The Civil War ended a long time ago, but every once in a while we're reminded that it wasn't really that long ago. Take for example the game show participant from 1956 who actually saw Lincoln get assassinated. And now, as the Denver Post is reporting, an 87 year-old Denver woman is providing yet another modern day example of just how temporally close we still are to the Civil War. Her father, Hugh Tudor, was an infantry private in the Union Army from early 1864 through the summer of 1865.
How is such a thing possible? The Star-Telegram explains:
Tudor moved with his unit through Kentucky and Tennessee to the East Coast. He probably would have participated in Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman's march to the sea except that an apparent case of the measles kept him back.
Born in Iowa in 1847, the son of Welsh immigrants lived in Missouri most of his life. That he has a daughter proudly talking about him in the year 2012 is a remarkable mathematical stretch, but not a stretch of the truth.
After the war, Lowrey's father settled in Dawn, Mo., a farming community south of Chillicothe, with his wife, Elizabeth Watkins. They had been married 50 years when she died in 1917. They had no children.
Three years later, at age 73, Tudor married 36-year-old Mary Morgan, who hadn't been married before but who had known "Mr. Tudor" her whole life.
Besides romance, Lowrey says, probably there were practical concerns. He likely needed a housekeeper and she security. And it seemed he still fancied having children.
Indeed, to the new union came two daughters, HuDean Grace in 1924 and Juanita Mary in 1926.
There the four are in a photo on their farm property — "That's the chicken house in the background, not our house," Lowrey says — Tudor looking grandfatherly with a white beard and head of white hair.
What's even crazier is that Juanita Tudor's story is not even unique; according to Sarah Anderson of the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, there are still 10 surviving Union veteran daughters. For context, there are less than 25 veterans still left alive from the First World War. Period. That includes veterans from all countries. And this is a war that ended more than half a century after the Civil War.
As for the Second World War, only 10% of American vets are still alive today. The fact that there are 10 women still alive whose fathers fought in the American Civil War is nothing short of astounding.