Santa Cruz County History - People

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


Records Of Members Of The Grand Army Of The Republic, William Ward & HS Crocker

CHARLES W BENJAMIN was born in Dixon, ILL., December 5, 1845; is by occupation a clerk. Enlisted in the 13th Illinois Infantry, May 24, 1861, and served as a private; was attached to the 15th Army Corps; took part in the battles of Chickasaw Bayou, Arkansas Post, Greenville raid, Jackson Miss, and siege of Vicksburg; was wounded at Lookout Mountain; was honorably discharged June 22, 1864, at Springfield IL. Comrade Benjamin is a member of RL McCook Post GAR of Watsonville, Cal; where he resides; has been post adjutant, surgeon, junior vice commander, and is at present chaplain of the post.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (February 15, 1890)

C.W. Benjamin, familiarly known as "Stub Ben," died in Watsonville yesterday. He was for many years agent for Wells Fargo & Co.

Santa Cruz Surf (February 20, 1890)

Charles W. Benjamin
Death of a Brave Soldier and an Honorable Citizen

The Watsonville Rustler says: C.W. Benjamin, local agent of Wells Fargo and Co. of this place, died at 3:45 P.M. last Thursday after a long and severe illness.

Few men were better known in this city than Charley Benjamin, and none were more popular.

Charley Benjamin was a native of Dixon Illinois, and was 49 years of age. While yet a mere youth the war of the rebellion broke out. Young Benjamin's patriotism was aroused and on May 24 1864, he was enrolled as a private of Company A, Thirteenth Regiment, Illinois Infantry, and Captain A. Judson Pinkham commanding. He received his discharge at Springfield, Illinois, on June 18, 1864. The Thirteenth Illinois Regiment was composed of fighters and saw considerable active service during the war. Young Benjamin's courage was equal to his patriotism, and he had the honor of participating in the battles of Lookout Mountain, Chickasaw Bayou, Greenville, Jackson, Miss Madison, Ala., Ringgold Gap and the sieges of Jackson and Vicksburg. His record is that of a brave soldier in times of war and a loyal citizen in times of peace.

After the war the deceased came to California and subsequently located in Watsonville. On March 1, 1882 he was appointed Wells Fargo & Co.'s agent which position he continued to fill until his last illness. He was a member of the G.A.R. and of Pajaro Lodge, No. 90, IOOF. He leaves a mother and brother who reside at Dixon, Illinois, a sister in Council Bluffs. He was also a stepbrother of Jerome Porter, now of San Francisco.

The remains of deceased were taken in charge by the Odd Fellows, and at the request of Mr. Benjamin's relatives will be sent to Dixon, Illinois for burial.

Watsonville Pajaronian (March 6, 1890)

The remains of the late C. W. Benjamin arrived in Dixon, Illinois, a week after leaving here, and were buried by the G. A. R. Post of that city. The pallbearers were members of the regiment to which Charley belonged. The Dixon Sun published the appended biographical sketch of the deceased: "Intelligence was received in this city last Friday that on Thursday, the 13th inst., Charles Benjamin, formerly of Dixon, died at his home in Watsonville, California, of blood poisoning, super induced by liver and kidney disease. Charles was the oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Horace Benjamin, and was born December 5, 1840, in Dixon, where his early life was spent. In 1858 or '59 he accompanied his father to Pike's Peak, but soon returned. Two years later he was one of the first to respond to the call of President Lincoln for volunteers, enlisting in Company A, 13th Ills., and served with his regiment till the close of the war. Soon thereafter he was elected Tax Collector of the town of Dixon. He subsequently, in company with J. R. Morrill and others, crossed the plains with an ox team, seeking the gold fields of California. For fifteen years his home has been at Watsonville, California, where for several years he was engaged inn the book and news trade. For the past eight years he had charge of the express business of Wells, Fargo & Co., in his city. Three years ago he visited for the last time his old home, and had a pleasant word and a hearty handshake for old time friends. He was unmarried, but leaves a mother, brother and sister to mourn his loss.

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