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Charles Minnick,
War of 1812

Sylvan Grove Sentinel, 15 February 1889

"An Old Veteran"

There is now living with his granddaughter, Mrs. Dempker [Damker], six miles west of Lincoln Center, Kan., an old veteran who served in the U.S. army in the war of 1812. He is nearly 92 years old, but remembers very distinctly the stirring events of that period. He was present at the battles around Baltimore on the 12th and 13th of September, 1913. He remembers well how the “stars and stripes” floated the next morning over the walls of Fort McHenry. He still saw
“By the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly they hailed
At the twilight’s last gleaming.”
At the same time in the rear of the British line of war ships, onboard of the prison vessel, was the author of the above lines, When the smoke of battle and the fog had rolled away, the morning light had illuminated the “Red, White and Blue,” it was then he reached the climax of his grand song, and like a prophet foretold the future of a great Republic, in the words:
“O the Star-Spangled Banner
In triumph shall wave,
O’er the land of the free
And the home of the brave.”
The hand of him who penned the words of the “Star-Spangled Banner” has long ago ceased to write, and the voice that may have joined in the song he himself wrote is hushed in death, but Charles Minnick, the veteran of whom we now write, still lingers on the shores of time. He belongs to another age, but time often intertwines the ages. He has outlived most of his day. Not many who marched and camped and fought side by side with him are alive today. Death has gathered in the vintage and only a few are left. The survivors of the rebellion of 1861-65 are getting fewer every day; those of the Mexican war are but a few; those of the Indian wars of Florida and other places are but a few hundred at most. But when we seek on the pension rolls for the names of the survivors of a war the memory of which is dim in the minds of our fathers and grandfathers, we find scarcely a corporal’s guard. Of the signers of the Declaration of Independence 25 died during his lifetime. He has outlived all the presidents from Washington down to the present time. Mr. Minnick is also a Christian soldier. He joined the ranks of the Lord many years ago. He has a bright hope for the future world. He stands at the post waiting for the captain to relieve him from his earthly warfare, He desired once more before his death to partake of the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. The writer of this sketch being requested to administer to him in this, his earnest desire, visited with the family in which he is so kindly cared for, and after a scripture reading with remarks and prayer, administrated to him the bread and wine. He was deeply moved, believing this would be his last on earth. On the whole it was sad, and a deep solemnity pervaded the little group of family and friends. – B.F. McMillan, Pastor
[Transcriber’s note: Mr. Minnick died 15 March 1889.]

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