Santa Cruz County History - People



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

GLASS, JOHN G (1840-1902)

W.H.L. Wallace Post No. 32 Roster (1886)

Headstone of John G Glass
John G. Glass
IOOF Cemetery in Santa Cruz

Glass, John [Served aboard] U.S.S. Sangamon [Residence] Felton

U.S.S. Sangamon

The U.S.S. Sangamon, an 1875-ton Passaic class monitor was built at Chester, PA and commissioned February 1863. During the Civil War she served off the Atlantic coast and in the James River, VA. Renamed Jason in June 1869, the monitor was generally in inactive status from 1865-1898.

On January 27 1864 the Sangamon was ordered to Port Royal South Carolina for blockade duty and the possible shelling of Ft. Sumter guarding Charleston.

From April 1864 to December 1864 it participated in the blockade, and helped to keep channels clear. It was ordered to Wilmington N.C. on February 25, 1865, and then to the James River where it participated in the capture of Richmond. It was credited with having blown up Confederate navy rams and clearing torpedoes.

Official US Navy Records of the War of the Rebellion

The Sangamon was an iron clad of the "Monitor" class build in 1862 and completed in February 1863 in Newport News Virginia. On April 29, 1863 it was ordered to the mouth of the Rappahannock [to participate as needed in a possible peninsula campaign]. In July it participated in the James River events.

Civil War Naval Chronology

July 14, 1863 - Naval forces under Rear Admiral S.P. Lee including the U.S.S. Sangamon, Lehigh, Mahaska, Morse, Commodore Barney, Commodore Jones, Shokoken, and Seymour captured Fort Powhatten on the James River Virginia. Acting on orders from Secretary Wells to threaten Richmond and assist military movement in vicinity, Lee reported, "We destroyed two magazines and twenty Platforms for gun carriages today." The last confederate defense below Chaffin and Drewry's Bluff had fallen. (vol. 3, p. 115)

Battles & Leaders of the Civil War

Closing Operation in the James River

"After several months of inaction it was decided in August, 1863, to make a reconnaissance up the James River. The force consisted of the monitor Sangamon, the ferryboat Commodore Barney, and the small steamer Cohasset, all under the command of Captain G. Gansevoort. General Foster accompanied the squadron in an army tugboat but afterwards went on board the Sangamon. The expedition started on the 4th and proceeded without incident up the river to Dutch Gap, where the Sangamon came to anchor owing to the low stage of water. General Foster and his staff and Captain Gansevoort then went on board the Commodore Barney, and had gone only a few miles further to Coxe's Landing, when two torpedoes exploded under the starboard bow of the Barney, producing a heavy concussion , lifting her bows, and tearing the planking. The wash from the torpedo carried twenty of the Barney's crew overboard, most of whom were rescued...On the following day the Sangamon, with the two wooden boats, started down the river. Early in the morning near Four-Mile Creek, they had an engagement with a Confederate battery hidden in the thickets on the bank and supported by infantry. The Sangamon and the Barney returned the fire, but the [?] was disabled by a shot through the boiler, and drifted ashore." (vol. 4, p. 706)

Civil War Naval Chronology

March 5, 1865- One of the monitors from the Southern Stations, U.S.S. Sangamon arrived in Hampton Roads that afternoon and sped up the James- a quick response to Grant's request. Within several days, three additional monitors joined the squadron in the James River.

April 3 & 4, 1865- As General Lee withdrew from the lines he had so long and brilliantly held, the federal fleet sought to move on with the army into Richmond; however many hazards lay in the course. Rear Admiral Porter had ordered; "Remove all torpedoes carefully and such of the obstructions as may prevent the free navigation of the river, using our torpedoes for this purpose if necessary. Be careful and thorough in dragging the river, and send men along the banks to cut the wires."

Sweeping for the torpedoes, was conducted by some 20 boats from 10 ships in the flotilla. Lt. Comdr. Ralph Chandler, directing the sweeping operations, gave detailed orders.

Each boat's bow laps the port quarter of the boat just ahead and will lap 2 05 3 feet of her. Each vessel will send an officer to take charge of the two boats. Lt. Gillett of the Sangamon and Lt. Reed of the Lehigh, will have charge of shore parties to keep ahead of the boat and cut all torpedo wires. The wires should be cut in two places. Lt. Gillett will take the Right Bank going up and Lt. Reed the left. Twenty men from the Monadnuck will be detailed for this service and will be armed as skirmishers with at least twenty rounds in ammunition. Two pair of shears should be furnished the shore parties. The officer in charge will throw out the pickets, leaving two men to follow the beach up to cut the wires.

With the upper river cleared of torpedoes and obstructions, union ships steamed up to Richmond. (vol. 5, p. 58, 68)

Santa Cruz Daily Surf (April 14, 1888)

A Long Lost Brother
After Twenty-three Years They Meet in Helena-
Each Supposed the Other was Dead

From a letter received by Mr. C.S. Hohmann, Commander of W.H.L. Wallace Post, G.A.R., the following news of comrade John Glass is received:

The Helena (M.T.) Independent of the 27th inst. says: Two brothers, who had not seen each other for twenty three years, shook hands in the Grand Central hotel Saturday night. They were Charles Glass, of the Alhambra Flume company, and John Glass, of Santa Cruz county Cal. When the war broke out the brothers, who were born in Ireland, lived with their parents on Long Island, N.Y. Each of them, although only 16 and 18 years old respectively, wanted to take part in the fight. Charles joined the army and went with a New York regiment. He was in the army of the Potomac. John went to the navy and tread the deck of a man of war for five years. Charles and John lost track of each other on Island no. 10, just before the surrender of Lee's army. They had bravely fought in the most terrific battles during the war, and though wounded several times, Charles Glass says "he is as sound today as ever." Mr. Glass and his brother have the advantage of many, as a glass is always handled with care.

John left the service and went to California, settling down in Santa Cruz County. Charles went to Iowa where the regiment was mustered out and moved around in Iowa, Minnesota and Dakota, finally coming to Montana. The brothers parted in 1865, had not heard from each other in twenty-three years, and each one supposed that the other was dead. A few weeks ago H.S. McKinnon went from Montana to California in search of an old sweet heart whom he had not heard of for eight years. Charles Glass asked McKinnon to make inquiries about his brother and try and ascertain something about him. McKinnon found the brother and the latter concluded to come to Helena. When he arrived Saturday night the two met in the hotel, but the one from the coast did not know Charles, and the latter would not have remembered the former except by seeing him place his name on the register. Finally the two of them met, and each shook the hand of "the long lost brother." The gentlemen look something alike, and a peculiar thing about them was that both alike should be wearing a mustache and chin whiskers. They went to Alhambra yesterday where John Glass will remain until they have talked over the ups and downs of the last twenty three years.

Mr. John Glass and his son will remain at Alhambra Springs, Jefferson County, Montana, as he has started in the fume business with his brother.


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