The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) is pleased to announce that a “real son” of a Civil War veteran, Luke Martin, Jr., has joined the SUVCW in the Department of North Carolina.
SUVCW defines a “real son” as a first generation son of a Civil War Union veteran. Only an estimated nine real sons of Civil War Union veterans remain alive today. Click here (pdf) for a list of those men.
Born on July 11, 1917, Luke P. Martin, Jr. lives in New Bern, North Carolina. His father, Luke Martin, Sr., was born into slavery in 1837 and reportedly swam across three rivers in winter to get to New Bern and join what became the 35th Regiment of U.S. Colored Troops.
The younger Martin still lives in the house his father built. He works as a funeral service assistant for Oscar’s Mortuary, as he has since the business opened. He was also a master brick mason, like his father before him. Martin Jr. was the lead mason in the early 1950s for the restoration of historic Tryon Palace and fifty other historic buildings. He taught vocational classes for military veterans and students in several area schools.
Luke P. Martin, Jr.’s SUVCW membership application was received by the Department of North Carolina and his application is now being forwarded to National Headquarters. Mr. Martin, Jr., age ninety-seven, will be a member of the North Carolina Union Volunteers Camp #5.
Members of Camp #5, along with Dennis St. Andrew (Department Commander) and John France (Department Secretary/Treasurer), were able to meet Mr. Martin in September at “Luke P. Martin, Jr. Day” in New Bern. This event was sponsored by Craven County, North Carolina. Camp #5 members Rolf Maris (Camp Commander) and Fred Fulcher (Past Camp Commander) followed up with Mr. Martin and he agreed to join the SUVCW.