By Mark Ambrogi
Steve Martin is a huge history buff and he has the perfect job to pursue his passion.
“The people that are interested in this kind of thing are not living in the past, they appreciate the past,” said Martin, who has been a reference/government documents librarian at Morrisson-Reeves Public Library in Richmond for 27 years. “When you see the magnificent things our people did locally, whether it’s from Carmel or east central Indiana, you are in awe. I hope young people will see this as a solid foundation for their heritage.”
Martin spoke on the life of Union soldiers from east central Indiana at the Hamilton Co. Civil War Roundtable March 9 at Carmel City Hall. He shared several letters. One was about a solider witnessing the execution of a deserter. Martin and Duane Reed co-wrote “Honor Eternal: Wayne County Men in the Civil War.”
Martin wrote about Company 19, called the Iron Brigade.
“I also wrote about the African-Americans from Wayne County who picked up arms and fought after the Emancipation Proclamation,” Martin said.
Wayne Co., which includes Richmond, provided 4,425 soldiers for the war when it had approximately 29,500 residents.
Martin is most adept at east central Indiana history because he has been has been writing about it since 2006 in a weekly history column for the Richmond Palladium-Item.
“I work in the library, and it’s a mecca for information,” Martin said. “You are trained to find things and disseminate what is true and not true.”
Martin has been writing the column for several years and it often gets picked up by Gannett News Service.
“I try to find whatever that day is and pull out something historical about eastern Indiana, and if I can’t, I’ll pull out what is funny,” Martin said.