Last surviving United States war veterans

From Academic Kids

The last surviving veteran of any particular war, upon his (or her) death, marks the end of a historic era. Unfortunately, who exactly the last surviving was is often an issue of contention. The last man standing was usually but a boy at the time of his enlistment, and oftentimes had to lie about his age to gain entry into the service, which confuses matters further.

To complicate matters even further, there were sometimes incentives for men to lie about their ages after their military service ended. In addition, there were some impostors who claimed to have served but did not (such as Walter Williams, claimed to be 117 in 1959). For example, many Southern states gave pensions to Confederate veterans of the Civil War. Several men falsified their ages in order to qualify for these pensions, especially during the Depression; this makes the question of the identity of the last Confederate veteran especially problematic. The status of the officially recognized "last Confederate veteran" is in dispute.

Contents

United States Last Veterans

Last Surviving American Veteran of American Revolutionary War (Candidates)

Lemuel Cook (1759-1866)
John Gray (1764-1868)
Daniel F. Bakeman (1760-1869)
George Fruits (1762? or 1779-1876)

Fruits' birthdate was more likely 1779 than 1762, as indicated in recent studies.

Last Surviving US Veteran of War of 1812

Hiram Cronk (1800-1905)

Last Surviving US Veteran of Mexican-American War

Owen Thomas Edgar (1831-1929)

Last Surviving Union Veteran of American Civil War

Albert Woolson (1847-1956)

Last Surviving Confederate Veteran of American Civil War

John B. Salling (1846?-1959)

Salling's status is disputed. In 1991, William Marvel examined the claims of Salling and several other "last Civil War veterans" for a piece in the Civil War history magazine Blue & Gray. Marvel found census data that indicated Salling was born in 1858, not 1846. In the same piece, Marvel confirmed Woolson's claim to be the last surviving Union veteran, and asserted that Woolson was the last genuine Civil War veteran on either side.

Last Surviving US Veteran of Spanish-American War (Candidates)

Nathan E. Cook (1885-1992)
Jones Morgan (1882-1993)

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