California Militia and National Guard Unit Histories
First Calaveras Guard
Organizational Data
Assigned to: First Calaveras Guard, 3rd Brigade, California Militia
Location: Moklumne Hill, Calaveras County
Mustered in: July 26, 1852
Mustered out: May 28, 1853
Inclusive dates of units papers: 1852-1868

Papers on file at the California State Archives:

a. Organization Papers 1 document (1852)
b. Bonds 1 document (1866)
c. Correspondence (Unclassified letters) 46 documents (1853-1868)
d. Election Returns 13 documents (1861-1866)
e. Exempt Certificates, Applications for none
f. Muster Rolls, Monthly returns 29 documents (1861-1868)
g. Oaths Qualifications 22 documents (1862-1868)
h. Orders none
i. Receipts, invoices 16 documents (1854-1868)
j. Requisitions 7 documents (1852-1867)
k. Resignations none
l. Target Practice Reports 2 documents (1866-1867)
m. Other Company Fund Certification, 1 document (1864)

Commanding Officers

Arnold C. Lewis Captain, Date of Rank: July 26, 1852
C. A. Luke, First Lieutenant. Date of Rank: July 26, 1852

The First Calaveras Guard was organized July 26, 1852, to quell the Mexicans and Chileans who.were robbing, murdering and way-laying the citizens in Calaveras County. Soon after organization there was an uprising among the foreign element, and it was necessary for the County Judge to call on the First Calaveras Guard, for assistance: in repelling the armed mob of three hundred persons. Much difficulty was experienced in restoring order and the Guard was hampered by the shortage of ammunition. The corps possessed only two rounds of caps which necessitated charging with buckshot. Although successful in quelling the rioters on this occasion.,' Captain Lewis did not care for a repetition of this dangerous procedure, and in a letter September 18, 1852, to General Kibbe he informed the General of the impending.Civil War in the southern section of Calaveras, and urgently requested a generous supply of ammunition and, if possible, pistols.

This company was short lived. Its sole purpose being to put a stop to foreign lawlessness. As most of the members of the company were miners, allowing them little time to drill, it is not surprising to find that the unit disbanded May 30, 1853, after it was seen that the lawlessness practiced by the foreigners had been checked for the present.

(1) San Francisco Daily Herald, May 30, 1853, page 2, column 4.


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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Updated 8 February 2016