Woolson, Albert H., Pvt

 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Service Branch
Army Band
Service Years
1864 - 1865


 Last Photo   Personal Details 

112 kb

Home State
New York
New York
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by the Site Administrator to remember Woolson, Albert H., Pvt.
Contact Info
Home Town
Last Address
215 East Fifth Street
Duluth, Minnesota

Date of Passing
Aug 02, 1956
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Camp 56
  1953, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Camp 56 (Recorder) (Minneapolis, Minnesota) - Chap. Page

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Note: Wonderful photos and vidoes here:
http://attic.areavoices.com/2011/02/28/last-union-civil-war-vet-dies-in-duluth-1956/     .

Albert Woolson was born on February 11, 1847, and went to war as a drummer boy at the age of 17. He died on August 2nd, 1956 at the age of 109. He was the last official survivor of the over 2 million men who served the United States in the Civil War.

Woolson was born in Antwerp, New York. 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 Sept. 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, 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 and is buried at Park Hill cemetery. Following his death, then-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." 

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 three disputed living Confederate soldiers: William Lundy, 108; Walter Williams, 113; and John Salling, 110.  Lundy, Williams, and Salling have all been discredited.  The last living Confederate Soldier is actually now believed to be Pleasant Crump who died in 1951.

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 has suggested he was younger than claimed, 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.

Find A Grave Memorial:



The dedication of the Woolson Monument was the crowning event of the 75th (1956) National Encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic held in Harrisburg PA. The encampment was held Sunday, September 9th through Thursday, September 13th. Various events and meetings were held during this great event. On Wednesday, September 12th nearly 3000 people attended the dedication of the Woolson monument in Ziegle's Grove.

At the dedication of the statue, Colonel Frederic G. Bauer, Commander-in Chief would note:

"We dedicate today a statue of Albert Woolson. He was the last of the Grand Army of the Republic and he was also a son of a veteran. This statue is in many ways unique. Usually statues are dedicated to great and noble men, great military leaders, or men who have given their lives for their country. Here we have a statue of a man who was none of these things. We note that the front of the statue does not bear his name. It bears the wording 'In Memory of the Grand Army of the Republic'. Comrade Albert Woolson symbolizes all the great virtues of the common, ordinary citizen, the citizen who becomes a soldier and then returns to ordinary life."


Bust of Albert Woolson Given To GAR Museum

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. ??The Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Museum and Library recently unveiled its most recent acquisition, a bronze bust of Albert Woolson, last Union survivor of the Civil War.

This slightly larger than life-size bronze bust led to the creation of the monument to the Grand Army of the Republic located at Zeigler's Grove outside of the Cyclorama Center in Gettysburg National Military Park.

David N. Fairbanks, M.D. and Mrs. Sylvia Fairbanks of Bethesda, Md., with the consent of other Fairbanks family members, donated the bust to the museum. Dr. Fairbanks is the son of the world-renowned sculptor, Avard Fairbanks, creator of the bust and the Gettysburg monument.

While participating in Remembrance Day ceremonies in Gettysburg last November, Dr. Fairbanks recalled his conversations with Albert Woolson as the aged veteran posed for his father. During this visit to Gettysburg, Dr. Fairbanks also learned of the existence of the museum and its dedication to preserving the memory of the Grand Army of the Republic.

Museum President Elmer (Bud) Atkinson, Past Commander in Chief of the Sons of Union Veterans, received a telephone call early this year from Dr. Fairbanks, asking if the museum would be interested in adding the bust to its collection. After first having the bust refurbished at a foundry, the Fairbanks family shipped it to the museum in late April and it was formally unveiled at the next open house program.

The Woolson bust sits on top of a G.A.R. podium in the front hallway of the museum where it greets visitors as they arrive. The museum is located at 4278 Griscom St. For information call (215) 289-6484.

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Sources regarding the claims of Lundy, Williams, and Salling as well as information on Pleasant Crump.










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