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Finding Aid of the First California Guard Papers C058484
C058484  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access note
  • Conditions Governing Use note
  • Preferred Citation note
  • Donor
  • Biographical/Historical note
  • Scope and Contents note
  • Existence and Location of Originals note
  • Related Archival Materials note

  • Title: First California Guard Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: C058484
    Contributing Institution: Society of California Pioneers
    Language of Material: English
    Storage Unit: B001627
    Storage Unit: C058484
    Physical Description: 8.0 folder See Scope and Contents for full container list.
    Date (bulk): Bulk, 1853-1854
    Date (inclusive): 1849 to 1856
    Abstract: The Papers of the First California Guard comprises 8 folders of original documents dating from the first formation of the Guard under Military Governor Bennett S. Riley in 1849. The collection contains meeting minutes, constitution and by-laws of the Guard, letters of acceptance and resignation, certificates, and bills and receipts of the organization. Date range: 1849-1856, with the bulk of the material dated 1853-1854.

    Conditions Governing Access note

    Collection open for research.

    Conditions Governing Use note

    There are no restrictions on access.

    Preferred Citation note

    First California Guard Papers. The Society of California Pioneers.

    Donor

    Donor and date of acquisition unknown.

    Biographical/Historical note

    The First California Guard was formed July 27, 1849 and was officially called the Company A, 1st Regiment, Light Artillery, under the Military Governor of California, Brigadier General Bennett S. Riley. It was formed to prevent situations similar to the "Hounds" of San Francisco (a lawless gang) from forming.
    A number of prominent citizens, dreading a reoccurrence of a similar situation, conceived the idea for organizing a permanent volunteer company. Although it was designated as a light artillery organization, it was initially equipped as an infantry unit. General Riley commissioned Henry M. Naglee, Captain and Company Commander. Other volunteers who received appointments were: First Lieutenants O.H. Howard, and Myron Norton; Second Lieutenants Hall McAllister, and David F.Bagley; Company Surgeon Samuel Gerry, and Company Sergeant R.H. Sinton. By September 1849, Captain Naglee had recruited 100 volunteers, outfitting them in deep blue uniforms with artillery red trim.
    The history of the California National Guard responding to the emergency needs of citizens is traced to this company. They were called for duty at the scene of the wreck of the steamer "Yankee Blade." This ship, on September 30, 1854, with nearly 800 passengers, ran into a reef at Point Arguello and nearly 200 people lost their lives. The survivors were assaulted by an armed band of 60 men and some of the survivors were murdered. The First California Guard was called to the scene to preserve life and property and to maintain law and order.
    The First California Guard did not take part in the Civil War as a unit but made its contribution to the Union indirectly. The unit drilled frequently at the Presidio of San Francisco and was the only artillery company in California. It aided in the formation at the First Regiment, California Volunteers; the California 100; and the California Cavalry Battalion.
    At a celebration of the "Society of California Pioneers" held New Year's Day 1851, the California Guard acted as escort to the society during their parade through the principle streets to the plaza, where an address was delivered by Captain John Frisbie. (Source: http://www.militarymuseum.org)

    Scope and Contents note

    The Papers of the First California Guard comprises 8 folders of original documents.
    Folder 1: Meeting minutes, July 27, 1849-May 4, 1850 (17 documents, 2 pieces of ephemera). Folder 2: Meeting minutes, September 1853-March 4, 1854 (14 documents). Folder 3: Constitution and By-Laws (notes and pamphlet), 1849 (unbound) and 1850 (2 copies, both bound. Copy 2 has handwritten notes on changes made on 05/25/1852). Folder 4: Letters of resignation, 1853-1854, undated (19 documents). Folder 5: 2 Certificates of membership (1- Jacob Lerman of the San Francisco Blues, 05/26/1856; 2 - Major Jacob R. Snyder of the First California Guard, 07/04/1851). Folder 6: Bills and receipts, 1852-1854 (59 documents). Folder 7: Bills and receipts, including dues paid, 1853-1854 (19 documents). Folder 8: Correspondence to the Guard, 1853-1854 (8 documents).

    Existence and Location of Originals note

    The Society of California Pioneers, 300 Fourth Street, San Francisco, CA 94107.

    Related Archival Materials note

    C020898 - Election to Honorary membership in First California Guard (Flying Artillery Corps) of Major Jacob R. Snyder; dated 07/04/1851. C043808 - Invitation: 28th Anniversary Ball of the First California Guard; 08/01/1877. C047518 - Manuscript of the article, "The First California Guard," by Walter C. Allen.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Naglee, Henry Morris, Captain, 1815-1886
    Riley, George Bennett, Brigadeer General
    California, Northern - History - 19th century.
    California--History, Military--19th century.
    Militia
    San Francisco Bay Area (Calif.)--History