Before leaving Duluth and the 1954 CIO convention, I asked a pal, the Duluth News-Tribunes Einar Karlstrand how to interview the man who was the nations last Union veteran of the Civil War, 107-year-old Albert Woolson (thinking if the old man were cogent I could sell the story to a magazine). Karlstrand took me to the family home where Woolsons daughter, well in her 80s herself, was always interested in getting press for her beloved father. Woolson, born in 1847, began as a 14-year-old drummer boy and the first Bull Run and lasted through Gettysburg. Unfortunately when I appeared at his bedside he kept his sightless pale blue eyes fixed on me and said not a word. He hears you but today hes just stubborn, she said.
Woolson was immortalized for an interview he gave a few years earlier. His daughter said proudly, Pa hasnt got an enemy in the world! To which he responded loudly: Yeah, I outlived the sonuvabitches.