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Santa Cruz County History - People
Old Soldiers: Santa Cruz County Civil War Veterans
by Robert L. Nelson
BROWN, ALBERT (1832-1919)
State of California Enrollment Records for Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion
Albert Brown was born approx. 1832 in Lancaster Pennsylvania. In September 1861, at the time of his commissioning as Captain, he was 29 years old and described as having a light complexion, blue eyes, brown hair and being 6 feet tall. He was enrolled in San Francisco, Cal on September 11, 1861, mustered into federal service September 23, 1861, and discharged September 23, 1864 and the expiration of service. He re enlisted at Ft. Bridger WY. T. March 21, 1865; mustered out at Camp Douglas U.T., July 12, 1866 with his company.
San Francisco City Directory 1882
Brown, Albert, clerk freight dept. CPRR
Residence 2912 Folsom [San Francisco]
The Journal of Georgiana Bruce Kirby
Jan. 17th, 1853
Three days ago a young friend from Fairfield Co., Pa., by name Albert Brown, passed the night with us. He, with hundreds of others, was driven from the mines by the snow and want of provisions. He had a brother of seventeen with him. He is only nineteen himself, but possesses the energy, firmness, and self respect of a much older person. He very wisely considered that he would be more likely to obtain work in the country than in the crowd at San F. and so walked to San Jose and across the mountains. He has engaged with Meader for $60 a month and will send for his brother who will also readily find employment, as the fine weather lasts and the farmers are in a hurry to get their crops in.
Soldiers of the Overland, Fred Rogers
"In spite of this policy [avoiding confrontation with the Mormons], an incident soon arose which for a time threatened the peace of the community. July 9, 1864, General Connor appointed Captain Charles Hempstead as provost marshal of Salt Lake City, and detailed Company L, Second California Cavalry, Captain Albert Brown commanding as provost guard. The troops took station at a building opposite the Tabernacle" "Brigham Young hearing of this returned from the south and ordered the south entrance of the temple grounds walled up. Excitement ruled for a time but soon subsided, and conflict was again averted" (page 135).
"General Connor and Captain Hempstead took the stage November 5, for Denver, where they arrived November 13 . Companies L and M, Second California Cavalry, left Camp Douglas two days later, in a blinding snowstorm for Fort Kearney" (page 147).
"Finding that the Indians had crossed the Platte, he [Colonel Thomas Moonlight] returned and crossed at Fort Laramie. On June 17th  he reached Dead Man's Fork about 120 miles east northeast of the fort. During a halt in a deep ravine the animals were turned loose, some without picket ropes or pins, and - says one of the California Volunteers present- without a picket guard recommended by the California officers. The animals were stampeded by Indians, and over half were lost inspite of efforts for their recapture. The equipment of the lost horses was burned to prevent its use by Indians. The command made its way back to fort Laramie, the majority, Colonel Moonlight included, being forced to march on foot. When General Connor heard of this, he was particularly aggravated, since many of the animals lost belonged to two companies of his old command, L and M, Second California Cavalry which had recently joined from Fort Bridger" (page 163).
"You will proceed with the companies of your regiment, now at this post (Fort Laramie), as the center column of the Powder River Indian Expedition by the route marked on the map herewith transmitted, via Rawhide Creek through the Black Hills, across the headwaters of the Little Missouri, in a northwesterly direction to the Powder River; down Powder River to a point nearly opposite to north end or Panther Mountain, and thence in a westerly direction to the general rendezvous of the four columns of the expedition on Rosebud River." "In the west column were the two companies of the Second California Cavalry, L and M, commanded by Captain Albert Brown and Lt. George D. Conrad" (pages 168-169).
"[August] 4th. Opened with a cold, drizzling rain. Broke camp at 6 A.M. Weather soon cleared off. Found roads hilly; in fact no roads at all- an absolutely untracked country. No wagon had ever been near our line of march. Captain Brown, with two California companies, were ordered to push on, following the Platte, while we struck off to the right north. They were to come by way of Platte Bridge to the south slope of the Big Horn Mountains into the Wind River Valley, and thoroughly reconnoitre that region of the country" (page 174).
"[September] 4th.  Weather not quite so cold as yesterday- not so disagreeable; country very rough, scarcely any grass, not a spear as seen for miles on the march. Passed down Tongue River; was compelled to cross the stream dozens of times. A messenger from Colonel Sawyer's train of road builders came to camp tonight with the news that his train was attacked by the Indians... Captain Brown with two companies of California troops, were hastily detached from our command and marched west about forty miles to relieve the train... Our command continued their march fifteen miles down the river" (page 205).
