29 March 2012

Shocking Affair: The Fatal Stabbing of Robert Martin

The following transcriptions of 3 newspaper articles regarding the murder of Robert Martin were provided by Jeanie Smith Zadach.
Macon Daily Telegraph (Georgia)
Saturday, January 16, 1864, Page 2
"SHOCKING AFFAIR - About 6 o'clock last evening, ROBERT MARTIN of this city was fatally stabbed, on 3rd street in front of Mrs. Sullivan's by JAMES BURNS of Twiggs county. The parties had been in each others' company the greater part of the day, in the course of which some trifling dispute arose, but which, after a few words appeared to be settled. Subsequently the affair was renewed when Burn cut Martin, inflicting a desperate gash below the right arm, the knife ranging in between the lungs and liver. Another blow severed the main artery in the left arm, near the shoulder, and in fact, nearly cut the limb entirely off. This last cut was the immediate cause of his death, although the first would, in all probability, have killed him. Martin as soon as cut, staggered forward exclaiming: "He has killed me," until he reached Mr. Jaughsteter's, a few doors distant, where he turned in and expired in a short time.

We were unable to learn what resistance, if any, Martin made. At all events Burn [sic] made his escape and had not been arrested up to a late hour last night."

Macon Telegraph
Monday Morning, January 18, 1864, Page 2
"James C. Burns who killed Martin on Friday night about dusk, was arrested by the Sheriff about eight o'clock the same evening. He was examined and committed yesterday, and will be tried at the adjourned session of the Superior Court, which commences on Monday the 25th."

Georgia Journal & Messenger
Wednesday, January 20, 1864, Page 2, Column 4
A shocking affair occurred in this city, on Third street, about six o'clock on Friday evening last, between ROBERT MARTIN of this city and JAMES BURNS of Twiggs county, in which Martin was killed. It appears that a short time previous, there had been some difficulty between them of a trivial character, at which time Martin drew a pistol on Burns, who, it would appear, was then unarmed, and the affair seemed to be quieted. They soon after met again on the the side walk, on Third street, when Martin received five or six very severe cuts and stabs, of which he died in a few minutes. Of what occurred at this second meeting it would be improper to speak of particularly, as it will probably be duly investigated before the Superior Court of this county, which convenes again on the 25th. A brother of Burns was present, and the facts were noticed only by one or two other persons although it occurred in a public place. Burns immediately fled, but was soon captured. The case was examined into before Justices Grannias, Wyche and Hughes on Saturday, by whom he was committed for trial on the charge of murder.

Burns is a man of respectable standing at home, and came here as a member of a company of State Troops on their way to Savannah; but now has a more fearful ordeal to pass through than that of facing any enemy in the field he would have been likely to have met about Savannah."
Ms. Zadach also provided this entry from Record of Interments for Rose Hill Cemetery of Bibb County, Georgia 1840 to 1871: "ROBERT MARTIN - Date of Interment: Jan 15, 1864; Age: 32; Male; Residence: Macon, Bibb County, Georgia, CSA; Cause of Death: Stabbed; Lot: 5; Block: 1; Page Number 63 in Interment Book."

Robert Martin was a son of John and Eliza Martin. According to the Historic Rose Hill Cemetery website, Robert is buried in the same lot as his parents and sister, Elizabeth Leora Griffin Martin (d. 1842). This was 3/4 of lot 5 in block 1 of the Central Avenue District, purchased by John Martin in 1841. John was the first burial in April 1842, followed by Elizabeth Leora a month later. When I visited the Martin family plot, I was unable to find a marker for Robert. I did find his parents and sister, however. I also noticed an unmarked brick slab beside Elizabeth Leora. Could this be Robert?

Photos © 2012 S. Lincecum
(You may need to click to enlarge.)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Widget by LinkWithin