Last surviving United States war veterans

This is an incomplete list of the last surviving veterans of American wars. The last surviving veteran of any particular war, upon their death, marks the end of a historic era. Exactly who is the last surviving veteran is often an issue of contention, especially with records from long-ago wars. The "last man standing" was often very young at the time of enlistment and in many cases had lied about his age to gain entry into the service, which confuses matters further.

Lemuel Cook-2
A photograph of Lemuel Cook (1759–1866) published in The Last Men of the Revolution, one of the last official veterans of the American Revolutionary War who enlisted in the 2nd Continental Light Dragoons, Continental Army.

Pre-U.S. independence

Veteran Lifespan Notes
American Indian Wars (1540–1774)
Samuel Murphy 1758–1851 Virginia colonists. Last participant of Lord Dunmore's War[1]
Noah Johnson 1698–1798 New England colonists. Last participant of Lovewell's War[2][3]
French and Indian War (1754–1763)
John Owen 1741–1843 British Army. Enlisted in 1758. Also fought in the Revolutionary War.[4][5]
Jonathan Benjamin 1738–1841 British Army. Also fought in the Revolutionary War.[6]
The Last Men of the Revolution
The book The Last Men of the Revolution was compiled by Rev. E. B. Hillard and published by N. A. & R. A. Moore in the year 1864, the book claimed to include photos and biographies of six of the last surviving Revolutionary War veterans. None of the men interviewed in the book would become the last surviving Revolutionary War veteran but the photos published in the book are some of the few surviving photos of American Revolutionary War veterans.[7]

