A Little Kiss for the General

Published:October 17, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe

“General” Julius Franklin Howell with Mary Pickford (top) and Helen Longstreet (bottom), from the February 16, 1948, issue of Life magazine, which featured the 102nd birthday party thrown for the old Confederate soldier in Bristol.

To be clear, Howell was only a corporal during the Civil War, but he distinguished himself on the staff of General James Longstreet. Some background:

Enlisting in the Confederate Army at 16, young Julius served as courier on the staffs of two generals, fought at Gettysburg, was wounded and later captured and imprisoned for three months in Maryland. Incidentally, he is probably the only living member of the command of General James Longstreet, who was one of General Robert E. Lee‘s right-hand men.

After the war he was commander-in-chief of the United Confederate Veterans (presumably, that’s where the honorific “general” comes from). He also earned a degree from Harvard, taught school in Arkansas, and became friends with Mary Pickford. An active life, to be sure!