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Civil War Widows

From: Radio Diaries
Length: 12:59

Alberta Martin and Daisy Anderson are the last living Civil War Widows.

Daisyanderson_small More than 135 years ago, Union troops clashed with Confederates at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The battle marked the beginning of the end for the Confederacy. At that same battlefield in 1997, Daisy Anderson and Alberta Martin first met. They had come to Gettysburg to be honored as the last known living Civil War widows. If the notion of a living Civil War widow seems confusing, we should explain that both women married in their early 20's. Their husbands were near 80. Alberta Martin and Daisy Anderson?of course?were not alive during the Civil War. But for many people they are the closest thing we've got.

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Piece Description

More than 135 years ago, Union troops clashed with Confederates at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The battle marked the beginning of the end for the Confederacy. At that same battlefield in 1997, Daisy Anderson and Alberta Martin first met. They had come to Gettysburg to be honored as the last known living Civil War widows. If the notion of a living Civil War widow seems confusing, we should explain that both women married in their early 20's. Their husbands were near 80. Alberta Martin and Daisy Anderson?of course?were not alive during the Civil War. But for many people they are the closest thing we've got.

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Review of Civil War Widows

The voices of the women are really incredible--brought tears to my eyes-- their accents, their choices of words are really emblematic of another era and place. The producer does a great job mirroring their two stories, reminding us that despite the great divide between North and South, black and white, the joys/comforts of marraige and the hardships of the Great Depression were shared across the country.The other reviewer is right is saying that it's really not a piece on the Civil War, but rather a very honest portrait of two women-- the story of 20-some year old women marrying 80+ men in the early 1900s is inherently pretty fascinating. My only criticism is that I would have preferred a shorter narrative lead in and lead out.

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Review of Civil War Widows

What a subject ! I'm listening to this late and it's a perfect bedtime story. While neither widow has much to say about the civil war, it doesn't matter an iota. Their stories are SO captivating and eloquently revealed. Richman is an unobtrusive narrator: he lets both stories waltz to their own music til the end, when he reappears with the insider's quirky coda.
This is great for Black history month, valentine's day, and for no good reason other than a good story, like bedtime.
vm

Transcript

Civil War Widows
All Things Considered (NPR) 7/1/1998

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: This is All Things Considered. I'm Robert Siegel.

NOAH ADAMS, HOST: And I'm Noah Adams. On this day 135 years ago, Union troops clashed with Confederates at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The fighting at Gettysburg would mark the beginning of the end for the Confederacy. At that same battlefield one year ago today, Daisy Anderson and Alberta Martin first met. They had come to Gettysburg to be honored as the last known living Civil War widows. Both women married in their early 20s. Their husbands were near 80. Alberta Martin and Daisy Anderson of course were not alive during the Civil War, but they married into history. Producer Joe Richman visited both women this year and put together an oral history of these two Civil War widows.

JOE RICHMAN, PRODUCER: There's the concept of a parallel universe --- that so...
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