[Col James A Sawyer was placed in charge of the survey wagon from Niobrara to Virginia City, Montana Territory. Sawyer's men were ready to desert and return to Fort Connor] "Next morning [September 13th] after fourteen days of the most trying time of my [Colonel J.A. Sawyer's] life, we yoked up and took the back track, traveling fourteen miles. That day was the saddest day of my life. In the evening, just as they had corralled and were in the act of unyoking their oxen, the familiar cry of Indians was again raised, but these Indians proved an agreeable surprise. They were Winnebago scouts sent out by General Connor, and soon a company (L) of the Second California, in command of Captain Brown, made its appearance, which gave rise to expressions of joy from the Colonel and his twenty-two faithful and brave men, while the would be deserters were crestfallen and sorely disappointed as they richly deserved to be for their cowardly and treacherous conduct. Colonel Sawyer hear remarks, "This was the happiest day of my life.' But he was not alone. Colonel Godfrey (his assistant) boiled over with joy. Colonel Sawyer says of him: You ought to have seen him treat Captain Brown on a bottle of brandy peaches, and oh! How he set the mutineers up! " He now boiled over with rage and urged me to let him shoot the leader. Turning to the mutineers he said, "The first man of you who moves his tongue I will kill on the spot;" and you bet we would have done it' Sawyer and Godfrey found nothing in camp too good for the California escort; they were wined and dined after the most approved soldier style that circumstances would permit. The honor was most properly bestowed, as they proved themselves trusty, brave and true. Next morning the train turned back, much to the chagrin of the mutineers, who now were compelled to toe the mark under the most rigid discipline. "Good time was made over fine rolling country, with plenty of timber, grass and water. After crossing Little Horn River, just above the spot where General Custer was killed, and after corralling, the quiet of the camp was disturbed by the picket guard rushing and shouting 'Indians! Indians!' The cattle were at once rushed into the corral, and every preparation made for defense that could be on the spur of the moment, to give them a warm welcome. On they came as if his satanic majesty was switching up the rear of the whole Arapaho nation, as they proved to be. After they had taken a survey of their pale faced brothers and their surroundings, they were not so anxious for their scalps as they were for their grub, which they said was all they wanted. "Colonel Sawyer urged Captain Brown to turn his Winnebagoes loose upon them, and let them wipe them out. But the Captain said General Connor had given him orders not to attack, but to repel. The Indians soon retired without molestation, and the camp rested in quiet during the night. Early morn found the outfit on the way over a beautiful landscape, with here and there a stream of sparkling water filled with mountain trout, many of which were soon transferred from their pearly home to fill their destiny unappealingly relentless hunger. They struck the Big Horn River at or near the same point that they did on a former occasion. At this point the stream was too deep and swift to ford,. Rafters were constructed, wagon boxes were caulked and lunched, but were found too frail and impracticable to stem the impetuous waters. Colonel Sawyer then took an escort and went up the river near where it emerged through a gorge in the mountains. There a place was found sufficiently shallow to cross the wagons over by placing the wagon boxes o top of the standards, so as to protect their contents from the water. After the exercise of much patience and labor, all was crossed over without damage or loss. Colonel Sawyer's report includes the following regarding the services of the escort: "Captain Brown detailed Sergeant James Youcham and seven men to accompany the expedition to Virginia City and then report to him at Salt Lake City; while the balance of his command returned with to General Connor. Sergeant Youcham performed his duty in a very prompt and energetic manner during the balance of the expedition. To Captain Brown I wish to express my heartfelt thanks, and those of the rest of the members of the expedition for the safe and expeditious manner in which he escorted us through Indian country. A better officer than himself, or better troops than those under his command, are not to be found in the service" (pages 207-209).
Santa Cruz Riptide, Tom McHugh
Captain Brown was quite prominent, as also were others of the Company; his brother Wilmer (buried in the IOOF cemetery in the early 80's; David Berry and John Quinn who became Captains. Brown was up for Lieutenant Colonel, but there was some sort of hassle with Col Simas, accused of being a southern sympathizer, court marshaled, and resigned out. He in turn accused Brown of encouraging desertions, of which Brown was exonerated by a military court. Brown returned to Santa Cruz, served for a time as collector of revenue (excise on property), and also served as County Clerk.
