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Santa Cruz County History - People
Old Soldiers: Santa Cruz County Civil War Veterans
by Robert L. Nelson
PRICE, EDWARD W (1841-1913)
National Archive Pension Records
National Archive Records indicate that Edward W. Price applied and received a pension (Application # 5195). Upon his death his widow Mary J Price filed a widows form. The application indicates that he was a Surgical Steward from 1863- 1865 upon the USS (Supply) Vanderbilt.
Evergreen Cemetery Records
Edward Price, a native of Pennsylvania was born on August 8, 1841. He was the son of Jane Durell of Pennsylvania and William H. Price of New Jersey.
During the civil war he served as a Surgeon Steward (Pharmacist Mate) in the U.S. Navy.
He apparently moved to California in approximately 1905, and spent his last year in Boulder Creek. He Died on June 28, 1913 at the age of 71. His cause of death, Dr. W. A. Phillips, was Bronchial Pneumonia and senility. He was buried in the Evergreen by Pacific Coast Undertaking Co.
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
SWSTR: Dp-3360, L-331, B-47’6’, Dr-19”, S-14K; A-(2) 100Pdr, PR 12 9”, D.sb 1-12 pr.
The Vanderbilt, originally a transatlantic passenger and mail steamer, was built by Jeremiah Simonson of Greenpoint, LI, NY in 1856 and 1857; chartered by the Army shortly after the start of the Civil War in April 1861; offered to the Army by her owner Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, in early 1862, and transferred to the Navy on 24 March.
Popularly known as “Vanderbilt’s Yacht,” the former flagship of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt’s North Atlantic Mail Steamship Line began her military career in Hampton Roads, VA., intended for use as a ram against the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia. Commodore Vanderbilt, himself, suggested filling the bow of the vessel with concrete and reinforcing it with iron plating. This was not done, however, and Vanderbilt was turned over to the Navy on 24 March and fitted with a heavy battery of 15 guns at the New York Navy Yard during the summer of 1862. She left New York on 10 November and - after conducting a brief search for CSS Alabama, the most destructive Confederate commerce raider of the entire war- put into Hampton Roads on 17 January 1863.
Ten days later, Vanderbilt received orders to conduct a much longer and more thorough search for Alabama. This year long cruise took the vessel to the West Indies, eastern coast of South America, Cape of Good Hope, St. Helena, Cape Verde, the Canary Islands, Spain and Portugal. During the West Indies portion of her deployment, Vanderbilt served as flagship of Commodore Charles Wiles’ Flying Squadron. During the search, Vanderbilt captured the blockade running British steamer Peterhoff on 25 February, off St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, causing a dispute between the British and Americans as to the disposition of mail carried aboard the steamer. President Lincoln eventually ordered the mail returned to the British. Vanderbilt’s captures also included the British blockade runner Gertrude, taken off Eleuthera Island in the Bahamas on 16 April, and the British bark Saxon, seized at Angra Peguena, Africa, on 30 October. Saxon was suspected of having rendezvoused with and taken cargo off CSS Tuscaloosa earlier. However, pursing leads as to the whereabouts of Alabama, herself, became increasingly frustrating as Vanderbilt would often arrive at a port only to discover that her quarry had departed only a few hours earlier. She eventually returned to New York in January 1864 for repairs without ever having sighted the Confederate vessel.
Vanderbilt left New York in September and cruised off Halifax, Nova Scotia, searching for blockade runners. The Halifax-Wilmington, N.C. route for blockade runners was used heavily at this time owing to outbreaks of yellow fever at Bermuda and Nassau. Nevertheless, the Union cruiser failed to take any prizes and put into Boston, Mass., on 13 October. She was deployed with the blockade off Wilmington in November and participated in the unsuccessful first amphibious assault upon Confederate Fort Fisher in the Cape Fear River, N.C., on 24 and 25 December. The Fleet took the fort during a second amphibious assault on 13 and 15 January 1865. Vanderbilt returned to New York in late January, remaining until 24 March when she left for the Gulf of Mexico ferrying new recruits. From there she proceeded to Charleston, S.C., towing the uncompleted Confederate ram Columbia from Charleston to Norfolk in May, and towed the Onondaga from Norfolk to New York in June. Vanderbilt served as a receiving ship at the Portsmouth (N.H.) Navy York during the summer of 1865.
The Civil War now over, Vanderbilt sailed from Portsmouth on 14 August and put into the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 27 August to be fitted out for a cruise around Cape Horn. She left Philadelphia on 25 October and arrived in Hampton Roads three days later. There she was designated flagship of a special squadron consisting of herself, Tuscarora, Powhatan, and Monadnuck. The squadron was commanded by Commodore John Rodgers and intended to increase the Pacific Squadron to a 14 ship force. The vessels left Hampton Roads on 2 November and arrived at San Francisco, Calif., on 21 June 1866 after stopping at most major South American ports while circumnavigating the South American continent.
Vanderbilt was decommissioned and on 13 October, sailed from San Francisco to Honolulu Hawaii, with the Hawaiian monarch, Queen Emma on board. The cruiser returned to San Francisco on 3 December and remained there at anchor until placed in ordinary at Mare Island on 24 May 1867. She lay there, in ordinary, until sold on 1 April 1873 to Howe and Company of San Francisco. Her new owners removed her machinery and gave her a graceful clipper bow a full rigging. Renamed “Three Brothers”, she spent most of her time in the grain trade between San Francisco, LeHavre, Liverpool, and New York where she acquired an enviable reputation for speed and handling. “Vanderbilt’s Yacht” served successive owners until 1899, at which time the vessel, now a coal hulk, was sold for scrap at Gibraltar.
Santa Cruz Sentinel (June 30, 1913)
Passed to eternal rest from Forest Park Boulder Creek, California, on June 28th 2 A.M. Right Eminent Sir Knight Edward W. Price, Past Grand Commander Knights Templar, State of New Jersey. Also life member Scottish Rite, New York and member of Al Malaka Temple Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, Los Angeles, California. Interment at Santa Cruz, Cal. Sunday, the 29th 2 P.M. All friends respectfully invited to attend. Services today at 2 P.M. at the Pacific Coast undertaking Parlor.
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