The State of California, being located far away from the more active scenes of the war, was not called upon to furnish troops for immediate service against Confederate soldiers, and no quota was assigned it; yet during the war calls were made upon it for several regiments and battalions, aggregating more than sixteen thousand men, besides five hundred who were enlisted within its borders and became part of the quota of the State of Massachusetts, and eight companies raised for Washington Territory.  With the exception of those enlisted for Massachusetts, the California forces took no part in any of the great battles of the war; yet the service they rendered was of as great importance as that rendered by those from other States.  It was as severe, entailing long and fatiguing marches across burning deserts and among almost inaccessible mountains.  They were engaged in hundreds of fights with Indians and small forces of Confederate troops on the frontiers, in Texas and Mexico, and they never knew defeat.  It was a constant source of regret among them that they were never ordered East, and the question was continually asked:  “When are we to be ordered to the seat of the war?”  The Government deemed it wisest to keep them on the Pacific Coast and in the Territories.  They occupied nearly all the posts from Puget Sound to San Elizario, Texas, and they did their duty faithfully, notwithstanding their disappointment.  By their loyalty they preserved peace in these western States and Territories, and the flag of rebellion was soon driven beyond the Rio Grande.


1st Battalion Veteran Infantry

1st Regiment Infantry

1st Battalion Mountaineers

2nd Regiment Infantry

3rd Regiment Infantry

4th Regiment Infantry

5th Regiment Infantry

6th Regiment Infantry

7th Regiment Infantry

8th Regiment Infantry

Detachment Mounted Infantry


Jewish Soldiers


1st Regiment Cavalry

1st Battalion Native Cavalry

2nd Regiment Cavalry

Records of California Men in the War of the Rebellion, 1861 to 1867 by Brig.-Gen. Richard H. Orton, pub. 1890

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