(1837 - 1862)
Home State: Alabama
Education: University of Alabama (A.B. '55, A.M.), Class of 1858
Branch of Service: Infantry
Unit: 3rd Alabama Infantry
One evening in the spring of 1855 a [University of Alabama] student by the name of James Jarvis Cooke, a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon, called upon a noted Tuscaloosa belle who was related to John Mason Martin and who was wearing a dress trimmed with some rare old lace, highly prized but not washable and perhaps colored with age. Cooke made a remark to a group of students that he had just called upon the noted young lady, naming her, and was greatly surprised to find her wearing dirty clothes. Martin, hearing of the remark, began looking for Cooke and found him the next afternoon reading a book in Woodruff's Book Store. He asked Cooke about the alleged remark and when it was repeated they "mixed it," the affair ending by Martin stabbing Cooke in the abdomen with a knife.By then a 23 year old Mobile merchant, he enlisted as Private in the Gulf City Cadets, later Company B, 3rd Alabama Infantry, in April 1861.
It being at first thought that Cooke had been fatally stabbed, a hostile crowd of citizens soon gathered and threats were made against young Martin. His father, Joshua Lanier Martin, who had been governor of Alabama a number of years before [1845-47] and who was deeply respected, jumped upon a wagon standing in the street and, brandishing his cane over the heads of the crowd, dramatically exclaimed: "Give me John Mason Martin and you can have him anytime you want him; if he is not here I'll eat an acre of blazing hell." The governor was allowed to take his son home. Cooke soon recovered.
On the Campaign
He was wounded and missing in action at Sharpsburg on 17 September 1862 and later presumed dead.
References & notes
His service from the State of Alabama1 and from Booth Malone, thanks to his Company Roster. His college experience quoted from Some Notes on Theta's History from the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity (probably referencing Baird's Manual of American College Fraternities, 1879-); his degrees from A Register of the Officers and Students of the University of Alabama, 1831-1901 (1901). Personal details from family genealogists. His memorial at Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, VA is on Findagrave.
He married Anna Lewis "Annie/Nannie" Powell (1840-1901) in December 1860 and they had a daughter Naomi Lurena/Lorena (later Roper, 1861-1941).
08/24/1837; Dayton, AL
09/17/1862; Sharpsburg, MD