Santa Cruz County History - People

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

RODGERS, THOMAS L (1838-1906)

Mountain Echo (May 26, 1906)

Death of Thomas L Rodgers

A brief telegram was received Wednesday afternoon announcing the death of Capt., Thomas L. Rodgers, only surviving brother of W.S. Rodgers of this place at his home at Daytona, Florida, afternoon of that day, the latter hour corresponding to 9 o'clock A.M. here.

Capt. Rodgers was a veteran of the Civil war, having enlisted with the California Battalion early in the spring of 1862, that and the “California Hundred” being the only companies that went from this state to the war during the long and momentous struggle. The "California Boys," as they were called, were all cavalrymen and not being enough to make a regiment of their own, were made part of the 2nd Massachusetts Cavalry. He served the full term of three years and, after the surrender of Lee at Appomattox, was mustered out with the other Massachusetts troops in the city of Boston. In the latter sixties he served another term as an Indian fighter and scout in Kansas and western territories.

Later Capt. Rodgers married a Boston girl and went into business there. As years passed the exposure of his war experiences began to tell seriously upon him and he sold out and moved with his family to Daytona, Florida, for his health and where he has ever since resided.

In the summer of 1899, or nearly sever years ago, Capt. Rodgers spent about a month here visiting with his brother and family. He always looked upon California as his home, and had it not been for poor health in his latter years would have probably ended his days in this state. In 1853, when a boy of about fifteen years of age he trudge across the plains with his parents and family, by ox team with emigrant train, being six months on the journey from Illinois to California.

Capt T.L. Rodgers was a public spirited citizen of his town and had been for many years its representative in the county government as County Commissioner, a position similar to that of Supervisor in this state. He was aged about sixty eight and leaves a devoted wife, four grown up sons and a younger daughter to mourn the loss of a devoted husband and kind father. He was a native of Nova Scotia, moving with his parent to Illinois when a child and later to California as before related.

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