• Lucy Marsden is the widow of the last surviving soldier of the Civil War.
• Lucy thinks of the death of her husband, Will, and how she likes how quiet the house is now.
• In the present, Lucy is ninety-nine years old and lives in a rest home where people come to see her to hear her stories as the oldest living Confederate widow.
• Lucy tells the story of the death of her husband's friend, Ned Smythe, at Appomattox.
• Ned was shot while swimming and drowned; Will tried to save him but he was already dead.
• All of Lucy's children are now dead, as she has outlived them all.
• Will hardened after Ned's death and he walked all the way home after the end of the war.
• Will and his mother were forced to stay in rented rooms since their farm, The Lilacs, had been destroyed by Sherman.
• Ned Smythe's mother...
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