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   The last living link to the Civil War

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Parent

News Date

5/5/2003 11:24 pm

Author

Media

Washington Times

Category

News

Database Record

Entered 5/5/2003, Updated 5/5/2003

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The nation's last known living link to its great Civil War never has worn a hoop skirt or lived in a mansion like Tara. Alberta Martin was a sharecropper's daughter with a baby and no job when, in 1927, she married a man 60 years her senior. William Jasper Martin had been a Confederate soldier, and his $50-a-month pension, paid by the state of Alabama, ensured there would be food on the table and, many years later, fame. "Miz Alberta," as everyone calls her, is 96 now and spends her days in a wheelchair. Civil War re-enactors and history buffs take her to Sons of Confederate Veterans events from Gettysburg to St. Louis. They see that she has regular visitors at a nursing home in Enterprise and make sure that, after a bleak lifetime of hardscrabble poverty, she can be comfortable in her final days as a living link to history. Her role became even more significant when Gertrude Janeway, the last widow of a soldier of the Union army, died in January in Tennessee at age 93.


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