California State Military Department
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Preserving California's Military Heritage
Historic California Posts:
Camp Frederica
 
 
Established on 13 August 1850 by Major Albert S. Miller with a battalion of the 2nd Infantry, Camp Frederica was situated on the Stanislaus River in the present county of the same name. For many years historians, locating the camp as "150 miles east of Monterey," had confused the 1849 and 1850 summer encampments on the river, consolidating them as "Millers Camp" or Camp Stanislaus (1849 ), located at or near Taylor's Ferry (modern Riverbank) on the north bank. Miller's post of 1850 was established following escort duty for Lieutenant George Derby, U.S. topographical engineer, who surveyed the coast's mountain ranges, seeking an easy transport route from Monterey to the central San Joaquin Valley. The military escort, from Monterey, primarily camped at Mission San Miguel Arcangel, located in northern San Luis Obispo County, until Derby completed his survey of the coast range. The first part of Derby's survey completed, the escort proceeded from Mission San Miguel and crossed over the coast range to the San Joaquin Valley. Following Derby's survey of the valley, he left the escort to write his report while Major Miller carried out the second part of his instructions, moving to the Stanislaus River and going into camp about seven miles from the Durham Ferry crossing on the San Joaquin River. Historians have made a number of guesses regarding the derivation of the name "Frederica," without arriving at any conclusion.

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