General Walter Washington Williams

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General Walter Washington Williams's Geni Profile

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Walter Washington Williams

Also Known As: "Old Reb", "Walter Green Williams"
Birthdate: (117)
Birthplace: Itawamba, Mississippi, United States
Death: December 19, 1959 (117)
Houston, Harris, Texas, United States (Four attacks of pneumonia between June & December, complications of old age and finally, a blood clot)
Place of Burial: Franklin, Robertson, Texas, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of George Washington Williams and Nancy Williams
Husband of Florence Williams and Ella Missouri Mae Williams
Father of Martha Louise Williams; Nancy Telitha Merchant; George Williams; Lizzie Williams; Rose Williams and 8 others

Occupation: Forage Master and rumoured to be a drummer boy for the Confederate Gray, Cattle Rancher
Managed by: Brittany Chamberlain
Last Updated:

About General Walter Washington Williams

General Walter Washington Williams, who was recognized by the Government of the United States as the last surviving confederate veteran, died in 1959 at the age of 117 years. He once stated that his father had lived to the age of 119 years, and his ambition was to reach 120. In his later years, Williams was granted General status and on the day of his death, President Dwight Eisenhower declared an occasion for national mourning.

Some sources claim that Williams was not a veteran of the civil war, but his vital records prove otherwise. And in addition to that, an archive from Jackson, Mississippi also lists a “Walter W. Williams” as a Private in Company O, 5th Mississippi Cavalry who is potentially him.

But, according to official history: Walter Williams was born on November 14th, 1842 in Itawamba County, Mississippi and served under General John Bell Hood beginning in 1864. His was a Forage Master (the person in charge of finding food and figuring out how to transport it), and a drummer boy at some point according to family history.

After the war, in 1870, he settled on a 20 acre farm in Eaton, Texas with his second wife of over 65 years and remained mostly unknown on his farm in Eaton until the late 1940s, immediately following World War II. At that point, reporters and historians began to seek out the last remaining survivors of the Civil War, and soon after Williams became a local celebrity and was invited to fancy dinners, given special awards, and called by honorary titles.

According to sources, Williams was a happy man who liked to fox and deer hunt. His favourite music was hillbilly and western and as his deafness increased, so did the volume on his record player beside his bed until it resounded through the neighbourhood. He suffered few illnesses until he was well over 100 by his own calculation of his age, and at 110, doctors formed a medical test that stated his heart and blood pressure normal. The occasion for the medical test was his first plane ride.

Walter's comments on how he lived so long:

"I never eat much. I get up for breakfast, turn around for dinner, and go to bed for supper. When I was riding up the Chisholm Trail the range cooks sort of held it against me because I was a light-eating man. I’ve always drunk lots of coffee, chewed plenty of tobacco, and haven’t tried to avoid any of this good Texas weather." "If more of you would get along with your wives better, you'd live a lot longer." He liked a nip of whiskey as well, "Makes a person eat hearty. But you don't want to be drinking it all during the day."

Headstones are at the Gettysburg National Military Park, Gettysburg, Adams County, Pennsylvania, USA and Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Franklin, Robertson County, Texas, USA (He was finally laid to rest here with his wife, Ella Williams [Born Holidy]).

Information acquired from various sources on the internet.

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General Walter Washington Williams's Timeline

November 14, 1842
Itawamba, Mississippi, United States
January 26, 1874
Age 31
March 21, 1894
Age 51
Age 54
Texas, United States
Age 55
Texas, United States
Age 57
Texas, United States
March 19, 1901
Age 58
Brazos, Palo Pinto County, Texas, United States
March 24, 1903
Age 60
Age 62
Texas, United States
Age 66