Discussion The only known veteran of the Civil War and WWI

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Waterloo50

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This Civil War veteran served all the way through World War I.
The two photos are of Peter Conover Hains.
Were there others that witnessed and served in both conflicts?
I guess that most CW veterans would be considered too elderly to enlist during WW1 but considering that many young (underage) men enlisted and fought during the CW, I couldn’t help but wonder if there were others or is Peter Conover Hains the only one to have achieved that remarkable feat.
 
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O' Be Joyful

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Fascinating.

Federal (USA)
Lieutenant
Peter Conover Hains
(1840 - 1921)
Home State: New Jersey
Education: US Military Academy, West Point, NY, Class of 1861;Class Rank: 19th
Command Billet: Battery Commander
Branch of Service: Engineers
Unit: 2nd United States Artillery, Battery M

see his Battle Report

Before Antietam
Service Summary:
At graduation from West Point, he was appointed 2nd and then 1st Lt, 2nd US Artillery, 24 June 1861;
He transferred to the Topograhical Engineers 24 July 1862 and to Engineers 3 Mar 1863;
Promoted to Captain 15 July 1863;
Major 22 Sept 1870;
Lt Col 16 Sept 1886;
Colonel 13 Aug 1895;
Brig Gen of Volunteers 27 May 1898;
Honorably discharged from the Volunteers 30 Nov 1898;
Appointed Brig General, Regular Army, 21 Apr 1903;
Retired 1904;
Returned to active duty, appointed Major general, by special act of Congress in 1916 (WWI);
Retired 1918.

Cited for gallantry by brevet for action at Hanover C. H., Va and the siege of Vicksburg Miss.

http://antietam.aotw.org/officers.php?officer_id=508

Federal Battery
2nd United States Artillery, Battery M




Commanding Officer on the Antietam Campaign:
Lt. Peter C. Hains


Arms:
6 3-in. Ordnance Rifle
One section, 2 guns, were detached under the command of Lt R. Hunter Chapin to Col Farnsworth's 2nd Brigade.


This Battery's Chain of Command:
Army - Army of the Potomac
Division - Pleasonton's Cavalry Division
Brigade - Pleasonton's Horse Artillery


http://antietam.aotw.org/officers.php?unit_id=518
 
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Hains fired the first shot of the battle. Hains had a 30lb Parrott Rifle as well as 2 companies of the 11th Massachusetts under Captain J.H. Davis.

Hains wrote an article in 1911 for Cosmopolitan. Harry Smeltzer, who writes the blog Bull Runnings, has called into question some of Hains' statements, such as the fact that his cannon had an Infantry escort of 200 men plus another 50 for the crew and support.
 
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Waterloo50, that must have been quite a culture shock for him, as he would have certainly contrasted and compared the technology and evolution in warfare in general as it evolved from the Civil War to the Great War (WWI). Going from the simplicity and limitations of the Civil War to the first time that automobiles, motorcycles, tanks and airplanes were used during a war, being machine gunned and bombed from the air, airplanes shooting other airplanes from the sky (dog fights), the first time the flamethrower was used in war, being made to negotiate hundreds of thousands of miles of barbed wire, the first time that chemical weapons and poison gas was used in war in the form of chlorine gas and mustard gas, being made to fight with gas masks, the first use of aircraft carriers in combat, the first ship to be torpedoed and sunk from a submarine, air dropping ammunition and supplies for the soldiers to resupply and the last major war to regularly use both trench warfare and horse mounted cavalry as it was used during the Civil War (WWII went to mechanized cavalry). It had to be quite intimidating for him when comparing the Great War with the Civil War. He has my respect and admiration regarding his service. Great find, thanks for sharing.
 
