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"Gen. James G. Martin surrendered the army of western North Carolina, the last Confederate force in the state, in Waynesville, May 6, 1865." General James G. Martin, born in Elizabeth County in 1819 completed study in 1840 at the United States Military Academy, where he ranked fourteenth out of his class of forty-two. Martin was stationed in Maine for about six years after his graduation. He served during the Mexican War and lost an arm at the Battle of Churubusco. In 1847 he was promoted to captain, and served until 1861 when North Carolina seceded.
Martin resigned from the U.S. Army and, in September 1861, became the commander of North Carolina forces in the Confederate Army. He was able to raise about 12,000 more troops than the North Carolina state quota; he drove the federal forces from Newport, in the fall of 1863, and pushed the Union soldiers out of Petersburg, Virginia, in 1864. His troops called him “Old One Wing” due to his lost right arm.
In 1864 General James G. Martin took command of Confederate forces in western North Carolina, leaving his command at Petersburg. On May 6, 1865, almost a month after Appomattox, he surrendered his forces in Waynesville. After the war he moved to Asheville, where he practiced law until his death on October 4, 1878. Robert E. Lee said about Martin that he was “one to whom North Carolina owes a debt that she can never repay” due to his bravery, honor and allegiance to his state.
John G. Barrett, The Civil War in North Carolina (1961)
Jon L. Wakelyn, ed., Biographical Dictionary of the Confederacy (1977)
Richard N. Current, ed., Encylopedia of the Confederacy (1993)
Mark Mayo Boatner III, The Civil War Dictionary (1959)
Related Themes: C.S.A., Confederate States of America, Confederacy
North Carolina Civil War Historical Markers.