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Information contributed by Thomas Birch & Elaine (Birch) Long.

     MARTIN TODD BURCH (also BIRCH) was a farmer born in Belmont County, Ohio, according to the Volunteer Enlistment page contained in his Service Record at the National Archives. However, in his application for a government pension, dated 8 Feb 1916, he stated he was born in 1841 in Zanesville, Muskingum County, Ohio. At the time of his enlistment, 28 Mar 1864, he was 5 feet 10 inches tall, with hazel eyes, dark hair and dark complexion. This must be a re-enlistment because his service record indicates he originally enrolled at Cameron, Marshall County, (W) Virginia on 17 Sep 1861 and mustered in 15 Oct 1861.

     Martin Burch is listed as a deserter in the records of the West Virginia Adjutant General, as well as in his Service Record. However, the charge of desertion was REMOVED 21 Nov 1866 by Special Order (#582) of the PRESIDENT.


     According to Martin Burch's statement in a pension application dated 18 Feb 1890, he was "captured after re-enlistment near Linchburg [sic] on the 18th day of June 1864 and erroneously marked a deserter." A note of an earlier desertion, "Deserted at Warrenton Aug 17 1862" and then "Supposed to be at Zanesville, O." was evidently cleared up; no details are stated.

     The 1st & 4th West Virginia infantries were consolidated 10 Dec 1864 to form the 2nd Veteran Infantry. Martin is listed in the roster of the 2nd Veteran Infantry because he was still enlisted at the time of the consolidation. However, he was captured before the consolidation occurred.

     Martin Burtch married Lizzie White 9 Sep 1884, Muskingum County, Ohio.

     From the 1890 Census of Veterans & Widows, Zanesville, Muskingum County, Ohio: "MARTIN BURCH, Private, Company D 1 W. Va. Inf. 20 Apr 1861 - 20 Aug 1865; 4 years 4 months."

     He applied for a government pension 20 Feb 1890, Application #756.390. No certificate was issued according to the Index Card at ancestry.com.

     Martin Todd Birch worked as a Flagman on the B & O. Railroad. He died 28 June 1917 in Wheeling, Ohio County, West Virginia as a result of a "crush of left leg fracture (compound)" sustained when he was hit by a train. He was a widower at the time of his death.

     The death record (No. 39, page 458) states that his parents were Thomas Birch, born in Ireland and Rachael Schrack, born in Marshall County, (W) Virginia. The family was found in the 1860 census of Marshall County, (West) Virginia but Martin was not in the home:

BURCH (1527)
Thomas ...51-wm...farmer...VA
Mary E...14-wf...VA

Wheeling Intelligencer, 30 June 1917

The funeral for Martin Birch, aged 76, who died in local hospital Thursday, will be held this afternoon at 2:30 o'clock in the home of his brother, Harvey Birch, of 157 Eighteenth Street. Burial will be in Stone Church cemetery.