Post-U.S. independence

Veteran Lifespan Notes
American Revolutionary War (1775–1783)
Daniel Frederick Bakeman 1759–1869 Continental Army. Last veteran drawing a pension awarded by Congress; granted a pension in 1867 even though he could not prove his service.[8]
John Gray 1764–1868 Continental Army. Last verifiable veteran. Served at Yorktown. Six month service period was too short to qualify for pension.[9] Granted a pension in 1867.
Samuel Downing 1761–1867 Continental Army. Fought at Saratoga.[10][11]
Lemuel Cook 1759–1866 Continental Army. Served with the 2nd Light Dragoons at Brandywine.
Elijah Churchill 1755–1841 Continental Army. Last Badge of Military Merit recipient.
American Indian Wars (1775–1924)
Frederick Fraske 1872–1973 U.S. Army.[12]
John Daw 1870–1965 U.S. Army. Last Indian Scout.[13][14]
Dewey Beard 1857–1955 Lakota Tribe. Last Native American participant of the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Also survived Wounded Knee.[15][16]
John Winchell Cullen 1838–1939 U.S. Army. Fought in the Yakima War.[17][18]
Shays' Rebellion (1786–1787)
David Whitney 1767–1867 Massachusetts State Militia.[19]
Whiskey Rebellion (1791–1794)
Michael Edwards 1767?–1876 Pennsylvania State Militia.
War of 1812 (1812–1815)
Hiram Cronk 1800–1905 U.S. Army.[20]
Black Hawk War (1832)
Henry L. Riggs 1812–1911 U.S. Army.[21]
Toledo War (1835–1836)
Riley Crooks Crawford 1817–1910 Michigan State Militia.[22][23]
Texas Revolution (1835–1836)
William P. Zuber 1820–1913 Texas Volunteers.[24][25]
Bear Flag Revolt (1846)
John Grider 1826–1924 California rebel.[26][27]
Mexican–American War (1846–1848)
Owen Thomas Edgar 1831–1929 U.S. Navy. Served on the USS Potomac and USS Allegheny.[28]
Bleeding Kansas (1854–1861)
John Brown 1844–1940 Border Ruffian. Participated in the Lawrence Massacre with Quantrill's Raiders.[29][30]
John Edward Rastall 1840–1927 Free-Stater.[31]
George Roe 1834–1927 Free-Stater. Served at the Battle of Black Jack[32]
American Civil War (1861–1865)
Albert Henry Woolson 1850–1956 Union Army. Last verified Union veteran.[33]
James Albert Hard 1841–1953 Union Army. Last combat veteran. [34]
Pleasant Riggs Crump 1847–1951 Confederate Army. Last verified Confederate veteran. See Last surviving Confederate veterans.
William Sickles 1844-1938 Union Army. Last Medal of honor recipient.
Korean Expedition (1871)
William F. Lukes 1847-1923 U.S. Navy. Served on the USS Colorado. Last Medal of honor recipient.
Boxer Rebellion (1897–1901)
Nathan E. Cook 1885–1992 U.S. Navy.[35]
William Seach 1877–1978 U.S. Navy. Served on the USS Newark. Last Medal of Honor recipient.
Spanish–American War (1898)
Jones Morgan 1882–1993 U.S. Army.
John Davis 1877–1970 U.S. Navy. Served on the USS Marblehead. Last Medal of Honor recipient.
Second Samoan Civil War (1898–99)
Bruno Albert Forsterer 1869–1957 U.S. Army. Last Medal of Honor recipient.
Banana Wars (1898–1934)
Donald Leroy Truesdell 1906-1993 U.S.Marine Corps. Served in Nicaragua. Last Medal of Honor recipient.
Herman H. Hanneken 1893-1986 U.S. Marine Corps. Served in Haiti. Last Medal of Honor recipient.
George M. Lowry 1889-1981 U.S. Navy. Served on the USS Florida at Veracruz. Last Medal of Honor recipient.
Roswell Winans 1887-1968 U.S. Marine Corps. Served in Dominican Republic. Last Medal of Honor recipient.
Philippine–American War (1899–1902)
Nathan E. Cook 1885–1992 U.S. Navy. Served in on the USS Pensacola.[36][35]
John Thomas Kennedy 1885–1969 U.S. Army. Last Medal of Honor recipient.
Border War (1910–1919)
Samuel Goldberg 1900–2006 U.S. Army.[37]
World War I (1914–1918)
Frank Woodruff Buckles 1901–2011 U.S. Army.[38]
Edouard Izac 1891-1990 U.S. Navy. Served on the USS Florida and USS President Lincoln. Last Medal of Honor recipient.
Pancho Villa Expedition (1916–1917)
Mark Matthews 1894–2005 U.S. Army.[39]
Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War (1918–1925)
American and other Allied forces were involved in the Polar Bear Expedition which began during World War I and continued into the Russian Civil War
Warren V. Hileman 1901–2005 U.S. Army. Served in the 27th Infantry Regiment as part of the American Expeditionary Force Siberia.[40]
Harold Gunnes 1899–2003 U.S. Navy. Served on the USS Olympia. Also attached to the 339th Infantry Regiment as part of the Polar Bear Expedition.[41]
Spanish Civil War (1936–1939)
Delmer Berg 1915–2016[42] International Brigades. Volunteered in 1938. Served in anti-aircraft in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. Lived in Columbia, California.[43]

