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The Last Men of the Revolution: Photographs of Revolutionary War Soldiers

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posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 08:31 PM

noun, plural -roes; for 5 also -ros.
1. a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.
2. a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as
a model or ideal: He was a local hero when he saved the drowning child.
3. the principal male character in a story, play, film, etc.

America has had many heroes. Her earliest examples, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Thomas Paine, Patrick Henry, are all emblazoned in our memories from early childhood with famous paintings, usually with them in a pose matching their stature as Gods among men:




These men are undoubtedly heroes to most. But who were the real heroes of the Revolution? One could argue that the true heroes were the men on the battlefield, the ones giving their blood, their sweat, their tears, and their lives for a concept that could hardly be imagined at the time: liberty and freedom from tyranny.

So here I submit to you, an incredibly rare look at the last men of the Revolution. These are photographs of men that served in the military for a true cause, the cause of freedom and liberty from tyranny. The United States hadn't even been birthed yet, but they risked everything for it. Look upon these men and share these photos and stories with everyone you know. Show them just exactly who fought to give Americans the freedoms we have today.

Lemuel Cook

Mr. Cook was born in Northbury, Litchfield county, Connecticut, September 10, 1759. He enlisted at Cheshire, in that state, when only sixteen years old. He was mustered in "at Northampton, in the Bay State, 2nd Regiment, Light Dragoons, Sheldon, Col.; Stanton, Capt." He served through the war, and was discharged in Danbury, June 12, 1784

Samuel Downing

The student of American history will remember the important part which Arnold performed in the battle connected with the surrender of Burgoyne. Mr. Downing was engaged. "We heard," he said, "Burgoyne was coming. The tories began to feel triumphant. One of them came in one morning and said to his wife, "Ty (Ticonderoga) is taken, my dear.' But they soon changed their tune. The first day at Bemis Heights both claimed the victory. But by and by we got Burgoyne where we wanted him, and he gave up. He saw there was no use in fighting it out. There's where I call 'em gentlemen. Bless your body, we had gentlemen to fight with in those days. When they was whipped they gave up. It isn't so now.

"Gates was an 'old granny' looking fellow. When Burgoyne came up to surrender his sword, he said to Gates, 'Are you a general? You look more like a granny than you do like a general." 'I be a granny,' said Gates, 'and I've delivered you of ten thousand men to-day.'

Daniel Waldo

Daniel Waldo was born in Windham, (Scotland Parish,) Conn., on the 10th of September, 1762. He was the son of Zaccheus and Tabitha (Kingsbury) Waldo, and was the ninth of thirteen children. His native town will be remembered as the scene of the famous "Battle of the Frogs" and the fright of the inhabitants thereupon, which formed so favorite a theme of the humorous ballad literature of the pre-revolutionary period. The old meeting-house, too, is well known, through the curious and amusing description of it given by President Dwight in his
"Travels." "The spot," he writes, "where it is posited bears not a little resemblance to a pound, And it appears as if those who pitched upon it intended to shut the church out of the town and the inhabitants out of the church.'

Alexander Milliner

Too young at the time of his enlistment for service in the ranks, he was enlisted as drummer boy; and in this capacity he served four years, in Washington's Life Guard. He was a great favorite, he says, with the commander-in-Chief, who used frequently, after the beating of the reveille, to come along and pat him on the head, and call him his boy. On one occasion, "a bitter cold morning," he gave him a drink out of his flask. His recollection of Washington is distinct and vivid: "He was a good man, a beautiful man. He was always pleasant; never changed countenance, but wore the same in defeat and retreat as in victory."

William Hutchings

Mr. Hutchings' connection with the war of the Revolution was but limited. He enlisted at the age of fifteen for the coast defense of his own state; and this was the only service in which he was engaged during the war. The only fighting which he saw was at the siege of Castine, where he was taken prisoner; but the British, declaring it a shame to hold as prisoner one so young, promptly released him.