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Waterloo50

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Waterloo50, that must have been quite a culture shock for him, as he would have certainly contrasted and compared the technology and evolution in warfare in general as it evolved from the Civil War to the Great War (WWI). Going from the simplicity and limitations of the Civil War to the first time that automobiles, motorcycles, tanks and airplanes were used during a war, being machine gunned and bombed from the air, airplanes shooting other airplanes from the sky (dog fights), the first time the flamethrower was used in war, being made to negotiate hundreds of thousands of miles of barbed wire, the first time that chemical weapons and poison gas was used in war in the form of chlorine gas and mustard gas, being made to fight with gas masks, the first use of aircraft carriers in combat, the first ship to be torpedoed and sunk from a submarine, air dropping ammunition and supplies for the soldiers to resupply and the last major war to regularly use both trench warfare and horse mounted cavalry as it was used during the Civil War (WWII went to mechanized cavalry). It had to be quite intimidating for him when comparing the Great War with the Civil War. He has my respect and admiration regarding his service. Great find, thanks for sharing.
It seems that he was recalled to service because his experience as an engineer was needed, his commission would also enable the military to send a much younger officer of equivalent rank to France. I don’t think Peter Conover Haines was involved in any of the European battles but he would certainly have been aware of all of the developments in warfare that you listed.
Interestingly, we had a British officer whom prior to WW1 had served in the cavalry but by the outbreak of WW1 he was considered to old to enlist, he was 67 years old and was repeatedly told that he wasn’t needed. It seems that he may have lied about his age because he was eventually commissioned as a lieutenant in the transport battalion. It’s a sad story, his main motivation to join up was because he wanted to be close to his three sons, they were all officers in France, sadly, he was KIA, his three sons survived the war. I’m not entirely sure but I think that his death made him the oldest serving soldier to be killed during WW1. I’m absolutely convinced that many ‘older’ men lied about their age. There must have been a few CW veterans who slipped through net, the British chap that I mentioned earlier, his story was only uncovered 100 years after the conflict.
 
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I don’t think Peter Conover Haines was involved in any of the European battles but he would certainly have been aware of all of the developments in warfare that you listed.
I was not under the impression that he was actively fighting during the Great War (WWI), he would have been 78 years old when it ended, so I knew that he would have served in the capacity of his specific expertise and vast prior military experience. It shows that he was still in the service during the Spanish - American War (1898), do you know if he had an active part in that War as well as the Filipino - American War which took place just after it (1899 - 1902)?. Just curious....

I would imagine that nearly all of the Civil War veterans who were still living during the Great War (WWI), would have felt quite dated and out of their element regarding war tactics and strategy in comparing how they fought the Civil War and how the Great War was being fought with all of the "firsts" of war appearing for the first time in history, regarding some of the things that I mentioned in post #12 in this OP. I believe that their generation had to have seen the most change in their lifetimes coming from a time of simplicity and modest technology to the turn of the 20th Century where man took his first flight, electricity replacing oil lamps in large population centers, the industrial revolution, automobiles being massed produced and war being waged on a world stage for the first time with all of the inhumanity that was introduced such as chemical weapons and poison gas. The next generation to have witnessed such change were their children and grandchildren who were the ones who fought in WWII with the atomic bomb, the invent of the Jet engine, the space race, man orbiting the earth for the first time, man landing on the moon, aircraft breaking the sound barrier, the invent of global commercial air travel, cars reaching the speed of 200 miles per hour, television being placed in the home, computers being introduced and the internet changing life dramatically allowing immediate access of information to be obtained at the click of a mouse.
 
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...It shows that he was still in the service during the Spanish - American War (1898), do you know if he had an active part in that War as well as the Filipino - American War which took place just after it (1899 - 1902)?. Just curious....
According to his West Point register he commanded a brigade in the Puerto Rico Campaign, being engaged on at least two occasions. In the following years, so including the timeframe of war on the Philippines, he was busy with the Panama Canal.
 
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Patrick H

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It's an interesting queation to ponder. I don't have an answer, but it seems plausible that a young soldier might have stayed in service after the Civil War, risen through the ranks, and still be serving when WWI came along.
 

