In June I wrote the post below about Hiram Cronk, the last veteran of the War of 1812. Aging veterans are fascinating for their ordinariness. As it turns out Cronk’s descendants are still living in New York State and have more information about their ancestor who voted for Andrew Jackson and shook hands with Lafayette during his famous 1824 visit.
I have been boning up on my War of 1812 for the bicentennial and my volunteer duties at Governors Island. America’s Second War of Independence is not something I know a whole lot about and I am finding myself increasingly intrigued and intellectually excited. It is going to be a great summer. Below is some wonderful film footage of the funeral of Hiram Cronk, the last known veteran of that conflict. The one-time private died in 1905 and was given a funeral with full military honors in Manhattan. Afterward, Cronk was held in state in New York’s City Hall and subsequently buried in Brooklyn’s Cypress Hills National Cemetery. There was nothing unique about the man or his military service. As I have written before, aged veterans eventually become famous by virtue of their longevity. Cronk was born in 1800, a year after George Washington died, and lived into Teddy Roosevelt’s second term. He would have been sixty-five when President Lincoln was assassinated, and he still lived another four decades after that. Pretty crazy, huh?