He was commander of the first GAR (Baker) post in 1866, but it did not take. The units (Wallace & Reynolds) which we are familiar with were organized two decades later. He seemed to have been living in Fresno. Was for several years a notary public at the Soldiers Home at Yountville, but after 1910 I lost track of him.
Georgiana: Feminist of the West, Santa Cruz Historical Trust
In 1869 a petition was prepared by leading families of Santa Cruz "to secure to the women of this commonwealth the right of suffrage."
The action [petition] began when Mrs. Van Valkenburg went to the County clerk [Albert] Brown, an accomplice in the scheme, and demanded to sign the voting register. She claimed this right on grounds that she had been a county taxpayer and the sole support of her children since her husband died nearly a decade before. Captain Brown formally refused and then initiated proceedings for the test case of Van Valkenburg versus Brown.
The August decision of Judge McKee against Mrs. Van Valkenburg's petition was a setback for the Santa Cruz group, but no reason to give up. (p. 37, 41)
J. Gourly Scrapbook, UCSC Collection
Editor's Note: this article was written sometime between 1950-1951 for the Santa Cruz Sentinel.
Circuit Rider by Leon Roland
Santa Cruz Man Was Indian Fighter
It was 15 years before the Custer massacre but in the same region.
The general commanding the expedition against the Indians sent orders dated September 20, 1865, to Capt. Albert Brown, commander of Co. L, California Cavalry, to bring the Arapahos to Fort Connor, Wyoming Territory.
Captain Brown was the same man who, four years before, had resigned as wharfinger for Davis and Jordan, Lime manufacturers in Santa Cruz, to head a company of 75 soldiers for the Union army recruited in this county.
At Capitola Drive and Eldorado Street, in Live Oak, is living Albert W. Brown, son of the doughty Civil War Indian Fighter.
General Was Leading Scouts Against Indians
A treasured relic of Albert W. Brown of today is the original of the order from Brigadier General F.G. Connor, to his father in the field in Wyoming Territory:
Col Cole and Lieut. Col Walker has gone up Powder River to Fort Connor. I am going there also. If the Arapahos have not molested you try to bring them to Fort Connor if they should be in your neighborhood. If not, and you should have any of them prisoners, release one and send him back to the tribe to bring them in.
However, if they should be in your neighborhood when you receive this I would prefer that you would bring them with you. I will send a command back from Fort Connor to meet you and to bring in the Indians, if they have not left this vicinity, so if you can bring them in it will obviate the necessity of your turning back to their village with the command.
General Connor changed his mind and on the outside of the envelope scribbled in writing which can scarcely be distinguished today:
PS since writing the first time I have scouted well up Tongue River and can see nothing of the Arapahos. Consequently I will not send back a command to meet you unless I apprehend that Sioux or Cheyenne's might come up to this road.
His Indian Fighting Lasted Until 1866
Captain Brown of Santa Cruz stayed in the army, serving a second enlistment, until a year later when he was mustered out at Fort Bridger, Wyoming Territory.
Back in Santa Cruz, Captain Brown was county recorder and auditor in the seventies and married Maria, daughter of Adna A. Hecox, widow of Dr. William P Tilden of Chico, who had found work as a copyist in our courthouse.
Brown moved to San Francisco and finally retired to the veterans' home at Yountville, where he died April 12, 1919.
He had been born in 1836 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, one of five brothers, who with their father, conducted a station on the slave-freeing Underground Railroad.
In Captain Brown's company of Santa Cruzans was his brother Wilmer, who is buried on our IOOF cemetery beside the body of his mother, Hannah Webster Brown, who died in Oakland in 1891 and was brought here for burial.
Santa Cruz Sentinel (May 18, 1910)
Albert Brown Describes Early Days in this City
Writes Letter From Veterans' Home in Napa Where He is Postmaster
Ed. "Sentinel"- I enclose you one years subscription for the "Sentinel."
I Consider Santa Cruz my home and have a kindly feeling for the place and the people thereof. I read the "Sentinel" with a great deal of interest. I realize that it is a big thing to publish a paper every day and make it as interesting as the "Sentinel" is. I have a fatherly interest in the "Sentinel," because when John McElroy came over from Monterey and started it in the early fifties I did what I could to get him subscribers, when Duncan and I were driving bull teams, hauling timber out of the redwoods.
