All of the photos below are of some of the longest and last living veterans of the American Revolutionary War against Great Britain which took place between 1775 and 1783. Most of the photos of Revolutionary war veterans you will see below were taken in 1864 by Nelson Augustus Moore and his father Roswell Moore as a small collection of photographs for a book called “The Last Men of the Revolution”. If the image is not a part of this collection it will say so. There is nothing more to say except that I hope you enjoy the unique opportunity to see some of the oldest living Americans in the 1860s and the last living veterans of the American Revolutionary War!
Alexander Millener was born in Quebec on March 14th, 1760, making him 104 years old when this photo was taken on him in 1864. He enlisted in the Continental Army originally as a drummer boy in George Washington’s Life Guard unit. He was ” at the battles of White Plains, Brandywine, Saratoga, Monmouth, Yorktown, and some others.” He spent a total of 6 and a half years in the army.
After the war, Millener spent 5 years in the Navy. Following his time in the navy, he married a woman called Abagail Barton and had 9 children with her. Like many of the other Revolutionary War veterans on this list, Millener was a farmer for the majority of his life following the war. He supported the Union Army in the American Civil War, saying about it “too bad that this country, so hardly got, should be destroyed by its own people.” He died on March 13th, 1865, one day before his 105th birthday.
Adam Link was one of the last veterans of the American Revolutionary War, dying at the age of 102 on August 15th, 1864. There is not much information regarding Adam’s time in the Continental Army other than that he enlisted at the age of 16.
Following the Revolution, Adam Link married his distant relative, Elizabeth Link, and moved around a lot before eventually settling in Ohio. It was noted that he considered himself a “Jeffersonian Democrat” but had voted for Abraham Lincoln. The photo of Adam Link was taken in 1864, which was during the American Civil War, but he would often forget that a war was going on despite one of his great-grandchildren serving in the Army.
Rev. Daniel Waldo was 101 years old at the time of the photo and he died on July 30th, 1864, not long after this image was taken from injuries received falling down a flight of stairs in his home in Syracuse, New York. Waldo was originally drafted into the Continental Army in 1778 at the age of 16 for a month’s service but decided to enlist in the Army. He was eventually captured and taken prisoner in March 1779 and kept in a Sugar house prison. After his release by exchange, he went back to his hometown in Windham, Connecticut to work on a farm.
Following the war, Daniel Waldo attended Yale College and graduated in 1788. He went on to become a pastor of a church and married Mary Hanchett, having 5 children with her. At the age of 96, on the 22nd December 1856, he became the chaplain of the House of Representatives.
John Gray is noted as the last verified veteran of the American Revolutionary War. When he died on March 29th, 1868, he was the last veteran that was able to prove his service in the Continental Army. He enlisted in 1780 at the age of 16 and was present at the Siege of Yorktown in 1781. His father, John Gray Sr. was also a soldier in the Continental Army and was killed at the 1776 Battle of White Plains.
After the war, John Gray married 3 times and fathered at least 4 children. He settled in the Northwest Territory in what would become Noble County, Ohio.
Lemuel Cook was the fourth longest-living American Revolutionary War veteran, with only 3 other veterans still alive at the time of his death on May 20th, 1866 (aged 106). He joined the 2nd Continental Light Dragoons at the age of 16 in 1775 and remained in the Continental Army until he was honorably discharged at the age of 24 in 1784. During his time with the army, he was injured multiple times and was involved in notable battles such as the Battle of Brandywine and the Siege of Yorktown.
Following the American War of Independence, he became a farmer in New York and had 10 children with his wife Hannah Curtis.
When Samuel Downing died on February 19th, 1867, he was one of the last veterans of the American Revolutionary War. Downing ran away from home in order to enlist in the Continental Army in 1777. At the time he did not live with his parents but with a man called Thomas Aiken who “stole [him]”. He regularly saw George Washington and said “He was a nice man. We loved him. They’d sell their lives for him”.
After the war, he returned home to and married Eunice George with whom he had 13 children. Downing lived and worked on land he bought after the war in Antrim for over 70 years, celebrating his 100th birthday on the farm with his friends and neighbors. He was opposed to slavery and when asked about the American Civil War, he said “he only wishes to live to see [the rebellion] crushed out.”
William Hutchings was 100 years old when the photo above was taken in 1864. He died on May 2nd, 1866 at the age of 101. He enlisted in the Continental Army at the age of 15 for the coast defence in what at the time was the colony known as the Province of Massachusetts Bay, which was where Hutchings was born. He saw minimal action, only fighting in the Siege of Castine (part of the Penobscot Expedition) in which he was taken prisoner but promptly released due to his age.
After the war, William Hutchings married at the age of 22 and fathered 15 children. He remained in Maine for his whole life living in a house he built himself. He supported the Union Army in the American Civil War and had lost 4 or 5 grandchildren in the war.
Daniel Frederick Bakeman
Daniel F. Bakeman was the last person to receive a veteran’s pension for his service in the American Revolutionary War. He died on April 5th, 1869 at the age of 109, and with that, the U.S. Commissioner of Pensions noted that “With the death of Daniel F. Bakeman, of Freedom, Cattaraugus County, N.Y., April 5, 1869, the last of the pensioned soldiers of the Revolution passed away.” While no evidence of Bakeman could be found in the rolls, his descriptions of his time in the service in his pension application were deemed as credible evidence that he served in the Continental Army.
According to Bakeman, he served as a Private in the Tryon County, New York militia from 1777 until 1781 including at one of the last battles in the northern theatre of the American Revolutionary War, the Battle of Johnstown (October 25, 1781). Following the war, he married Susan Brewer and had 8 children, settling in Freedom, New York, and spending the remainder of his life as a farmer. Bakeman was not included in the “Last Men of the Revolution” photograph collection.
If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out The Tallest Soldier of the American Revolutionary War: Pedro Francisco, The Virginia Hercules