Martin V. McHam

2 Nov 1837 - 18 Feb 1905

Private, Company G

27th Texas Cavalry, CSA

By Robert A. Burns

P. O. Box 187

Cimarron, New Mexico 87714

Martin V. McHam was born in South Carolina in 2 Nov 1837, the son of Jarett and Sela McHam who came to Lamar County, Texas about 1846 along with Jarrett's brother Wyatt McHam. They settled southeast of the town of Paris and later Wyatt settled east of Paris near the springs that became the city's first source of water.

Martin appears in the 1860 Lamar County Census Precinct 6, Family 203-199, born in SC, 0/300, Farmer. That same year he married Mary Booth, the daughter of J. S. and Martha Nowell Booth on 22 Aug 1860 in Lamar County.

Martin McHam, Pvt., age not stated, appears on a Muster Roll and Election Returns from the Texas State Archives for the Texas Militia, Company for Lamar County, Texas, Beat No. 2, 9th Brigade of the State of Texas; officers elected on 5 Aug 1861, in Lamar County; company enrolled by T. L. Click; J. J. Martin elected Captain commanding. The unit was disbanded and he then enlisted in Whitfiled's Legion, CSA.

With the re-organization of that unit in March 1862 it was properly known as the 27th Texas Cavalry. He was in Co. G of that unit as was his brother, Doctor T. McHam (he was not a physician, that was his name). Company G was made up almost entirely of Lamar County men, under the Captainship of Ed O. Williams and most of them came from the Biardstown area of the county. Other companies in the unit also contained men from Lamar County. The 27th, 9th, 3rd, 6th Texas Cavalries and an Arkansas unit were co-joined into what became Ross's cavalry brigade.

Martins service record stops in 1863 as do most of the other soldier's records from this unit. My great grandmother who was his daughter, Ella McHam Biard told me that he had a horse shot from under him and his record reflects that he was detailed as a nurse for a time due to an unserviceable horse. (See the biography of A. W. Sparks for a description of nurses in the brigade.) My grandmother also told me that when he came home from the war he paid 100 dollars for her mother a new dress. When I was about two years old my great grandmother gave me his pistol that he had carried in the war, which I still have, and which is one of my most cherished possessions.

Martin and Mary McHam had the following children and perhaps others, but these are the only ones I have record of.

1. Jarrett Van Buren McHam, who married Nina Young and they had a daughter named Aurora Lee (Arie) and a son Cleo McHam.

2. Ella McHam, who married C. H. Baird and they had twins Charles H. and Mary Martha McHam. Mary Martha married Albert Higgs on 19 Jan 1880 and they had Cole, Laura, and May Higgs.

3. Agnes McHam, who married a Conway( my mother told me that one daughter became pregnant out of wedlock and they moved to Nocona with her out of embarrassment as things were done in those days of stricter morals and community judgement. Perhaps this was the daughter.)

4. John McHam, never married.

5. Sam McHam, who was born in 1876 and died in 1936 and is buried in Antioch Cemetary.

6. Martin McHam, who married Cora Strickland, and they had these children: Buren, Leon, Alma, Etta May, and twins Morris and Dorris McHam.

7. Mary McHam, who like John and Sam, never married and she died in 1942 and is buried in an unmarked grave just to the south of her parents in Evergreen Cemetery in Paris, TX.

Martin V. McHam died 18 Feb 1905 and was buried in Block B-16SW-02, Evergreen Cemetery in Paris, Lamar County, Texas. Official death records are as follows:

Lamar County Death Records Book #1, p. 85; #848; Mart McHam; white male; age 68 years; died 18 Feb 1905 in Ozark, [Lamar Co.] TX of apoplexy; reported by J. D. Skidmore.

From Rodgers and Wade Furniture Co. Funeral Records in possession of Fry and Gibbs Funeral Home; Book #4; p.159; Service #28: M. B. McHam; Casket #3, size 6/0, made by Cincinnati $35.00; Slippers $2.00; Cemetery fee $5.00; interment 20 Feb 1905.

©Robert A. Burns and Ron Brothers, All Rights Reserved, 2000.

December 29, 2000

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