Martid Edward Green

(1815–1863) Confederate General

Confederate general Martin Edwin Green was born in Fauquier County, Virginia, on 3 June 1815. In 1836 he moved with his wife to Lewis County, Missouri, where he and his brothers operated a steam sawmill. One brother, James, served as a US senator from Missouri between 1857 and 1861. In the summer of 1861 Martin Green recruited Confederate troops in Northeast Missouri and formed a cavalry command. After participating in minor engagements in the region, Green and his forces joined Gen. Sterling Price’s army south of the Missouri River.

Green was elected colonel of a cavalry regiment formed in part by his original command and participated in the campaign that led to the capture of a Federal garrison at Lexington, Missouri, in September 1861. He also fought at Pea Ridge (or Elkhorn Tavern) the following March. Commissioned a brigadier general from 21 July 1862, Green led a brigade in Price’s army and saw combat at Iuka, Corinth, and Hatchie Bridge. Green’s brigade was attached to John S. Bowen’s division in October 1862 and remained there through the Vicksburg Campaign, earning a reputation for combat prowess.

Green’s Arkansas and Missouri troops were thrust into battle on 1 May 1863 as part of a Confederate force sent to check the advance of Federals under Gen. John A. McClernand toward Port Gibson. Although they fought valiantly over rough terrain, Green’s men and the remainder of Bowen’s troops were forced to withdraw through the town that evening. Two weeks later, Green’s brigade was heavily engaged at Champion Hill, where they joined with Bowen’s other units to temporarily stop the Union advance. Shortly thereafter, the brigade retreated across the Big Black River in the face of Yankee pressure. Bowen’s division withdrew into the Vicksburg defenses, where commanding general John C. Pemberton used the Bowen’s men as a ready reserve force.

In early June, Green’s brigade was placed in line at a site where Federals employed mining operations to draw closer to the Confederate position. Green was slightly wounded on 25 June 1863 but returned to the front lines two days later. Although warned to fire a few shots before reconnoitering the enemy position, Green reportedly remarked that the bullet that would kill him had not yet been molded. A Union sharpshooter proved Green wrong, sending a slug into his head as he peered over the edge of a parapet. He died instantly.

Further Reading

  • Michael B. Ballard, Vicksburg: The Campaign That Opened the Mississippi (2004)
  • Ezra Warner, Generals in Gray: Lives of the Confederate Commanders (1959)
  • Jack D. Welsh, Medical Histories of Confederate Generals (1995)

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Martid Edward Green
  • Coverage 1815–1863
  • Author
  • Website Name Mississippi Encyclopedia
  • URL
  • Access Date July 5, 2020
  • Publisher Center for Study of Southern Culture
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update April 14, 2018