Civil War Soldier's Widow Lives

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As unbelievable as it seems, there are a handful -- perhaps more -- of widows of Confederate vets still alive and kicking nearly 150 years after Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House.

One case is fully documented: Maudie Celia Hopkins, now 93 and -- as of last week -- living in a nursing home in Lexa, Ark., according to Martha Boltz, public relations chairman of the United Daughters of the Confederacy in Richmond, Va.

Maudie was just a teen when she wed William M. Cantrell, who had enlisted in the Confederate Army at age 16 in Pikeville, Ky. He served in Gen. Samuel G. French's Battalion of the 7th Virginia Infantry before being captured in 1863 and then being released during a prisoner swap.

By the time he met Maudie, he was a widower in his 80s looking for someone to care for him in his last years. With the country in the midst of the Depression, Maudie, who came from a large family to begin with, couldn't say no to cleaning his house and cooking his meals.

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