Santa Cruz County History - People

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

WEEKS, ALBERT L (dates unknown)

American Civil War Research Database, Historical Data Systems

Massachusetts Men in the Civil War

26th Massachusetts Infantry Co. E

Weeks, Albert L. Private; Residence, Waltham; 20 yrs. (Occupation) Farmer; Enlisted. Sept. 25, 1861; Mustered In Oct 18, 1861; Promoted Corporal, Nov. 17, 1862; Reenlisted, Jan 1 1864; Prisoner Oct 26 1864 near Newtown, Va.; Exchanged Feb 20 1865; Prom. Sgt., July 2, 1865; Mustered Out Aug 26, 1865.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (July 24, 1886)

A War Reminiscence

"I noticed by the Sentinel that Colonel Mosby says his men were not guerrillas," remarked Albert Weeks, Commander of Wallace Post to a reporter the other evening. "With all due respect to the Colonel I emphatically say they were guerrillas, and of the very worst kind at that," continued Mr. Weeks.

"Did you ever see Mosby during the war?" asked the reporter, seeking to draw out more information in regard to the rebel chief, also to learn Mr. Week's personal experience with the Colonel.

"It was on October 26th, '64," began Mr. Weeks, "That the company of forty men, of which I was one, were captured n the Shenandoah Valley by Mosby's men. They drew us up in line and robbed us of all we had. knowing that my watch would be taken from me, I gave it to the Sergeant, before the guerrillas, who were doing the robbing reached me. The officers in the meantime were cutting up slips of paper at a wheat stack some distance away. They intended to hang six of our men, and the unlucky ones were to draw lots by means of these slips. They said that a week before some of their men had been hung by some of our men, and they wanted to get even. By the time they had finished cutting up the slips their scouts came to the bank of the river and yelled, "the Yankees are on to us; we've got to get out of this.' This caused an alarm in camp, and Mosby rushed us into the woods and took us over the mountains on the double quick march to Culpepper Courthouse in Virginia, and they rushed us into Richmond where we were given quarters at the 'Libby Hotel' and I remained there for six months. Four days after our capture Mosby's men captured a company of Michigan cavalry and hung six of them. When we passed through the Shenandoah and London Valleys we'd see farmers peacefully at work, but when we were out of sight these same farmers would throw down their plow, don their uniforms and join the guerrillas, to whom they gave information. These guerrillas would sometimes murder all their prisoners. The regiment of cavalry that saved us contained the California battalion, of which George Holt was a member, and I was never more astonished in my life than when one night I told this story and George finished it for me, by telling how his regiment caused Mosby's guerrillas to hastily take their departure, which saved our lives."

Santa Cruz Sentinel (January 26, 1892)

AL Weeks
Mysterious Disappearance of the Councilman From the Fourth Ward
His Friends are Alarmed, as no Word has been Received From Him.

San Francisco, Jan., 21st, '92

C.S. Hohmann:- Dear Friend:- I wish you would find out if Al Weeks has gone back or not, as I don’t know what to think of him. He came to my place Sunday night and stayed till next morning, although he said he was going to stay three or four days, and would stay with me. When I saw him last Monday morning at 6:30 o'clock he said he would be back before noon, and I have not seen or heard of him since, and I don’t understand why he should go away and not say something about it to me. I wish you would let me know if he has gone home or not.
Yours, etc.
S.U. Darbee 1601 Geary St.

The above letter causes considerable worry among the friends of A.L. Weeks, Councilman from the Fourth Ward. Mr. Weeks left his city Sunday a week ago, saying he would return on the following Monday. Nothing was heard of him until the receipt of the letter. A telephone message from San Francisco was received Monday evening, asking if he returned home, and suggesting that if he had not, the San Francisco police be asked to assist in ascertaining his whereabouts.

Mr. Weeks has been employed for the past twelve years as foreman of the Davis & Cowell kilns. He is highly thought of by his employers. Harry Cowell was very anxious about him, and intends to go to San Francisco today to look for him. Some of his friends think he has been shanghaied, but this idea is scouted, for no man lives that can Shanghai Al Weeks, as he does not know what fear is for he did police duty in New Orleans for over a year during the war. He is Past Commander of Wallace Post, G.A.R, and served through the war. His record as a brave soldier is good, for he saw considerable fighting.

He is now serving his second term as Councilman. No reason can be given for his disappearance, but it is confidently hoped that he will return up all right. Some however, think that his disappearance is due to domestic troubles.

Dr. Darbee who keeps a boarding house in San Francisco, is an old friend of Mr. Weeks', formerly having been employed at the kilns, under the foremanship of the missing man.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (January 27, 1892)

Councilman Weeks.
His Friends Do Not Look for his Return- Who will be his Successor?

The general opinion among the friends of Al Weeks, who has not been heard from for over a week, seems to be that he will not return to Santa Cruz. The news of his disappearance which appeared in Tuesday's Sentinel was a surprise to them, as he had not told them that he intended to stay in San Francisco longer than over night. His friends say that his family troubles caused him to leave. He has not lived with his family for some time, and the dissensions in his household were an open secret. Mr. Weeks lived at Davis & Cowell's kilns, while his family resided at Garfield Park. He wanted the family to be with him at the kiln, as he could not afford to reside in town, but Mrs. Weeks decided to move to Garfield Park, for the reason that the children would be nearer school. One cause led to another, until an open rupture between husband and wife resulted. Their eldest son enlisted in the naval service and is now on the Charleston. Another son is in San Francisco, while the other four children are here. Mr. Weeks is a member of the City Council Committees on Ordinances, Water, Health, and Police, Sewer, Electric Light, Fire, Land and Buildings. If it is definitely ascertained that he will not return his successor of the Fourth as Councilman will have to be appointed.

Editor's Note: See additional Sentinel articles from January 28, 29, and 30 of 1892 for additional coverage of Weeks' disappearance.

Editorial Notes from Robert L. Nelson

In approximately 1864 A.L. Weeks married his first cousin in Lynn Massachusetts. She was 16 at the time and he was twenty one. Five years later the Weeks moved to Oregon where they lived for three years, and where two of their seven children were born. In 1871 the Weeks moved to Santa Cruz where they lived for 20 years. In 1874 Al Weeks joined the Davis and Cowell Lime Kiln firm where he rose to the position of for foreman. In 1892 prior to his disappearance he was a City councilman.

During 1885 the Wallace Post GAR had been requested to put together a plan for the entertainment and follow up camp site to support Grand Army delegates and members attending the 1886 San Francisco National Encampment. One group of the Post members apparently proposed a plan which was not supported by the larger contingency. The larger group elected A.L. Weeks as Post Commander in 1886, and the remainder of the post left and formed the Reynolds post. What appears to have been anti- A.L. Weeks feelings continued to continue through January 1892 when a plan to merge the posts was rejected by a number of Reynolds members.

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