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Last men that survived the Civil War

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by scrat, Sep 27, 2008.

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  1. scrat

    scrat Member

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    To think that the guns we purchase and try to master. These two men were the last two men alive who used them against each other in the great war between the states. Im sure a lot of us think of how these men actually fired these weapons with some of the problems we encounter. Yet to them it was a matter of staying alive. Without further delay the last known Union Army Soldier to have lived was Albert Henry Woolson [​IMG]

    (February 11, 1850? – August 2, 1956), was the last surviving member of the Union Army, which fought in the American Civil War. He was also the last surviving Civil War veteran on either side whose status is currently undisputed. (At least three men who followed him in death claimed to be Confederate veterans, but their status as Civil War veterans is in dispute.)

    Woolson was born in Antwerp, New York. His father, Willard Woolson, enlisted in the Union Army. Willard was wounded at the Battle of Shiloh and was transported to an Army hospital in Windom, Minnesota, where he eventually died of his wounds. Albert and his mother moved to Windom to accompany Willard. Albert enlisted as a drummer boy in Company C, 1st Minnesota Heavy Artillery Regiment on October 10, 1864, becoming the company's drummer. The company never saw action, and Albert Woolson was discharged on September 7, 1865.

    Woolson returned to Minnesota, where he lived the rest of his life. He was a carpenter and later a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, a powerful political organization made up of Civil War veterans where he became senior vice commander in chief in 1953.

    In his final days, he lived at 215 East Fifth Street in Duluth. Woolson died at St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth, Minnesota on August 2, 1956, at what was thought to be the age of 109, of a "recurring lung congestion condition." Woolson was buried with full military honors by National Guard Armory and is buried at Park Hill cemetery. Following his death, then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower said, "The American people have lost the last personal link with the Union Army ... His passing brings sorrow to the hearts of all of us who cherished the memory of the brave men on both sides of the War Between the States."

    Life magazine ran a 7-page article upon the death of Albert Woolson, in the August 20, 1956 issue. [1]The article includes much information about the G.A.R., with pictures or drawings of several encampments (conventions). Also included are photos of the last three living confederate soldiers (evidently disputed): William Lundy, 108; Walter Williams, 113; and John Salling, 110.

    In mid-2006, new census research indicated that Albert Woolson was actually only 106 years old, being listed as less than 1 year old in the 1850 census. Previous research in 1991 has suggested he was younger than claimed, although this does not affect his veteran status
     
  2. scrat

    scrat Member

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    For CSA

    PLEASANT RIGGS CRUMP - LAST CONFEDERATE SOLDIER
    This is the story about Alabama's last surviving Confederate Soldier.
    [​IMG]

    Every bit of it is true. It is amazing that he was also the last surviving Soldier of either side that witnessed the surrender of General Robert E. Lee's Confederate Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia on April 9th, 1865. He died over 86 and a half years after seeing that sad event!


    THE END OF AN ERA - LAST CONFEDERATE SOLDIER
    Tucked in the uppermost tip of Talladega County not far from the Calhoun County line in east central Alabama, is a small country cemetery sitting across a road from a white frame church. As you come to this site, you notice that the name of the church is denoted on a sign as Refuge Baptist Church and that the cemetery has a sign naming it the Hall Cemetery. It appears to be just another country landmark, undistinguished from numerous others that are seen across this region, until you go through the cemetery's gates.

    Going through the main gate of the cemetery, straight ahead and almost in front of you, lies a remarkable discovery, especially for students of Confederate history. It is the last resting place for the remains of Pleasant R. "Riggs" Crump, the last surviving Confederate soldier in the State of Alabama and the last surviving soldier to witness the surrender of General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia on April 9th, 1865.

    Pleasant was born in an area of St. Clair County, Alabama known as Crawford's Cove, which is located near the county seat of Ashville. He grew up in that area and when he was 16 years of age he joined the Confederate Army. He and a friend jouneyed to Petersburg, Virginia, where he joined the Confederate service as a private in Company A, 10th Alabama Infantry Regiment. This was in 1864. His first battle was Hatcher's Run, and after this battle he participated in the fights at Petersburg until the end of the War at Appomattox Courthouse. He received his honorable discharge from General Robert E. Lee. When interviewed eighty five years later, "Colonel" (a honorable title bestowed on him by the United Confederate Veterans) Crump could still recall that he stood just across the road from the McLean House as the Army of Northern Virginia stacked it's arms for one final time. He walked most of the way back to Alabama, sometimes being fortunate enough to get a ride on a wagon or a cart. He returned to St. Clair County and to the life of a farmer, an occupation that he practiced all of his life.

