James Albert Hard (July 15, 1843 – March 12, 1953) was the last verified combat veteran of the Civil War and the second-to-last verified veteran overall; only drummer-boy Albert Woolson post-deceased him. Though he claimed to have been born in 1841, research in 2006 found that the 1850 Census indicated a birthdate of 1843. His war service record from 1861 was also located.
He died in Rochester, New York, at the claimed age of 111. Census research indicates, however, that he was probably a year or two younger and may have inflated his age to gain service. He is recorded as having joined the Union army on May 14, 1861, aged '19.' The 1850, 1910 and 1920 censuses, however, indicate that he was born in 1843, 1842, and 1842, respectively. Hard is also the current record holder for the oldest verified person born in 1843.
Hard is reported to have fought as an infantryman in the 37th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment at the battles of First Bull Run, Antietam, and Chancellorsville, and to have met Abraham Lincoln at a White House reception.
- The Last Surviving Veterans of America's Wars - Obituaries, Biographies, Pictures and other Data
- James A. Hard Obituary
- The Chicago Tribune, March 12, 1953, transcribed by K. Torp for genealogytrails
- 'Last Civil War Veteran in Each State,' 1951, by. C. Stewart Peterson, Baltimore, Maryland
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