California State Military Department
The California Military Museum
Preserving California's Military Heritage
Historic California Posts:
Camp Bidwell
(Camp Chico)
 
This camp, originally called Camp Chico, was established at Chico, Butte County, by Captain Samuel H. Starr with Company F, 2nd California Cavalry on August 15, 1863, and by Company A, 6th California Infantry, on August 26, 1863. Company I, 2nd California Cavalry also garrison the post. Available post returns are dated from August 1863 to May 1865.
"In 1864 and 1865 there were quite a number of persons sent to Fort Alcatraz from Butte County. There was one who when Lincoln was assassinated, made very filthy remarks about Lincoln and preached Jeff Davis. When Captain Doty, who was in command of the soldiers at Chico, heard of his remarks he detailed three men to bring the man to camp. This man had always made his boast about what he would do if the soldiers tried to get him and packed a large Colt revolver. The soldiers rode to his home and asked for him. His daughter said he was on the plains looking after his stock. They rode away and soon saw a man on horseback. They rode up and one said, "Is your name Stewart."
 
He said, "Yes," and about that time he was looking in the barrels of two carbines. One rode up and took the revolver. They then tied his feet under the horse's belly and led him to camp. He was sent to Alcatraz for three months."
 
The Last of the Mill Creeks, and Early Life in Northern California, by Sim Moak (1923)

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