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Who Were the Last Surviving Veterans of the Spanish American War?

By Patrick McSherry

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We are frequently asked if any Spanish American War Veterans still survive, and if not, who was the last veteran surviving. This page will clarify these issues.

Who was the last surviving veteran of the Spanish American War?

There are no longer any veterans surviving from the Spanish American War today. The last surviving veteran was Jones Morgan, a man of color. Mr. Jones passed away in Richmond, Virginia on August 29, 1993 at the incredible age of 110 years, 10 months and 6 days. Mr. Morgan lost his military records in a fire, and no records of his service have been found. The lack of records is not unexpected. He was born on October 23, 1882 in Newberry County, South Carolina. Morgan ran away at the age of fifteen to join the army in 1897, signing up with the 9th U.S. Cavalry, also known as the"Buffalo Soldiers." He served for two years before his family located him and had him discharged.  Since he had run away and was underage, it is likely that he used an alias when he enlisted, so his records would be nearly impossible to find. He served as a cook and as a horse wrangler. Jones Morgan served in Cuba, and apparently saw the assault on San Juan Hill, but did not take part in the assault himself. He also indicated that he helped wrangle horses for the Rough Riders. Jones Morgan was buried in Section 16 of the Forest Lawn Cemetery and Mausoleum, in Richmond, Virginia.

Who was the Last surviving Rough Rider?

The last "Rough Rider" was Jesse Langdon. He passed away on June 28, 1975. Langdon served in K Troop. Langdon was cremated and his ashes scattered.

Rough Rider Jesse Langdon
Rough Rider Jesse Langdon late in life 

Who was the last surviving Spanish American War Medal of Honor recipient?

The last surviving Medal of Honor recipient from the Spanish American War was John Davis, a Gunners' Mate, 3rd Class aboard the U.S.S. MARBLEHEAD. Davis was wounded in the right leg during the cutting of the cables at Cienfuegos on May 11, 1898. David died on June 9, 1970 when he was 92 years old. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

Who was the last surviving member of the 71st New York Volunteer Infantry?

The last member of the 71st New York to pass away was Ralph Waldo Taylor of Pompano Beach, Florida. He passed away on May 15, 1987 at the age of 105. He had served in Company K. He was placed in Chapel Garden Mausoleum IV at Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens North Pompano Beach, Florida.

Are there still dependents of Spanish American War veterans receiving pensions?

As of November, 2020, the Department of Veterans Affairs indicated that there were thirty-five spouses and twenty-five children of Spanish American War veterans still receiving pensions.


Brown, Heidi Nolte, "A Rough Ride," Santa Cruz Sentinel. (Santa Cruz, CA), January 14, 1991, A-7 (Jones Morgan)

"Buffalo Soldiers Finally Honored," Berkshire Eagle. (Pittsfield, MA), Juky 21, 1992. (Jones Morgan).

Cohen, Stan, Images of the Spanish American War, April - August, 1898 (New York: Pictorial Histories Publishing Co., Inc, 1997) 328., Memorial 114160396 (Remains of Jesse Langdon), Memorial 9358669 (Grave of Jones Morgan), Memorial 89652875 (Grave of Ralph Waldo Taylor)

Hall of Heroes e-book - data on John Davis

Jones, Virgil Carrington, Roosevelt's Rough Riders. (Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1971). (photo of Landgon)

Office of Public Affairs, Department of Veterans Affairs, "America's Wars,"

Walker, Dale, "The Last Rough Riders," Rough Writings (Prescott AZ: Shaarlot Hall Museum Press, 1998), 19

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