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William Thompson Elliott was a Civil War Veteran, a member of the James Blair Steedman GAR Post #56 he was a Quarter Master Sergeant in the 2nd New York Cavalry. Born March 31, 1836 in Shawnee, Indiana, died May 13, 1922 in Soledad, CA, buried at GONZALES IOOF CEMETERY in Monterey County, California. 

Source: Guinn, James Miller History of the State of California and Biographical Record of Santa Cruz, San Benito, Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties. p. 700-701 )


His loyalty to Republican principles and to the town of which he has been a resident since 1875, has secured for Mr. Elliott many evidences of the esteem in which he is held by his fellow townsmen, and which has been fittingly rewarded by his appointment to the postmastership of Gonzalez [sic] by James A. Gary, postmaster general. He is now serving his second term and since his incumbency of the office general satisfaction has been expressed, and many improvements have been made over previous management of the affairs of Uncle Sam. This postoffice is known as a fourth-class affair, and the genial presiding genius thereof cast his first presidential vote for the immortal Abraham Lincoln.

A native of Vermilion county, Ind., Mr. Elliott was born in 1837, a son of Robert Elliott, who was also born and reared in the Hoosier state. The family is of Scotch-Irish extraction, and the paternal grandfather removed to Virginia at a very early day. Mr. Elliott acquired his education during the winter months at the little log school house of his neighborhood, and when the Civil war broke out was living in Portland, Ind. In August of 1861 he enlisted in Chambersburg, that state, in Captain Sam. Irvin's company, and upon the death of their first commander, General Baker, they were thrown upon the governor of the state of New York, who attached them to a New York regiment, the Harris Light Cavalry, or Second New York. The regiment participated in many of the important battles of the war, and Mr. Elliott was discharged from the service September 16, 1864, at Hallstown, Va. With the return of peace, he again lived in Indiana, where he engaged in the prosecution of his trade of carpenter, and

in 1868 removed to Kansas, locating at Neosha county, where he continued to live until his removal to California in 1871. At Peach Tree [Monterey County] he engaged in stock raising for three years, and then removed to Monterey, where he took up his trade and followed the same until 1875. That year he first became identified with Gonzalez and has since been an interested and helpful spectator of its continued growth.

The marriage of Mr. Elliott and Elizabeth Glover, daughter of Claybon Glover, occurred in Indiana in 1858. Of this union there were five children: George, who was killed while at his post as a conductor on the Southern Pacific Railroad; Margaret, who died in Indiana; John S., who is a teamster in Mendocino county, Cal.; Clara, who is now Mrs. Abraham Higbie of Gonzalez; and Isabell, who is the wife of Mr. Patton, of Gonzalez.

All items below were  donated by Cynthia A. Walker of Huntersville, North Carolina. 
Submitted with permission by Tim Reese 2009.


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Family Group Sheet page 1 Family Group Sheet page 2 Family Group Sheet page 3 Family Group Sheet page 4
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Pension Record 1869 Pension Record 1912 Pension Record 1915 Photo of William Thompson Elliott
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Letter from Cynthia Walker to Timothy Reese
Sept 2002
Funeral notice Obituary #1  



Salinas Daily Index, May 15, 1922  (Obit 1 transcription)

Civil War Veteran Dies at Gonzales

An attack of pneumonia proved fatal early last evening to William T. Elliott, well known old time resident of Gonzales who died at 7:45 at his home in that city.  The deceased, a native of Indiana, aged 86 had been a resident of Monterey 47 years, most of the time in Gonzales.  For 18 years he served there as a postmaster.  He is survived by a son and daughter, John Elliott of Ukiah, and Mrs. Grant Patton of Gonzales.  

The deceased was a veteran of the war between the state, having served in the great conflict of the  early 60’s as a member of the New York volunteers.  In recognition of this fact and as a testimonial to his popularity, the American Legion post of Gonzales will accord him a military burial.  The funeral will be from the family home Monday afternoon at 2.  Interment in the Gonzales I.O.O.F cemetery.

(Pacific Grove Daily Review May 15, 1922)  

The Death and Burial of Comrade Elliott

Comrades Geo. E. Clingman, D.T. Welch, W.S. Askwith, S.A. Woolf, D.D. Davis and T.R. Weaver of Lucius Fairchild Post No. 179, Grand Army of the Republic, motored yesterday to Gonzales

with G.T. Belknap, to conduct the funeral services and give a soldier’s burial to Comrade W.T. Elliott, Co. H, 2nd N.Y. Cavalry, a member of their Post, who passed away on Friday last, may 12th 1922.  

