One Of The Last Confederate Drummer-Boys

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Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Location
Kingsport, Tennessee
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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 luther.jpg


Martin's Tennessee Pension Application and Service Record
luther drummer boy.jpg


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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.
 
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splemons

Cadet
Joined
Feb 14, 2020
Hi,

The last surviving Confederate drummer boy, to my knowledge, was George Bannister (June 12, 1852 (claimed June 12, 1848) - July 6, 1949) of Virginia.
View attachment 196983
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.

View attachment 196986

Martin's Tennessee Pension Application and Service Record
View attachment 196989

View attachment 222479

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.
I greatly appreciate the sharing of the two documents on Martin D. Luther. I had seen neither. This is my first time posting and not sure I am on the correct place. My question is to whoever posted the documents. I would like to know where you found them. "Pa" Luther was my husband's g-g-grandfather. We only learned of his Civil War service a few years ago and have been trying to collect all that we can on him. We, too, were under the impression that he was the last drummer for Robert E. Lee and I believe (not sure) that it was mentioned in his obituary but I find no legal documents to prove this. We have a copy of the photo posted above wearing his uniform and holding a drum. One of his children made their home here in Tellico Plains, Tn. and his granddaughter (my husband's "Ma" Plemons made her home here, also. He has lots of descendants from this area. If I have put this on the wrong thread, I apologize.
Daily Post Athenian
October 13, 2011

Ceremony will honor last drummer of the Confederacy

By: Greg Moses

Nearly 150 years after his discharge following the Surrender at Appomattox, local Civil War veteran Martin D. Luther will be honored for his military service.

At the close of his military career, Luther had the distinction of beating the last roll call in General Robert E. Lee's army before the Battle of Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. He was present following the battle when Lee signed the surrender documents with Union General Ulysses S. Grant.

An Iron Cross dedication ceremony will be held at Luther's gravesite in Athens' Cedar Grove Cemetery on Saturday, Oct. 15. The Iron Cross - or Southern Cross - is placed on graves of Confederate soldiers who served honorably. Following the war, the federal government supplied markers to Union veterans but not Confederates. While Luther's grave has a civilian stone, the Iron Cross will recognize and pay tribute to his service.

"This is one of the greatest honors we can bestow upon our brave soldiers who served," said Sharon Cain, a member of Tellico Iron Works Chapter 2636 of the Daughters of the Confederacy, which will host Saturday's event.
Born to a German-American family in 1846 near Asheville in Buncombe County, N.C., Luther enlisted in Company I, 25th North Carolina Infantry Regiment in 1863 at age 17.

He took part in the battles of Suffolk, Va., and Plymouth, N.C. In the latter, 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 Battle of the Wilderness in Virginia.

In the Siege of Petersburg, the company's drummer was killed and Luther took his place, serving in that capacity until the war's end.

Following the war, Luther returned to North Carolina and subsequently moved to Athens in 1894, where he was known as a prominent Confederate veteran and a member of the local United Confederate Veterans Camp.

At age 79, only months before his death in 1925, Luther shared his story with members of the Grand Army of the Republic, a fraternal organization founded by Union veterans soon after the war, when the Athens GAR hosted the Tennessee Annual Encampment in 1925.

"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,'" said McMinn County Historian Joe Guy. "He concluded the meeting by playing taps on his drum, the same cadence he had played so many years before during the surrender in Virginia."

The Iron Cross dedication ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15, at Luther's gravesite - located at the top of the hill adjacent to the cemetery's mausoleum.

The public is invited to attend the service.

If you are a descendant of Martin Luther or know of any Luther family members, contact Sharon Cain at 338-2291.

"We would like to have a descendant at the ceremony, if possible," Cain said.




