A Rare Recording of Albert Woolson, Last Surviving Veteran of the American Civil War

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Albert Henry Woolson (February 11, 1850 - August 2, 1956) was the last known 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. Woolson was born in Antwerp, New York, in Jefferson County. His father, Willard Woolson, who enlisted in the Union Army, was wounded at the Battle of Shiloh and later transported to an Army hospital in Windom, Minnesota, where he would die of his wounds. Albert and his mother moved to Windom to accompany his father. Soon after, Albert enlisted as a drummer boy in Company C, 1st Minnesota Heavy Artillery Regiment on October 10, 1864. However, 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 as a carpenter and, later, as 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. The following interview was recorded in 1954.