I got out the rails, posts and pickets and built a fence for Mr. [Moses] Meder up the coast, near the old Bolcom ranch I understand that fence is standing yet, and most of the posts are standing as straight as when they were first put in the spring of 1858. I was a boy then and am now 76 years of age, but I feel a kind of pride in that fence. Jock Merrill and his cousin nailed on most of the pickets. I dug the postholes and set the posts. Mr. Meder and I fitted and nailed on the rails. Mr. Meder would say to me: "Heft that rail. Does it fay?" I did not know what he meant at first, but I soon learned. I like Mr. Meder and his wife and had great respect for his daughter Angeline, who was about sixteen, but was not in love with her. She had enough of admirers to unbalance an ordinary girl's mind. She was an only child and an heiress- not a bit spoiled. She was a splendid rider on horseback, and used to help me drive up the cows morning and night. We milked from thirty to forty all Spanish. When we got them into the corral we had to lasso the most of them, and tie their heads to the post for that purpose; then tie their hind legs with a rawhide strap together, then it was safe to milk them.
The first steamer that ran into the bay at Santa Cruz was the Major Tompkin. The captain of her was a big, consquential looking man looking out for an heiress. He came up to the ranch on business with Mr. Meder, and forced himself on Miss Meder's acquaintance. He made arrangements with a justice of the peace to marry them before he had spoken a word to the girl. He saw she was very friendly with me and in a confidential talk he said he would pay me $500 after they were married if I would help him. I told Angeline I had a chance to make $500. She told me to tell him she hated the very sight of him, and if she were old enough to marry, he would be the last man in the world she would think of. He said he knew how to milk cows and came to the corral and insisted on milking one. I tied up one of the wildest ones and handed him the bucket and a three-legged stool. He went to work the same as if he was pulling up a mainsail. I was milking a cow on the off side and I milked a stream of milk into the flank of his cow. She jumped over onto him and knocked him onto the debris of the cows, and when he got up his best suit was plastered over with the worst kind of dirt. Angeline took up her bucket and made for the house as fast as she could and the captain followed, but she shut the door on him. When I got through milking he was waiting for me and asked how that cow came to jump so quickly on him. Why you pulled on the udder like you were hoisting a sail, and you hurt her." He looked very savage at me and said, "if I hurt her she out to have jumped away from me." "Yes," I replied she should have done so but you can never tell what's on a cow's mind." Did you say anything to Miss Meder about me?" "Yes; I told her you said you were a rich man, and did not care if she was poor, you wanted her for a wife." "What did she say?" "She said she was too young to marry, and to tell you that she hated the sight of you. "Well," he said, "I feel suspicious of you. I am a bad man to play ticks on. I will take my steamer to the city tomorrow, and will come back overland. If I find out what I suspect, it will go hard with you." "I don't know what you suspect, but one thing I am certain of; you will not succeed in your intentions, so good night." He sailed next morning and that ended the episode.
Every Sunday there were from four to eight men coming on horseback to the house. Their horses had the top rails of the corral nearly eaten through. I don't remember the names of all of them. There were Mr. Aldrich, Tom Moore, Tom Hart and Dr. Stevenson. The doctor was a gentleman. He came and boarded at the Meders. Mr. and Mrs. Meder liked him and wanted Angeline to marry him. Mr. Meder thought it would be handy to have a doctor in the family. Angeline said, "He is a fine man, but he is old enough to be my grandfather. She used to talk them over with me except the man she married. She never mentioned him. He used to come there Sundays on horseback, with a book under his arm. When he dismounted he would go into the parlor and lay the book on the center table with the utmost care.
I asked Mr. Meder the name of the book. He said it was Black something. "Why, he is a lawyer." "Oh," I said, "I suppose it is Blackstone and you think a lawyer would be handy to have in the family."
Mr. Meder came around the Horn with Sam Brannan. They were to meet with the Mormons on the Pacific Coast; who were then enroute on the plains. When Brigham, with his trains of Mormons reached Salt Lake, he heard of the discovery of gold in California, and he had a revelation from the Lord to stop in Utah. Like all new converts most of Sam Brannan's, Mormons were very devout and they paid Sam ten percent of their earnings in the mines. I never heard what became of the money. Brigham said none of it was ever paid to the Mormon church- and Brigham knew.
