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Tue June 15, 2004
Arkansas Woman Named Surviving Confederate Widow
By Alabama Public Radio
Little Rock, AK – An Arkansas woman has now been recognized by an organization as the last surviving Confederate widow. Alberta Martin of Elba was believed to be the last widow of a Civil War veteran. She died last month at age 97. But now the United Daughters of the Confederacy says 89-year-old Maudie Celia Hopkins has taken Martin's title. When Hopkins was 19...she apparently married 86-year-old Confederate veteran William Cantrell after he hired her to clean his house. She says she was trapped in the marriage because of poverty, and she says she tried to keep the union quiet. But Hopkins' relatives told Confederate historians her story. The historians then apparently did research through County marriage records and other documents and found her story to be valid. The United Daughters of the Confederacy now officially recognizes her as having been married to a Confederate soldier.