|Samuel Porter Martin|
|"S.P.", 21, is living with the George Nixon family in DeWitt Co., 1860, along with his brother Alex, 23.|
Samuel, along with his brother Alex, enlisted in the 20th Illinois Infantry, Company E, during the Civil War on June 13, 1861. On Jan 5, 1864, he reenlisted as a veteran. He mustered out July 16, 1865.
Sam's Civil War pension card states he had an invalid claim on Jul 7, 1890 in MO, a widow's claim Oct 10, 1892 in IL, and a minor claim May 14, 1903 in MO for William R. Brooks, Gdn. It also mentioned a wife, Sarah.
I couldn't find Samuel in either the 1870 or 1880 censuses, but by 1882, he apparently showed up in Platte Co., MO where his brother Tillman was living and married Sarah C. Wingo, 20 years his junior. They were there until at least 1885 (the birth of their last child) and then returned to DeWitt Co. After his death in 1892, Sarah apparently moved back to MO.
Martin, Samuel, male, white, age 53, farmer, died 26 Sep 1892, married, born in Illinois, lived 40 years in state. Place of death - Lane. Cause of death - acute alcoholism. Buried Lisenby Cem. Book A, page 86, #1311.
DeWitt County, Illinois
Friday, September 30, 1892
Porter MARTIN was a brave and gallant soldier during the war, but his end was not what his early life promised. He was a native of DeWitt County and was reared on a farm. When the war came Porter Martin was one among the first to respond to the call of his country, and one day early in 1861 he enlisted in this town in the first company raised, which afterward became the famous Co. E, Twentieth Illinois Infantry. On the march, on the skirmish line, or in the heat of battle Porter Martin was always a brave solider, never shirking duty and always to be found where the bullets flew the thickest. He was ready for fun or duty, according to the exigencies of the hour. It was almost as natural for a soldier to play cards as it was for him to eat his daily rations of sow belly and hardtack, and Porter became quite an expert. He would never play to win the money of his own comrades, but was always ready to accommodate the other boys with a game. During the three years or more he was in the army he sent home more than three thousand dollars to his uncle, John J. McGRAW, to keep for him. Had Porter used this judiciously in buying land after his discharge from the service, he might have been a different man in after life. He married and had four children, but he lived a shiftless life. His money vanished and his life was spent doing odd jobs and drinking. Poor Porter! His was a troublous life.
He was in Clinton on Wednesday of last week and drank too much whisky. That night, between nine and ten o’clock, he fell down a flight of stairs, and when he was picked up it was thought that he was dead. He was unconscious for a time, but finally rallied. He went home next morning to his distressed wife and children, and on Monday he was dead, the result of his fall down the stairs. What an ending to a life that might have been better. A few of his old comrades that belonged to Co. E went to Lane and acted as pall bearers at the funeral.
|[Clinton Weekly Register]: "Married - In this city, on the 16th ult., by Elder J.J. Miles, Mr. Samuel W. Martin and Miss Nancy Crawford, all of this county."|
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