Waterloo50

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I was not under the impression that he was actively fighting during the Great War (WWI), he would have been 78 years old when it ended, so I knew that he would have served in the capacity of his specific expertise and vast prior military experience. It shows that he was still in the service during the Spanish - American War (1898), do you know if he had an active part in that War as well as the Filipino - American War which took place just after it (1899 - 1902)?. Just curious....

I would imagine that nearly all of the Civil War veterans who were still living during the Great War (WWI), would have felt quite dated and out of their element regarding war tactics and strategy in comparing how they fought the Civil War and how the Great War was being fought with all of the "firsts" of war appearing for the first time in history, regarding some of the things that I mentioned in post #12 in this OP. I believe that their generation had to have seen the most change in their lifetimes coming from a time of simplicity and modest technology to the turn of the 20th Century where man took his first flight, electricity replacing oil lamps in large population centers, the industrial revolution, automobiles being massed produced and war being waged on a world stage for the first time with all of the inhumanity that was introduced such as chemical weapons and poison gas. The next generation to have witnessed such change were their children and grandchildren who were the ones who fought in WWII with the atomic bomb, the invent of the Jet engine, the space race, man orbiting the earth for the first time, man landing on the moon, aircraft breaking the sound barrier, the invent of global commercial air travel, cars reaching the speed of 200 miles per hour, television being placed in the home, computers being introduced and the internet changing life dramatically allowing immediate access of information to be obtained at the click of a mouse.
Couldn’t agree more, the speed in which technology has advanced over the last 150 years is breathtaking, it almost seems unfathomable that we went from discovering powered flight to landing on the moon in such a short period of time, and now we have technology on mars digesting and analysing soil samples, as the great Joe Rogan once said, ‘not bad for a bunch of hairless apes’.
 
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I took some time to look for other West Pointers. There are some results, and as that are only those West Point graduates who have those connections in their register there for sure are other veterans but finding them would require more resources.

Maj. Gen. Alexander Mackenzie graduated in 1864 and served in Arkansas. Eventually becoming Chief of Engineers; in 1917 he was recalled for engineer service in Illinois. Major Dillard H. Clark had served in the 14th Kentucky Cavalry, afterwards went to the academy and graduated in 1873. He returned to active service from 1916 to 1918, eventually commanding Fort Leavenworth. So Hains is not the only one anymore, though none of those served outside of the USA in the later war.


And now I´m going to stretch definitions because there are several borderline cases.

Class of 1865 (basically missed the war):
Col. William R. Livermore, reactivated in 1917 for "special duty under orders of the Chief of Engineers"
Col. William H. Heuer, reactivated in 1917 for engineer service on the west coast and board duty in 1918
Col. Charles A. Dempsey, reactivated in 1917 for continued service with the Virginia Militia

Cadets during the war:
1st Lt./Maj. Francis L. Hills (1866), requested reactivation for World War I
Col. Daniel W. Lockwood (1866), reactivated in 1917 for engineer service and board duty
Maj. Frederick H. Mahan (1867), retired but served as military attache at the embassy in Paris in 1917/18
Col. Samual R. Jones (1867), recalled in 1916 for Quartermaster duties until 1919
Brig. Gen. John G.D. Knight (1868), recalled in 1917 for engineer service
Col. Joseph H. Willard (1868), recalled in 1917 for engineer service
Maj. Frank W. Russell (1868), service in the New Hampshire State Guard until 1918
 
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And for good measure I throw in a non-American who didn´t serve in the civil war but instead began in the 1840s already.

c634973446ca0c143894697e2097cf23.jpg


Oberjäger Gaspar Wallnöfer (born ca. 1837/38), here in 1917. The Austrian Sergeant had fought as a boy soldier in the Italian revolutions of 1848/49 and later in the 3rd Italian War of Independence. In 1866, serving in a Tyrolean Kaiserjäger company, he received the Golden Medal for Bravery for the Battle of Custoza. Being a Standschütze (militia and rifle club member), during World War I he served in Standschützen-Battalion Schlanders.

Picture from my pinterest.
 
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