Albert Woolson, 107, lone Union Army survivor, sits for his bust, 1954

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

WJC

Major General
Moderator
Thread Medic
Answered the Call for Reinforcements
Joined
Aug 16, 2015
Messages
12,874
In an age when photographs provided realism, I wonder why the sculptor didn't work with Mr. Woolson to construct an image of him at a younger age. Perhaps because there are at least two other statues of him, both showing him as a much younger senior citizen. This looks like a death mask: not at all like I'd want to be remembered, particularly in some public display....
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Messages
19,366
Location
Central Pennsylvania
That's wonderful, thanks for posting! I don't know. I'm not sure we had the same take on the elderly population 60 plus years ago. They didn't just kinda disappear like they do now into homes. When I was a kid they tended to be venerated, especially the vets. If an elderly woman corrected you, you jumped and they had pride of place at gatherings, family, church etc- rode in the lead cars in parades and you were really polite to them. A 107 year old vet would have been at the top of the respect heap. It's just a guess; whomever planned the bust may not have wished anything but an image of someone like Mr. Woolson exactly like he was when 107.

It was nice. You come across elderly daily in stores, slowly pushing a cart and left to take their groceries out to their cars by themselves. That would have caused a small riot 50 years ago. Like I said, we had a different perspective about their place in the world.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Deleted User CS

Retired User
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
Messages
2,718
This gentleman certainly does not look like he is 107 years old. He appears to be in remarkable shape. Thanks for sharing this information. david.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

byron ed

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 22, 2017
Messages
2,972
Location
Midwest
In an age when photographs provided realism, I wonder why the sculptor didn't work with Mr. Woolson to construct an image of him at a younger age. ...This looks like a death mask: not at all like I'd want to be remembered, particularly in some public display....
It's called "character."

For Gen-Xrs and later, pleasing appearance is highly valued (i.e. comparing how much or how little a person looks like a TV or movie star). But for we of the "baby-boomer" generation and prior, the appearance of well-earned wear is highly valued -- badges of honor; unobtainable except by age and service. Character.

This sculptor is celebrating that.
 
Last edited:
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Patrick H

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Mar 7, 2014
Messages
10,452
Was the clayin the first photo a model for the completed Gettysburg monument? It appears so, but if that is clarified in the thread, I missed it.
 

James N.

Lt. Colonel
Forum Host
Civil War Photo Contest
Annual Winner
Featured Book Reviewer
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Messages
12,181
Location
East Texas
I'll add that for some time Woolson was overshadowed as the last survivor of the Civil War by a fraud from Texas, Walter Williams, who claimed to have been a fourteen-year-old Confederate cavalryman when he originally applied for a pension. At the time of his application he was only another old man trying to survive during the Depression - if he hadn't lived quite so long he might never have been exposed, though it wasn't until long after his own death.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top