Santa Cruz County History - People

Old Solders: Santa Cruz County Civil War Veterans

HOOD, BENJAMIN (1847-1897)

Santa Cruz Sentinel (August 13, 1887)

Headstone of Benjamin Hood
Benjamin Hood
Evergreen Cemetery

A Fatal Accident

Last evening word was brought to this city by C.E. West that Ben Woods [sic] employed at Grover's mill above Soquel had lost his life. It seems that Woods, who was employed in wheeling saw dust on to the dump near the mill was missed about half past five o'clock, and search being made for him the conclusion was arrived at that he had fallen into the burning mass of saw-dust. It only proved too true. Woods must have lost his balance while trundling the wheelbarrow on the narrow wooden pathway leading over the saw-dust, and plunged feet first through the thin crust on top to the seething fire underneath.

Willing hands were soon at work uncovering the fiery mass in search for the body of Woods, and the workers soon found the lifeless body of their late companion, but although the body was badly burned no part had been burned off.

Woods was aged about forty years and thought to be unmarried.

Editor's note: The name of the deceased was mis-reported here as Ben Woods; the Santa Cruz Daily Surf correctly reports the accident as happening to Benjamin Hood.

Santa Cruz Daily Surf (August 13, 1887)

At 5:30 P.M. yesterday the man employed at Grover's Mill, near Soquel, to wheel the sawdust from the end of the elevator to the dump, was missed from his post, and on investigation it was found that there had been a cave in [of an] immense pile of sawdust at the outer edge of the dump, and believing that some accident had befallen the man, a search was made, resulting in the finding of the dead body covered with several feet of burning sawdust. The remains were fairly cooked and had evidently been in the position where found for several hours. The outer edge of the immense pile of sawdust is kept constantly burning and, the refuse, as fast as it falls from the elevator, is wheeled away on the barrows and emptied over the dump. From the appearance, the fire must have burned under the pile, leaving a crust that gave way and engulfed him without a moment's warning into the bed of burning coals beneath. His death must have been a fearful one, and though the employees of the mill were only a few yards away no sound from the unfortunate man reached them, and he was only missed by the accumulation of the sawdust at the end of the elevator.

The name of the unfortunate man was Benjamin Hood, aged about 40 years. He had been in the employ of Grover and Co. for about five months, and was a single man. He had no relations in this county and generally made his home at Soquel. Coroner Morgan will proceed to the mill today and hold an inquest.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (August 14, 1887)

Funeral Notice
Headquarters W.H.L. Wallace Post, No. 32 G.A.R. August 14, 1887
(General Orders No. 7)

All Comrades of this Post will assemble at Post headquarters, in full uniform with hat and gloves, on this day (Sunday) at 1:30 P.M. sharp, for the purpose of participating in the funeral obsequies of our late and departed Comrade, Benjamin Hood of Frank Bartlett Post, No. 6. An invitation is kindly extended to all G.A.R. Posts, sojourning comrades and ex Union soldiers of the late war to unite with the Post in paying the last sad tribute of respect to our lamented and departed comrade.

By Command of C.T. Sutphen Post Commander, W.V. Hopkins, Adjutant.

Santa Cruz Surf (August 15, 1887)

Benjamin Hood, an account of whose death by burning at Grover's Mill, near Soquel appeared in the Surf on Saturday morning, was buried from the undertaking rooms of Scott & Ely on Pacific Avenue yesterday afternoon. The funeral was under the auspices of local Post G.A.R., the deceased having been a comrade of Frank Bartlett Post, Los Angeles. The remains were conveyed to Evergreen Cemetery by members of the Wallace-Reynolds Post in full uniform, music being furnished by the Drum Corp of Wallace Post.

Editor's note: According to an article appearing in the Santa Cruz Sentinel on May 19, 1901, Benjamin Hood, who is buried in the GAR plot, was a member of Co. G, 12th NJ. As a member of that unit Hood would have participated in the battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House, Cold Harbor, Petersburg (Mine Explosion), Appomattox.

Editorial Notes from Robert L. Nelson

NARA Research (October 2003)

National Archive Military records indicate that Benjamin Hood, age 18 a resident of Red Bank, New Jersey enrolled as a private in Co. G of the 12 NJ Inf. on September 4, 1862 in Woodbury NJ for 3 years, and was initially placed on duty in Camden NJ. His unit was later assigned to the Army of the Potomac. On June 30, 1864 Benjamin Hood was treated for "an abysses" [abcess?] on his left chest. He was mustered out of federal service on May 17, 1865 and discharged on June 4, 1865.

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