    "Riggs" (as he was known by family and friends) soon moved to an area above Lincoln in Talladega County, where he married Mary E. Hall at the age of 22. They had five children and were married 30 years before she died in 1902. He would die on the same date a full 49 years later. In 1905 he married Ella Wallis of Childersburg, Alabama, and was wed to her until her death 36 years later in 1942. Pleasant then shared his home with his grandson, Oliver Lee, and his family until his death nearly ten years later. He built the house himself and lived in it for 78 years. Unfortunately, the house was torn down in the 1960's.

    Pleasant was a religious man. It is said that he read the Bible completely seven full times and that he could quote numerous passages. His favorite scripture was St. John, Chapter 14, "Let not your heart be troubled...". He was a deacon at his church (Refuge Baptist) for over 70 years.





    His grave is marked with three stones, which read:

    Col. P.R. "Riggs" Crump

    Dec. 23, 1847-Dec. 31, 1951

    Deacon Refuge Baptist Church 71 years

    (this is a headstone with a place for a inlaid rectangular picture that is missing);

    The second reads, Last Living Confederate Soldier

    Last Living Soldier that Witnessed The Surrender at Appomattox, Va.;

    and the third, Pleasant R. Crump

    Pvt. Co. A, 10th Alabama Infantry

    Confederate States Army

    Dec. 23, 1847 Dec. 31, 1951

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  3. scrat

    scrat Member

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    Last edited: Sep 29, 2008
  4. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    Good to remember this.
     
  5. scrat

    scrat Member

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    Did you see the video. I had no idea a video existed on that. to see these guys that must have been done somewhere in the 1930's. Wow i guess we are lucky we have that.
     
  6. pohill

    pohill Member

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    Hey Scrat, thanks for that info, especially the link to the video.
    I've been researching the life of a local Union soldier who died in 1928.
     
  7. scrat

    scrat Member

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    I was able to dig up an email address of Anne Woolson Campbell. The great grand daughter of Albert Woolson. I found a post from 2005. I am hoping the email is still good as she stated she had pictures and a lot of information in regards to her Great Grandfather. If she emails me back im going to see if i can get as much information as i can. Sad part is there is only 1 picture of Albert Woolson public. i imagine its going to be pretty hard to get some pictures of Pleasant Riggs Crump. Going to try though
     
  8. Voodoochile

    Voodoochile Member

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    Very interesting information Scrat, thank you for sharing, & had never seen that video of the 75th anniversary.
     
  9. Spot77

    Spot77 Member

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  10. scrat

    scrat Member

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    amazing good find spot77
     
  11. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Thank you scrat and spot77
     
  12. Elbert P . Suggins

    Elbert P . Suggins Member

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    I've always liked topics on the Civil War. My wife and I drove to New York in 2000 and the CW was on my mind the whole trip. We visited Shiloh, Antietam, and lastly Gettysburg. What a place! I want to go back. My Great grandfather John W. Webb came from Bronaugh, Missouri in 1898 to Central Idaho to homestead newly opened Reservation land. He was a Confederate veteran and fought at many battles with Shelby's brigade including Wilson' Creek, Prairie Grove, and Pea Ridge where he got his thumb shot off. He and his wife told my Grandfather Tom about the boys stopping by for milk and cookies a few times while he was growing up and Grandpa did remember an instance or two of young men stopping at the Bronaugh farm while passing thru. Those boys happened to be Cole Younger and Frank James. People in that area looked on them as good folk before the killing really started and people changed their attitude toward them. Even up until the time of Northfield, Minnesota local folk thought quite highly of them clear until they were imprisoned and Jesse was killed. Anyway John W. died Christmas day 1915 in the first house built in Reubens Idaho. And is buried at Gifford Idaho. And Grandad Tom and my father Buford are buried at Reubens. I know this is all personal information that might not interest everyone but I just felt like sharing it with those that have like interests as I do. Type in Bronaugh, Missouri on a search and scroll down to the families. We also visited this community on our eastern trip and it brought tears to my eyes to go back and see where my family came from and meet others who stayed.
     
