Considered by some to be somewhat ancient history, many react with surprise to learn that not too long ago,
the last known surviving Union and Confederate veterans passed away. To your right is pictured a monument that rests under
the shade of the trees in Ziegler's Grove, site of intense fighting on July 3, 1863, just north of the Angle and the Copse
of Trees along Cemetery Ridge. The monument to the old veteran reads simply, "Senior Vice-Commander-in-Chief of the
G.A.R. Albert Woolson of Duluth Minnesota the last survivor." Woolson did not fight at Gettysburg due to enlisting at
the age of 17 in 1864, over a year after the battle was fought. He died at the age of 109 in August of 1956.
A few years later, the last Confederate Veteran also passed on. The monument to the Soldiers and
Sailors of the Confederacy, shown on your left, claims that Walter Williams was the last surviving
Confederate veteran, passing on December 19, 1959 at the age of 117 years. Some have recently
disputed Mr. Williams' claim, saying that John B. Salling of the 25th Virginia was actually the last
surviving veteran, passing the same year at the age of 112.
here to listen to a recorded interview with Mr. Salling as he
discusses his experiences during the war (scroll down to Document 7).
Even more surprising is the revelation that widows of veterans of the late unpleasantness survived
for many more decades. In this news report from the Gettysburg Times, in July of 1997, two
Civil War widows attended the re-interment of a soldier whose remains were found on the Gettysburg
here to view
the article from the Gettysburg Times which includes pictures of the two widows.