Question of the Week: 11/11-11/17/19

Some Civil War veterans were still alive when World War I ended in 1918 on Armistice Day (November 11). Do you have an ancestor or favorite Civil War veteran to research who lived into the 20th Century? What makes him special to you?

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10 Responses to Question of the Week: 11/11-11/17/19

  1. I’m still trying to focus on battles in my study of the ACW, but I’ve come across several characters that sparked my curiosity. One I found recently was John Wesley Pownall. He enlisted in the 70th Ohio volunteers, company G in the fall of 1861. His regiment saw action at Shiloh and he was discharged from a hospital in Cincinnati that October on disability (haven’t found out what the disability was yet). But he reenlisted with his younger brother in the 182nd Ohio, Company H in 1864 and played as the home guard around Nashville. He was promoted to 1st Sergeant a month after he enlisted this second time. He was mustered out safely in July of 1865 and died in January of 1906 after living as a farmer in his hometown for the rest of his life. What grabbed my attention about him was the sick record book for the 70th Ohio, which he kept for his company. I found it at the Tulane Special Research Archives in New Orleans (of all places) and on the inside cover he wrote under his name and regiment, “When this you see, remember me.” I’m not likely to forget him now. His service might have been relatively uneventful, but holding the journal he personally kept and penned (and penciled) means a fair deal to me. I hope to go back and look more thoroughly through it, now that I know more about him.

  2. Janet Chase says:

    Yes, my g-g-grandfather lived until 1904. He was a captain in the 22nd USCT, and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. His regiment was chosen to lead Lincoln’s funeral March from the White House to the Capitol on April 19. He was Capt. William W Burke.

  3. Max Terman says:

    I have researched and written two books on the experiences of my 82nd Ohio Civil War ancestor captured at Gettysburg and who survived 17 months as a POW including Andersonville.

  4. Chris Kolakowski says:

    My great-great-grandfather, Corporal Oswald Babler of the 46th Wisconsin, lived into the 1920s. When he passed, he was the last Civil War veteran of Green County, Wisconsin.

    Simon Bolivar Buckner Sr. died January 8, 1914. A month later Joshua Chamberlain died. Peter Osterhaus died in early 1917 in Imperial Germany, just months before we went to war with that country.

  5. Anita Beaty says:

    My Great Grandfather at the time of his death, in 1920, was, I believe the oldest surviving General in the Civil War — Major General Evander McIver Law.

  6. John Foskett says:

    My great great uncle Isaac, who served three years in the Army of the Potomac, lived until 1926. He apparently was still trying to sneak out of the house to attend GAR reunions until then.

  7. Robert Denney says:

    No list of Civil War veterans living into the 20th century would be complete without James Longstreet. He is special to me because he adopted Georgia as his home state, and lived in Gainesville, GA after the war. He is also buried in Alta Vista Cemetery in Gainesville.

    I participated with the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Sanford, NC Chapter to install Longstreet’s Memorial at Gettysburg.

    Lastly, my ancestor James M Denney, 38th GA Infantry Regiment served in Longstreet’s Corp for over two years.

  8. John Clark was a local man whom a newspaper obituary described as the “last white Civil War veteran” in my home County. That caught my interest. He lived until 1946, age 96, and his 2nd wife lived until 1960. He had something like 16 kids with his wives. He had not left his home County before enlisting to fight and then ended up traveling through Kentucky, Tennessee and the Atlanta Campaign. He was wounded at Franklin, which ended his time in the war. He was a pure common soldier but his local connection and long life fascinate me.

  9. MEREDITH WINN says:

    MY ANCESTOR (Great Grandfather) Pvt.Daniel Turner of the 2nd Va Cav, Served 1864-65. was born in 1844, married 1876 and died in 1894.(Pneumonia). The neat thing was that his wife, nee’ Georgia Gardiner outlived him by 54 years. She never re-married, she lived with her children and in the 1920″s started receiving a small Virginia pension (I believe about $25 per month. She died when I was 5. Her application for pension is at Library of Virginia. I cannot begin to imagine.the changes in sciences,transportation, etc,, from living through the muzzle loading era into the jet fighter and atomic bomb era. And I met her! It is moving to me to have met my g-grandmother who was a teenager during the war. I only wish that she was a writer and could have told such marvelous stories. Her photograph is in Findagrave. She and her husband are buried side by side in Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond

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