Seven Score and Three Years Later, The Last of the Civil War Widows Passes Away


Maude Acklin (1914 - 2008)
Maude Acklin (1914 – 2008)

The last widow of a veteran of the US Civil War died on August 17, 2008 at the age of 93.

Maudie Cecilia Acklin was 19 years old in 1934 when she married William M. Cantrell, aged 86. Cantrell served in the Confederate States Army, having enlisted at the age of 16. The marriage ended with Cantrell’s death three years later.

While Acklin was the last surviving Civil War widow, she was not the last one to receive a Civil War widow’s pension. Because she married a Confederate veteran, she did not qualify.

The last recipient of the widow’s pension was Gertrude Janeway (1909-2003), who, in 1927, at the age of 18 years, married John Janeway, aged 81. John was an officer in the 14th Illinois Calvary. As a widow of a Union veteran, she continued to receive a $70 pension check every two months until her death — 138 years after the end of the Civil War.

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