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


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Marvel, Mr. Serrano and others that Pleasant Crump was the last confirmed and verified surviving veteran of the Confederate States Army. Following the entry in the table below for Pleasant Crump is a list of the discredited or unproven Confederate veteran claimants who died after Crump's death. Williams [17] , reputed near the time of his death to be the last surviving veteran of the Confederate States Army , died in Houston, Texas.

Williams's status as the last Confederate veteran already had been debunked by a September 3, story in the New York Times by Lloyd K. Those records showed he was too young to have served in the Confederate Army.

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Richard A. Serrano

Also, he did not identify himself as a Confederate veteran in the census which included a question about whether a person had that status. When Williams's status was disproved, attention turned to the alleged second longest surviving Confederate veteran, John B. Salling of Slant in Scott County, Virginia. Marvel also showed that Salling had been too young to have served in the Confederate Army. Johnson could not find a war record for Salling at the Virginia State Library, which held the records of the Department of Confederate Military Records.

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Thomas Riddle was only five when the Confederacy collapsed, and Arnold Murray only nine. William Loudermilk, who insisted he fought through the Atlanta Campaign at 16, did not turn 14 until after Appomattox. William Bush and a reputed Confederate nurse named Sarah Rockwell were not 20 years old in the summer of , but The motive for fabrications of Confederate Army service almost always was to support a claim for a veteran's pension during the hard times of the Great Depression.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The South's Last Boys in Gray.

The Great Impostors. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Books, Retrieved October 2, Gryzb specifically thanks 47 people for their contributions to his research and writing, the National Park Service for republication of regimental histories, 3 persons who provided editorial comments and 7 descendants of Civil War veterans. He especially thanks Dr.

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Hoar, Professor emeritus, University of Maine, Farmington, who published the main modern work on this subject in , cited in the references, and who gave Mr. Gryzb guidance. Hoar and others showed that an earlier work contained suspect and erroneous material, p. Gryzb does not include later authors such as Mr. Marvel and Mr.

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Serrano in the acknowledgements but discusses their work in the Introduction, pp. The conflict commands such magnitude in American memory that communities and individuals alike grow obdurate in defense of the trivial even as the truly important themes descend into mere sanctimony through cliched repetition. Though his approach is narrative rather than critical, Richard A. Serrano organizes his project as a collection of anecdotes about Civil War veterans--both genuine and fraudulent--in their final years, with material spanning from fiftieth anniversary commemorations of major battles to the centennial anniversary of the conflict.

As the title suggests, the overarching theme concerns the contest for authenticity. Last of the Blue and Gray devotes most of its contents to the general and rather timeless tension between the elderly survivors of a vanished era and the amnesiac modernity that threatened to overtake them.


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As a host of centenarians claimed the title of oldest living Civil War veteran, their notoriety, as well as the desire to stand as living representatives of a supposedly more colorful, grittier time, led them to embellish their personal histories and in some cases to fabricate wartime identities from whole cloth. Walter Urwiler, for example, traveled the country and gained infamy for donning several different Civil War aliases, each with its own backstory chock-full of entertaining details.

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

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