Colonel Martin Hardin Cofer was born in Hardin County, Ky., April 1, 1832. He was raised on a farm, and his education was such as the common schools of that day afforded. Early in life he determined to enter the profession of law. He was married in 1853, and shortly afterward removed to Illinois, where he resided three years. He studied his profession when not engaged in active business, and at the age of twenty-four was licensed by the Supreme Court of that State to practice. He commenced his labors at Elizabethtown, Ky., and acquitted himself well in his first efforts. He made steady progress, and at the beginning of the civil war had a very large practice. In 1860 a military company was organized at Elizabethtown, and he was chosen its Captain. During this year he was the Southern Rights candidate for the Lower House of the Legislature, having openly avowed his principles and determined to stand by them. His competitor, Hon. B.R. Young, who had been a member of Congress, was a man of ability and great popularity. Colonel Cofer and Dr. Young entered upon the canvass in July, and after an exciting contest, the Union candidate was elected by a majority of only ninety votes. His next step was to enter the Confederate service. He was authorized, in connection with Major Thomas Hays, to raise a battalion of six companies, of which he was to be Lieutenant-Colonel. Only five companies were obtained, and in November these were consolidated with other companies that formed the Sixth Regiment. He was elected Lieutenant-Colonel of this command, and took rank from the —- November. He participated in every engagement of his regiment up to the 30th of August, 1864, except that of Murfreesboro, and was severely wounded at Shiloh. He was promoted to Colonel Sept. 30, 1863. The day before the first battle of Jonesboro he was made Provost Marshal General of the Army of Tennessee. Colonel Cofer was a man of excellent judgment; was rarely known to draw a conclusion from a false premise, and in all his relations has maintained himself as an honest, upright gentleman.
Source: History of Daviess County, Kentucky. Chicago: Interstate Publishing Co., 1883. Print.