Santa Cruz County History - People

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

McCOLLISTER, ISAAC M (1841-1932)

Santa Cruz Sentinel (May 28, 1929)

Nineteen Survivors of the Early Wars Will Be Guests of Honor this Memorial Day

Isaac McCollister

Comrade McCollister enlisted with Company C. 7th Wisconsin Infantry, when 20 years old and is now on his way to the 88 year mark. When calling on him I found him in the midst of making doughnuts. He said coffee and doughnuts were one of the main standbys for an old Union soldier. He was with the Army of the Potomac, born in Illinois.

Wounded in the battle of Gettysburg on the first day of battle, in the late afternoon, by a bullet in his left leg. Left on the battlefield and because of his condition the Confederates did not take him prisoner, as they had too many wounded of their own. Was helped to a building by a comrade and there was left for ten days. The Union forces recaptured where he was and at the end of the battle his leg was attended to and the bullet removed and while in the hospital he cared for himself and others less able to help themselves.

Born in Illinois and came to California for his health.

Santa Cruz Evening News (May 30, 1930)

GAR Well Represented

Isaac M. McCallister 93 Laurent street, was born near Whitehall, Ill. on August 3, 1841, and enlisted as a private in the 7th Wisconsin infantry. Private McCallister fought in the battles of Gainsville, Va., Bull Run, South Mountain Md. Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg, PA

At Gettysburg he was wounded the first day of the battle and left on the battlefield, remaining with the enemy's lines during the remaining two days of fighting. When sufficiently recovered, he returned to his regiment and was detailed for duty with the quartermaster's department of the brigade on account of his crippled condition.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (July 5, 1932)

I McCollister, Veteran of the Civil War, Dead

Isaac M McCollister, veteran of the Civil war, died Sunday evening at 10:00 o’clock at the family home on Laurent Street where his daughter Grace E. McCollister resided with him.

Mr. McCollister was born in Whitehill IL, Aug 3, 1841 and was within a month of his 91st year at his passing.

He was a true gentleman, and esteemed highly. His characteristics were sympathy and modesty.

He enlisted at the outbreak of the Civil war and served from the beginning until wounded at the battle of Gettysburg.

He was a member of the GAR post at Santa Barbara and was often a visitor at gatherings of the Wallace Reynolds post.

His wife Ellen L Matthew McCollister preceded him in death by a number of years and he is survived by a son E. H. McCollister, a member of the faculty of the Burlingame high school, and a daughter Grace E. McCollister.

Funeral services will be held this afternoon at 4 o’clock at the chapel of Chase mortuary. Interment will be at Santa Barbara.

Santa Cruz Evening News (July 5, 1932)

Final Honors Paid Veteran of Civil War.
Services Held For Isaac M. McCollister, Who Died on Laurent Street.

Funeral services were held in the Chase mortuary under the direction of the Santa Cruz lodge of Daughters of Union Veterans at 4 o’clock this afternoon for Isaac M. McCollister, Civil War veteran who died at his home, 93 Laurent street Sunday evening after a short illness.

The body was sent to Santa Barbara for interment. The Grand Army of the Republic post of that city will hold additional services there tomorrow.

Mr. McCollister would have been 91 years of age had he lived another month. He was born in Whitehill, Illinois, August 3, 1841.

At the age of 20 years en enlisted in the Seventh Wisconsin infantry, one of the regiments of the famous "Iron Brigade," which is said to have lost more men in action than any other brigade in the Union army.

He was mustered out of service after being seriously wounded while fighting near Seminary Ridge during the battle of Gettysburg.

Coming to California in 1890, he lived at Santa Barbara for a quarter of a century before moving to Santa Cruz where he had since resided. His wife died several years ago. Surviving him are a son E.H. McCollister, a member of the Burlingame high school faculty, and a daughter, Grace E. McCollister of 93 Laurent Street.

Notes from Edson Strobridge

Isaac McCollister was born in Illinois in 1842. On September 2, 1861 he enlisted in Company C of the 7th WI Infantry. During the Civil war he was to rise to rank of corporal and was mustered out on Sept. 1, 1864.

He later affiliated with Starr King Post #52 GAR in Santa Barbara.

While living in Santa Barbara he worked as a liveryman. He died in Santa Cruz, California on July 3, 1932.

SOURCES: GAR Roll Service Book #265, Starr King Post #52, Wyles Collection, UCSB; A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion, Frederick H. Dyer 1908; Sawtelle Soldiers Home Register #15538; Calif. Death Index, (EL), age 90 yrs, State File #40388.

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