Maudie White Hopkins, the last civil war widow of the conflict that tore the United States into two died in 2008. While it does seem improbable, I can assure you that not only is it possible, but it is true. How, I guess you are asking? She passed away at the ripe old age of 93.
Ok, I know that the maths seems a little off at the moment. The civil war ended in 1865, and even the youngest veteran of that war was 14 when the conflict ended. For the last civil war widow to leave this life and pass to the next at the age of 93 in 2008 means that she couldn’t possibly have been alive during the war. So how did it all happen?
As we have seen, even former US president John Tyler has living grandchildren. That’s not bad for the tenth president to still have grandchildren alive today. Just as with the former president, this is all possible because of cradle snatching.
Maudie White Hopkins was born in 1915. At the age of 19 she married William Cantrell, a Confederate veteran who was 67 years her senior. At the time that they met, Mrs Hopkins was cleaning Mr Cantrell’s house and doing his laundry. One day he offered to leave his house and land to her if she promised to marry and care for him in his advanced years. Mrs Hopkins agreed. At the time of their wedding she was 19, and he was 86.
Clearly it wasn’t a marriage built to stand the test of time. Mr Cantrell died in 1937. Maudie went on to remarry three more times before settling down to build a family of her own.
Martha Boltz of the United Daughters of the Confederacy says that there are other living c=Confederate widows still alive today, but are reluctant to come forward and reveal their identity. So for the time being we will have to settle with the fact that Maudie White Hopkins was the last Civil War widow, and she died in 2008.
On the Union side, the last civil war veteran was Gertrude Janeway, who died in 2003, five years before Maudie. She married John Janeway, an officer in the 14th Illinois cavalry, in 1927. At the time she was 18, and he was 81. He passed away ten years later, and Gertrude received a pension check for $70 every two months until her death in 2003. In comparison, Maudie Hopkins received a Confederacy pension check every two to three months worth $25. This payment ended with her husbands death in 1937.