See also


  1. ^ "Man For Whom Murphy's Bottom Name Last Survivor of Lord Dunmore's War". Simpson's Leader-Times. 1973. p. 22. Retrieved June 25, 2016.
  2. ^ Samuel Abbott Green (1893). Groton Historical Series: A Collection of Papers Relating to the History of the Town of Groton, Massachusetts. 3. S. A. Green. p. 367. Retrieved June 25, 2016.
  3. ^ Jeremy Belknap, John Farmer (1831). The History of New Hampshire. 1. S. C. Stevens and Ela & Wadleigh. p. 209. Retrieved June 25, 2016.
  4. ^ Cotton, Josh (July 22, 2017). "Colonial Intrigue: It's possible that the last surviving veteran of the French & Indian War is buried in Warren". The Times Observer. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  5. ^ The American Almanac and Repository of Useful Knowledge for the Year 1844. 15. Gray and Bowen. 1843. p. 328. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  6. ^ Niles' national register, Volume 61. Cambridge: Harvard University. 1841. p. 192.
  8. ^ Francis Bernard Heitman (1982). Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army During the War of the Revolution, April, 1775, to December, 1783. Genealogical Publishing Com. ISBN 978-0-8063-0176-1.(quoting the Annual Report of the Commissioner of Pensions for 1874: "With the death of Daniel T. Bakeman, of Freedom, Cattaraugus County, N.Y., April 5, 1869, the last of the pensioned soldiers of the Revolution passed away.")
  9. ^ Dalzell, James McCormick; Gray, John (1868). Private Dalzell, his autobiography, poems, and comic war papers, sketch of John Gray, Washington's last soldier, etc. R. Clarke. p. 189.
  10. ^ Forbes, Charles S. (1917). The Vermonter: The State Magazine. 21-23. Charles S. Forbes. p. 98–99. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  11. ^ Library Company of Philadelphia (1973). Library Company of Philadelphia: 1972 Annual Report. Library Company of Philadelphia. p. 21. ISBN 9781422361054. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  12. ^ "LAST VET OF INDIAN WARS DIES AT AGE 101". Chicago Tribune. June 17, 1973.
  13. ^ Chicago Corral of the Westerners (1965). Westerners brand book, Volumes 22–25. Siedlce. p. 24.
  14. ^ "John Daw". Genealogy Trails. 2006. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  15. ^ Hopkins, John Christian (March 11, 2006). "129 years after Little Big Horn". Gallup Independent. Archived from the original on October 27, 2010. Retrieved October 18, 2010.
  16. ^ Lawson, Michael L.; Rosier, Paul C. (2007). Little Bighorn: Winning the Battle, Losing the War. Infobase Publishing. p. 126. ISBN 978-0-7910-9347-4.
  17. ^ Oregon Historical Quarterly. 36 (3 ed.). Oregon Historical Society. 1935. p. 299. JSTOR 20610950.
  18. ^ Oregon Historical Quarterly. 40 (3 ed.). Oregon Historical Society. 1939. p. 297. JSTOR 20611203.
  19. ^ Pierce, Frederick Clifton (1895). Whitney. The descendants of John Whitney, who came from London, England, to Watertown, Massachusetts, in 1635. Press of W. B. Conkey Co. p. 153. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  20. ^ Henley, Benjamin James (1911). The art of longevity ... Syracuse: New Warner Co. pp. 205–208.
  21. ^ "DEATH OF THE LAST SURVIVOR OF THE BLACK HAWK WAR". 14. Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society. 1922.
  22. ^ "REV. R. C. CRAWFORD WAS "FIGHTER" IN TOLEDO WAR". Detroit Free Press. May 19, 1907. Retrieved August 24, 2016.
  23. ^ Michigan State Historical Society (1912). Michigan Historical Collections. 38. p. 687. Retrieved August 24, 2016.
  24. ^ Robert Bruce Blake. "ZUBER, WILLIAM PHYSICK". Texas State Historical Society. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
  25. ^ "William P. Zuber to Ben. E McCulloch Describing events at San Jacinto". Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
  26. ^ Lanz Christian Bañes (2009). "Vallejo author uncovers the story of Bear Flag Revolt hero John Grider". Times-Hearld. Retrieved October 26, 2014.
  27. ^ "Searching for John Grider, an African American Bear Flag Veteran". Retrieved October 26, 2014.
  28. ^ Associated Press (September 1929). "Mexican War's Last Survivor, 98, is Dead". The Dallas Morning News.
  29. ^ Basanik, Michael E. (2003). Cavaliers of the Brush: Quantrill and His Men. Press of the Camp Pope Bookshop. p. 131. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  30. ^ Eakin, Joanne Webb Chiles (1993). Branded as rebels: a list of bushwhackers, guerrillas, partisan rangers, confederates and southern sympathizers from Missouri during the war years. J.C. Eakin & D.R. Hale. p. 48. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  31. ^ "JOHN BROWN COMRADE DIES; J. E. Rastall, a Survivor of Kansas Free State Raiders". newspaper. New York Times. November 27, 1927. p. 25. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  32. ^ "LAST SURVIVOR OF BLACK JACK FIGHT". newspaper. The Lawrence Daily Journal. July 16, 1927. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
  33. ^ The Banner (1956). "Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War: Albert Woolson". Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  34. ^ "James A. Hard – Obituary". Binghamton Press, Associated Press. 1953. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  35. ^ a b "Nathan E. Cook, 106; America's Oldest Known War Veteran". Los Angeles Times. September 12, 1992. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  36. ^ "Nathan E. Cook, 106;America's Oldest Known War Veteran". Los Angeles Times. September 12, 1992. Retrieved December 8, 2011.
  37. ^ Will Everett (April 6, 2007). "World War I veteran". PRI's THE WORLD. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
  38. ^ Courson, Paul (February 28, 2011). "Last living U.S. World War I veteran dies". CNN. Retrieved February 28, 2011.
  39. ^ Melissa Corley (1998). "Veterans to honor Buffalo Soldier Man, 103, is last survivor of regiment of black troopers". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved October 26, 2014.
  40. ^ Rush, Linda (February 3, 2005). "STATE'S 'LAST' WORLD WAR I VETERAN DIES: WARREN V. HILEMAN DIED SUNDAY IN ANNA AT 103". The Southern: Illinoisan. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
  41. ^ Kramer, Andrew (August 14, 2001). "Centarian Is Last Veteran of Only U.S.-Russia War". The St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
  42. ^ "Death Notices for March 1, 2016". The Union Democrat. Archived from the original on March 6, 2016.
  43. ^ "Del Berg Interviewed by Friends and Neighbors". The Volunteer.
Aaron Daggett

