D. B. Martin, merchant, cotton buyer, and Confederate military officer, was born about 1831 in Tennessee. He was married to a “Susan W.” of North Carolina, and the couple ultimately produced four children. Martin and his family had moved to Rusk, Cherokee County, Texas, by the time of the 1860 census. Their eldest daughter Ella was an infant. Martin worked as a merchant and estimated his real estate at $500 and personal estate at $8,500.
It is unclear when Martin enlisted in the service of the Confederacy and at what rank or in what unit. In some of his military correspondence he signed his rank as brigadier general commanding the Tenth Brigade, Texas State Troops, but official appointment of this position has not been confirmed. On August 25, 1862, he was appointed “General Enrolling Officer” for all counties east and north of the Trinity River in Texas and given the rank of major. On September 6, 1863, Martin was appointed “Commandant of Camp of Instruction” for the Northern Subdistrict of Texas in addition to his duties as chief enrolling officer. Martin’s appointment was made by Gen. E. Kirby Smith who described him to Brig. Gen. Henry McCulloch as “an active, energetic officer” and predicted that Martin’s appointment to McCulloch’s command would “work harmoniously and effectively.” On May 2, 1864, Martin was promoted to the rank of colonel and appointed Commandant of Conscripts, District of Texas, a rank and position he held until the end of the war. Martin was paroled in Marshall, Texas, on July 6, 1865.
Sometime after the war, Martin and his family moved to Shreveport, Louisiana, where he operated a mercantile business and estimated his real property at $5,000. His departure from Texas was most likely in 1867, because he was a founding member of Masonic Lodge No. 167 in Caddo Parish, which organized in 1867. In June 1872 Martin and other business associates organized the Shreveport Coast Navigation Company, which operated steamboats between Shreveport and New Orleans along the Red River. In 1880 Martin and his family still resided in Shreveport, where he reported his employment as a cotton buyer, no doubt his primary trade his whole life. It is unclear when and where D. B. Martin died, but he did not appear in the 1900 census.