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First Name: Joseph

Last Name: Martin

Birthplace: Becket, MA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Continental Army (1775 - 1784)

Middle Name: Plumb

Date of Birth: 21 November 1760

Date of Death: 02 May 1850

Rank: Sergeant

Years Served:
Joseph Plumb Martin

•  Revolutionary War (1775 - 1783)


Joseph Plumb Martin
Sergeant, Continental Army

Joseph Plumb Martin was born on 21 November 1760 in Becket, MA. At age seven, he was left in the care of his maternal grandparents in Connecticut.

In June of 1776, he signed a short-term enlistment of six months. He returned to his grandparent's farm that December when his enlistment was up. After a winter at home he re-enlisted in April 1777. He served as a Private in the 8th Connecticut Regiment, an element of General James Varnum's Brigade. In 1778 he was reassigned to the Light Infantry and then in 1780 he was again reassigned to the Corps of Sappers and Miners and attained the rank of Corporal. Martin served until the close of the war and was present at Cornwallis' surrender, capping his career at the rank of Sergeant.

After his release from the Army, he spent one year as a teacher in New York state before moving to Maine where land was being offered to encourage settlement. In 1794 he married Lucy Clewley with whom he had five children.

By 1818, Martin was destitute; his total property was assessed at fifty-two dollars. He applied for a veteran's pension and was granted $96 a year. Martin also served for twenty-five years as Town Clerk of Prospect, ME. He wrote several poems and songs and, about 1828, he wrote his memoirs entitled 'A narrative of some of the adventures, dangers and sufferings of a revolutionary soldier; interspersed with anecdotes of incidents that occurred within his own observation,' the modern title of which is 'Private Yankee Doodle' which is now considered one of the finest primary sources for study of the Continental Army soldier.

Death and Burial

Sergeant Joseph Plumb Martin died peacefully at home on 2 May 1850 at age 89. He is buried at Sandy Point Cemetery in Sandy Point, ME.

Honoree ID: 2811   Created by: MHOH




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