Last of the Blue and Gray: Old Men, Stolen Glory, and the Mystery That Outlived the Civil War

By Richard A. Serrano

Richard Serrano, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for the Los Angeles Times, pens a narrative of 2 veterans. within the past due Fifties, as the USA ready for the Civil warfare centennial, very previous males lay death. Albert Woolson, 109 years outdated, slipped out and in of a coma at a Duluth, Minnesota, clinic, his thoughts as a Yankee drummer boy slowly dimming. Walter Williams, at 117 blind and deaf and bedridden in his daughter's domestic in Houston, Texas, now not might inform of his time as a accomplice forage grasp. The final of the Blue and the grey have been drifting away; an period was once finishing.

Unknown to the general public, centennial officers, and the White residence too, this kind of males used to be certainly a veteran of that terrible clash and one in response to the easiest facts not anything yet a fraud. One was once a soldier. the opposite have been residing a very good, immense lie.

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Kobus with the flag from atop her father’s bronze coffin. “This is not any traditional flag, nor traditional day,” he instructed her. “This is the final flag that shrouded the continues to be of the final veteran of the Union military. ” Twenty-five hundred humans attended the funeral on the Duluth Armory, the positioning of such a lot of of Woolson’s previous honors and tributes. an army cordon covered the entryway; a military band played as six military sergeants carried him within. The Carillon refrain membership of Duluth sang “The conflict Hymn of the Republic,” the track that, even in his previous age, Woolson may perhaps recite by means of middle.

Our scientific employees has displayed a truly prepared curiosity within the situation of this 111- (soon to be 112-) year-old accomplice veteran, and we're doing all that we will, unofficially, to make his final weeks or months cozy and pleasant,” the medical professional wrote. “It is our fond wish to maintain his remarkably strong common wellbeing and fitness until eventually he at the very least passes his 112th birthday, and as a long way past that as we humanly can. during this connection, we're brooding about whether it is in any respect attainable to have his pension fee considerably elevated by means of $100 a month or so, for the expanding rate of care of his 83-year-old spouse and himself.

The Gettysburg occasions additionally quoted her in a June 27, 1938, article. lifestyles journal featured her on the Bell plant in Atlanta in its Dec. 27, 1943, version. Her stories as a riveter additionally have been coated through the Atlanta magazine on Oct. 12, 1943, and Dec. 20, 1943. She can also be present in a Time journal article, July 22, 1935. the most effective obituaries of this impressive Southern girl used to be released within the Atlanta magazine, may perhaps four, 1962. LaSalle Corbell Pickett’s obituary ran within the Washington submit and the recent York occasions, either on Mar.

So long as one member of the Grand military of the Republic continues to be, there'll be an annual encampment,” vowed Katherine Flood, the Washington secretary for the nationwide GAR. “Actuarial figures provided via insurance firms expect that there'll be Civil struggle veterans alive in 1952,” she acknowledged. after which, after a quick pause, she extra, “But those males were smashing actuarial figures for years. ” merely eighty-nine veterans made it to Columbus. Many sat round the foyer of the Deshler-Wallick lodge, a glazed terra-cotta–tiled development, as soon as one of many world’s greatest towers.

The Duluth News-Tribune, Aug. 27, 1949, ran a photo of Woolson smoking a cigar as his teach left Duluth for the encampment in Indianapolis. The Saturday assessment column by means of John Mason Brown seemed within the magazine’s Sept. 24, 1949, factor. The reminiscences of Nancy Baxter are from conversations with the writer. five. WALTER WILLIAMS in contrast to Woolson, Walter Williams it sounds as if didn't write down his memories or memoirs. He did, despite the fact that, converse randomly of his previous adventures either within the Civil conflict and herding farm animals up the Chisholm path.

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