Sylvester Magee: The Last Known Slave And Civil War Veteran Who Live To Be 130 Years Old

7 Posted by - November 11, 2015 - BLACK MEN, CIVIL WAR, Holidays And Birthdays, LATEST POSTS, SLAVERY
Civil War veteran Sylvester Magee lived to be 130 years old (1841-1971) .  He was likely the last living human being who possessed any firsthand memory of the trials of the Civil War or institutionalized . Some historians have stated it would have been impossible for a person who neither reads nor writes to have related the stories of the Civil War in such detail as Magee without having served in the conflict. One historian stated that Magee talked with “rare intelligence and seldom rambled” in telling of his participation in the Civil War.

  1. He lived to be, according to history and the data that we’ve collected throughout the Internet, he was 130 years of age when he passed away in 1971.
  2. Sylvester Magee had no birth certificate, but chancery court records in Covington County list him and his father as being passed on to the next of kin when their owner died in 1859.
  3. Mr. Magee always insisted his birthday was May 29th, 1841. Now as if being 130 years old when he died weren’t enough, there are a couple of OTHER significant details about his life and death that sets him apart.
  4. Not only was that old, but he was the last American slave to die. And, because he did service with the Union Army in the siege of Vicksburg, he was the last Union Veteran to die.
  5. And since he started the war as an arms bearer to his master on the side of the South, he is perhaps also the last CONFEDERATE veteran to die.
  6. He’s listed in the book “ Confederates.” His accounts of the Union Army crossing the Big Black River after the Battle of Champion Hill on their way into Vicksburg convinced historian A. P. Andrews he had to have been there, since Mr. Magee couldn’t read or write. How else could he have known all the minute details and names of the officers?
  7. And don’t forget, he also lived to be 130 years of age.

Source Sylvester Magee’s unmarked grave – …



  • Leonardo DiPartlow December 16, 2016 - 3:15 pm

    Wow, congratulations to the Magee family. Your ancestor deserves his rightful place in history.

  • G. N. Waller May 29, 2017 - 6:02 pm

    Accounts such as this one needs to be apart of Black History month. So much of our history Is forgotten and omitted from the history books.

  • Brenda Turner June 15, 2017 - 7:31 am

    Absolutely incredible. Need to know more about this man. Just because he couldn’t read or write though no fault of his own, he can still relate the events of that time. And some people in the bible lived longer than 130 years.

  • Gregory Moore July 8, 2017 - 12:36 pm

    I think that it is very rare to find such info let us continue to search for the blacks back then so that we may educate our black youths about our history.

  • SANDRA L MERRIWEATHER July 8, 2017 - 3:31 pm

    How great God is to let Mr. Magee to lived that long…GLORY ..!

  • Darlene July 25, 2017 - 6:50 am

    Our history is first they want us to think we are nothing. Thanks mr mcgee for enlightenment of our time line of this world blessed man to say e was a slave

  • Felecia Lewis February 13, 2018 - 1:18 am

    He was my GGG Grandfather…

  • Joe January 19, 2019 - 4:11 am

    130 years old? The bull shit meter went off the scale. Major bull shit

    • Teri Spencer June 6, 2019 - 3:37 pm

      And what makes you think that this was impossible?? It even states in the bible that people lived much longer than that. So the fact that you felt the need to waste your energy and time to even interrupt greatness is foolishness. Keep to yourself.

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