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Coast Rangers

Assigned to: Sixth Division, Second Brigade

Location: Crescent City, Klamath County (now Del Norte County)

Mustered in: May 13, 1854 (1)
Mustered out:

Commanding Officers

D. W. Thorpe, Captain, Commissioned: May 29, 1854
Anderson Myers, First Lieutenant, Commissioned: May 29, 1854


History


Indians were threatening the peace of the pioneers in the section between Crescent City and Yreka. One train had been held up and it was believed some of the men had been killed. Alarmed men of the vicinity organized themselves into a volunteer company of Cavalry on May 13,1854 adopting the name of Coast Rangers. At this organization meeting the officers elected were: D. W. Thorpe, Captain and Anderson Myers; First Lieutenant. When Captain Thorpe reported to Governor Bigler on July 12th that the company was organized and officers elected, he requested army revolvers or holster pistols, if obtainable, stating that the need was imperative due to the hostilities of the Indians. The Captain also requested that the.Governor send the newly elected officers their commissions by the next boat. Four boxes of percussion rifles and accouterments were shipped on the Steamer to the company on November 14, 1854, besides the twenty which had been given to the Captain on the fifteenth of September.

The company made good use of the arms issued them. The Indian depredations commenced about the twenty-seventh of December and continued through to January 29, 1855. The Coast Rangers and Klamath Rangers, together with volunteer citizens, under the command of First Lieutenant Myers engaged in skirmishes with the hostiles, killing about thirty Indians resulting in one of their own men being wounded. Lieutenant Myers gave the Adjutant General a brief report of the activities by letter on March tenth, in which he informed the General that he had requested Mr. P. Bryan to make up a Pay Roll of all the services and expenses incurred by themselves and the settlers of.the Smith River Valley and vicinity. The Lieutenant gave the men due credit for their activities, explaining "that they were the type of men required in the Indian fighting as they were capable of bearing the hard ships incident to camp life, as well as being experienced in the handling of their rifles. The settlers had previously borne the hardships and expense of protecting their district without but this time it was hoped they would be compensated through the proper Department of the Legislature." It seems that there had been some contention over the nonpayment of the officers commissions, as the Lieutenant explained in this letter that both the Second Lieutenant and himself had paid over their fees to the Captain to be sent in to Headquarters, but the Junior Second Lieutenant had been lax in-sending his money in. It was the desire of the men to straighten out this difficulty with the office. The Lieutenant-concluded his letter explaining to the Adjutant General, "That Captain Thorpe had moved away, some time back, and that he (Lieutenant Myers) had taken the command." (2)


There are no further reports, available to show the activities of this company, nor is there a mustering out date, therefore, it is assumed that the Coast Rangers disbanded by mutual consent of the members when the Indian hostilities subsided.


Footnotes

(1) Sacramento Union October 30,1855, page 2, column 2, gave organization date as July 11, 1854, with an enrollment of thirty-eight men.

(2) Letter on file with company papers in Adjutant General's Office.


This history was written in 1940 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in conjunction with the office of the Adjutant General and the California State Library

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