Whenever I wanted to rest, I would start an argument on Mormonism. Sometimes Mr. Meder would have me quit work and go into the house and read the Mormon books to him. His house was headquarters for all the Mormons. I got acquainted with Orson Pratt there. He was the best speaker in the Mormon Church, and the ablest man. When he preached in San Francisco he would have a crowd to listen to him. Louis McLane's wife thought Pratt was a second Christ, and she followed him to New Orleans. They went up the Mississippi together and started across the plains. Louis McLane followed them and killed Orson Pratt. Subsequently a train of emigrants was camped at Mountain Meadows Utah and some of the young men were boasting about the killing of Pratt which incensed the Mormons and was the chief cause of the Mountain Meadow Massacre.
When I was in charge of the Provost Guard in Salt Lake City, in 1864, next door to the guard house, three of Orson Pratt's widows live and with them Mrs. McLane. She was a tall, stately sad, broken-hearted looking woman.
Mr. Meder was perfectly devoted to his daughter. He was no judge of men, and found out the big mistake he made in selecting a husband, or agreeing to her selection of one.
For early days Mr. Meder's house was fine looking place. I went up that way hunting work, and I saw Mr. Meder hitching up a span of mustangs to a wagon. He jumped onto the wagon and tried to drive them around on trial. They were getting away with him when I caught them. He jumped out of the wagon and said, "I can't control the plaguey things. I don't know what's the matter. I told him he did not have his lines on right and he asked me to fix them. I crossed the check lines and drove his horses around for him. He said, "Do you want work"? I told him that was what I was looking for and he hired me for six weeks on trial. At the end of the six weeks I found I could get higher wages, and I told him so. He went in and had a talk with his wife and came out and said Mrs. Meder did not want me to leave; that I was the only man who had worked there who did not make a fool of himself about Angie. So, after they talked the matter over, Mrs. Meder said if I would stay a year they would pay me five dollars per month more than I had been offered, so I stayed. The house, as you well know, is built about a hundred yards from the spring, the water to be carried up a steep hill.
Mr. Meder had seen a good pump in town and he bought it to pump water into the kitchen from the spring. I told him the pump would not do it. It is an atmospheric pump and it won't raise the water over thirty feet. He said, "How do you know?" Well philosophy teaches that the air will raise water 33 1/3 feet. That spring must be fifty feet lower than your house. He said philosophy wasn't true; that the pump would work, and I want you to dig a small ditch from the spring to the house. I did so. While I was digging it Angeline came out and asked what her father and I were talking about. I told her. She said she could understand why it would not work, but she was very sorry because it was such hard work getting water.
The ditch was dug and the pipe laid in it to the house from the spring and the pump put in the kitchen sink. I carried the water in two buckets from the spring for a half-day. Mr. Meder would pump up a little of the water he poured down the pump, and this encouraged him to keep on. He said "It kind of sucks, then it kind of gins outs." I told him it would "gin out" all the time. He (illegible) and was bound to prove that philosophy was not true. The next day a Mormon preacher came, who was quite an intelligent man. He struck a level and told Mr. Meder the spring was fifty feet below the house and that kind of pump would not work. Then Meder had a big cut off of a redwood log placed half way between the house and the spring and the pump was fastened to it and it was some little help. I think when you pass along the lime kiln road you will see that stump of redwood still there.
The Home here looks like a Paradise, and there are about 100 veterans. Gen. C.A. Woodruff is the commandant; General Samuel W. Backus is President of the Board. Both are fine men and the business of the home is not a graft. Tell Mr. Waldron that Tom Riding is my assistant. He says that if Mr. Waldron does not remember him he may remember Julia Mullane.
Santa Cruz Sentinel (January 23, 1863)
A Court Martial
The Sacramento Union's Salt Lake correspondence has the following item of news, which will interest most of our readers: "Captain Albert Brown of Company L, Second Cavalry, California Volunteers, arrived in Great Salt Lake City, January 13th, 1862 from Fort Churchill, by order of General Wright, to answer certain charges preferred by Colonel Simms. It appears that the Colonel and the Captain are having turn about before the court. The Captain was one of the principal witnesses against the Colonel in the late trial of the latter at Camp Douglas. The charge against Captain Brown is that he induced men of his own company to desert the service of the United States- a nice little kind of business that meets with shooting as a reward. Brown smiles at the charge, and seems to think- if the language of the visual organs mean anything- has waked up the wrong passenger. Major Gallagher, from Ruby, and Captain Lewis of the Third Infantry, have both come in to attend the court martial. The court is at present sitting in the case of Captain Smith, of the Second Cavalry, on some other charge also preferred by Col Simms."
