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Confederate (CSV)


Martin Van Buren Brewer

(1841 - 1937)

Home State: Georgia

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 23rd Georgia Infantry

Before Sharpsburg

He was with his family in Fayette County, Alabama by 1850 and in Floyd County, GA by 1860. He enlisted there as Private, Company C, 23rd Georgia Infantry and mustered in Richmond, VA on 3 April 1861.

On the Campaign

He was with his Company in action on South Mountain on 15 September and at Sharpsburg on 17 September 1862. He later wrote:

On the trip to Maryland I was very weak, but waded the Potomac River, going and coming. It is strange how much men can stand; more even than a horse; at least they did in those days.

John Fowler was shot in the head a few paces from me and Tom Williams was killed later in the day at Sharpsburg. Williams never knew what hit him, as he was shot over the eye and the blood would have run on my feet if I had not raked up the dirt and stopped it.

The rest of the War

He was at Winchester and Fredericksburg, then with the regiment at Charleston, SC in the Winter of 1863:

Of all the battles I was in, Fort Sumpter was the hardest. I stayed there fourteen days on duty without taking off my clothes, day or night. The place is out in the sea and I got plenty of it.
The regiment was briefly in Florida in the Spring of 1864, then sent back to Virginia. He saw action again at Petersburg, VA and Kinston, NC before he was surrendered at Greensboro, NC on 26 April 1865. He went through the whole war without being wounded.

After the War

He went to Tarrant County, Texas in 1866 and lived northeast of Ft. Worth. He moved to Erath County about 1872 and to Eastland County in 1874. He farmed and had a blacksmith shop there near the village of Merriman. The nearby town of Ranger, TX became an oil boomtown in the 1910s-1920s, and one of the first successful wells was drilled on the Brewer farm about 1918. He lived with his son Floyd in Ranger after his wife died in 1918 and lived to be 96 years old.

References & notes

Service information from Henderson,1 who has him enlisting in December 1861, and Yeary,2 source of the quotes above. Personal details from family genealogists citing the US Census (1840-1920) and family records. The oil well detail from Ruth Terry Denney's A Short History of Ranger, Texas (1941). His gravesite is on Findagrave. Thanks to Great-great-grandson Mike Ritchie for the pointer to Brewer, via Facebook.

He married Elizabeth E. "Eliza" Thomas (1846-1918) in 1869 and they had 5 children: 3 boys and 2 girls. He met Eliza in Texas, but she was also born in Grayson County, VA.


04/03/1841; Grayson County, VA


05/07/1937; in TX; burial in Eastland City Cemetery, Eastland, TX


1   Henderson, Lilian, compiler, Roster of the Confederate Soldiers of Georgia, 1861-1865, 6 vols., Hapeville (GA): Longino & Porter, 1959-1964, Vol. 2, pg. 1026  [AotW citation 21592]

2   Yeary, Mamie, Reminiscences of the Boys in Gray, 1861-1865, 2 Volumes, Dallas: Smith & Lamar, 1912, Vol. 1, pg. 81  [AotW citation 21593]