  13. scrat

    scrat Member

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    Elbert P Suggins that is some good information. Thanks for sharing i enjoyed reading about it for sure. Its great to hear that you know all about your families past. Outstanding.
     
  14. scrat

    scrat Member

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    Gary did you see the video i posted. I bet that is the only video in existance of all those men together. Its an amazing video
     
  15. scrat

    scrat Member

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  16. Elbert P . Suggins

    Elbert P . Suggins Member

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    Scrat, if you ever get a chance, if you haven't already, visit Gettysburg and plan on 3 days. October is the best time because the tourist season is slow and the fall colors are the best. Go out early in the morning at day break to Devils Den and walk among the rocks. If it is foggy you will notice some very strange things. Many people have heard the voices and viewed others who are already there. Thousands were killed on this hallowed ground, so consider all you see and hear as not all your imagination. Take the walk up to Little Round Top and view the whole battlefied including the Wheat Field and Cemetary Ridge. Look to the west and view Seminary Ridge where Lee commanded his troops led by General Picket and others to walk up to the top of the ridge line where the High Water Mark and the Angle awaited them only to be mowed down with canister, exploding shells, and minnie balls. Walk among the grave stones at the cemetary and see the markers damaged during that 3rd day. And lastly, down the hill aways, see where Lincoln spoke his forever famous and never forgotten words. That whole trip to the town and area left me with memories that I will cherish forever.
     
  17. tiger rag

    tiger rag Member

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    Very nice clip Scrat, History is my thing . I am scv suv (sob) and Mayflower society.
     
  18. scrat

    scrat Member

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    Elbert i havent been there but for sure i want to go.
     
  19. B00SS

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    Walter W. Williams

    I suppose you yanks may have a problem with the last survivor being a Confederate but that's to bad. We Southerners know who the last surivivor was. I know you will probably say that the folks in Itwamba County are wrong. Those people in Mississippi are wrong. The people in Texas and Florida, being a Southen states couldn't possibly be right either. Even your own yankee brothers in Nebraska are wrong. Assistant Secretary of the Army Hugh M. Milton, III well what does he know? If census reports for Walter Williams could be wrong, they could be just as wrong for Albert Woolson. I mean fair is fair. Even Dwight Eisenhower declared a time of mourning after Williams' death. Oh that's right, he was a Texan too. He can't be believed. None the less, I a mere Southerner present the story of Walter Washington Williams, the oldest surviving soldier of the War Between the States:


    Walter W. Williams was born in Itawamba County, Mississippi on November 14, 1842. He was the son of George Washington Williams and Nancy Marcus Williams. The family moved to Texas in 1870 and settled in the small rural community of Murphriesborough in Brazos County.

    When Walter was just a young boy, he joined the Confederate States Army (CSA). He served as a Forage Master with Company C, 5th Regiment, Hood's Brigade. His duty was to find food to feed his outfit.

    Walter W. Williams married twice in his life. With his first wife, Florence Humphries Williams, he had 7 children. After her death he married Ella Holiday. He and Ella moved to Robertson County, in the Shiloh community, and together they had 12 children. "Uncle Walt" as he was affectionately called, lived to be 117 years old. He was the last surviving soldier of the Confederacy. It was only after he turned 100 years old that he began attracting national attention as one of the few remaining Civil War veterans.

    When he was 100 years old he took his first plane ride. Afterwards he told his daughter, Mrs. Carrie Williams James, that cars were now too slow for him. He rode his first horse at the age of 103, and shot his first deer when he was 107 years old. He was 105 years old when he entered the hospital for the first time in his life. He couldn't understand why he was being fussed and fretted over, telling the staff, "I've got no time to go to the hospital, I'm too darn busy." He told them he wanted to be home reading the huge stacks of mail he'd received during his illness.