Aaron Simon Daggett (June 14, 1837 – May 14, 1938) was a career United States Army officer. He was the last surviving brevet Union general of the American Civil War, and the last surviving general of any grade from the war, when he died at the age of 100 in 1938. Daggett was nominated for appointment to the grade of brevet brigadier general, to rank from March 13, 1865, by President Andrew Johnson on February 21, 1866 and was confirmed by the United States Senate on April 10, 1866. During the war, Daggett fought at West Point, Gaines' Mill, Golding's Farm, White Oak Swamp, Second Bull Run, South Mountain, Antietam, Rappahannock Station, Fredericksburg, Battle of Gettysburg, Battle of Mine Run, Battle of the Wilderness and Battle of Cold Harbor. Daggett was a brigadier general of volunteers in the Spanish–American War. He was appointed to the brigadier general grade to rank from September 1, 1898 and was mustered out of the volunteers on November 30, 1898. He was promoted to brigadier general in the Regular Army (United States) ten days before his retirement from the army on March 2, 1901.

Albert Woolson

Albert Henry Woolson (February 11, 1850 – August 2, 1956) was the last known surviving member of the Union Army who served in the American Civil War; he was also the last surviving Civil War veteran on either side whose status is undisputed. At least three men who followed him in death claimed to be Confederate veterans, but one has been debunked and the other two are unverified. The last surviving Union soldier to see combat was James Hard (1841–1953).

Daniel F. Bakeman

Daniel Frederick Bakeman (October 9, 1759 – April 5, 1869) was the last survivor receiving a veteran's pension for service in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783).

Frank Buckles

Frank Woodruff Buckles (born Wood Buckles, February 1, 1901 – February 27, 2011) was a United States Army corporal and the last surviving American military veteran of World War I. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1917 at the age of 16 and served with a detachment from Fort Riley, driving ambulances and motorcycles near the front lines in Europe.

During World War II, a month before his forty-first birthday, he was captured by Japanese forces while working in the shipping business, and spent three years in the Philippines as a civilian prisoner. After the war, Buckles married in San Francisco and moved to Gap View Farm near Charles Town, West Virginia. A widower at age 98, he worked on his farm until the age of 105.

