Santa Cruz County History - People



Old Soldiers: Santa Cruz County Civil War Veterans
by Robert L. Nelson

BURNETT, JOHN T (1843-1866)

Records of California Men in the War of the Rebellion, Brig.-Gen. Richard H. Orton

John T Burnett, Sergeant, Enrolled in Company K, Fifth Regiment of Infantry in Santa Cruz on Nov. 17, 1861, and was mustered into service on Nov. 22, 1861. He was discharged at Las Cruces, NM, Nov 27, 1864 upon expiration of term of service.

Record of California Troops, The Fifth Regiment of Infantry

Remarks on Return of Company K, for August 1864

Captain Tidball with thirty-two men of Company K, left Fort Bowie, July 10, 1864, and scouted in a southeasterly direction through the Chihuahua Mountains. On the sixteenth, had a skirmish with Apache Indians and killed a chief named "Old Plume."

Ordered to Las Cruces October 8, 1864 (Cos. A,C,D,E,I, and K). Mustered out November 27 to December 14, 1864.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (November 10, 1866)

MARRIED: Near Santa Cruz at the residence of the brides father, by Rev. E.A. Hazen, Sunday Nov. 4th, J.F. Burnett to Miss M.A. Freels. [We acknowledge the receipt of wedding cake and wish the bridal pair a long, happy and prosperous life.]

Santa Cruz Sentinel (November 17, 1866)

John Tyler Burnett

John T Burnett (buried in Santa Cruz, Saturday last) was born in Marion County, Tennessee, on the 20th of January 1843, and came to California with his parents in 1853. In 1861, at the age of eighteen, he enlisted as a private soldier in the company (K, 5th Inf, C.V.) organized in this place by Captain T.T. Tidball. His uniform good conduct soon commended him to his officers, and he was appointed Corporal, and shortly afterwards was promoted to the rank of Sergeant- which position he retained until his company was honorably mustered out of service, at Las Cruces, New Mexico, in November, 1864. He entered the army from the purest motives of patriotism, believing that his country demanded his services and in the humble field in which he was called to act, he discharged his whole duty. Though young and ardent, through all the temptations of the army he preserved his integrity. At all times, whether in discharge of the dull, monotonous garrison duty, on the weary desert marches over the sands of Arizona, or on the midnight trail of the wily Apache, he was the same prompt cheerful Christian soldier, retaining throughout the fullest confidence of his officers and the respect and friendship of his companions, and his memory will be cherished by all who so long shared with him the hardships and privations of an unappreciated and thankless service. As he was a good soldier, so was he a most excellent citizen, and in his death the community has lost one of its most promising young men. Peace to thy ashes, comrade.

Resolutions of Condolences

At a meeting of the Santa Cruz Lodge, No 38, Free and Accepted Masons, held at the Hall on Saturday, November 17, 1866, the following resolutions were unanimously adopted:

WHEREAS, it has pleased the Supreme Ruler of the Universe in his inscrutable wisdom to call from our midst in the morning of a bright and promising future our young and well beloved brother John T Burnett therefore

Resolved: That in the death of Brother Burnett this Lodge has lost a worthy and zealous member; one who in the fullest sense, has been a just and upright Mason," unassuming and frank, honest and generous ever ready to extend a helping hand to the needy, and to throw the mantle of Charity over the faults of others. Our departed young brother, in all the relations of life as a patriot, citizen and friend, has proven true to his trust, and his many noble qualities will live in the memory of all who knew him, long after his remains are consigned to the silent tomb.

Resolved that we tender to the family and friends of our deceased brother our fraternal sympathy in their deep affliction, and the assurance that those who were dear to him in life will ever find friends and a place in the affection of those who rejoice to call him Brother.

Resolved: that, in respect for the memory our deceased brother, the Hall of the Lodge be draped in mourning, and the members wear the badge of mourning thirty days.

Resolved: That the thanks of this Lodge be tendered to the members of the Santa Cruz Brass Band and the members of the Choir of the M.E. Chancel for the efficient assistance in the funeral ceremonies of our deceased brother.

Resolved: That the Secretary furnish a copy of these resolutions to the family of our deceased brother, and to the Press for publication.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (June 2, 1918)

In Evergreen Cemetery are located the soldier graves of four of our young men who went forth to war immediately on the announcement being made that Fort Sumter had been fired on. "Of J.T. Burnett, the first of the Santa Cruz boys to pass away [After the war], and whose remains sleep in the Masonic plot, little is known, beyond the fact that he was a widow's son a most estimable citizen. The last heard of his brother James was his death in Arizona, where he was a prosperous merchant and coldly murdered while standing behind his counter. His store was a crossroads trading post, located in the borderland, where all was wild and woolly. No arrests were made.


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