Ozias Caleb Martin - updated 9/13/2009

Ozias Caleb Martin was born on June 16, 1815, in Cornwall, Addison County, Vermont, the son of Caleb and Anna (Mead).

He married New York or Vermont native Eliza A. Potter (1826-1877), and they had at least one child: Orrin Caleb (1847-1922).

Caleb and his wife were living in New York in the late 1840s when their son was born. Ozias left Vermont and headed west, presumably with his family, eventually settling in western Michigan. By 1860 Ozias was working as a carpenter and living with Rufus Martin (b. 1834 in New York) and his Michigan-born wife Caroline in Cascade, Kent County. Rufus owned some $2000 worth of real estate and was listed as the head of the household.

He was 45 years old and working as a carpenter in Grand Rapids when he enlisted as a Musician (probably as a drummer) in Company A on May 13, 1861. He was absent sick in the hospital in June of 1863, but eventually recovered and reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Grand Rapids. He was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864 and shortly after he returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February he was promoted to Principal Musician. He was transferred to the non-commissioned staff as of January 1, 1864, at Camp Bullock, Virginia, and subsequently transferred to the Field & Staff, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864.

On August 17, 1864, Ozias was tried and convicted before a Regimental court martial on charges of drunkenness and conduct prejudicial to good military order, to which he pled guilty. According to Major Dan root, then commanding the Fifth Michigan (and formerly of the Third Michigan), Ozias was too drunk to perform his duties during Retreat and Tattoo on August 10. Further, it ws claimed that he was “in the habit of becoming intoxicated frequently and at such times abusing the men under his command.” When Ozias was “called on for his defence stated he had none.” He was reduced to the ranks and transferred to Company A.

He was reported AWOL in May of 1865, and absent sick in June. In fact, he was mustered out on June 8, 1865, at Detroit, presumably for disability.

After the war Ozias returned to Grand Rapids and by 1868-69 he was working as a carpenter for Chubb, Stewart & Luther and living at the corner of Jefferson and Shawmut Streets, on the west side of the Grand River in Grand Rapids. (In 1870 Eliza Martin, was living in Grand Rapids’ Second Ward with her son Orrin Martin.) In fact, he worked for many years as a carpenter in the Grand Rapids area.

Ozias applied for and received pension no. 590,279.

Ozias was one of the first veterans admitted to the newly built Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 7) on September 23, 1885. He was discharged at his own request on May 19, 1891, readmitted on June 23, 1891, discharged March 31, 1892, admitted a third time on May 28, 1892, dropped on September 28, 1892, admitted on June 6, 1893, and discharged on April 4, 1894, and was admitted for the last time on February 18, 1898.

Ozias was a widower when he died of “debility and old age” on February 24, 1902, at the Home, and the funeral service was held at the East Street Methodist church at 2:00 p.m. on February 26. He was buried in Oak Hill cemetery: section D lot 61.