In 1864, Elias Hilliard sought out the last surviving veterans of the American War of Independence. He located six of the known seven, all of whom were over 100 years old, and had them photographed by NA and RA Moore.
The images were published individually and in a book, The Last Men of the Revolution. Brought out in the midst of the Civil War, the photographs sparked national interest and in 1865 Congress granted the survivors a $300 pension, though by then two of the men had already died.
William Hutchings, the youngest at 100, had joined the Massachusetts militia when he was 15. He recalled to Hilliard that George Washington (then general) “ordered that there should be no laughing at the British; it was bad enough to have to surrender without being insulted”.
A complete set of the albumen prints in fine condition is now available from The 19th Century Rare Book & Photograph Shop in Maryland and New York for $12,000. Each bears a caption with the subject’s name, age and the phrase One of the survivors of the revolution along with a copyright notice.