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Carter Coffman Gibbons Martz Williamson Yancey

Obituary of D. H. Lee Martz, Harrisonburg, Virginia.

Col. D. H. Lee Martz, for twenty-seven years clerk of the circuit court of Rockingham County, Va., gallant Confederate soldier, and one of the best-known citizens of the county, died suddenly at his home, in Harrisonburg, Va., on October 20, 1914. He was born March 23, 1837. His father, the late Hiram Martz, was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates for four terms previous to the War between the States.

The early life of Colonel Martz was spent on the farm, after which he engaged in the mercantile business in Harrisonburg. In 1859 he became a member of the Valley Guards, a military company organized in the latter fifties, and as orderly sergeant he accompanied the organization to Charlestown (now West Virginia), where it was a part of the militia guard at the trial and execution of John Brown, the Kansas abolitionist. When the call for volunteers came in 1861, the Valley Guards offered their services and, with five other companies from Rockingham, formed the nucleus of that famous regiment, the 10th Virginia Infantry, commanded by Col. S. B. Gibbons. Sergeant Martz was successively promoted to lieutenant and then to the command of the Valley Guards, which became Company G, the color company of the regiment. With this regiment he participated in the battle of McDowell, in May, 1862, where Colonel Gibbons was killed. He was also in the first battle of Winchester, at Port Republic, and in the Seven Days' Battles around Richmond, at Cedar Mountain, and Second Manassas. Captain Martz was wounded in the battle of Chancellorsville, and after the battle he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel. He had not recovered from his wounds when the battle of Gettysburg took place in July, 1863, but rejoined his regiment in time to participate in the battle at Mine Run (Frazier's Farm) in November, 1863.

In May, 1864, when General Grant began moving the Army of the Potomac, the first important battle of the campaign took place near Petersburg. Colonel Warren and Maj. I. G. Coffman were killed, leaving Colonel Martz the only field officer of the regiment. On May 12 General Hancock made his famous assault on the Confederate breastworks, and nearly all of the 10th Virginia, including Colonel Martz, were captured. The remnant of the command continued in the fighting under Capt. William B. Yancey until he was disabled by a severe wound. Colonel Martz was imprisoned at Fort Delaware, from which place he was sent to Hilton's Head and to Morris Island, with other Confederate officers, to be exposed to the shells of his own compatriots. He was exchanged in August, 1864, and rejoined his command, taking part in the third battle of Winchester, September 19, 1864, the 10th then being with Gen. Jubal Early's valley army, which was opposing Sheridan's raids.

When Terry's Brigade, of which the 10th was then a part, was sent to General Lee at Petersburg, Colonel Martz was placed in command of the 10th, 23d, and 37th Virginia Regiments. When General Lee surrendered at Appomattox, there were only eight or ten men of the gallant 10th left. The old battle flag of the regiment was never surrendered, Lieutenant Miller, then in command, hiding it under his coat, and it is still preserved in the archives of S. B. Gibbons Camp, of Harrisonburg.

A striking feature of his funeral cortege was the honorary guard of forty Confederate veterans, in command of T. L. Williamson, Adjutant of S. B. Gibbons Camp, many of whom had served under Colonel Martz during the war. At the head of the guard, draped with crape, was carried the powder-stained and bullet-rent flag of the 10th Virginia, and each veteran carried a large floral tribute.

After the war Colonel Martz returned to Harrisonburg and again engaged in business. He was made deputy circuit clerk in 1875, and in 1887 he was elected circuit clerk, and ever since he had been the unanimous choice of the voters of Rockingham.

On November 14, 1860, Colonel Martz and Miss Mary Nicholas Carter, of Nelson County, were married. She survives him with two children, a son and a daughter.

For many years Colonel Martz had been an official member of the Methodist Church in Harrisonburg and an active leader in its work. When S. B. Gibbons Camp was organized in 1893, Colonel Martz was elected its first Commander. He had served in that capacity ever since and was always actively interested. His death was great loss. His efficiency in office, his unfailing courtesy, his Christian citizenship made him a striking figure in the affairs of Rockingham County. Few men have been held in so high esteem by all classes of people.

SOURCE: Confederate Veteran Magazine, February, 1915.

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