This is a fascinating and rare interview of an actual Confederate veteran, Julius Franklin Howell (1846-1948), who was born in Virginia in 1846, at the age of 16, in 1862, he enlisted in the Confederate Army to fight because the Federals were invading his home, as he himself stated quite clearly. He was a firm believer that the Confederacy did not fight for slavery, that he and his men were fighting to preserve State’s Rights.
He ended up in Company K of the 24th Virginia Cavalry, which was part of General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, he served as a courier to Generals Roger Atkinson Pryor and Braxton Bragg.
In this interview he recollects the Battle of Gettysburg and later battles, after the Evacuation of Richmond in April, 1865 he was part of General Ewell’s forces when he was captured by Union forces at Sailor’s Creek, he spent the next 3 months in Point Lookout POW camp.
It was during his time at Point Lookout that learnt of Lincoln’s assassination by John Wilkes Booth, the Confederate sympathiser from Maryland.
After the war he returned home and became a well-regarded educator. He was the Commander-in-Chief of the United Confederate Veterans, which is where he got his “General” nickname. At the time of his death in 1948, at the age of 102, he was said to have been the last survivor of General James Longstreet’s Corps.