Adam Link

Mr. Link was in no important battle of the war. The only interesting circumstance of his soldier life was his companionship with Poe, the famous Indian hunter, the incident of whose meeting with the Indian chief upon the shore of the lake whither both had withdrawn from the fight, to wash out their guns, (become foul through use) - Poe completing first the cleansing of his, and so gaining the first shot, which brought down the Indian, and saved his own life, is familiar.

Enoch Leathers

Enoch Leathers died on 28 May 1858 in Foxcroft, Maine, aged 94 years 7months and 26 days. He fought in both the Revolution and the War of 1812.

Cpt. George Fishley

He entered the Continental Army in 1777, the paper says, under Gen. Poor and Col. Dearborn. He served three years and, according to his own account, was among the men who marched near Valley Forge wearing no shoes or stockings.

Daniel Spencer

On May 1, 1781, Spencer enlisted in Col. Elisha Sheldon's Light Dragoons. This renowned group, the 2nd Dragoons of the Continental Army, could operate as cavalry or, dismounted, as infantry. Spencer was a private in the company commanded by Capt. George Hurlbut.

edit on 1/3/2012 by 12m8keall2c because: re-sourced image of Daniel Spencer

posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 08:59 PM
One awesome find, thank you.

posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 09:25 PM
Holy shmolly
some of those faces look like they've been where no one wants to go(ghost like)
and looks like they could tell some stories.
Captain Fishley looks pretty wicked
like something from the depths of the abyss.
The hats great
Cool photos w history

posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 09:27 PM
Just wonderful to see pictures of old. So much history and stories they must of told . I wonder if
any of them were printed.

posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 09:40 PM
I do not want to come off as the cold cynic here but unfortunately that is what I must. While these men deserve the utmost respect for fighting ferociously towards a cause they believed was just, moral, and righteous and since I would never dream of trying to take anything away from heroes of war please do not let my following post be categorized as any sort of attack on these men personally.

For all those here who look back on the American Revolution in awe as though it was the ultimate triumph of good over evil there is something you really must see. While most of us (I hope) had read at least most of the Declaration of Independence only a handful of us actually read the counter-argument provided by the Governor of Massachusetts during this period. He witnessed the Revolution as he lived through it and did not have positive things to say. In his attack on the Declaration of Independence he pointed out step-by-step what he saw as the absolute hypocrisy, deceit, and power-grab by these men who met in Philadelphia.

I’m only going to give you the information and let you decide for yourself how to interpret it.

posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 11:01 PM

Originally posted by Misoir
I do not want to come off as the cold cynic here but unfortunately that is what I must.

No you mustn't.

You are writing things on this site because you want to. It is something you want to do - there is no gun in the back of your neck forcing you to be so enjoyable all the time.

If your posts slags someone, it is because you wanted to make such a post.

posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 03:34 AM
reply to post by Misoir

The point of this thread is not the American Revolution per se. While we can, 230 years later and sitting at our computer desk drinking Dr. Thunder, think it was just, good, self-serving, or greedy, all of that is irrelevant. The tone of your post can be compared to the treatment of soldiers returning from Vietnam. The Vietnam war was self-serving and evil. But the soldiers were following orders. Even men returning that had never fired a shot were called "baby killer" and "warmonger". People couldn't separate the man from the war.

But the men that fought in the Revolution thought it was worth leaving their family and homesteads to fight for. The men themselves should be held up as examples of ultimate sacrifice. They either win independence from tyrannical rule, or die. There was no middle ground here, they knew it, and stood in the fire anyway. These men can be held above the cause. Their motive was not greed, fame, or personal prosperity. Every man that took up arms against England in that greatest of wars did it for nothing more than an idea, an idea of a new nation not ruled by a tyrant, but ruled by man and law. And, in gaining that, earning freedom and liberty.

