Albert Wolson

Albert Henry Woolson (February 11, 1847(?) 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 their status as Civil War veterans has been debunked. The last surviving Union soldier to see combat was James Hard (18431953).

Woolson was born in Antwerp, New York to Willard P. Woolson (18111862) 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.

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 eventually died 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. The company never saw action, and Albert Woolson was discharged on September 7, 1865.

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.

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 thought to be the age of 109, of a "recurring lung congestion condition". Woolson was buried with full military honors by the National Guard at Park Hill Cemetery.

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."

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Above information taken from Find-a-grave and Wikopedia