Martin Delphos Luther was one of, if not the last surviving Confederate Drummer-Boy when he died in 1925. He was born on October 25, 1845, the ninth child born to John and Lucinda Jones Luther in Buncombe County NC. He enlisted on 1/1/1864 at Buncombe County, NC as a Private into "I" Co. NC 25th Infantry. Joshua, Lewis, and William Pinkney Inman, (of "Cold Mountain" fame), served in Company F. Martin was in the battles of Suffolk, Va., and Plymouth, N.C. At Plymouth, he was left for dead on the battlefield but was later taken to a hospital and, in 90 days, was well enough to rejoin his regiment in the Overland Campaign in Virginia. During the Siege of Petersburg, the company's drummer was killed and Luther took his place, serving in that capacity until the war's end. According to family lore, Luther was one of the few remaining drummers in General Robert E. Lee's Army Of Northern Virginia before the surrender at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865.
When Martin was age 79 in 1925, with only a few months to live, he was invited to speak to Union Veterans at their annual GAR encampment in Athens, Tennessee. According to McMinn County Historian Joe Guy, "Luther told those gathered that, as the years passed, the Union veterans of the GAR were as near to him as if they had worn his color". Martin died at Athens, McMinn County, in southeast Tennessee, September 22, 1925.
Martin's Tennessee Pension Application and Service Record
Post-War photo of Private Pinckney Rayburn Young also of Company I 25th NC. Like Martin, he was from Buncombe County. Wounded in the attack on Fort Steadman, he was captured , April 3, 1865, while hospitalized in Richmond. Later a "General" in the U.C.V.