th Virginia, The Mountain Regiment of Kemper''s Brigade of Pickett's Division. Poppa Dick survived the charge of Pickett's Division at Gettysburg and four months later, he was wounded on Lookout Mountain,Tennessee and spent the rest of the war guarding federal prisoners at Danville, Virginia.Uncle Roy Martin told me, fifty years ago, his poppa Dick came home from the civil war with a cap and ball Colt pistol he took off a yankee he killed in battle and was known as the meanest man in Patrick County, Virginia. If you cheated Dick Martin, you were not going to be wasting a whole lot more air.


     My grandfather, Nick Married Rosie DeHart of Patrick County. Her uncle Jesse Greene DeHart was at Gettysburg with Company A of the 24th Virginia. Jesse was killed as the 24th crossed the Emmitsburg Road, My Grandmother's Brother, was his namesake and Uncle jess was a supervisor in the Spray mills all his life. Grandmother Rosie's Uncle was Stephen Hubbard Dehart who was named for the reverend Stephen Hubbard, His uncle. Stephen was at Gettysburg with Co.-I of the 53rd Virginia Volunteers, "The Chatham Greys" of General Lou Armistead's Brigade of Pickett's Division. The sergeant of Company I was  Sgt. Robert Tyler Jones, the grandson of former president James Tyler.  seventy-five yards from the stone wall at Gettysburg, the yankee balls were flying as thick as honeybees at a nest and General Louis Armistead screamed over the sounds of battle to Colonel R.W. Martin and said "colonel, we can not stay here"  Colonel "Billy Martin screamed back "then sir, we must go foreward...if you see the beautiful Don Trioni painting of the battle of Gettysburg you will see an accurate depiction showing General Armistead leading his men to the stone wall with his hat on the tip of his sword, look close and behind him you will see the fluttering battle flags of the 53rd and 57th Virginia. For a few brief seconds in history, The "Chatham Greys" held the stone wall and Sgt. Robert Tyler jones fell, Colonel Whitehead fell, Colonel R.W. "Billy" Martin fell with a shattered leg and General Louis Armistead was mortally wounded by the cannon and our boys grudgingly retreated.


     My great great grandfather, James Madison Carter served in Co-F of the 57th Virginia and was in the thick of the fight (he's your poppa too, Kenny) and survived the charge but saw two of his brother's sons fall that day.


     My great great grandfather William Davis Brammer and uncle Paul Dehart was there with company-D of the 12th Virginia of Mahoney's Brigade of A.P. Hill's 3rd corps. They fought the first two days and ran the yankees out of Gettysburg to cemetery ridge......which, looking back at it all,might not have been too good.Now, for kinsmen who are interested.....I actually have photographs of most of these fellas. I have a photo of Dick Martin in his old age, I have a photograph of James Madison Carter in his uniform, he went to battle wearing a bowtie, he was conducting the business of the commonwealth of Virginia. I have a photo of poppa Davis Brammer in his old age, I have a picture of Henry Dehart (whose daughter married Ed Mabrey in 1891 and ran Mabrey's mill on the Blue Ridge Parkway) Henry served in Co-D 51st Virginia and was captured at the fighting at Frederick, MD in 1864..I have a photo of Uncle Stephen Dehart and Will Dehart who served with the 51st Virginia and was captured at Waynesboro, Virginia when 809 of our lads fought 7,500 Yankees...thru some miscalculation on General Gabriel Wharton's part...we lost that fight. I actually have a photo of my great great grandfather Giles Martin and his wife, Sarah Arnold Martin, Poppa Giles commanded troops in the war of 1812. I have traveled all over southwestern Virginia gathering these pictures and will let anyone with a camera with a close up lens copy them, but I will not let them leave my home.

Michael D. Martin

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