Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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MARTIN, James Green, soldier, born in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, 14 February, 1819; died in Asheville, North Carolina, 4 October, 1878. He was graduated at the United States military academy in 1840, and assigned to the artillery. As 1st lieutenant of a light battery he fought in, the Mexican war, and lost his right arm at Churubusco. He had meanwhile been commissioned as captain of staff, and was now brevetted major. When the civil war began he was quartermaster at Fort Riley. Resigning his commission on 14 June, 1861, he offered his services to his state, was appointed adjutant-general of North Carolina, and applied himself to the task of organizing, equipping, and clothing the troops. At his suggestion blockade-running ships were first employed to bring supplies from Europe. On 28 September, 1861, he was appointed general-in-chief of the state forces, with the rank of major-general. Anticipating the need of more troops, he raised 12,000 men beyond North Carolina's quota, which were hastily called into the field when General McClellan advanced on Richmond, and performed effective service in the defence of the Confederate capital. When he had accomplished the duty of fitting the North Carolina troops for the field, he was commissioned as brigadier-general in the Confederate army in 1862, and on reaching the field in 1863 was assigned to the command of a brigade and ordered to Petersburg. Not long after his arrival at the scene of operations General Lee requested him to go back and resume the duties of adjutant-general of North Carolina, where the conscription law had provoked a dangerous state of disaffection. After spending nine months at Raleigh in the discharge of this trust, he again asked for service in the field, was assigned to the command of a brigade, and was made commander of the district of North Carolina. His brigade was often spoken of as the best-disciplined in Lee's army, and he won additional praise by his ability in handling his command in action. He surprised the National camp at Newport, was ordered to Petersburg in Nay, 1864, and at Bermuda Hundred carried by assault the earthworks on the extreme left of the National line. He afterward was engaged in severe fighting at Cold Harbor and in the battles before Petersburg. At the close of the war he was stationed at Asheville in command of the district of western North Carolina and southwestern Virginia. The considerable property that he once possessed had been swept away, and, though his health was impaired by hard service, he studied law, was speedily called to the bar, and practised in Asheville during the remainder of his life.
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