Felix M. Witkoski
Felix M. Witkoski (January 5, 1850? – February 3, 1952) is a spurious candidate for the last surviving Confederate Veteran. He claimed that in 1862 he was turned back as too young by a Texas regiment, but walked to Montgomery, Alabama and successfully enlisted as a water boy in the 53rd Alabama Infantry. He was supposedly wounded in his stomach in the Battle of Atlanta and fought through the rest of the war. It is possible he went to the Klondike in search of gold in 1897, although this was only a story he told in later life. Around that time he moved to California, at first to Oakland, then San Francisco, and later Glendale. A chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy presented Witkoski with a Southern Cross of Honor in 1943. He was afflicted with heart disease for the last four years of his life. He died on February 3, 1952, in Burbank, California. He is buried with full military honors in an Inglewood, California cemetery.
However, the 1870 census of Texas indicates that his six-year-old brother was born in Poland, which precludes the family immigrating to the US before 1864. The 1900 census of California documents Witkoski's birth as October 1854, rather than 1850, and indicates that he came to the US in 1864. There is no evidence to document his service, and his subsequent, arbitrary backdating of his birth fits the mold of deliberate fabrication.
- Hoar, Jay S. (1976), The South's Last Boys in Gray: An Epic Prose Elegy, Bowling Green State University Popular Press, pp. 470–471
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