 
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Location
Kingsport, Tennessee
I greatly appreciate the sharing of the two documents on Martin D. Luther. I had seen neither. This is my first time posting and not sure I am on the correct place. My question is to whoever posted the documents. I would like to know where you found them. "Pa" Luther was my husband's g-g-grandfather. We only learned of his Civil War service a few years ago and have been trying to collect all that we can on him. We, too, were under the impression that he was the last drummer for Robert E. Lee and I believe (not sure) that it was mentioned in his obituary but I find no legal documents to prove this. We have a copy of the photo posted above wearing his uniform and holding a drum. One of his children made their home here in Tellico Plains, Tn. and his granddaughter (my husband's "Ma" Plemons made her home here, also. He has lots of descendants from this area. If I have put this on the wrong thread, I apologize.
Daily Post Athenian
October 13, 2011

Ceremony will honor last drummer of the Confederacy

By: Greg Moses

Nearly 150 years after his discharge following the Surrender at Appomattox, local Civil War veteran Martin D. Luther will be honored for his military service.

At the close of his military career, Luther had the distinction of beating the last roll call in General Robert E. Lee's army before the Battle of Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. He was present following the battle when Lee signed the surrender documents with Union General Ulysses S. Grant.

An Iron Cross dedication ceremony will be held at Luther's gravesite in Athens' Cedar Grove Cemetery on Saturday, Oct. 15. The Iron Cross - or Southern Cross - is placed on graves of Confederate soldiers who served honorably. Following the war, the federal government supplied markers to Union veterans but not Confederates. While Luther's grave has a civilian stone, the Iron Cross will recognize and pay tribute to his service.

"This is one of the greatest honors we can bestow upon our brave soldiers who served," said Sharon Cain, a member of Tellico Iron Works Chapter 2636 of the Daughters of the Confederacy, which will host Saturday's event.
Born to a German-American family in 1846 near Asheville in Buncombe County, N.C., Luther enlisted in Company I, 25th North Carolina Infantry Regiment in 1863 at age 17.

He took part in the battles of Suffolk, Va., and Plymouth, N.C. In the latter, 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 Battle of the Wilderness in Virginia.

In the Siege of Petersburg, the company's drummer was killed and Luther took his place, serving in that capacity until the war's end.

Following the war, Luther returned to North Carolina and subsequently moved to Athens in 1894, where he was known as a prominent Confederate veteran and a member of the local United Confederate Veterans Camp.

At age 79, only months before his death in 1925, Luther shared his story with members of the Grand Army of the Republic, a fraternal organization founded by Union veterans soon after the war, when the Athens GAR hosted the Tennessee Annual Encampment in 1925.

"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,'" said McMinn County Historian Joe Guy. "He concluded the meeting by playing taps on his drum, the same cadence he had played so many years before during the surrender in Virginia."

The Iron Cross dedication ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15, at Luther's gravesite - located at the top of the hill adjacent to the cemetery's mausoleum.

The public is invited to attend the service.

If you are a descendant of Martin Luther or know of any Luther family members, contact Sharon Cain at 338-2291.

"We would like to have a descendant at the ceremony, if possible," Cain said.



I don't
Welcome to CWT. I'm also an East Tennessean from Sullivan County. Tennessee Confederate Pension Applications can be found here: https://www.familysearch.org/en/ All that's needed is to create a free account. I don't recall how I discovered Martin, it may have been his being born in North Carolina. While I've lived in East Tennessee all my life, my paternal roots are in Wilkes County, NC. Again welcome to the site! It's the best!
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Location
Kingsport, Tennessee
Tellico Plains, Tn. and his granddaughter (my husband's "Ma" Plemons made her home here, also. He has lots of descendants from this area.
Wow! This photo is of a 5 x removed 1st cousin, James Noah Land. He migrated from Wilkes County, NC to Monroe County, TN. several years before the Civil War. He had 4 sons & numerous nephews in and around Monroe County, Rhea County, & McMinn County both Confederate & Union through his 1st wife. I said "wow" because he's pictured here with his second wife Rhoda Plemons.
She reportedly died in Rhea County, in 1915.

James Noah .jpg
 
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