Pvt Thomas Evans Riddle

Texas’ next to last surviving Confederate Veteran

Pvt Co I 33rd VA Infantry C.S.A.
Proud Confederate Soldier

Veteran Of Gray Is Dead.-AUSTIN, Tex.-
Thomas Evans Riddle, private in the Army of Tennessee, doughty admiral in the Nebraska Navy, and proud Colonel of the Confederate Air Force, is dead today.- Just two weeks shy of his 108th birthday, Riddle died last night at 10:10 p.m., CST, to leave only four surviving veterans of the Civil War.-The white-haired little man with the shy pixie smile had been ill since January. First he had pneumonia, then a failing heart, but his grim battle for survival astounded doctors. They said old age killed him.- He died at the Texas Confederate Home for Men where he had played dominoes, met old friends and newsmen, and stay in bed most of the time since January 1950. He had wanted to live to be 110 and to die at his home in Wichita Falls, Tex. He is scheduled to be buried, his family said today, at Burkburnett, Tex. When has not been decided.- Got Five Bullets-Riddle, for 18 months of the Civil War, served as a private in Co. 1, 22nd Regiment, Army of Tennessee. He liked to tell of his days under Robert E. Lee and kept a picture of the southern commander over his bed. “Five times I thought my life called. was not worth a minute.” “Snipers were shooting at me from the top of trees. I didn’t know I was hit, but my general says to me, “Thomas, you’re full of bullets,” and I looked and had been shot five times in my side.”-Besides his other mythical titles, Riddle also held colonelcies on the staff of the governors of Texas and Louisiana. He proudly pointed to framed citations on the wall of his room here attesting to his various “ranks.”- Parties Big Events-But his biggest events in his recent years were his birthday parties. With a clean shave, a Confederate tie and polished slippers he sat on the side of his bed and cheerfully received his guests. Although he could barely hear, even with a hearing aid, he always had answers to questions. He was tickled pink when he received several proposals for marriage after a lawyer filed a claim for him for part of a multi-million dollar race horse fortune.-The petition said the old soldier was a half-brother of Man O’War’s owner, the late Samuel D. Riddle.-The “colonel” had been married three times. “Outlived two of them and divorced the other,” he would say with shining eyes.-Of the four survivors of the bloody War between the States, Walter W. Williams, 111, of Franklin, Tex., is the oldest. The others are Albert Woolson, 215 E. Fifth Street, Duluth, Minn., the sole Union survivor; and Confederates William A. Lundy, Laurel Hill, Fla.; and John Salling, Slant, Va.—The Abilene Reporter News, Abilene, Texas, Saturday Evening, April 3, 1954; Pg. Front Page

Name: Thomas Evans Riddle
Death Date: 02 Apr 1954
Death Place: Austin, Travis, Texas
Gender: Male
Race: white
Death Age: 107 years
Birth Date: 16 Apr 1846
Birthplace: Tennessee
Marital Status: Widowed
Father’s Name: Lyles Riddle
Father’s Birthplace: Kentucky
Mother’s Name: Hailey Brown
Mother’s Birthplace: Tennessee
Occupation: Rock & Brick Mason
Place of Residence: Wichtita Falls, Wichita, Texas
Cemetery: Burkburnett
Burial Place: Burkburnett, Texas
Burial Date: 04 Apr 1954
Film Number: 2114149
Digital Film Number: 4165602
Image Number: 836
Reference Number: cn 20002
Collection: Texas Deaths, 1890-1976