How many Americans today are taking up arms against a tyrant? Myself, ashamedly included, have not stepped forth to "water the tree of liberty". These men did, and they are heroes for it.


posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 03:36 AM
post removed for serious violation of ATS Terms & Conditions

posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 03:48 AM
post removed for serious violation of ATS Terms & Conditions

posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 03:51 AM

They didn't have to. They chose to.

posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 04:12 AM
stop peace no war

posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 05:20 AM
reply to post by Misoir

I'll be sure to tell that to my Revolutionary Patriot who joined when he was but 14 or 15.

posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 05:33 AM
A fine post, sir... This is why I keep coming to ATS.

If you have ever done something that you didn't want to do, but felt that you had to do it anyway... even if it meant death, then you can appreciate to some degree what these people felt.

My hat's off to you for reminding us what it means to do what is right and just.

As for what Americans are doing even now to fight tyrrany here at is about the same ratio and to about the same degree as it was back then. The vast majority of Americans will complain, but are overall satisfied or complacent. Even in 1775-76, only 30% of the American colonists were for breaking away from England.

Only when the English began to actively clamp down on the colonies, and began to use harsh martial rules of law and occupation, did the average colonists consider seriously seeceeding from England.

And that is what it will take now...TSA at airports is only the beginning. Wait until we get searches and seizures on a mass homes and in public areas...stadiums, malls,etc. Wait until family and friends start to be "questioned" and "detained" while under investigation... wait until the US Government really oversteps it's bounds by seizing 401k Retirement Accounts and people's savings.....

then the reality hits home.... desperate people do desperate things... when you've lost everything, you've nothing left to lose.

posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 05:45 AM
post removed for serious violation of ATS Terms & Conditions

posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 09:51 AM
reply to post by The Old American

You have misunderstood my intention… that is quite clear. I was not posting that in regards to the common revolutionary soldier who fought or died for a cause they seen as great. They did what was perceived as right, putting their life on the line for a cause greater than themselves. Nothing I wrote was to say the soldiers in your OP or any soldier to be exact, who fought on the side of America in the revolution, was a bad man.

Instead what I was referring to is that according to some of the people who experienced the revolution, watched the turn of events closely, and lived through it were not unanimous in saying that the founders of our Republic were all men with good intentions. Some, such as Mr. Hutchinson which I linked earlier, argued instead that the men who pushed for the revolution were actually the greedy and destructive ones who engaged in illegal trading and created false pretenses for independence. Whether or not that is true should be debated without the emotional rhetoric attached.

So while you are trying to claim I was talking down about the soldiers perhaps you should try and read my post over again because it was to say nothing in any way bad about the men who fought for a cause they saw as just. Do not jump to emotionally based conclusions just because I brought up some information which says the revolution was the triumph of evil over good, it was something to debate not to be used as a tool of manipulation and a basis for attack.

posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 10:11 AM
reply to post by Misoir

I am sorry if you think I was attacking you. That was certainly not the case. But your post was about opinions of the War itself. My topic is the men that fought, and that there are photographs of them. This, to me, puts a human face on the War like nothing else can, and seeing them brings the War to a level we mere humans can relate to.

There are whole schools of thought on the War and why it was fought, and the motives of the players. So much so that ATS itself may not have the server capacity to go through all of it!

Again, my apologies if you took my response the wrong way.


posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 10:27 AM

edit on 19-6-2011 by The Old American because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 12:01 PM
reply to post by Misoir

Then why post at all???
The OP put up some incredible pictures that most people have never seen, including myself, of men who had a lot more "grit" than most today.
Let's enjoy the memory of these men and you can start your own thread about the Declaration of Independence.

posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 12:52 PM
reply to post by Misoir

I understand exactly where you are coming from although I do not share your desire to use disclaimers or to be so polite about it

I enjoyed both the OP and your observation.

Have you read the Anti Federalist Papers?

posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 01:01 PM
reply to post by The Old American


All I can come up with.


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