Martin Witherspoon Gary (March 25, 1831 – April 9, 1881) was an attorney, soldier, and politician from South Carolina. He attained the rank of brigadier general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. He played a major leadership role in the 1876 Democratic political campaign to elect Wade Hampton III as governor, planning a detailed campaign to disrupt the Republican Party and black voters by violence and intimidation.
Gary was first elected to office as a state representative in 1860. He was elected to the South Carolina State Senate in 1876 from Edgefield, South Carolina, serving two terms. He fell out with Hampton after failing to get appointments to the U.S. Senate in 1877 and 1879, and left politics in 1881 after finishing his second term. He returned to his home in Cokesbury and died in April of that year. Gary was elected in 1860 to the South Carolina House of Representatives as a secessionist. His time in office was short.When South Carolina seceded in 1861, he joined Hamptons Legion as a captain of infantry. At the First Battle of Manassas, he was given control of the Legion after his superior officers were disabled. By 1862 Gary had been elected as lieutenant colonel of the infantry battalion in the Legion and was promoted to colonel when given control of a regiment. Hampton's Legion came under the command of General Longstreet and was active in the battles of Virginia through mid-1863 before being transferred to help the Army of Tennessee in the latter part of the year.Back east, Gary was commissioned as a brigadier general of a cavalry brigade. The Brigade was part of the Department of Richmond until January 1865. It included the infantry battalion of Hamptons Legion that had been mounted on March 11, 1864 and transferred from Longstreets Corps. The Brigade was transferred to the Cavalry Corps, Army of Northern Virginia in January 1865, but Gary refused to surrender with General Lee at Appomattox. Instead he led 200 men of his brigade to escort President Davis and his cabinet from Greensboro, North Carolina, to his mother's house in Cokesbury, where he ended his service as a Confederate soldier.
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