Santa Cruz County History - People

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


Santa Cruz Sentinel (November 19, 1891)

Opera chairs are to be placed in the Presbyterian Church. Rev. Mr. Andrews intends to improve the parsonage in the near future by the addition of another story. Eventually he intends to erect a residence for himself on Ocean View Av. Mr. Andrews has a $10,000 residence in Carpenteria, but had to leave it, as the climate there did not agree with him. He is a veteran in church building as the edifices erected by him in places he resided in before coming to Santa Cruz will attest. That he is a worker is evidenced by the way he is making things move during his short stay here. He does not expect to occupy the new church before Christmas.

Santa Cruz Surf (February 10, 1892)

Last Night's Lecture: A Fascinating Recital of War Times by Rev. J.B. Andrews

Rev Mr. Andrews promised his hearers an evening of the reminiscences of a private soldier last night and, in keeping his promise, held a large audience in delighted interest until 10 o'clock. Any attempt at a reproduction of his talk would be presumptuous since one of its greatest charms was its spontaneous and conversational style.

While Mr. Andrews was a private soldier, he was by no means a common soldier, for by birth and by bringing up-so far as he was brought up, for he was only a boy- he possessed the advantages of intellect and of education and was also endowed with powers of close observation and of memory, with an evident faculty of "putting two and two together", which in later years is called judgment.

In August of 1862 when the country was alarmed at the disasters which had befallen the first volunteer army, Lincoln's call for 75,000 volunteers was heard at a boarding school away in the Pennsylvania mountains and young Andrew, with a number of his fellow students enlisted and became a part of Co. G. 148th Pennsylvania Volunteers, known later as "Governor Perkins Pets," since they were young and his own Pennsylvania boys. The captain of their company was Prof. Patterson, who had been the head of the school.

Mr. Andrew's most realistic description of the transformation of the "mother's boy," who had never in his life slept outside of a good bed, who was accustomed to the best of home cooking, who had been constantly guarded by moral and religious training, who had scarcely ever been outside of his own Pennsylvania mountains, into the private soldier, insured to the soft side of a board, or a cradle in the arms of Mother Earth, to hard tack and spoiled meat and commissary coffee, to obeying the command of officers his inferiors in intelligence and moral standing, to the myriad miseries and dangers of life in the field, on the march, in barracks, on guard and in battle was fascinating throughout. It was constantly enlivened by anecdote and made touching by bits of pathos.

Irresistibly funny was his description of donning of the much longed for uniforms of army blue, fondly anticipated by every man and expected to transform him at once into a military dandy. The way the "wads" of clothes were fired at them alphabetically out of a square hole in the commissary wall, and the way they didn't fit all the long men getting short men's clothes and vice versa- until they took a day off and "swapped" themselves into something approaching a fit, was told with the keenest enjoyment to both speaker and hearer. Here came in the privates' point of view for the officer could draw his pay and go to his tailor while the private soldier must take what was given him, until dress parade, though it showed an imposing line of blue at a distance, was nothing less than an aggregation of misfits.

The 148th was a fighting regiment and left Harrisburg 1,050 strong with orders to march- they didn't know where. There again was the inconvenience of being a private soldier- he knew absolutely nothing of what a day might bring. the serving of sixty rounds of ammunition meant an expected battle, but that was all he knew of it. In striking contrast was the almost supernatural foreknowledge of the rebel soldiers. When, along the Potomac, the pickets of the two armies were for many weeks so close together that they exchanged talk, swapped northern coffee for southern tobacco and even visited each other when nights were dark and fires were low. Johnnie Reb would say to Johnnie Yank: "You-un is comin over to see we-uns ain't you" and that would be the sure forerunner of a Federal attack.

It was in these midnight visits that the pickets would fraternize over the smothered fires, and if it could have been left to them the war would soon have close. Johnnie Reb would say, "You-uns shoot all your officers and we-uns'll shoot all ours, and then we'll all go home. There was absolutely no personal feelings between the private soldiers.

The dread disasters of Chancellorsville and the great Gettysburg battles were pictured with a master hand. While Mr. Andrews showed an evident desire to be perfectly fair, he did not spare criticism when he deemed it just, and in most emphatic terms denounced the drunkenness of "Fighting Joe Hooker," while he paid a reverent tribute of praise to the high Christian character of Stonewall Jackson.

For Gen Hancock the speaker had the highest commendation and, especially at Gettysburg crowned him with the laurel.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (August 25, 1893)

The Andrews Surprise

Rev. J.B. Andrews, who did so much for the Presbyterian Church of this city while he was its pastor, and family, reside in the handsomest cottage located on Branciforte Creek on land purchased of Henry Call, situated about two miles from this city. Mr. A. is a soldier of the late war, and resides in the hills that he may have mental and physical rest, running waters, pure atmosphere and inspiring scenery, mountain rising above mountain as aspiration ascends above aspiration.

Last Tuesday members of J.F. Reynolds Post and Corps, their friends and members of their families, in all numbering sixty persons, took the Andrews castle by surprise, the inmates surrendering without a struggle. The occasion was a joyous one.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (March 16, 1894)

Rev. J.B. Andrews was committed Wednesday to Agnews. For years he has suffered from an incurable disease of the throat, the pain from which caused such suffering as to unbalance his mind. Mr. Andrews is a member of the Grand Army and a retired Presbyterian minister. Under his pastorate the lot on the corner of Pacific Ave. and Cathcart St. was purchased. It is to be hoped that the reverend gentleman will soon be restored to health and sanity. His residence is on the Branciforte Drive.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (December 12, 1899)

Rev J.B. Andrews. Dead

Formerly was the Pastor of the Presbyterian Church in This City

Rev. Jacob Boyd Andrews, formerly pastor of the Presbyterian Church Santa Cruz, died Monday at Agnews Asylum from results of a stroke of paralysis he suffered last April and which left him a wreck mentally and physically.

Andrews recovered somewhat after the first manifestation of his ailment and was sent last summer to the Tennant Memorial Home at Pacific Grove. His condition did not improve as his friends hoped. A second attack of the disease left him almost a maniac and his violent outbursts rendered his removal to the asylum imperative. Only last Thursday he was taken to Agnews and lodged in one of the outside cottages.

Saturday morning a third attack of the malady appeared which left the patient in a stupor from which he failed to recover.

The dead man was born in Central Pennsylvania about 1840 and after graduating from Lafayette College and taking a course at Union Theological Seminary enlisted in the 148th Pennsylvania serving with credit during the war.

Later he became a home missionary and located in Southern California.

A number of years ago Mr. Andrews reason gave way, and he became separated from his family. He finally recovered his mental faculties, but did not rejoin his family, his wife fearing a recurrence of the malady. However, she contributed to his support through a third party, sending her husband an allowance. He did not know, it is understood, that the money came from his wife or where she was living.

Editorial Notes from Robert L. Nelson

During 1891 the Sentinel contains numerous articles about conferences attended by Rev. Andrews and sermons he has given. It also contains note of the fact that he was elected Chaplain of the Reynolds G.A.R. Post for the year 1892.

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