I was reading a book about the American Civil War when I came across these two sentences that really jarred me (the emphases are mine): "Edward Arista Vincent [an architect] fell ill in 1856 and passed away. Fortunately, he never knew that General Sherman ordered the [railroad] station [that he had so lovingly designed] destroyed as Union forces left Atlanta on November 14, 1864."
I immediately thought to myself: Well, of course, he "never knew." He was dead.
I had expected the author to write the second sentence using a tense that involved the modal "would."
At another grammar helpline, I was told that the author's second sentence was fine.
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Source of quotation: The Photographic History of the Civil War (1983) published by Fairfax Press.