    He received many honors in his later years. He was made an Admiral in the Nebraska "Navy". A group called the "Confederate High Command" of St. Petersburg, Florida, made him a 5-star General, an unknown rank in the Civil War. At the age of 106 years old, he received papers from Washington, DC making him an Honorary Colonel in the U.S. Army, for the distinction of being one of the oldest living Civil War veterans. When he was 107 years old, he went to the courthouse in Franklin, Texas to receive a documental seal from Governor Allan Shivers. The papers proclaimed him an Honorary Colonel of the Governor's staff. He was able to read these papers without the aid of glasses. When he was 112 years old he danced on a television program. At the age of 113, he was presented a special Civil War medal by Assistant Secretary of the Army Hugh M. Milton, III. In 1956, at the age of 114 years old, he received the Congressional Gold Medal. In April of 1956, at the age of 116 years old, President Eisenhower appointed Mr. Williams an honorary member of the Civil War Centennial Commission.

    Walter W. Williams was a man who never grew old. He'd often reply, "I'll be around when you're dead and gone." He'd often say, "I'm just sticking around to see what will happen." Each year his family would hold a reunion at his home to celebrate his birthday. On his last birthday, at 117 years old, an American Legion band serenaded him with songs of Dixie, Casey Jones, and Waiting for Robert E. Lee. The old Colonel requested loud music, lots of people, and pork ribs for his birthday. He received several stacks of mail, and many congratulatory telegrams from admirers. He also received flowers from his admirers. One such display of flowers was from the florists of Houston Texas, they had sent him an arrangement with 117 roses. A 5-tier birthday cake topped with 2 Confederate flags, and a picture of Colonel Williams in uniform, was presented by Houston television station KPRC.

    This was his last birthday, and he was mourned by people all over. Houston and Texas were proud to claim him as their own. The last survivor had gone to join his comrades-in-arms. Williams was a rare distinction, symbolic of a bygone era.
     
  20. sundance44s

    sundance44s Member

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    I figured it had to be a Confederate , it`s the food is so much better down South ...he just couldn`t leave it ...bet he ate grits & gravy every morning .
     
  21. scrat

    scrat Member

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    About Walter Williams

    Now before reading i did not post this to be a battle of who lived longer rather to salute the last two who fought and lived through the civil war. If as a nation we can not prove that some men indeed fought in the civil war then its hard to pay tribute. I am not for the north or for the south but in the history of it. The documented history on what we have. So with out further delay

    The last surviving veteran of any particular war, upon his or her death, marks the end of a historic era. Exactly who is the last surviving veteran is often an issue of contention, especially with records from long-ago wars. The "last man standing" was often very young at the time of enlistment and in many cases had lied about his age to gain entry into the service, which confuses matters further.

    There were sometimes incentives for men to lie about their ages after their military service ended. In addition, there were some impostors who claimed to have served but did not (such as Walter Williams, who claimed to be 117 in 1959). For example, many former Confederate States in the South gave pensions to Confederate veterans of the American Civil War. Several men falsified their ages in order to qualify for these pensions, especially during the Great Depression; this makes the question of the identity of the last Confederate veteran especially problematic. The status of the officially recognized "last Confederate veteran" is in dispute.

    Confederate
    Candidates include:

    Pleasant Crump (December 23, 1847-December 31, 1951) of Alabama (verifiable)
    Felix M. Witkoski (c.January 5, 1850-February 3, 1952) of California
    Thomas Edwin Ross (c.July 19, 1850-March 27, 1952) of California
    William Loudermilk (c.October 23, 1848-September 18, 1952) of Arkansas
    William Jordan Bush (c.July 10, 1845-November 11, 1952) of Georgia
    Arnold Murray (soldier) (c.June 10, 1846-November 26, 1952) of South Carolina
    William Townsend (c.April 12, 1846-February 22, 1953) of Louisiana
    William Albert Kiney (February 10, claimed 1843, census suggests 1861-June 23, 1953) of Indiana
    Richard William Cumpston (May 23, 1841-September 5, 1952), of Virginia
    Thomas Riddle (soldier) (c.April 16, 1846-April 2, 1954) of Tennessee
    William Lundy (January 18, 1848?-September 1, 1957) of Alabama/Florida
    John B. Salling (May 15, 1846?-March 16, 1959) of Virginia
    Walter Williams (November 14, 1842?-December 19, 1959) of Mississippi/Texas (debunked)
    Most cases are questionable, though it should be remembered that many Confederate records were destroyed or lost to history. Unlike the U.S. military archives, the Confederate records had no official archive system after the war. However, for most of the cases investigated, the ages of the claimants alone were enough to prove their claim was false.