In his last years, he was Honorary Chairman of the World War I Memorial Foundation. As chairman, he advocated the establishment of a World War I memorial similar to other war memorials in Washington, D.C.. Toward this end, Buckles campaigned for the District of Columbia War Memorial to be renamed the National World War I Memorial. He testified before Congress in support of this cause, and met with President George W. Bush at the White House.

Buckles was awarded the World War I Victory Medal at the conclusion of that conflict, and the Army of Occupation of Germany Medal retroactively following the medal's creation in 1941, as well as the French Legion of Honor in 1999. His funeral was on March 15, 2011, at Arlington National Cemetery, with President Barack Obama paying his respects prior to the ceremony with full military honors.

Frederick Fraske

Frederick (Fredrak) W. Fraske (March 8, 1872 – June 18, 1973) is believed to have been the last surviving veteran of the Indian Wars.

Hiram Cronk

Hiram Cronk (April 29, 1800 – May 13, 1905) was the last surviving veteran of the War of 1812 at the time of his death. He lived to the age of 105.

James Hard

James Albert Hard (July 15, 1841 – March 12, 1953) was the last verified living Union combat veteran of the American Civil War and the third-to-last verified veteran overall; only drummer-boys Frank H. Mayer and Albert Woolson post-deceased him. Though he claimed to have been born in 1841, research in 2006 found that the 1850 Census indicated a birthdate of 1843.

He died in Rochester, New York, at the claimed age of 111. Census research indicates, however, that he was probably a year or two younger and may have inflated his age to gain service. He is recorded as having joined the Union army on May 14, 1861, aged '19.' The 1850, 1910 and 1920 censuses, however, indicate that he was born in 1843 and 1842.Hard is reported to have fought as an infantryman in the 37th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment at the battles of First Bull Run, Antietam, Chancellorsville, and Fredericksburg, and to have met Abraham Lincoln at a White House reception.

John Daw

John Daw (1870–1965) was the last surviving U.S. Army Indian Scout veteran that had served in the Indian Wars. He was a Navajo Indian given the Navajo name Hastiintsoh at birth. His parents, grandparents, as well as other close relatives were part of the Long Walk of the Navajo to Fort Sumner, and were confined with the other Navajo at Fort Sumner in the 1860s.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army on May 7, 1891, with the name John Daw. He was assigned to the U.S. Army 2nd Cavalry, which was posted at Fort Wingate in the New Mexico Territory. After being issued uniforms, guns, ammunition, and horses, he felt the cavalry soldiers' training was very thorough. He stated that the target practice and other military training was continued until they were very highly trained soldiers. He worked as a tracker, specifically looking for Apache Indians, and he served in this capacity until he left the service on December 5, 1894.

In the last years of his life he lived in a hogan with his wife at the Red Lake Trading Post near Tonalea, Arizona on Navajo Nation land. At that time, he was a sheep herder, drove his own wagon, and claimed he could hear an approaching automobile from 10 miles away, although his eyesight was no longer good. His wife Susie's eyesight was good, but her hearing was poor.

He died in 1965, and he was buried on Navajo Nation land in Coconino County, Arizona. His grave site is in Red Lake, and it is listed as a historic grave site in the county. There is also a mountain summit named after him called John Daw Mesa, which is located just east of Red Lake.

Jones Morgan

Jones Morgan (23 October 1882 – 29 August 1993) was an American supercentenarian who claimed he was the last surviving veteran of the Spanish–American War.

Last European veterans by war

This is an incomplete list of the last surviving European veterans of several wars. The last surviving veteran of any particular war, upon his death, marks the end of a historic era. Exactly who is the last surviving veteran is often an issue of contention, especially with records from long-ago wars. The "last man standing" was often very young at the time of enlistment and in many cases had lied about his age to gain entry into the service, which confuses matters further.

Lemuel Cook

Lemuel Cook (September 10, 1759 – May 20, 1866) was one of the last verifiable surviving veterans of the American Revolutionary War.

