Wallace, Martin R. M.

Born: 1829-09-28 Urbana, Ohio

Died: 1902-03-06 Chicago, Illinois

Martin R. M. Wallace was a farmer, attorney, and military officer. His family settled in LaSalle County, Illinois, in 1834. He attended country schools as a boy, then the Rock River Seminary. Afterward, he read law in the Ottawa, Illinois, office of Dickey & Wallace, studying under his brother, William H. L. Wallace, and Theophilus L. Dickey. Martin Wallace gained admission to the bar in January 1856, moved to Chicago, and began practicing law in partnership with Thomas Dent. In the course of his legal career, he became well acquainted with Abraham Lincoln. In 1860, Wallace owned $500 in real property. At the beginning of the Civil War, he helped organize the Fourth Illinois Cavalry, and, in October 1861, received commission as major of that regiment. He commanded one of the regiment's battalions through the battles of Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, and Shiloh, and became commander of the regiment in December 1862. He received promotion to lieutenant-colonel in 1862, colonel in 1863, and was breveted to brigadier-general at the conclusion of his military career. In September 1863, he married Emma R. Gilson, with whom he eventually had six children. He died of heart failure after a bout of influenza.

A. T. Andreas, History of Chicago (Chicago: A. T. Andreas, 1885), 2:258; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Ogle County, IL, 19; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Ward 2, Chicago, Cook County, IL, 71; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Kankakee County, 2 September 1863, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; The Chicago Daily Tribune (IL), 7 March 1902, 7:2-4.