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19064 Revolutionary War veteran Lemuel Cook, Aged 105 Lemuel Cook was
born in Plymouth, Conn., on Sept. 10, 1759. He signed up at 16 and served in
the 2nd Continental Light Dragoons, which patrolled Southern Connecticut
and New York. They fought Loyalist cowboys, marauders who stole cattle and
sold it to the British.
He first smelled gunpowder during a retreat in West Chester, N.Y. "Lem, what
do you think of gunpowder?" said another soldier. "Smell good to you?"
Cook almost lost his life during his first sentry duty at Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. While
standing guard a cowboy came out of a barn and fired at him, so he moved
away. Then another man came out and fired, missing him. A third, however,
emerged from the barn and sent a ball into his hat.
The noise aroused the camp, and the Americans, aided by the French, captured
the enemy in the barn. One had the cheek to say that three of them each bet a
crown they could kill Lemuel Cook.
Cook pulled his pistol and said, “"If I've been a mark to you for money, I'll take
my turn now. So, deliver your money or your life!"
The cowboy handed over four crowns, and the other two gave him three more.
Baron von Steuben personally selected him for the march to Yorktown because
of his good-looking horse. Cook remembered little fighting at Yorktown, and
that Washington told them not to laugh at the British.
When Lemuel Cook died on May 20, 1866 at the age of 106, he was the last of
the Revolutionary War veterans to receive a pension. He had lived long enough
to marry, father 10 children and see the end of the Civil War. $500