Santa Cruz County History - People

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


Live Oak Pioneer

Headstone of Christian P Liebau
Christian P. Liebau
Oakwood Memorial Park

Liebau, Christian

By July 20th 1864 the United States Civil War had been dragging on for three long years. On that date the Army of the Cumberland under the command of Major General George H. Thomas was advancing on Atlanta Georgia. The Confederate army led by General John Bell Hood rushed out of the city and attempted to block General Thomas as his columns crossed Peach Tree Creek, a small stream about five miles outside of Atlanta. During the ensuing firefight, called the Battle of Peach Tree Creek, the Confederate army was repulsed and General Hood was forced to retreat back into the city. This set the scene for the famous Battle of Atlanta. Reported casualty figures at Peach Tree Creek was numbered at 1,600 Union and 2,500 Confederate troops killed and wounded. One of the Union soldiers wounded that day was 27 year old Christian Liebau.

Liebau was born July 16, 1873 in Saxony, Germany and had come to America with his parents in 1857. They settled in Minnesota where they had quickly established themselves, and where the old folks were to spend their remaining years.

When the Civil War broke out in 1861 Christian immediately enlisted in the Union cause joining Company F, of the 7th Regiment of the Michigan Volunteers. He fought in most of the major campaigns right from the onset of the war. At Peach Tree Creek he was wounded while crossing a small bridge. The impact of the bullet knocked him off of the bridge into the creek below.

He was given an honorable discharge on account of the wounds received during the action in Georgia. When he was released from the hospital he mustered out from the army and went to Pine City in Pine Count, Minnesota.

[In] 1866, he married Carolina Schuette at Pine City. Carolina was also a native of Germany, born there on July 22, 1846 and came to the U.S. in 1853. She was to bear Christian thirteen children, ten of whom would live to become adults.

At Pine City the Liebau's worked hard and became prominent citizens. Christian was a well respected businessman who took an active part in civic affairs. He was elected County Clerk for several terms and was a long time member of the Board of Trustees in the local schools. Over the next thirty years he became a substantial landholder in Pine City.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (October 5, 1924)

Death of an Old Soldier

Christian P. Liebau passed away Monday afternoon at the home on Soquel road near Arana gulch after an illness of over a year. He had been confined to his bed since the inception of his last illness. His daughter Ella Bostwick has been very devoted to her father having taken care of him since the death of her mother ten years ago. Mr. Liebau having been almost blind for a number of years.

Mrs. Lena Krassow of Berkeley and Mrs. Ida Sheridan of New York came to Santa Cruz to help their sister in taking care of their father in his last illness.

Mr. Liebau was born in Saxony Germany, 87 years ago, coming to this country when he was a boy. When the Civil war broke out, he joined the 7th regiment, Michigan Volunteers, Co. F, and took an active part in most of the many prominent battles. After three years of service to his country he received his honorable discharge on account of wounds received in action.

After his discharge from the army he went to Pine City, MN, marrying Miss Carolina Schuette who preceded him in death ten years ago.

Mr. Liebau was a prominent business man and served several terms as county clerk and trustee of schools. He was also a large land owner when in Minnesota. He came to California 25 years ago and has lived her ever since in Santa Cruz.

He was the devoted and loving father of the following children surviving him: Mrs. Jack Bostwick and Robert Liebau of Santa Cruz; Mrs. Jack Krassow of Berkeley, Mrs. Hanie Coureges of Elmhurst, Mrs. William Sheridan of New York, Mrs. Harvey Van Horn of Duluth MN, Mrs. Thomas Darke of Los Angeles, Mrs. Joseph Morrisett of Superior, WI; Mrs. Alcy Morrisett of Deer River, Min. A number of grandchildren also survive among them being Miss Jacqueline Krassow, who was very devoted to her grandfather, having made her home with him since the death of her grandmother ten years ago.

Funeral arrangements are awaiting the arrival of relatives from the east.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (October 8, 1924)

Funeral of Christian Liebau

The funeral of Christian Liebau was held yesterday afternoon from his residence on the Soquel road where he resided for many years. Many friends and relatives were present and the flowers surrounded the room, as many had been sent.

The services were conducted by Rev. Christian Spaeth of the German Methodist church, and the hymns, "Nearer My God to Thee and Rock of Ages" were sung by Mrs. Virginia Walker and Mrs. Mary Croop. The burial was close by, in the SCruz/OMP cemetery.

The pallbearers were Jack Bostwick, Jack Krassow, Charles Russell, C.P. Brooks, Fred Sweet and John Walton.

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