- Historic Sites
The Old Vets
Year by year the ranks of the G.A.R. grew thinner —but until the last old soldier was gone, Decoration Day in a New England town was a moving memorial to “the War”
April 1971 | Volume 22, Issue 3
Certainly with respect to the G.A.R. it was true that old soldiers “just fade away.” Each succeeding May 30 those Veterans who rode in the annual parade were fewer in number; but this was so in accord with the immutable laws of nature that it almost passed unnoticed— until one day the community awoke to the fact that Alfonso Witherell was the only Civil War Veteran still living in our city. He had long since hung up his mailbag but was still a familiar figure on Main Street. Then, on February 7, 1944, at the age of one hundred years, eight months, and twenty days, Alfonso Witherell, the last of the Old Vets, answered his final roll call.