2nd Manassas - Aug. 1862
Life and the Civil War
Last Union & Confederate Veterans

Albert Woolson Monument
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. [39]

CSA Soldiers and Sailors monument 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. [E] Click 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 Battlefield. Click here to view the article from the Gettysburg Times which includes pictures of the two widows.