Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Last Civil War Veterans

The Last Civil War Veterans is an enthralling chronicle of the military and civilian lives of the last surviving Civil War veterans living in the United States. Frank L. Grzyb turned a well-researched listing of the oldest soldiers into an entertaining and engrossing book.

Grzyb organizes by allegiance (Union, Confederate, Border States, and Territories). Grzyb presents the biographies under the subheadings of "Regimental Brief" and "Veteran's Brief." Regimental Brief presents a summary of the soldier's wartime assignments and engagements. Veteran's Brief relates the veteran's life as a civilian in Reconstruction America. The stories include the veteran's picture as an old man.

The stories contain several common themes:

  • The last veterans lived over one hundred. 
  • Most of them outlived their wives and many were married several times.
  • Nearly all of the veterans were teenagers when they joined the war.
  • After the war, most of them returned to or became farmers, factory workers, or common laborers.
  • The men were remarkably healthy and only a few suffered from battle wounds. 
  • The veterans were revered in the community and celebrated at state and national events. 

A few of the veterans were found to be frauds. Some men proclaimed their service to obtain pensions, while others sought the fame associated with being the state's oldest Civil War veteran. The author includes an Appendix with a collection of the longest living survivors from various battles, historic events, and circumstances.

Mr. Grzyb is the author of six other books and numerous articles on the Civil War for newspapers and magazines. He is a member of the Rhode Island Civil War Round Table.

The Last Civil War Veterans is a fine addition to your Civil War library that reveals how men who survived the war became peaceful citizens.

You can order The Last Civil War Veterans from McFarland on their website ( or by phone (800-253-2187).

Title: The Last Civil War Veterans 
Author: Frank L. Grzyb 
Publisher: McFarland 
Pages: 208 
Price: $35.00 Soft Cover

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