Signed P.O.W. Cover from Rawley White Martin, Lt. Col. 53rd Virginia Volunteers – The Fighting Physician & The First Man Over the Stonewall at Gettysburg, Wounded & Captured
Volume 33 of the Gettysburg Magazine had as its main article “The Rawley W. Martin Story”. Martin was born in Halifax County, Virginia, the son of Dr. Chesley & Rebecca White Martin. He was educated at the University of Virginia and received his medical degree from the University of New York in 1858. Beginning the war as a 1st Lieut. he rose through the ranks was wounded at Seven Pines and Malvern Hill and was promoted to Lieut. Colonel on March 3rd, 1863. At Gettysburg he lead the 53rd Virginia in Pickett’s Charge and according to a fine write up in Confederate Veteran Magazine (included), was “The first man over the stone fence at Gettysburg.” Martin was near General Armistead when they neared the stone wall. Armistead “Martin we can’t stay here; we must go over the wall”. Martin’s reply was to mount the wall with the cry “forward with the colors” and leaped down on the enemies side of the wall. He was followed immediately by Armistead and this is where Martin fell wounded in 4 places, his thigh shattered and crippled for life. He lay almost dead for 3 days before being sent to Fort McHenry and from there to Point Lookout. After the war Dr. Martin served on various medical boards and was President of the State Board of Medical Examiners.
The cover is in fine condition with a 10 cent Jeff Davis stamp and Richmond, Va. postmark. The cover is addressed to Dr. C. Martin, Pittsylvania C. H., Va. Written at the top left is the following:
Through Comdg. Off.
At Fortress Monroe
R. W. Martin Lieut. Col.
53rd Va. Vols., Prisoner of War
On the left side of the cover is written “By Flag of Truce”. We are picturing this cover with Don Troiani’s picture “Give Them Cold Steel, Boys”, where Armistead has Martin beside him. A truly remarkable piece of Gettysburg history.
#PC306 – Price $2,500