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Albert Woolson

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Albert Woolson

Willard Woolson

Albert Woolson Last Union Civil War vet dies in Duluth 1956 News

February 11, 1850 (
Antwerp, New York

Cause of death
recurring lung congestion condition

Known for
last member of the Grand Army of the Republic

August 2, 1956, Duluth, Minnesota, United States

Albert woolson the undisputed last civil war veteran

Albert Henry Woolson (February 11, 1850 – August 2, 1956) was the last surviving member of the Union Army who served in the American Civil War. He was also the last surviving Civil War veteran on either side whose status is undisputed. At least three men who followed him in death claimed to be Confederate veterans, but one has been debunked and the other two are unverified. The last surviving Union soldier to see combat was James Hard (1843–1953).


Albert Woolson Last Union Civil War vet dies in Duluth 1956 News

Albert woolson last confirmed us civil war veteran


Albert Woolson blogssmithsonianmagcomhistoryfiles201310pas

Woolson was born in Antwerp, New York, to Willard P. Woolson (1811–1862) and Caroline Baldwin (ca. 1822–unknown). He claimed to be born on February 11, 1847, but his entry in the 1850 United States Census lists him as born in 1850. Entries in the later census records and in the 1905 Minnesota State Census support the conclusion that he was born in 1850.

Albert Woolson wwwvetshallorgfilesimagecachegalleryphotos

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 would die 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. However, the company never saw action, and Albert Woolson was discharged on September 7, 1865.

Albert Woolson Last Union Civil War vet dies in Duluth 1956 News Tribune Attic

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 (G.A.R.), a powerful political organization made up of Civil War veterans where he became senior vice commander in chief in 1953.

Albert Woolson Albert Henry Woolson 1850 1956 Find A Grave Memorial

In his final days, he lived at 215 East Fifth Street in Duluth, Minnesota. Woolson died at St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth on August 2, 1956, at what was then thought to be the age of 109, of a "recurring lung congestion condition". He was twice widowed and was survived by six daughters and two sons. Woolson was buried with full military honors by the National Guard at Park Hill Cemetery.

Albert Woolson Last Civil War vet called Duluth home StarTribunecom

Following his death, 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."


Woolson and fellow drummer-boy Frank Mayer marched together, both aged 99, in the Memorial Day Parade in May, 1949, to lay a wreath at the tomb of General Grant in New York City.

Life magazine ran a seven-page article upon the death of Albert Woolson, in the August 20, 1956 issue. The article included 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 (status and age 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 one year old in the 1850 census. Previous research in 1991 had suggested he was only a year younger than claimed (108 instead of 109), although this does not affect his veteran status.

After his death, the Grand Army of the Republic was dissolved because Woolson was its last surviving member.

The 2011–12 Minnesota Legislative Manual was dedicated to him.

In 1956 a monument of Woolson was erected in Gettysburg as a memorial to the Grand Army of the Republic.


Albert Woolson Wikipedia

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