Santa Cruz County History - People

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

MATTHIS, UPTON S (1844-1892)

Sawtelle Soldiers Home Records

Photograph of Upton S Matthis
Upton S. Matthis

NAME: Upton S Matthis
REGISTER #: 1412

Military History

RANK/CO/UNIT: Pvt./Co. L/2nd California Cavalry
ENLISTMENT: 1851/09/23 Santa Cruz California
DISCHARGED: 1864/10/07 Ft. Douglas UT Expiration of Service
DISABILITY: Pulmonary Tuberculosis

Domestic History

BORN: Illinois
AGE: 49
HT/CMP/EYE/HR: 5'9"/Lt. Complexioned
RELIGION: Protestant
RESIDENCE: Bitterwater (San Benito County) CA
NEXT OF KIN: Emma T. Matthis, Bitterwater

Home History

ADMISSION: 1892/07/11
DATE OF DEATH: 1892/07/11
CAUSE OF DEATH: Ulceration of bowels

General Remarks

PENSION CERT: #781.158
EFFECTS: $7.60 cash, $7.50 personal

Editorial Notes from Robert L. Nelson

Records from the Santa Cruz Historical Society

California’s youngest commissioned officer in the Union Army during the Civil War, Upton Matthis, left Watsonville with Company L Second Cavalry, of Santa Cruz County to protect the Northern cause at Ft. Douglas, Utah.

Captain Matthis who erected the first general mercantile store in Castroville had the unique experience between 1868 and 1873 of being held up twice and kidnapped once by Tiburcio Vasquez and Domingo Vaia.

The Spanish Banditti on two occasions overlooked $10,000 in gold after threatening torture and death to the storekeeper. Said Vasques, “Pero usted es un mal hombre, Senior Matthis (You are a tough man).

Note: No confirmation as to Matthis being awarded a commission could be found.

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