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M. W. Gary

M. W. Gary

Confederate (CSA)

Lieutenant Colonel

Martin Witherspoon Gary

(1831 - 1881)

Home State: South Carolina

Education: Harvard, Class of 1854

Command Billet: Commanding Regiment

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: Hampton (SC) Legion


see his Battle Report

Before Sharpsburg

He practiced law in Edgefield, SC, and was elected to the state House of Representatives in 1860. After secession he joined Hampton"s Legion, beginning as an infantry Captain. He served until the war"s end, participating in every major engagement in which the Legion fought.

At First Manassas the command of the legion devolved upon him after Colonel Hampton was wounded, Lieutenant-Colonel Johnson killed and Captain Conner disabled. At the reorganization in 1862 he was elected Lieutenant-Colonel of the infantry of the legion, a battalion of eight companies, and after it was filled to a regiment, he was promoted Colonel.

On the Campaign

He commanded the regiment in Maryland.

The rest of the War

By May 1864 he had attained the rank of Brigadier General and took command of a cavalry brigade in the defense of Richmond. At Appomattox, he refused to surrender. With some two hundred members of his command, he escaped and joined Jefferson Davis and his cabinet at Greensboro, North Carolina. Gary escorted the party as far as his mother"s home in Cokesbury, where he turned over his command and ended his career as a Confederate soldier.

After the War

He resumed his law practice in Edgefield, began cotton planting, and undertook a series of business and speculative ventures. He was also active in politics.

References & notes

Additional Source: Confederate Military History, Vol. 5

More on the Web

See a provocative bio sketch at SC Encyclopedia, from which much of the above is quoted. See his picture, too.


3/25/1831; Cokesbury, SC


4/9/1881; Edgefield, SC; burial in Tabernacle Cemetery, near Cokesbury, SC