Last of the Blue and Gray: Old Men, Stolen Glory, and the Mystery That Outlived the Civil War

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Were Woolson or Williams amongst that number? Who knows. This is a short book, and you can tell Serrano is a journalist and not an historian. It's an interesting read, but it cries out for greater historical depth, for more analysis of whether Woolson and Williams were frauds or genuine veterans.

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There are some sloppy errors of fact and typography - my copy repeatedly had 'pubic' instead of 'public', and as been pointed out already, the Titanic was an HMS, not a USS. It's a tad too sensationalist in tone for a history book - again, the journalistic influence - and left me a bit dissatisfied, and keen to find something on the post-Civil War lives of veterans with more depth and gravitas.

Jul 04, JBP rated it it was ok Shelves: read-in I should have written a review of this when I finished it That should describe its impact on me--not much. I do remember thinking that it was a bit scattered and didn't really build up on the promise that was established early about the people who were pretending to be Civil War veterans. There was absolutely no suspense regarding the men with those claims other than the fact they could claim milit I should have written a review of this when I finished it There was absolutely no suspense regarding the men with those claims other than the fact they could claim military benefits illegally and brag they were the last living veteran.

When the "mystery" was revealed, it is rather ho-hum Apr 10, Diana rated it liked it Shelves: historical , non-fiction.

Really, 3. This book is a really interesting look at what happened to Civil War veterans in their twilight years, and why some men claimed veteran status even though they never served.

The Blue & The Gray 2.6 (The 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment)

It's a good survey book of the issues--the end of the G. I would have loved more detail, but it's a good place to start if you're new to the subject. Worth the r Really, 3. Worth the read because it's highly accessible and paints a picture of men whose moment of glory has passed. Nov 10, Chris Brown rated it liked it. While the basic premise of the book is interesting - i.

It was interesting to consider some of the points the author made about these long-lived veterans. For example, they served in a war with horses, cannons, and musket balls and yet lived to see a nuclear bomb dropped on a foreign country. That is mind-blowing. Jun 11, Rick Hollis rated it really liked it Shelves: history. I remember the spread in Life magazine about the last soldiers to fight in the Civil War.

Serrano's book traces them from the early reunions down to the death of the last one. At the time I read about Walter Williams in Life, I knew nothing about the questions of his war time record. It is a bit disappointing to find that he was not what people claimed. I am gld I did not know this when I was ten. Serrano is a fascinating look at the lives of some of the men who fought in the Civil War. Most of these men lived to be over years old--wow! This book centers on one man who said he fought in the war but he really didn't.

I enjoyed hearing these stories! Gerard's review. Mar 15, Charles M. Fascinating story of how several elderly men during the 40s and 50s duped everybody into thinking they were bonafide veterans of the Civil War; resulting in them stealing the limelight and receiving tax payer pensions. Jan 16, Jim Blessing rated it it was ok Shelves: history.

This book was mildly interesting. A book about the last veterans of WWI was much more interesting. The reputed last Union veteran of the war is legit. Whereas, most of the last Confederates vererans were fakes. Feb 16, G Rosenberger rated it liked it. An account of the grip the American Civil War still had on our country one hundred years later. Parochial pridefulness and political egotism could not let these old soldiers fade from the limelight.

Not an easy read but it brings insight that still registers to this day. Nov 21, Chaim Shapiro rated it it was amazing. This was a great book. As soon as I picked this up, I simply could not put it down. I can not recall the last time I read a book in 1 sitting. Artful history storytelling that kept me guessing until the end. Mar 09, Torieqwq rated it really liked it.


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This would be a great gift for any Civil War scholar in your life. I especially liked the discussion of how the Centennial of the War was observed. Jan 23, Christian added it Shelves: history , u-s-civil-war , biography. The only mystery is why anyone would finish this book. Whoever authorized publication should be punished severely. Jan 30, Robert rated it really liked it. Loved it.

All but one were fakes. As the nation approached the Civil War centennial in the s, the controversies over the last veteran of the war highlighted the continuing debates about a war that never really ended. As one of America's greatest journalists, Richard Serrano has a well-established reputation as a master story teller. In the Last of the Blue and Gray, he has found a hidden gem worthy of his narrative skill.

LAST OF THE BLUE AND GRAY by Richard A. Serrano | Kirkus Reviews

At the height of the Cold War, two old men lay dying. They are the nation's last connections to the Civil War, and Serrano elegantly interweaves their final days with the war's approaching centennial. He skillfully shows just how badly an anxiety-ridden modern America wanted to believe in a simpler time, even when the truth got in the way. Richard Serrano's book is a beautifully- written account that brings to light a fascinating bit of American history.

He tells us about the last "battle" of the Civil War, nearly a century after Fort Sumter: the struggle over who would be the last living veteran of the Civil War and over whether the claims of the last survivors were real or fraudulent. Really a shame that is not known.

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Question is now, who might have been the last surviving WWI veteran -. Verified purchase: Yes Condition: New. Skip to main content. Serrano , Hardcover 1 product rating 5. About this product.

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