California State Military Department
The California State Military Museum
Part of the US Army and US Air Force Museum Systems
Preserving California's Military Heritage
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"… Californians, especially notoriously good fighters, were standing up to the rack like men, dealing out to us the best they had. They rallied at every call on them and went down with banners flying."
-John W. Munson, Commenting on the California Cavalry Battalion from Reminiscences of a Mosby Guerrilla.
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Welcome to California Military History Online!

The California State Military Museum is located at
1119 Second Street in the Old Sacramento State Historical Park. It is only a few minutes walk from the State Capital, The California State Railroad Museum and several other fine museums, parks, and tourist attractions. The museum, opened by Governor Pete Wilson in 1991, is the official military museum and historical research center of the State of California. This was reinforced on 11 September 2002 when Governor Gray Davis signed legislation making the museum a permanent museum under the California State Military Department and providing permanent funding for the museum. Finally on 13 July 2004, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation to amend the Government Code to make the museum the state's official military museum.
"I am signing AB 1939 which establishes the California State Military Museum and Resource Center located in Sacramento, California as the official military museum because I believe that it is very important to preserve California’s storied military heritage."
- Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in his message to the State Assembly, 13 July 2004
Today the museum houses over 33,000 artifacts as well a substantial library and archives. In addition to the main facility in Sacramento, the museum also has three satellite museums at Camp Roberts in Monterey County, Camp San Luis Obispo in San Luis Obispo County, and the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base (under development) in Orange County. We also oversee non-public Regimental Rooms at the San Diego Armory and other National Guard facilities across the state.

A Message from the Museum Director

Thank you for taking the time to visit our web site. We hope you find it educational and enlightening. But, no matter how good a web site or virtual museum it is, it won't replace an actual visit to a museum or historic site. We hope you take a little more time and come and visit us.

It should be noted that our program does not glorify war. Rather, its intent is to remind this and future generations of the sacrifices made by previous generations to keep our state and nation free.

Californians have a long and proud tradition of service that stretches back over two centuries when Alta California was a Spanish colony and later a Mexican province. Since joining the Union, California has provided more of its citizens to our common defense than any other state. From the lonely 18th century colonial presidios of the El Real Ejército de California (Royal Spanish Army of California) to the mountains of Afghanistan, Californians have always been there and continue the tradition of selfless service.

Californians who have served our nation reads like a who's who of American Military History. Generals William T. Sherman, Henry Halleck and Joseph Hooker all served in the California State Militia before the Civil War. Many of the leaders on both sides of that war served in California. The California Volunteers were among the first to enter Manila during the Spanish-American War. Nelson Holderman, considered by many to be the most decorated American soldier of the First World War, served in the California National Guard before and after the war. Generals George Patton and James Doolittle were native Californians and Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz and General of the Air Force Henry "Hap" Arnold considered California their home state.

Thanks to the support of the Governor, the State Legislature, and the Adjutant General, California has one of the most active and innovative programs in the United States.

Again, thanks for "surfing in" and we hope you visit us soon.

Dan Sebby
Acting Director and Curator
The California State Military Museum Foundation (an Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3) non-public benefit corporation) is supported by the California Center for Military History and operates the museum under the auspices of the Adjutant General, California Military Department under an operating agreement. The museum is also designated as a United States Army Museum Activity.

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This non-classified computer system is provided as a public service to the California State Military Museum and the California Center for Military History, California State Military Department. It is intended for use by the public for viewing and retrieving information only. Unauthorized attempts to upload information or change information on this service are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986. Secured operational or secured personal data may not be uploaded or downloaded via this server. Unless otherwise indicated, all information on this system is considered public information and may be distributed or copied. Please report any breech of security to the listed web site maintenance officer (webmaster). The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the United States Department of Defense, The California State Military Department or the California State Military Museum Foundation.

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