A great deal of bitterness has existed among the officers of the Second Cavalry ever since the promotion of Columbus Simms to the Colonelcy of the regiment. The primary cause of this unfortunate state of things grew out of the charges made through the press and by individuals to the effect that Colonel Simms was a Secessionist. Upon this, and other charges, he has been tried by a court martial, the result of which has not yet been made public. It is supposed, however, that the charges preferred by Colonel Simms against both Captain Smith and Captain Brown is brought in retaliation and revenge for their participation against him. Those who know Captain Albert Brown as we do, know that he is incapable of committing the act of which he is charged. Company L, Second Cavalry was recruited in Santa Cruz County.
Santa Cruz Sentinel (February 14, 1863)
The Salt Lake Correspondent of the Sacramento Union says the charge against Albert Brown of Company L, 2nd California Cavalry for which he was summoned here from Fort Churchill, with his witnesses, was easily disposed of, and he has returned to his post well satisfied with the investigation. No conclusion of the court has yet been promulgated, but there is no likelihood of there being anything adverse to Captain Brown in its decision.
Santa Cruz Sentinel (September 8, 1900)
Captain Brown's Services
Commanded a Company of Santa Cruz Soldiers During the Civil War
Story of the Deeds Done by Them in Fighting Troublesome Indians in Nevada
To talk with Capt. Albert Brown is reading the pages of history. He was among the early Santa Cruzans, arriving here in 1853. His recollection of men and events during his residence in this city is vivid. Men who were prominent in those days are well remembered by him, but men of the present generation are strangers to Capt. Brown. In the days when Santa Cruz was in its infancy he was well known. Since then so many changes have taken place in Santa Cruz that the Captain feels himself a stranger, although at one time he took a prominent part in the affairs of this community.
He was engaged in mining before coming to Santa Cruz. Being a tanner by trade he wanted to be where there was a tannery. Hearing that R.C. Kirby was engaged in the tanning business he decided to come here with his brother, Howard Brown. The latter and Mr. Kirby built a tannery near what is now High St. in 1854. Afterwards Howard Brown sold his interest to Edmund Jones.
Capt. Brown went to work for Davis & Jordan, who then owned the limekiln. He opened the first quarry in the fall of 1853. Afterwards he had charge of the firm's warehouse.
For the first time Thursday he told the story for publication of the company of soldiers organized in Santa Cruz in 1861 for service in the Civil War. When the news of the battle of Bull Run reached here Mr. Jordan asked him if he heard it. Brown replied that he did, and he was going east to enlist. He told Jordan to get a man to take his place. Jordan encouraged him in the idea, saying that he would enlist, too, if he could leave his business. Brown's father took his place, and the former went to San Francisco, where he met Dr. McLean then Surveyor of the Port. Brown was advised to interview Gen. Sumner, then in command of the Pacific Division. The interview was very brief. Sumner brusquely said:
"Young man, go back to your town, raise a company and join the Second California Cavalry. I'm going to take that regiment east with me." Sumner then turned on his heel and walked away. Brown returned to Santa Cruz where he had a talk with Mr. and Mrs. Kirby and Joseph Boston about the matter. Mr. and Mrs. Kirby advised him to go ahead to organize the company. In ten days a company of eighty men had been organized, the meeting being held in the courthouse, which was then in the Hihn building on the Lower Plaza.
The men camped for three days at Brown's expense on the river bottom near River St. He tried to purchase food for them at cost from the merchants. Some of them, who had leanings toward the Confederacy, refused to sell him below the regular price, but others, the Coopers among them, did so. the Coopers were then in business on Front St. He sent word to Sumner to have an officer come here to take command of the company. Sumner immediately replied: "Captain Albert Brown- Your company is accepted, report forthwith. Brown did not know anything about military tactics, but he assumed command, trusting to luck and perseverance to be able to gain sufficient military knowledge. He was then the agent of the company, which owned the steamer Salinas. At his own expense he took the company to San Francisco on the steamer. Before the company left Dr. Bartlett, at that time pastor of the Congregational Church preached a patriotic sermon to the soldiers.
The First Lieutenant was Mr. Hawes, while J. Quinn was Second Lieutenant. The last heard of Quinn he was the engineer of a train running out of El Paso. He was a brave man. Quinn subsequently rose to be Captain, and after the war came to Santa Cruz and married a daughter of Ossian G. Auld, who then kept a paint and oil store about where Wessendorf and Staffler's store now is. In the company were thirty of Davis & Jordan's employees.