List of last surviving veterans of military insurgencies and wars

This a chronological list of the last surviving veterans of military insurgencies, conflicts and wars around the world. The listed wars span from the 13th century BC to the beginning of World War II. Most last survivors of particular campaigns or wars were junior officers or soldiers/naval ratings of non-commissioned rank in the early years of their service careers at the time.

Nathan E. Cook

Nathan Edward Cook (October 10, 1885 – September 10, 1992) was a sailor in the United States Navy during the Philippine–American War whose naval career continued through the Second World War. When he died at the age of 106 he was the oldest surviving American war veteran.

Outline of the American Civil War

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the American Civil War:

American Civil War – civil war in the United States of America that lasted from 1861 to 1865. Eleven Southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America, also known as "the Confederacy." Led by Jefferson Davis, the Confederacy fought against the United States (the Union), which was supported by all the free states (where slavery had been abolished) and by five slave states that became known as the border states.

Pleasant Crump

Pleasant Riggs Crump (December 23, 1847 – December 31, 1951) is the last verifiable veteran who fought for the Confederacy during the American Civil War. Although he was survived by several other claimants in the 1950s, such as William Lundy, John B. Salling and Walter Williams, historical research has subsequently debunked these claims. Crump officially remains the last surviving veteran of the Confederate Army.

Robley Rex

Robley Henry Rex (May 2, 1901 – April 28, 2009) was a World War I-era veteran and was, at the age of 107, one of two remaining U.S. veterans related to the First World War.

Rex was born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky and enlisted in the military in May, 1919, six months after the Armistice date. He was the last Kentucky World War I era veteran, and the last known World War I era veteran of the United States. He served in the Intelligence Unit.

He enlisted in the 5th Infantry Division and later served in the 28th Infantry Division. He trained at Camp Zachary Taylor, Kentucky, and Fort Meade, Maryland, before he was deployed to Europe, where there was still a strong military presence, in order to restabilize Europe post-war. While overseas he served in Andernach, and Coblenz, Germany. After being discharged from the Army with the rank of Private First Class in August 1922, Rex returned to Louisville, Kentucky, where he became a postal worker and an ordained Methodist minister.

Rex met his future wife Gracie at Louisville's Camp Taylor before he was sent to Europe. They married in 1922 but never had children. She died in 1992.

In 1986, Rex turned to volunteerism, lending support to fellow veterans at the Louisville Veteran's Administration Medical Center. Rex logged more than 14,000 hours of volunteer time while at the Center. He continued to volunteer there three days a week, even at age 105. For his 107th birthday, Rex was presented the Kentucky Governor's Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service. He was also honored in 2005 by the national Veterans of Foreign Wars as National Volunteer of the Year.

Rex died at the Louisville V.A. Medical Center, four days before his 108th birthday. His family requested a private funeral. He was buried on May 6, 2009 at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery.

The Louisville V.A. Medical Center was renamed the Robley Rex V.A. Medical Center in his honor in April 2010.

Upon Rex's death, Frank Buckles (who had actually served in World War I prior to the armistice) became the last surviving United States World War I-era veteran.

Surviving U.S. veterans of World War II

There were 16,112,566 members of the United States Armed Forces during World War II. There were 291,557 battle deaths, 113,842 other deaths in service (non-theater), and 670,846 non-mortal woundings. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, around 496,777 American veterans from the war were estimated to still be alive in September 2018.

Walter Williams (centenarian)

Walter Washington Williams (1842 – December 19, 1959) was a forager for Hood's Brigade and thus presumed to be the last surviving veteran of the American Civil War.

William Lundy

William Allen Lundy (January 18, 1848? – September 1, 1957) claimed to be one of the last living Confederate veterans of the American Civil War, having claimed to have served with the 4th Alabama Infantry from 1864 to 1865. His age is disputed and some records suggest he was born in 1859, not 1848.

Life extension
Living and
notable centenarians
(over age 100)
(over age 110)
Miscellaneous records

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