My father never mentioned him. His sister didn’t either. He used to talk about his grandmother and the joyous summer days he would spend on her farm on Sapp Road in Cabarrus County, North Carolina. I never met his father, but I know a lot about him. Dad shared about his boyhood and family in North Carolina, but never mentioned his grandmother’s father.
Apparently like my dad, I never had much interest in family history beyond my grandparents. In his latter years he did get some enjoyment from reading family histories and he gathered and organized names and dates which I have. I looked at it a couple of times, but that was it.
If it was not for the disgraceful General Milley calling Confederates traitors in a Congressional hearing, I would know nothing about Martin Van Buren Walter. I was not offended by Milley because I was steeped in Southern history or claimed the rich heritage. I was not and I did not. I was angry and saw it as a sign that things were being rewritten and dumbed down. It convinced me that there were people in high places intent on denigrating the history of the South. I then began my education in all things Southern and began writing.
About two years ago I met someone on Twitter who offered to look at my family history. He has some expertise as a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. I declined. On Saturday I had some alone time in Arlington National Cemetery. At some point during the quiet walks, I decided to message my friend on Twitter.
Martin V. Walter served in F Company of the 57th North Carolina Infantry. He enlisted as a private in July of 1862 in Cabarrus County. By the war’s end he was a sergeant. His unit was at Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, and Appomattox. It appears Martin was at Fredericksburg because the records show he “returned” to the unit on December 6 after being in a Richmond hospital “sick”. He was confined at Lookout Point for four months. It also looks like he was at Gettysburg as he is shown on roll on October, 31 1863 and captured November 11, 1863.
Martin was likely captured with much of his unit in a fight at a Rappahannock bridge near Culpepper. This according to a unit history written by Col. Hamilton C. Jones, Jr. and published in 1901. He was not at the surrender at Appomattox as he was captured for a second time on April 6, 1865. Thank you to @jjfThompson for offering and taking the time to get me started on this journey to connect with my Confederate American ancestors.