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 within the past due Nineteen Fifties, as the US ready for the Civil warfare centennial, very outdated males lay loss of life. Albert Woolson, 109 years outdated, slipped out and in of a coma at a Duluth, Minnesota, medical institution, his stories as a Yankee drummer boy slowly dimming. Walter Williams, at 117 blind and deaf and bedridden in his daughter's domestic in Houston, Texas, not may possibly 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 type of males used to be certainly a veteran of that terrible clash and one in keeping with the easiest proof not anything yet a fraud. One used to be a soldier. the opposite have been residing a superb, mammoth lie.

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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 within the past due Nineteen Fifties, as the US ready for the Civil warfare centennial, very outdated males lay loss of life. Albert Woolson, 109 years outdated, slipped out and in of a coma at a Duluth, Minnesota, medical institution, his stories as a Yankee drummer boy slowly dimming. Walter Williams, at 117 blind and deaf and bedridden in his daughter's domestic in Houston, Texas, not may possibly 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 type of males used to be certainly a veteran of that terrible clash and one in keeping with the easiest proof not anything yet a fraud. One used to be a soldier. the opposite have been residing a superb, mammoth lie.

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He was once demanding to appreciate and had the largest ears I had ever noticeable. ” The outdated guy used to be friendly, yet quickly he wearied. “The caregiver informed us he used to be drained and we must always cross now. ” In mid-July Woolson used to be back to St. Luke’s and the oxygen tents. They gave him air via a nasal tube and fed him intravenously. For days and nights he struggled with congestion, and but, among his horrendous coughing spells and gasps for breath, he soldiered on. mendacity in his health center mattress, he recited from reminiscence poems and different bits of verse from the Civil battle, plus snatches of Lincoln’s Gettysburg tackle.

Vandiver, a Civil struggle historian at Rice collage who additionally served as an advisory council member to the Centennial fee, stressed out significant common supply III in Washington: “General Williams sinking quick. have you ever any specific directions? ” supply stressed again, asking Vandiver and Cooper Ragan to behave because the commission’s authentic representatives on the funeral, which appeared most probably any day now. “No particular instructions,” furnish stressed out. “Hope you and Cooper Ragan will exhibit sympathy of fee and current wreath to be ordered from the following.

Many and lots of a gallon. ” Liquor shop costs have been too excessive, he stated. yet Lundy had in the past constructed a home made recipe. “I’d nonetheless make it if i'll. ” How is it he had lived see you later? “Keep clear of them medical professionals, and take a bit nip all alongside. ” And, after all, “living correct. ” After discomfort a stroke, Lundy moved in with a son and his relatives in Crestview at the Florida Panhandle. Winters he spent inside of, with the venetian blinds decreased barely enough to chop the glare from the sunlight. while the telephone rang, he seldom spoke back.

He acknowledged he had served with the Union protecting and Detective organization and that he as soon as holstered a revolver and patrolled Payne County as a deputy sheriff. He had joined different fraternal businesses to boot, just like the smooth Woodmen and the Owl resort. yet in 1918 he had given up homesteading, farming, and chasing horse rustlers and retired. He moved to a thirty-six-acre lot at the west finish of Guthrie, the place he saved a cow and planted a vegetable backyard. Baker stated he had noticeable 4 wars yet may well identify merely 3.

Lee had had a slogan for the entire veterans after the Civil War—blue and grey, North and South—the chancellor stated, it'll were: “We are all americans now. ” final IN BLUE In April 1953 a gaggle of younger veterans from global battle II mailed a letter to President Eisenhower. A 12 months prior that they had shaped a small fraternity known as the Florence Guards “to defend our friendships and especially learn American background. ” Now they met each 3rd Tuesday in a small inn clubroom in Chicago. They wrote to the White condo after discussing an “item from the passing scene” that considered one of them had noticed and clipped from a newspaper.

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