While in San Francisco the company was drilled. In Santa Cruz Co. $800 was raised for the soldiers, about $200 of which came from Watsonville. Elihu Anthony brought the money to Capt. Brown who refused to accept the responsibility of taking care of it, for there were suspicious people in Santa Cruz in those days. He suggested that the money be distributed among the soldiers which was done.
The company was ordered to Salt Lake, but on the way quite a number of the Santa Cruzan's became disappointed at not having been ordered east and left the company. They first went to Fort Churchill, where Major McDermott was in command. At that time the Piutes were troublesome. They were in Owens River Valley, Nevada [California?]. Captain Brown was ordered to pursue the Indians. With his company known as Co. L, he started after the Piutes. They destroyed their food, which had been cached. They chased the Indians to the mountains. Orders were given not pursue them further without a guide. As no guide could be found the company, regardless of orders continued the chase anyhow. They followed the Indians who soon surrendered. There were about 1,200 of them, almost reduced to skeletons, for their only subsistence was grass.
Before Capt. Brown's company appeared on the scene two other companies of cavalry had been unable to capture the Piutes, who had killed some of the horses with arrows. Brown soon stopped that by placing pickets on guard, who used their guns so effectively as to frighten the Indians away.
On the way to Salt Lake Brown learned that a renegade Indian Chief with a band of two hundred Indians had murdered about 200 emigrants in the Humboldt River country. They had captured one family, and the Chief had killed the ten-year-old daughter with a club. Brown took a solemn oath to capture the brute savage. With his company he went to Ruby Valley, where he met Major Gallagher, who said that Indian Chief had always made his escape. Brown told Gallagher that his company was an independent organization, therefore was not subject to the latter's orders. Gallagher consented to the company making an effort to capture the savage.
Brown with ten men dressed themselves up as emigrants and joined a party of emigrants. They made themselves friendly by showing the others where there was good water and grass. Sergeant's Young of Santa Cruz and Yoacham of Watsonville were among the soldiers who accompanied Brown. They reached a cut off when Indians appeared.
They were the Goshutes, a friendly tribe. Among them was an Indian who was attired in a plug hat, Prince Albert coat, breechcloth and moccasins. Brown sized him up as the chief he was after. There was no means of identification, for the Goshutes refused to betray him. Brown learned that the chief's wife was blind in one eye. Such a squaw was with the savage suspected. The Indian's action further increased Brown's suspicions. He was sent after, and it was suggested that he would not return, but Brown replied that he would not run far. For precaution's sake he had his rifle within easy reach. The Indian returned and was soon made a prisoner. His hands and feet were tied.
In some way he managed to cut the rope that bound his feet. When discovered he ran away with Young after him. The latter caught him by the hair and a struggle ensued. When Brown reached them the Indian held Young's hand, in which was a pistol, while Young held the Indian's hand in which was a knife. Brown placed his pistol to the Indian's head, and the latter surrendered. He was tied to a wheel of the ambulance in such a way that he could not unloosen himself. The squaw threw dirt all over Brown and was knocked down by one of the soldiers. She was full of fight.
The Indians were taken to Fort Ruby, where he was identified by one of the Goshutes. Word was sent to Gen. Conner, who ordered the savage to be hung, and the order was promptly obeyed. Major Gallagher always claimed credit for the capture, but Brown is the man entitled to it.
A rescue of a girl as made by Brown that is so full of dramatic incidents that it may be dramatized some day. The girl had been given in charge of a faithful Negro in Arkansas by a relative to be taken to relatives in Visalia. At Aurora, Nevada, the girl was captured by Indians and the Negro, after a desperate fight killed. The Indians were chased about 250 miles by Capt. Brown and his company and the girl was finally rescued. She was married and living happily in Visalia when last heard of.
The company finally reached Fort Douglas, Utah. In Salt Lake Brown was Provost Marshal. From 1861 until 1866 he was in the service. He prospected and discovered many mines, having been given permission to prospect by Gen. Conner. He was in command of two companies at Laramie, where he did some hard fighting with Indians, who were very troublesome. There were then 20,000 soldiers between the Missouri River and California. In 1866 he returned to Salt Lake where he resigned. He spent some years working in the Nevada mines. He eventually returned to Santa Cruz. In 1870 he was elected Clerk of this county, serving until 1874. After that he entered the employ of the Southern Pacific Co., remaining in its service for 22 1/2 years. He is now Postmaster at the Soldiers' Home at Yountville. Capt. Brown, who is the son in law of Mrs. A.A. Hecox of the lighthouse, is now sixty-six years of age. He was among the organizers of the Republican Party of this county. In early days he was called the "Father of the Republican Party". The enthusiasm his presence at the State Convention created was fully deserved, for he had helped to make history in civil and military life, in war and in peace.
