Pvt., 1st Wisconsin Heavy Artillery
GAR – George H. Legate Post 125, Wisconsin
John Cobin Martin was born in Kennethmont, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, 16 July 1845. He accompanied his family to the United States in 1852 where they settled in Wisconsin. At age 19 he enlisted in Company H, 1st Heavy Artillery. He was mustered in at Madison, Wisconsin in 1864 and mustered out at Alexandria Virginia in 1865. He was given an honorable discharge.
During his time on garrison duty in Washington, D.C. he was on guard duty on the night of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. He took part in the search for John Wilkes Booth and was in attendance at the trial of the conspirators. Through the years he studied the Civil War, tramped over battlefields and gave many talks later in life. He also wrote a book, Lest We Forget, the Civil War 1861-1865 chronicling his Civil War experiences (1st edition Democrat Printing Company, Madison, WI; 2nd edition copyright Robert H. Albrecht 1979).
He was a member of the George H. Legate Post 125, Mineral Point, WI and served as Department Commander of the Wisconsin Grand Army of the Republic (1907 to 1908). He was also offered, but declined, a nomination of the National Commander of the G.A.R.
He married Wisconsin born Mary Ellen Schellenger, a descendent of the Bigelow family of Boston and the Warren family, one of the founders of Waltham, Massachusetts. They reared a family of nine children. In later years, he operated several farms in succession, then moved his family to Mineral Point where he owned and operated Martin’s Calf Feed. He died 11 May 1935.