Co. A, 9th US Infantry
Co. G, 52nd New York
A photo of Martin Restle at the National Library of Medicine in Maryland.
Martin Restle was born about 1837 in the Kingdom of Wurttemberg. By 1858, Martin was in New York City, where he enlisted in the US Army. On May 3, 1858, he enlisted for 5 years. He gave his occupation as a shoemaker and was described as standing 5 feet, 6.5 inches tall, with grey eyes, brown hair and a fair complexion. He arrived at Fort Colville, near the Canadian border in the Territory of Washington, on October 5, 1860, along with a large number of men to fill the ranks of his regiment. For the rest of his enlistment, Martin served as a Private in Co. A, 9th US Infantry. The regiment was stationed at various posts in the territory. Even when the Civil War started, the 9th stayed on the West Coast for the duration of the war. Most of the regiment was moved to California, but Martin and Co. A stayed in Washington. He served at Forts Colville and Walla Walla, with his final posting at Fort Vancouver. At the end of his enlistment, he was discharged from there on May 4, 1863.
Martin went back east at some point, and enlisted on August 25, 1864 at Ulysses, NY for 1 year as a substitute for another man. He was mustered in as a Private in Co. G, 52nd NY on the same day. With 5 years of army service, it is not surprising that he was promoted to Corporal and then Sergeant by the start of December 1864. He was reduced in ranks to Private several weeks later, and then promoted again to Sergeant in February 1865. On April 2, 1865, he was wounded in the lower left leg at the South Side Railroad, during the fall of Petersburg.
The next day, his leg was amputated with a circular flap several inches below the knee. Chloroform was used as his anesthetic during the operation. After the amputation, he was sent to the hospital at City Point before being moved to Washington, DC. Martin was discharged from Harewood Hospital in Washington, DC on November 1, 1865.
From 1869 to 1873, Martin lived at the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers at Togus, Maine, one of the veteranís homes started and run by the US Government to provide for its veterans. He received a disability pension for the rest of his life. He may not have lived the rest of his life in the US, as his widow, Anna Marie, filed for a government pension in 1910 from Germany.
This photo of Martin was taken during his recovery. He is wearing a sack coat, the most common type of uniform coat worn by the Union Army. The thick stripe down the side of his pants leg denotes that he is a Sergeant. However, he does not appear to have the three chevrons of a Sergeant on his sleeves.
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