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SGT: Martin Alexander Trotter, of the 6th Montana Cavalry of Company L. 
Civil War Veteran of Monterey County.

Martin A. Trotter was born in Carroll County, Montana on September 2 1841.During the Civil War. He enlisted into Company L of the 6th Montana Cavalry on July 30, 1862 and was mustered out on July 6, 1865. He had three wives, 1.) Melissa Jane (1841-1862) in 1860 they had one child. 2.) Sarah Jane Shinn (1845-1878) they had eight children, four grew into adulthood. 3.) Phoeba Jane Goodwin (1856-1938) they had two children. Martin Alexander Trotter died on September 20, 1916. His internment was made at El Encinal Cemetery , his third wife , and two children are interned next to him, in Monterey, California. He was a member of the Lucius Fairchild GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) post # 179, based out of the City of Pacific Grove, Calif.

The following is a transcription from a descendant, Sylvia Trotter Anderson, to Tim P. Reese (SUVCW) on April 10, 2002.


(Sylvia Trotter Anderson, relative, e-mail to Tim P. Reese 04/10/02)

Well, lets see. Movements: Born and raised in Carroll Co. MO, moved to Fillmore, Ventura Co, CA ~1899-1900. There about 4 years and moved to Monterey Co. He was in Big Sur ~1904 as he is listed on the Sur Precinct of the Great Register [voters lists] Lived in Monterey at 404 Fremont Street and died there at the house.

I know he was a carpenter and probably did some farming at one time. His obit says he was a general contractor. I know he worked for the Notley Brothers out of Santa Cruz when he lived on the Big Sur Coast. His son, my grandfather had worked for the Notley's many years. He got into some politics as stated from the history book and was a nominee for the recorders office in 1874. I know he was a recorder at one time as I have found his signature on court records.

He had three wives. 1. Melissa Jane Sherwood who died while he was gone away from home during the war. [b.10 Oct 1841 d. 12 Oct 1862 and md. 29 Nov 1860] They have one child. 2. Sarah Jane Shinn aka as Sallie. [b.29 Aug 1845 d. 26 May 1878 and md. 14 Apr 1863] They had 8 children, 4 lived to adulthood.[this is my line here ] 3. Phoebe Jane (Meagher) Goodwin [b.3 Nov 1856 d. 25 Sep 1938 md. 26 Nov 1879] They had 2 children who lived and some stillborn, maybe. Phoebe should be buried next to him in Monterey or near him, as is his son Samuel Trotter and daughter Margaret Haeuptle.

Religion is an odd thing: Trotter Twp, named in honor of Martin's Uncle Judge James Trotter had a church which they called McGil's Creek Missionary Baptist. I think it later became just Trotter Church. It was organized in 1871 and Martin A. Trotter and wife are among the original organizers listed. He was very much a Baptist until his third wife. In Washington Twp Carroll Co MO, there is a listing for the Hazel Dell Latter Day Saints. Now this is what is known now as the Reorganized Church of Latter Day Saints a break off of the Latter Day Saints. Their headquarters are in MO vs. the others in Utah. "Rev. Martin Trotter is pastor of the branch at Carrollton" History of Carroll Co MO 1882 p. 459. He was still practicing that religion in Monterey. He married his brother in law Benj. Shinn off to Hulda Ellen Blackleach there in Monterey in 1906. I do not know if he had his church at the house on Fremont Street or not, Phoebe his wife was a member of the church in Castroville.

I have no other ideas about his activities ie: Mason's or Elk's or such. Was suprised to hear from you that he was a GAR member.

As for his battles, well the muster rolls are nothing to write home about. Most of them are about his horse and one time he lost his saber, then had to get a canteen and a haversack. There is a couple that give some dates when he was absent. ie: Apr 10, 1863, absent, on detached service; Jan & Feb 1864, absent, on detached service. There is many different write ups about minor battles or events within Carroll Co, but I'm not sure if Martin's group was among them. I also have found reference to Aug 1863 in Pineville, Mo the 6th Mo. Militia Cav. was engaged in a battle, 65 wounded. Now I don't know if this is the same company or an entirely different one.

Otherwise, I don't think there is much else I can really tell you about him. As for the photo, it will be awhile before I can send it. I have to get ready for some surgery,so if you can find someone amongst your group who might be able to open it, try forwarding it to them first and see if they can do it. If not, send me an email address for one of them and I can forward it on to them. Sincerely, Sylvia



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trotter-martin-a-photo.jpg (72584 bytes) trotter-martin-a-grave.jpg (74169 bytes) trotter-phoeba-1856-1938.jpg (71760 bytes)
Martin Trotter
ca 1862-63 prior rank of Sergeant.
Headstone Headstone, wife Phoeba and daughter Margaret