John A. Martin
by Allen L. Martin, Pekin, IL

My Grandfather was a Civil War veteran who served with Company K, 33rd Illinois Infantry.

John A. Martin was born in Kentucky July 24, 1833. (possible 1834 but we believe it to be 1833). At age 27, John enlisted in the Union Army 8-21-1861 at Petersburg, Il. and served for 3 years.

He was mustered into the army 9-2-1861. The record indicates he was enrolled on 9-15-1861 as a private in Company K of the 33rd Illinois.

He was with the 33rd at Blackwell Station, MO. - Fredricktown, MO. - Cache River, ARK. - Port Gibson, MS. - Champion Hill, MS. - Black River Bridge, MS. seize of Vicksburg, MS. - Jackson, MS and Fort Esperanza, TX.

His name is on the Illinois monument at Vicksburg.

He was transferred to the 99th Illinois Volunteers in July or August 1864. He escorted rebel prisoners to New York.

He contacted measles which left him in ill health for which he later was awarded a pension of $4 a month.

He returned to Petersburg and at the age of 38, married Rachel Kinney and fathered 6 children. Rachel died giving birth in 1884. Because John's health would not allow him to care for his 3 surviving sons, the sons were sent to Bloomington, IL. to live in the Soldiers & Sailors Home which was established for the children of Civil War Veterans.

John died January 27, 1898 at the age of 65. The record indicates he is buried in Baker Cemetery in Menard County as is one of his daughters, Polly.

I and a cousin recently searched Baker to look for our grandfather's headstone without success.

However, 40 or more years ago, my cousin's parents did discover John's headstone leaning against a tree so we know one did exist. We have no way of knowing what happened to it since.

Submitted by: Allen Martin

 

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