Santa Cruz County History - People

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

GRAHAM, THOMAS M (1847-1928)

Santa Cruz Sentinel (January 1, 1929)

Headstone of Thomas M Graham
Thomas M. Graham
Oakwood Memorial Park

Thomas M. Graham, 81, Dies at Home on Van Ness Ave.

Thomas M. Graham, a native of Ohio, aged 81 years, 9 months, and 15 days, died shortly after 10 o'clock last night, at his home at 194 Van Ness avenue. He is survived by the widow, Mrs. Mary C. Graham.

The funeral arrangements, which are in the hands of the Chase Undertaking parlors, have not been completed.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (January 4, 1929)

Pay Last Respects to Thos. Graham

The funeral of Thomas M. Graham was held from the Chase mortuary yesterday afternoon at 2 o'clock. the Rev. Pearson of the Baptist church was the officiating minister. Mrs. Croop and Mrs. Budworth sang, "Oh Morning Land" and "Sunset".

Old time friends and neighbors were pallbearers.

He is survived by his widow, Mrs. M. Graham, one son, one granddaughter, one great granddaughter and two sisters.

The two sisters live in Iowa, the son and granddaughter and great granddaughter live in Chicago.

Burial was in SCruz/OMP cemetery in a beautiful location.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (January 5, 1929)

Thomas Graham Had Various Exploits During the Civil War

Thomas M. Graham, Civil War veteran, who was buried in this city Thursday afternoon, had a varied and interesting career during the troublous times of the early day fighting.

Mr. Graham was a man of a very friendly nature with always a kind twinkle in his eyes. He was familiarly known to all as Uncle Tom.

He enlisted in the Union army during the Civil War in Co. C. Ninth Ohio Cavalry, and saw service in many engagements. He was in General Sherman's famous march through Georgia and to the sea, being mustered out of service at the close of the war.

On being asked not long ago as to what seemed to stand out the most after all the years since the war, he told the following story.

In our regiment was a raw Irish recruit who with another soldier had gone on a foraging expedition without permission, while the army was passing through Georgia. They met an old Southerner with a brown jug under his arm. The Irish recruit demanded that he give it up, thinking it contained liquor. The old Southerner resisted all of his efforts to take it from him, when in sudden anger he shot the old man with his musket. On getting possession of the jug they found that it contained molasses. When the officers of the regiment found what had happened, they put the two soldiers under arrest. A court martial trial condemned the recruit to die at the hands of a firing squad, while the other was sent to a military prison.

It seems like yesterday that the regiment was drawn up in hollow square with one end open. There on a rough coffin sat the poor recruit beside a newly dug grave. My brother had been told off as one of the firing squad, but he did not relish the task so had the sergeant put another man in his place. A white paper was pinned to the condemned man's coat. After the smoke had cleared up the regiment went to quarters, all of the men feeling sort of morally disturbed from the occurrence.

Mr. Graham was very fond of vegetables gardening, his place always presenting a neat and tidy appearance. Uncle Tom will be missed by his friends and neighbors.

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