The last Civil War widow has died

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2021/01/05/the-last-civil-war-widow-has-died.html

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There is so much left unsaid here! Was this just a marriage of convenience, or was this young girl being taken advantage of? Why was the pension never applied for? Why was this kept a secret, especially since the last known civil war widow died in 2008? Did he talk to her about his wartime experiences? I need a novel based on this woman’s life!

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It says in the article. They married so she could benefit from his pension. She never applied because one of her step-daughters threatened to ruin her reputation if she did.

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Who apparently was unwilling to care for her father in his last days leading him to seek help elsewhere. Sounds like a real class-act.

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Missed that bit. Crazy! Seems backwards that an old man married a teenager, but it’s her reputation that would be in question.

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That’s also stated in excerpts from the article. He was 93 years old. If after he died his daughter claimed that this woman had taken advantage of her father after he’d gone senile in order to claim his pension… Many people (including myself) would believe her. Her age wouldn’t be relevant, other than her being old enough to be capable of exploiting him.

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Maybe her dad was an abusive asshole… you never know what people are going through.

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True. And on the same token, I know nothing about the (step)daughter’s needs. I guess I’m biased from so many privileged people publicly angling for their family wealth despite never having a relationship with the deceased.

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Right! Different groups vulnerable in totally different ways. My thoughts ran right away to a lecherous old man marrying a teenager by dangling a pension in front of her, then being run off by the family afterwards.

I want to read a Rashomon-style novel based on this story!

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Ah, was she a Confederate widow and did she tell all before she died? To Alan Gurganis? And, if so, did she get a piece of his successful book, Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All?

Not sure if you meant that as a reference to the image posted, but Knives Out draws heavily from Rshomon and is excellent.

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Now I’m confused. I remember some story a few years ago about a living widow, but thought it was known because she got the pension. So maybe that was the other oldest widow, a commentor mentions that.

17 was not young to marry in 1936. Yes his way older age makes a difference, but that would apply even if she’d been 30.

And remember, for a long time marriage was an arrangement rather than love. I suspect even in the thirties, that still happened.

Well now I wonder how many children of Civil War vets are still alive? Looks like less than 35, but the first few search results are old or paywalled, so…

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