Santa Cruz County History - People



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

GREENWOOD, JOHN (1816-1896)

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

Headstone of John Greenwood
John Greenwood
IOOF Cemetery in Santa Cruz

John Greenwood enlisted on Company A of the 8th California Infantry on Nov 12, 1864 and was discharged with his company at Ft. Point, CA on Oct 24, 1865.

Santa Cruz Surf (April 27, 1896)

Died: Greenwood- In this city April 25, 1896 John G. Greenwood, a native of England age 80 years 8 months.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (April 28, 1896)

Old John Greenwood
Some Incidents in the Career of a British Soldier
His Wife Went With Him to India- How He Unexpectedly Returned From England

The four score years that covered the life of the late John Greenwood included a few years of adventure. Greenwood was a British soldier before coming to Santa Cruz in the early fifties. For a man of his years he was remarkably erect in carriage, showing the evidence of his early soldiery training.

Greenwood was ordered to India with his regiment soon after enlisting. There was a rigid rule against soldiers taking their wives with them. The rule, however, was relaxed to the extent that a few of the wives were allowed to accompany their husbands. Those who were allowed to go were determined by lot. The drawing was always a time of anxiety for the wives, whose husbands were to go to far off India, there either to become the victims of disease in the jungles of India or the target of the natives. Perhaps the faithful helpmeets were never to see their husbands again. No wonder that the women desired to go along, where they could tenderly nurse back to health the men to whom they had linked their hands and fortunes.

John Greenwood's wife was among those who were disappointed. She had failed to be selected. Being a determined woman she was not to be thwarted by the rules of the British army, so she and another woman hid themselves in the hold of the vessel, which conveyed John's regiment across the water to India. The husbands fed them from their small rations, but the supply was so insufficient that the women nearly starved, but they never complained, for complaining would not have done any good. In due time they arrived at their destination, where they remained until they left for California.

On reaching Santa Cruz Mrs. Greenwood engaged in laundry work. In those days washing was high, but land was cheap. In exchange for laundry work the late Thos. W. Hinds gave Mr. Greenwood a lot on High St., which never went out of the possession of the Greenwoods'.

As the years went by matrimonial differences arose between the couple, resulting in a separation and Mrs. Greenwood giving John sufficient money to take him to England, where she had hoped he would remain, but she was disappointed, for as she was sitting in the house one day she happened to look out and there at the gate in the twilight stood John, who had only been away a few months. He stood at the gate waiting to be invited in, for he was too proud to enter the house without an invitation. Finally, the good woman, who new John's proud disposition, said, "John, come in," and he entered, to always remain, the couple never remarrying, Mrs. Greenwood saying that the service was not necessary.

She died several years ago, leaving a comfortable sum in one of the local banks, the interest on which it is presumed, John had the benefit of, with the understanding that at his death the interest was given to their daughter and finally the principal to the grand children.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (April 29, 1896)

The remains of the late John Greenwood were interred with military honors in I.O.O.F. cemetery Tuesday. A squad from the Wallace Reynolds Post fired a salute over the grave. The deceased was a member of Captain Tidball's Company during the war [error he was in Company A of the 8th California Inf], and drew a pension. B.R. Balding, W.H. Patton, P. Johnson, Mr. Weaver , and D. Ross were pallbearers. [Rev. Tillotson of Cavalry Episcopal conducted the service.]


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