Bio-Pen Pictures

            Col. Augustus G. Bennett came to California and to San Jose in 1875.  Forming a partnership with his brother, J. S. Bennett, who had come a year before, they began the manufacture and sale of household furniture at wholesale and retail.  The subject of this sketch still continues in the business, as a partner with J. C. Gerichs and Frank J. Burkholder, under the title of the San Jose Furniture Manufacturing Company.  Their line of manufacture is chiefly in chamber, library, and office furniture, and wood mantels.  They also carry on fine upholstery in all its branches.  Their goods are shipped to all parts of California.  The product and sales in 1887 were sixty per cent larger than those of any previous year, reaching a hundred thousand dollars.  In 1888 they will be still heavier.  The firm has experienced three disastrous fires, involving a loss of nearly $40,000, none of them originating on their premises.

            In August, 1861, Colonel Bennett enlisted in the United States Army as a private in the Eighty-first New York Infantry.  He was mustered as First Lieutenant, and was promoted to the Captaincy of Company B, within three months thereafter.  He served in the Peninsular campaign under Gen. George B. McClellan.  His regiment lay at Yorktown until January, 1863, and was then ordered South, and joined the Eighteenth Army Corps, Gen. J. G. Foster commanding.  In April, 1863, Captain Bennett tendered his services to recruit a regiment of colored troops, which was accepted, and he raised the Twenty-first Regiment U. S. (Colored) Troops, and was made its Lieutenant-Colonel, but had active command of it through the three full years of its service.  Colonel Bennett being in command at Morris Island when General Sherman was pressing General Hardy, after the latter had left Charleston, Colonel Bennett arranged his forces for aggressive warfare, and demanded the surrender of that city, which was granted to him on the eighteenth of February, 1865.  He declared martial law, and at once assumed command of the city.  The Colonel was honorably discharged from the service April 25, 1866.

            Colonel Bennett was born in Oneida County, New York, in 1836.  Being left an orphan in early childhood, he has been self-dependent since nine years of age.  He attended school and grew to man’s estate in New York.  After the close of the war he married Miss Mary E. Jones, daughter of the chaplain of his regiment, in March, 1867.  They spent a little more than a year in South Carolina, then settled in Jersey City, New Jersey, remaining there until they came to California.  Mrs. Bennett has been a promoter of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union on the Pacific Coast, and has been three times chosen President of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union of San Jose, which has a membership of over 300.  Colonel Bennett has served in the San Jose City Council, and is now a member of the Board of Education.  He has also held the office of Senior Vice-Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, Department of California, and has been Commander of Phil Sheridan Post, No. 7, and of John A. Dix Post, No. 42, Department of California G. A. R.

Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H. S. Foote.- Chicago:  The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888.
Pg. 398
Transcribed by Kathy Sedler
Proofread by Betty Vickroy