Comrade Elliott served under Col. Judson Kilpatrick, who was later promoted to Major General and became one of the distinguished cavalry leaders of the Civil War.

Comrade Elliott had a good record as a soldier and was at one time postmaster of Gonzales.  He was held in high esteem by his fellow citizens and apparently everyone in Gonzales was present at the funeral.  

A detail from the local post of the American Legion supplied the firing squad and the bugler who sounded taps.

The Rev Frank L Hunt, pastor of the Community Churches of Gonzales and King City officiated and conducted the services of the deceased, and the G.A.R. had charge at the cemetery.

The beautiful ritualistic services of the G.A.R. were impressively conducted by Comrades Weaver, Clingman, Woolf, Welch, Askwith and Davis.  

Following the services at the cemetery our former fellow townsman, Bert M Carner, and his wife, who have been residents of Gonzales for the last six years, in charge of the high school

of that place, took charge of their old friends of Pacific Grove, and conducted them to their lovely home, where they were delightfully entertained and served with refreshments, which were greatly enjoyed and appreciated.  

The Comrades them returned to Pacific Grove, arriving at 6 o’clock having discharged the last sad duty of respect to another of their rapidly passing comrades.

Transcription of funeral Notice

(Gonzales News May 18, 1922)  

Veterans of Two Wars Conduct Funeral Service for Grand Army Man   The remains of the late William T. Elliott, Civil War veterans and for many years postmaster of Gonzales, were placed at rest in the Gonzales cemetery last Sunday, with the impressive ritualistic ceremony of the Grand Army of the Republic, aided by Gonzales Post No. 83, American Legion.  A delegation of members of Lucius Fairchild Post no. 179, G.A.R. of Pacific Grove, conducted the ceremony.  The deceased, who served in the conflict between the state as a member of Company H, Second N.Y. Cavalry, was a member of Lucius Fairchild post.  

The religious services were conducted by Rev. hunt of Community Baptist church, and the church choir assisted.  At the conclusion of the G.A.R. ceremony taps were sounded by Carl H. Sommar, of Gonzales post, and a squad from the post fired a salute over the grave.  

The pallbearers were William Woodword, Wells H. Parsons, John C. Lazier, J.D. Cochran, Harry Brockmann and John Hargens.  

The funeral was a large one and the flora offerings were many and beautiful.   William T. Elliott passed away Friday evening after an illness of about two weeks.  He had been taken down with pneumonia and the resulting weakness left his heart action so poor that he could not recover on account of his advanced years.  He was aged 86 years, 1 month and 11 days.  The deceased was a native of Indiana, and was a pioneer in this district.  

The deceased was a sergeant during the Civil War in the 2d New York Cavalry, one of the fighting regiments and also called “Harris Light Cavalry, which was organized at New York city (eight companies) and at Washington, D.C. (four companies), from August to October, 1861.  The original members were mustered out September 10, 1864, and the recruits and veterans formed into four new companies, to which eight additional companies, raised for one year, were added in September and October, 1864.  this force was mustered out July 5, 1865.  

The Second New York was called the “Harris Light,” in honor of Ira Harris, then united States senator from New York and was one of the most famous of the New York cavalry regiments.  Col. Hull, in command, was killed at Cedar Creek.  while on Pope’s campaign the Second lost eleven killed, twenty-seven wounded and forty five missing.  In the cavalry action at Aldie, VA, June 17, 1863, it lost sixteen killed, nineteen wounded and fifteen missing.  In 1863 the regiment served in Gregg’s Division.  It took part in some thirty nine battles, belonged to Wilson’s Division, Cavalry Corps, and lost 121 killed and 235 from disease, etc.  Ninety one of its members died in Confederate prisons.  

The late W.T. Elliott was born in Vermillion county, Indiana on March 31, 1836.  In 1857 he married Elizabeth Glover, of Fountain county, Indiana, who passed away four years ago in Gonzales.  There were five children, only two of whom are still living.  They are; John S. Elliott of Ukiah, California; and Mrs. Isabelle Patton, of Gonzales.  

In 1872 they came to California and settled in the Peach Tree country for about three years, after which they moved to Gonzales.  Mr. Elliott spent a number of years farming, and was also a building contractor.  He constructed some of the oldest houses in Gonzales.  He was postmaster of Gonzales for about sixteen years.


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Compiled and Submitted: by Tim P. Reese, PCC  
Camp Abe Lincoln #10 based out of Santa Cruz, Ca  
Dept. of Calif. and Pacific  
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War  
Sep 2009