    Walter Williams was generally acknowledged as the "last Confederate veteran" in 1950s newspapers. However, in 1959 an exposé by The New York Times revealed that he was in fact born in 1854 in Itawamba County, Mississippi, and not 1842 as claimed. Still, since John Salling and all the other "last claimants" were dead, Walter Williams was mythically celebrated as the "last Confederate veteran" in December 1959 and January 1960. Even the president joined in.

    Salling's own status is disputed. In 1991, William Marvel examined the claims of Salling and several other "last Civil War veterans" for a piece in the Civil War history magazine Blue & Gray. Marvel found census data that indicated Salling was born in 1858, not 1846. In the same piece, Marvel confirmed Woolson's claim to be the last surviving Union veteran and asserted that Woolson was the last genuine Civil War veteran on either side. However, Marvel did not present research establishing who, among the several other Confederate claims from the 1950s, some of which appear to be genuine, was the real last Confederate veteran.

    Although in 1900 Salling supplied a birthdate of March 1858, he appears to have been born around 1856, still too late to have served in the Confederate Army. The 1860 census lists him as four years old, and the 1870 census as fourteen.[citation needed]

    William J. Bush is listed as born July 1846 in the 1900 census, and aged 65 in the April 1910 census (suggesting a birthdate of 1844). This suggests that he was at least 106 and did not add years to his age because of a pension-fraud motivation. The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors system lists two persons named William J. Bush, one of which served as a Private, Co B, in the 14th Georgia Infantry, and the other one as a Private, Co D, in the 66th Georgia Infantry.[citation needed]
     
  22. sundance44s

    sundance44s Member

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    Maybe he lied about his age when he joined Army ...Kidding ..but have known of it being done during WW11..there were 14 and 15 year old kids signing up ....heck I had hair on my face at 14 and could buy whiskey without being asked for an ID ...must be something in the grits ..lol
     
  23. Serena

    Serena Member

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    Scrat, thank you for the NPR link. It was lovely listening to Gen.(?) Howell.
     
  24. B00SS

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    So I see three Confederates listed as having lived longer than Woolson, yet you only bothered to attempt to discredit two of the three. And the high road (pun intended) you took was to list an exposé by non other than The New York Times. Give me a break. I am not swayed. The fact that they are listed perhaps bolsters my case more than your own.

    Is there common ground? You bet. Paying tribute to the brave soldiers who helped form what we are today, be that for the good or bad. These brave men stepped forth in a way that so many today could not possibly achieve.

    To those Gray Ghosts of the past, I salute. You may do likewise for the boys in blue.
     
  25. scrat

    scrat Member

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    You dont get it. its not a contest of who lived longer. its about the truth of weather they were actually in the civil war. there were actually a few men that said they were confederate soldiers. Who knows maybe that was the thing to do in the 50's for old guys. You fail to see that this was something that a lot of men tried to do during the great depression to get pensions. I can come up with a lot more names on both the union and csa. However what remains is the facts that are verifiable and documented. but the fact remainds only 1 PLEASANT RIGGS CRUMP. Had verifiable documentation that proved without a doubt that he was in the confederate war. I am still researching information on Pleasant Riggs still trying to get an actual picture. Right now along with what is documented Pleasant Rigss is the last remaining soldier not water boy from the civil war. He is the last soldier to use the guns that we shoot today. As what was noted on the first and original post of this thread. A great man indeed. Weather CSA or Union dosent matter. This is about the men who fired black powder. Not the alleged men

    Who knows maybe a few more men will come up today and say they are the last remaining CSA soldiers that fought in the civil war. Sorry i cant give you a break when one is not deserved.

    I salute both men in blue and men in grey. UNBIASED
     
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