The Martin Guards
The first military company raised in Giles County was known as the Martin Guards, in honor of Thomas Martin, who was too old to go to war. Thomas Martin had been outspokenly opposed to secession, but with Lincoln's announced invasion of the South, had made the choice to support the Confederacy. It is believed that he furnished the funds to outfit and equip The Martin Guards.
Twenty-seven year old Hume R. Feild was appointed Captain of the military company. Captain Feild was educated at Kentucky Military Institute, graduating in 1856. His mother, Julia Feild, took charge of making the uniforms for the soldiers. The ladies of the town gathered at the courthouse, some bringing their sewing machines, and soon had the company dressed in gray suits.
Captain George Maney was elected Colonel of the Regiment. Being fully orgainzed, armed and equipped, the regiment went into camp at Alisonia, in Franklin County. This camp was named Camp Harris in honor of the Governor of Tennessee. It was at Camp Harris where they were officially mustered into the service of the Confederate Army. After a short while they moved to Camp Cheatham, in Robertson County, six miles from Springfield. Here they received their military training and instruction. On the 10th of July, 1861, they received orders to go to Virginia. After a railroad journey of several weeks, they reached their destination and joined the Army of the North-west under General Robert E. Lee.
The roster of Company K, 1st Tennessee Infantry, CSA, dated August 31, 1861, at Valley Mountain Virginia, lists 4 commissioned officers, 8 non-commissioned officers, and 93 Privates:
The 1st Tennessee Infantry fought in the Battle of Cheat Mountain in Virginia. After the fall of Fort Donelson, the 1st Tennessee Infantry was ordered to report to General Albert Sidney Johnston, commander of the Army of Tennessee. Leaving Winchester, Virginia, on the 17th of February, they headed for Corinth, Mississippi. The regiment was divided into two wings, with Co. K in the left wing. The left wing reached Corinth in time to engage at the Battle of Shiloh.
In April, 1862, regimental commander George Maney was promoted to Brigadier General and Captain Hume R. Feild replaced him as Colonel of the 1st Tennessee Infantry. Lieutenant William C. Flournoy replaced Colonel Feild as Captain of Co. K.
The 1st Tennessee Infantry under the leadership of Colonel Feild remained in the Confederate Army of Tennessee until the final surrender. They fought at Perryville, Murfreesboro, Chicamauga, and Missionary Ridge. They were with General Joseph E. Johnston during the retreat which led to the fall of Atlanta.
They came home to Tennessee with General John Bell Hood and fought at Franklin and Nashville. They were among the defeated Confederate soldiers who retreated from Nashville to the Tennessee River, passing through Pulaski in December, 1864. They marched to North Carolina and fought in the Battle of Bentonville, then fell back to Greensboro, where General Johnston surrendered The Army of Tennessee on April 26, 1865.
Submitted by Bob Wamble