Wednesday, August 20, 2008

And Then There's Maudie

Maudie White Hopkins 1914 ~ 2008
Teenage bride of Confederate soldier
She wed four times, but it was her marriage to 'Mr. Cantrell,' a Civil War veteran, that drew publicity
(It's like Elizabeth Tailor with a dark past...)
By Peggy Harris Associated Press
August 20, 2008

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Maudie White Hopkins, who grew up during the Depression in the hardscrabble Ozarks (Come on, Scrabble's hard for just about anybody) and married a Confederate army veteran 67 years her senior, has died. She was 93 (Crap, she kicked before Willard Scott had a chance to throw her face up on a jam jar and make lude, inappropriate comments).
Ms. Hopkins, the mother of three children from a second marriage who loved to make fried peach pies and applesauce cakes (you don't say?! Fried peach pies and applesauce cakes direct from the hardscrablle Ozarks? Well shut MY MOUTH?!), died Sunday at a hospital in Helena-West Helena, said Rodger Hooker of the Roller-Citizens Funeral Home (The Roller-Citizens aren't the toughest team in the Undead Roller Dearby League...but they're pretty stiff competition! Buhdum bum!) .
Other Confederate widows are still living, but they don't want any publicity, Martha Boltz of the United Daughters of the Confederacy said Tuesday (They just want the 'darkies locked up and the south returned to its former glory') . Ms. Hopkins, born Maudie Acklin, grew up in a family of 10 children, did laundry and cleaned house for William Cantrell, a widower and Confederate veteran in Baxter County.

When he offered to leave his land and home to her if she would marry him and care for him in his later years, she said yes. She was 19; he was 86 ("In his LATER years?!! He was 87!! Just how OLD did he plan on getting?!!).
"After Mr. Cantrell died I took a little old mule he had (where you going with this Maudie...) and plowed me a vegetable garden and had plenty of vegetables to eat (whew...). It was hard times; you had to work to eat," she said in 2004. Ms. Hopkins later married Winfred White and started a family. In all, she was married four times (read, 'WHORE').
For decades, she didn't speak about her marriage to Cantrell, fearing people would think less of her (not possible). Four years ago, she came around after a Confederate widow in Alabama died amid claims she was the last widow from that war." I didn't do anything wrong," Ms. Hopkins said in 2004. "I've worked hard my whole life and did what I had to, what I could, to survive ("As God is my witness, I'll not be hungry again!"). I didn't want to talk about it for a while because I didn't want people to gossip about it. I didn't want people to make it out to be worse than it was."
Military records show Cantrell served in Company A, French's Battalion, of the Virginia Infantry. He enlisted in the Confederate army at age 16 in Pikeville, Ky., and was captured the same year and sent to a prison camp in Ohio. He was exchanged for a Union prisoner, and after the war moved to Arkansas to live with relatives. In a 2004 interview, Ms. Hopkins referred to her first husband as "Mr. Cantrell" and described him as "a good, clean, respectable man." (Well, mainly clean. After all, she was the one sponging the bedsores off his undercarriage at age 19...)
She recalled one description he gave of life as a Civil War soldier, how lice infested his sock supports and "ate a trail around his legs." (Wouldn't you like to hear Ken Burns narrate THAT story in his next Civil War documentary..."Dearest Maudie, The boys and I were much uplifted by the tin of fried peach pies and applesauce cakes. Spirits have been low and food even scarcer...the lice have taken to eating rings around my sock supports, and I fear my ankles look extra bulky...)" Baxter County records show they were married in January 1934 by a justice of the peace.
She said Cantrell supported her with his Confederate pension of "$25 every two or three months" (whoa, jackpot...Anna Nichole Smith eat your heart out!) and left her his home when he died in 1937.The pension benefits ended at Cantrell's death, according to records filed with the state Pension Board.

1 comment:

Mate Famber said...

Have you ever seen such cruelty?