California Militia and National Guard Unit Histories
Downey Guard
Official or other designations: Downey Guard, 1st Brigade, 5th Division, California Militia
Location: Timbuctoo, Yuba County
Mustered in: August 1860
Mustered out: 1861
Unit papers on file with the California State Archives:
a. Organization Papers 1 document (no date)
b. Bonds 1 document (1860)
c. Correspondence (Unclassified letters) 4 documents (1860-1861)
d. Election Returns none
e. Exempt Certificates, Applications for none
f. Muster Rolls, Monthly returns 2 documents (1860-1861)
g. Oaths Qualifications 1 document (1861)
h. Orders none
i. Receipts, invoices 1 document (1861)
j. Requisitions none
k. Resignations 1 document (1861)
l. Target Practice Reports none
m. Other none
Commanding Officers

Ambrose Kerrigan, Captain; elected September 6, 1860
Martin Nevin, First Lieutenant; elected September 6, 1860

Ambrose Kerrigan, Captain; commissioned July 24, 1861
John McQuaid, First Lieutenant; commissioned July 24, 1861


The Downey Guard of Timbuctoo, Yuba County, was organized in August 1860, with a Roll Call of sixty three members. The unit received their arms soon after organization as an Indian attack was feared by the community. A regular business meeting was held early in 1861 when fines for delinquencies on the part of members and monthly dues and assessments were collected and paid to the treasurer. Several new members joined the company's ranks soon after organization. The original building occupied by the Guard for drill had become too small for the increasing number of recruits and at that meeting a committee was appointed to secure a larger hall in order to accommodate the increased membership.

The corps sent a petition, July 1861, signed by the officers and members to Governor Downey, regarding a person named Kibbing who was being held in jail presumably on a minor offense. The Guard favored his acquittal.[1]

Although the Downey Guard had a large membership at organization and was a well officered corps, the early disbandment of the unit after a little more than a year's existence., was caused by lack of interest on the part of members due to. Captain Kerrigan's resignation. The arms and accoutrements were returned to the State.[2]
1. Letters on file State Archives, State Capitol.
2. Adjutant General Report 1861, page 127.
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
Updated 30 January 2015