San Francisco Chronicle Article (from the 1880's, exact date unknown)
Among those most interested in the young Mormon writer [Miss Carmichael] was a middle age army surgeon named Williamson. Dr. Williamson in the fall of 1866 figured conspicuously in an affair at Jordan River, which had both its tragic and its humorous sides. Three officers beside himself Captains Jocelyn, [Willard] Kittredge and [Albert] Brown, located certain Government lands near the Jordan bridge. In this act they were under advice of Major Hempstead, the United State Attorney for the territory of Utah. One day these officers were visited by a gang of Mormons, headed by a well-known bishop, who peremptorily ordered them to vacate the premises. This they refused to do unless the Bishop could produce field notes establishing a survey on which to be found a previous claim. As no such papers existed the motley delegation withdrew, with dire threats of the consequence.
The evening of the same day Dr. Williamson and Captain Brown cozily smoked their pipes in the primitive cabin, while the soft purling of the dark river along side filled in the pauses of their desultory converse. Their comrades were spending the night in town, and the two had it all to themselves. Suddenly there was a pounding on the door and rough voices clamoring for admittance. On answering the summons the two men were confronted by masked men who fiercely demanded the person of "that ___ red-headed captain," meaning Jocelyn. On assuring themselves of his absence, their disappointed curses had a murderous significance. As a palliative, however, these playful Danites seized upon the lesser offenders and in a jiffy the stalwart figures of Williamson and Brown disappeared within two coarse sacks, which were drawn over them like pillowslips. The sacks were then secured at the openings, and a moment later there was a two-fold splash amid fiendish shouts of laughter; they had dropped the sacks into the deep, sinuous river.
Long after midnight the comfortable quarters occupied by Captain Jocelyn and his friend Kittredge were thrown into confusion by the arrival of two lamentable figures which, under a strong light, proved to be the gallant Brown and Dr. Williamson. Both were exhausted and woefully bedraggled with wet and mire. They had managed by superhuman efforts to extricate themselves from the sacks by mans of their pocket knives , and being good swimmers, gained the bank and footed it to town. In closing the recital of their hairbreadth escape from drowning, Captain Brown remarked with inimitable drawl peculiar to him: "I wouldn't mind being shot like a dog, but to be drowned like a damned cat!"
Santa Cruz Sentinel (August 8, 1874)
Capt. Albert Brown and wife visited Santa Cruz during this week. The Ex-County Clerk wore a handsome bathing suit, in the surf on Wednesday morning.
Santa Cruz Sentinel (April 11, 1874)
Capt. Albert Brown, ex county clerk enters the service of the Central Pacific Railroad Company next week. Tomorrow he takes his permanent departure from Santa Cruz for San Francisco. The good wishes of a large circle of friends will follow him. Before starting the Captain will be joined in matrimony with Mrs. Tilden, a lady well known for her many amiable qualities.
Santa Cruz Sentinel (April 18, 1874)
MARRIED: Brown-Tilden- At the residence of Peter Wilkinson, in Santa Cruz, April 12th 1874, by Rev. P.Y. Cool, Capt. Albert Brown, and Catherine Tilden.
Santa Cruz Sentinel (April 4, 1919)
Captain Brown No More
From Mrs. O.A. Longley, related to the deceased by marriage, we learn of the death, last Saturday, at Yountville of Capt. Albert Brown, his remains now reposing in the home of the soldiers there. The departed must have almost reached the age of four score and ten before the final taps were sounded, for he was in charge of the Davis and Jordan lime business at the Santa Crux beach as far back as 1860. When the rebellion broke out in 1861, he organized an infantry [Cavalry] company, and as its Captain headed till the conclusion of peace, being stationed along the Mexican [Utah] front. Peace concluded he returned to this city, serving this county as clerk from 1870 to 1874 inclusive, after which time he filled a clerical position in the freight office of the S.P. Co., in the San Francisco office. From there he moved to Yountville, and for many years was its postmaster.
The immediate relatives of the absent one are two sons, Albert and Aaron, who are in business in Berkeley.
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