James Albert Spicer, Co.K, 7th Virginia Infantry in 1947

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James N.

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I wonder what old vets like him thought of things like machine guns, tanks, fighter and bomber aircraft, penicillin, K rations, etc., etc. (Although rudimentary versions of some of these existed in '61 - '65 I'm talking about fully functional ones.)
 
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CSA Today

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I wonder what old vets like him thought of things like machine guns, tanks, fighter and bomber aircraft, penicillin, K rations, etc., etc. (Although rudimentary versions of some of these existed in '61 - '65 I'm talking about fully functional ones.)
I often wondered what one of my great grandfathers thought of WWI artillery. He lived to 1927 and was a veteran of the 40th North Carolina/ 3rd artillery regiment.
 
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Clip from 11 Feb 1948 edition of the Newport News VA Daily Press. View attachment 210505
James Albert Spicer: Enlisted as a Private in "K" Co. VA 7th Infantry. POW 4/4/1865 Dinwiddie Court House, VA. Confined 4/7/1865 Point Lookout, MD. Oath Allegiance 6/20/1865. Born 5/14/1844. Died 2/9/1948 in Washington, DC. Buried: Walker's Methodist Church, Madison Co., VA. Operated Spicer's corn mill, wife: Virginia F. Hume. Was last surviving Confederate Veteran in Orange County.
 
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Rusk County Avengers

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103, and still able to ride a horse, although I'm doubtful he was able to mount it without assistance, he seems to have been a tough old timer. Seeing this remind me of one old Confederate veteran from North Carolina who passed away in 1944, the year he was born was supposedly 1824! When it comes to old CW vets they seemed to have been dang near un-killable from natural causes, especially the Confederate vets, I bet it was from all those diseases they survived during the war that built up their immune systems.

I wonder what old vets like him thought of things like machine guns, tanks, fighter and bomber aircraft, penicillin, K rations, etc., etc. (Although rudimentary versions of some of these existed in '61 - '65 I'm talking about fully functional ones.)
If you find the answer before I do please share it, I've often wondered what those vets thought of those things and vets of the World Wars, and their struggles in comparison to theirs.
 

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Just a note of caution I've learned from my museum work. Records on Confederate soldiers are not as consistent as those for Unions. At times old southern gents would push their birth dates back a decade or two to make it plausible they were at least teens during the CW, though their "original military record had been lost."...Rural birth records in the Antebellum were spotty to begin with. One old guy looks like any other old guy after all.

The motivation was the opportunity to file for a Confederate soldier's pension when that became available. Elderly gentlemen who looked the part would take advantage of it, relying on hearsay testimony of family and friends to "prove" their age and service. After all it was hard times for Southerners in the remaining century, and the whole family benefited from additional income. Pension boards were willing to "wink" on it.

An additional benefit of the ruse showed itself as the new century turned. The old fellas found more and more that they were celebrities, receiving the adulation of the public as "centetarian veterans" and "spry ones at that" - according to newspapers eager for the novelty and the readership.

Bottom line; men that were actually in their 80s would pose as being over 100, as late as the 1940s ("I was a drummer boy" or "an irregular" or whatever). For the reasons above we can understand and forgive them for it, I feel. They lived close enough to the CW.

One instance I found was of an "oldest CW vet" posing in flight gear near the cockpit of a 1960s supersonic F-100 fighter. With a little work I was able to sort out the back story.
 
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byron ed

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...This picture was taken on Dec. 20, 1947, in the town of Orange, VA in a parade. He was 103 years old!
To look at that photo, I suppose some folks might still have a 1920s-vintage automobile in their driveway in 1947, or...

...is this actuallly Spicer at a 1920s parade when he was in his 80s. Not that it should take anything away from the guy's spryness even then, but newspapers often play loose with details like that, in this case maybe merely provided with a 1920s photo in 1947.
 
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Burning Billy

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I wonder what old vets like him thought of things like machine guns, tanks, fighter and bomber aircraft, penicillin, K rations, etc., etc. (Although rudimentary versions of some of these existed in '61 - '65 I'm talking about fully functional ones.)
One of the last surviving Union veterans from Pennsylvania, a former Zouave that had fought at Antietam and Gettysburg, was asked what he thought about the Second World War by reporters. The first occasion was at the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the GAR, before the U.S. had entered the war, and the second was on his birthday shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He said Hitler was a "bag of wind" and that he was willing to fight him any time, any style, and any where, and he wished he was 75 years younger so he could go fight the Japanese.
 
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James N.

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Just a note of caution I've learned from my museum work. Records on Confederate soldiers are not as consistent as those for Unions. At times old southern gents would push their birth dates back a decade or two to make it plausible they were at least teens during the CW, though their "original military record had been lost."...Rural birth records in the Antebellum were spotty to begin with. One old guy looks like any other old guy after all.

The motivation was the opportunity to file for a Confederate soldier's pension when that became available. Elderly gentlemen who looked the part would take advantage of it, relying on hearsay testimony of family and friends to "prove" their age and service. After all it was hard times for Southerners in the remaining century, and the whole family benefited from additional income. Pension boards were willing to "wink" on it.

An additional benefit of the ruse showed itself as the new century turned. The old fellas found more and more that they were celebrities, receiving the adulation of the public as "centetarian veterans" and "spry ones at that" - according to newspapers eager for the novelty and the readership.

Bottom line; men that were actually in their 80s would pose as being over 100, as late as the 1940s ("I was a drummer boy" or "an irregular" or whatever). For the reasons above we can understand and forgive them for it, I feel. They lived close enough to the CW.

One instance I found was of an "oldest CW vet" posing in flight gear near the cockpit of a 1960s supersonic F-100 fighter. With a little work I was able to sort out the back story.
Of course this was unfortunately the very story of the last Civil War veteran, the now-discredited Walter Williams of Texas, who lied about his age in the 1930's to claim a veteran's pension he wasn't entitled to. He might not have been discovered had he not lived as long as he did, dying I believe in 1959. Last time I heard, that distinction actually belonged to Union veteran Albert Woolson, former drummer boy from Wisconsin who died in 1956.
 
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