According to his WWI Draft Registration, Matthew Delt, or Matthew Delts, was born on Orton Plantation, Brunswick County, NC. The handwritten “Columbus [County]” on his NC WWI Service Card appears to be incorrect and should be Brunswick County.
Although his residence is listed as Wilmington on his draft registration, he was working as a laborer in Southport and registered in Brunswick County. By the time he was ordered to report for duty, his residence was again listed as Orton Plantation. He stated he was supporting his mother and sister. Both were dead before he reported for duty, with his father following, dying from pneumonia and influenza.
Matthew was ordered to report for duty on July 15, 1918. He was one of a group of twelve men who reported that day from Brunswick County. All were sent to Fort Dix, NJ. This group included Hiram Van Bellamy and Jackson Brown.
One curious piece of information is that his rank is shown as corporal, which is verified by his VA Master Index. The service cards typically show a progression in rank, beginning with private. Typically, only those soldiers who previously served in the Regular Army or National Guard achieved this rank and achieved it so quickly. More research is required to verify the rank. He was honorably discharged on December 19, 1918.
Matthew was killed in an accident on Route 40, falling from a truck trailer on April 18, 1936. According to his death certificate, he was laid to rest on Orton Plantation. The exact location of his gravesite is unknown.
Source for more about the Delts family:
Trinkley and Hacker (2018). African American Lives on the Lower Cape Fear During the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries with an Emphasis on Brunswick County and the Orton Vicinity. Columbia, SC: Chicora Foundation, Inc.
To view this or an earlier profile or snapshot at any time, click on the veteran’s name on the WWI Brunswick County Veteran list, which is also accessible by the blue button on the top right of the webpage.
If you would like to help us honor Matthew Delt or another Brunswick County WWI veteran, please use the following links:
Click here for the announcement:
Announcement: Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran
Click here for directions to donate and honor a veteran:
How to Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran