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Santa Cruz County History - People
Old Soldiers: Santa Cruz County Civil War Veterans
by Robert L. Nelson
BRUCE, GEORGE W (1837-1922)
Sawtelle Soldiers Home Records
NAME: George Bruce
REGISTER #: 5978
RANK/CO/UNIT: Pvt./Co M/2nd Tennessee Infantry
ENLISTMENT: 1862/03/10 Camp Flat Lake KY
DISCHARGED: 1865/03/20 Clinton, TN, End of Service
DISABILITY: GSW finger left hand
AGE: 55 years
HT/CMP/EYE/HR: 5'10"/ Lt cmpl, blue eye, grey hair/Literate
RESIDENCE: Boulder Creek California
MARRIED SINGLE Single
NEXT OF KIN Harriet Bruce (sister)
PENSION AMOUNT: $30
DATE OF DEATH:
CAUSE OF DEATH:
PENSION CERT #1,074,599
HOW DISPOSED OF:
Santa Cruz Sentinel (September 17, 1913)
Antietam on September 17, 1862
Ed. "Sentinel":- Fifty one years ago today, Sept. 17, 1862, no reveille was sounded in the army of the Potomac. We were awakened by officers shaking each man and saying "Get up, keep still, no fires;" the last meaning that we would have no coffee for breakfast, although the hardest day's work we had yet had as volunteer soldiers was before us. After about half an hour our cartridge boxes were examined to see if they were full, and each man was given twenty rounds extra and then the command, "Fall in," was give in a low voice.
It was hardly daylight, but the ball had already opened, as Hooker's corps on our right was already engaged and we soon followed suit. In less than an hour our corps commander was mortally wounded and by ten o'clock our brigade had lost three commanders and the balance of the day was commanded by the lieutenant colonel of my regiment.
When the sun went down more than four thousand men had yielded up their lives in that day's struggle and fifteen thousand more wounded, many of whom were doomed to death in a few hours or a few days.
Among the dead was a young color bearer, who thinking they were about to lose the flag tore it from the Flagstaff, and while doing so received his fatal wound.
The next morning when the burial parties were sent out they found the body of the color sergeant at the edge of the cornfield, where the struggle had been fiercest, surrounded by others, both blue and gray. His hands, stiff in death, closely holding his blouse across his breast. Gently his comrades removed the hands, opened the blouse and shirt, and there, next to his heart, stained with his life's blood was the flag.
And near the flag in a little pocket they found two photographs, one was a fair, middle aged woman and underneath was written "Mother," the other was of a young girl; no name was there, but some of his comrades recognized that lovely face, and in a few days the sweetheart of his school days and promised bride of his young manhood received her own picture with a brief note telling how he died and ending with the word, "Faithful unto death".
Sept. 17, 1913
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