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CPL: JAMES MARSHALL NEAL of the 25th Iowa Infantry in Company E, Civil War Veteran of Monterey County.

James Marshall Neal was born in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania on November 11, 1847. During the Civil War he enlisted into Company E of the 25th Iowa Infantry on August 22, 1862 and was mustered out at Washington D.C. on June 8, 1865. After the war, he did marry, but the name of his wife is unknown at this time. James Marshall Neal died at the home of his son “Jesse Neal” in the town of Paradise, Butte County, California. After the death of his wife he moved to Paradise, on February 22, 1912. He was a member of the James Blair Steedman GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) Post # 56, Based out of Salinas, Ca. and he is buried at the Castroville Cemetery just outside of Moss Landing, California.

The following are transcriptions from Mr. Neal’s obituaries.

(Salinas Morning Democrat Feb 23, 1912) 
Castroville Resident Passes James W. Neal, Old Soldier, Dies in Butte County

James M. Neal, a former resident of the vicinity of Castroville and who is well known in all parts of Monterey county, died at the home of his son on Thursday at Paradise, Butte county, after a brief illness. Deceased was 63 years of age. His wife preceded him at their home near Castroville last October and since that period he has lived at the home of his son in Paradise.

Mr. Neal for many years was engaged i farming, but he was known as “the poet of Mulligan hill,” owing to his adaptability of making rhyme. He was an old soldier, having served in Company E of the Twenty ninth Iowa volunteers during the Civil war and was with Sherman on the march to the sea.

The remains will arrive in Castroville today and the funeral will be held in Castroville from the residence of the daughter of the deceased, Mrs. OP Sullivan. The obsequies will be conducted by members of the G.A.R.

There are left to morn the loss of the deceased one son and three daughters, they being Jesse Neal of Paradise, Mrs. Antone Parker of Paradise, Mrs. OP Sullivan and Mrs. Maud Parker of Castroville.


In Memorium 
Mr. James M. Neal 
James M. Neal was born in Westmoreland county, Pa., November 11, 1847. His parents settled in Iowa, when he was quite young. There, before he was 15 years old, he became a soldier of the Cross of Christ, and of the government of the United states. Then he was married. In these three relations he was faithful- a true Methodist, a true Republican, a true husband.

Imbued with Lincoln spirit, he accepted war rather than let his nation perish, enrolled in Co. E. (John N Belts) twenty fifth Iowa volunteers, August 22, 1862, and was discharged January 6, 1865.

He, with Grant and Sherman’s other soldiers on those memorable days, May 23 and 24 in that thirty mile column, at the nation’s capital passed in review before the president, congress and a mighty multitude of joyful people. Then more than 1,000,000 veterans departed, separated, never again to meet in arms for the unity and welfare of their nation.

During the two years and more of soldier service, he was wounded three times, twice not seriously. The other a shot through the left lung, seriously affecting his health to the day of his death.

Mr. and Mrs. Neal have lived in California more than thirty five years, mostly in Castroville, or “Down by the Sea.” She died September 13, 1911; he February 22, 1912. Both gone, four children, Jess, Mrs. Robbie Parker, Paradise, Mrs. Tillie Sullivan and Mrs. Maude Parker, Castroville, and twelve grandchildren miss them.

On February 25th his funeral services were held at the home of Oscar Sullivan, conducted by the pastor E.M. Coleman. At Moss, “Down by the Sea,” the pall-bearers members of the G.A.R. Messrs John Joy, leading the service, D. McDougall, T.P. Labree, Salinas, W.H. McIntyre, T.P. Clark and Ogle Castroville, committed the “Dust to Dust” until that day when the G.A.R.- Grand Army of the Redeemed- shall appear in grand review before the King upon the throne.

A few years before he died Mr. Neal wrote a song, “Down by the Sea,” and had it set to music. Throughout those little more than four months, when he should follow his dear wire, how vividly and how often would whose beautiful thoughts recur to him:

Down by the sea, the deep heaving sea,
Tenderly, softly down by the sea.
Even in dreams, the voice comes to me
In sweet tones calling, down by the sea.
Softly wafted on breezes to me:
“Thy dear one, awaiting on eternity sea.”
Castroville March 7th E.M. Coleman

(click on photos for larger view)


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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