Thursday, April 19, 2012

Vallejo's Last Civil War Veteran Dies

On this day in 1939 the last Civil War veteran living in Vallejo passed away at age 92. This is how the Vallejo Evening Chronicle reported the story:

   "Vallejo's last remaining veteran of the Civil War - Nelson W. Brown, 92 - succumbed to a short illness today at the Vallejo General Hospital, where he had been undergoing treatment for the last week.
   "A native of Mansfield, Penn., Mr. Brown had made his home in Vallejo for years, and took an active part in fraternal affairs. He was the husband of the late Julia W. Brown, the father of Mrs. J.S. Jewett of Carson City, Nev., and the grandfather of Mrs. Juanita M. Nichols of Tremontan, Utah, and Mrs. May Harlan of Van Nuys, Calif.
   "He was a past noble grand of the Odd fellows, No. 7, of Seattle, Wash.; a member of the silver star chapter, No. 3, O.E.S., of Porter Post, No. 169, of Oakland, and of the G.A.R. No. 30.
   Funeral Services will be conducted at 11 o'clock Friday morning at the J.J. McDonald Mortuary by Henry W. Lawton Camp, No. 1, United Spanish War Veterans, assisted by Rev. Charles G. Zierk of the Methodist Church. Interment will be made in the Presidio National Cemetery in San Francisco.
   "Brown was born in Mansfield, Tioga County, in the north central part of Pennsylvania, on March 4, 1847. His parents were farmers.
   "When the war broke out, he enlisted with his brothers in the Union army, giving his age as 18 although he says he did not look it. He really was only 16 but at the moment recruiting officers were not so particular as he remembers.
   "He was assigned to the same company as an older brother, Company E of the Fifth New York Heavy Artillery, serving with the First Brigade of the Second Division in Virginia throughout the war.
      In Harper Battle

    "He saw action at Harper's battle and saw 26 of his comrades  shot down by Confederate bullets.
    "During the first days of the war one of his brothers died from poisoning in a plot which was laid to a Union colonel charged with placing calomel in his men's meat.
   "Brown was mustered out in June, 1865, at Harper's ferry, receiving an honorable discharge. Later he came to California, moving to Vallejo in 1900, where he entered the sheet metal shop at Mare Island navy yard. He was retired May 28, 1913.
    "From 1913 to1915, he moved to Oakland, where he was married and later separated.
    "He was a member of D.D. Porter Post, No. 169 G.A.R. in Oakland, and an honorary member of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars.

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