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Martin Letter Collection

This collection contains ten letters written by Lt. James "Newt" Martin, a Newberry native who enlisted as a private in Co. E, 3rd SC Volunteer Infantry at age 29. He was elected Lieutenant on December 31, 1863, and served throughout the entire war. The letters span over two and a half years of the Civil War, from January 1862 to August 1864.  Not only do these letters provide insight into the conditions that Martin and his fellow troops faced during battle, but they also show how he occupied his camp time, his thoughts on the war, and how he stayed connected to his family. The letters are all written to his father, sister, or brother and he describes everything from a snow storm near Fredericksburg and camp minstrel shows to Union spy balloons and religious services. Following the war, Martin returned to Newberry where he married, ran a mercantile business, and became the president of the National Bank of Newberry. He died on May 31, 1899, and is buried in Newberry's Rosemont Cemetery. Below is a sampling of the letters, with full transcriptions (PDFs).

Letter: April 6, 1863

Camp near Fredericksburg Va
April 6, 1863

Dear Sister, your very welcome favour of the 2nd came to hand today. I am glad to know that you all are well and doing well (what Dr. Bruce goes to Nassau for). How you get those pictures from Dr. Kingsmore you must let me know how Jeffery Clary [?] takes an when he cumes down. We hav had rain or snow almost all the time since I hav returned. Had a tremendous Snow Storm last Saturday night the wind Blowing a perfect hericaine for about 24 hours but the most of the snow has disappeared today and give place for rain which is fulming now; on first day here preaching and almost all of the Brigade was there. Looked more like Sunday at home than any day I ever saw in Camp. Hav had Preaching and Prayer Meeting frequently Since and I am told are anticipating a revival. There was 30 Baptized in Barksdales Missipi Brigade a few days ago. Something new for Camp; Ned says he is under obligations to you for the nice Cakes and etc. the he stole.

I hav a ring for you that Ned made out of a Buttan. I formed the buttan and he did the work. I will Send it the first opportunity. We had as the call themselves, Kershaws Palmetto Minstrals that serve to Broke the monatany of Camp aucussionally. They hav and exhibition 2 or 3 times a week. The Musick is very good but there wit is rathe old. 

Every thing moving on quiet. I hav and leasure day out of 3. Ned, Bud, and Tom are all well.

Tell John I rieceve his letters of the 31 st . I hope he has taken My advice about the tobaco.

I hav nothing more to write. Give my love to all the family and Aunt Harriet. I wrote to aunt Coffey a few days ago.

I send you a Southern illustrated of last week with Maj. Genl McClaus likeness. Pretty good.

Howdy to Miss Maggie Cameron if you see her.
I Remain your affectionate Brothe, Newt
P.S. Give one of those papers to Aunt Harriet