California State Military Department
The California Military Museum
Preserving California's Military Heritage
California State Militia and National Guard Unit Histories
Los Angeles Guard
Assigned to: First Brigade

Location: Los Angeles, Los Angeles County
 
Organized: July 23, 1853
Mustered into the National Guard: September 8, 1874
Mustered out: May 1, 1881
 
Commanding Officers
John 0. Wheeler, Captain, Date of Rank: July 23, 1853; Commissioned: July 28, 1853
Myron Norton, First Lieutenant, Date of Rank: July 23, 1853; Commissioned: July 28, 1853


History


The Los Angeles Guard was. organized on July 23,1853, in Los Angeles. John 0. Wheeler was elected Captain and Myron Norton, First Lieutenant. In their. requisition for arms the company requested that seventy-five rifles and accouterments be sent to them immediately, as there were very few arms in the Los Angeles area except what ,was.held by bands of organized villains of the worst type. The members preferred rifles as part of the time they would be engaged in cavalry routine, especially when dealing with gangs of robbers or raiding bands of Indians.

The Los Angeles Guard received their arms and equipment on December ninth. It was regrettable that the minute books of the early volunteer militia companies were not preserved for no doubt they would furnish interesting history for the readers of today. But no records of the activities of this company could be found, although it was certain that the unit was actively engaged in stamping out lawlessness in that region

The records of the unit seem to be very sparse. The National Guard's history states:

"On November 24, 1880 the Adjutant General ordered Major J.A. Dinsmore to hold an inspection of the Los Angeles Guard. Apparently, the Major found so much dissention and ill feeling in this unit that its continuance as a Volunteer Militia Company would be folly, so on May 1, 1881 the Los Angeles Guard was mustered out of service leaving Los Angeles without any military unit subject to the command of the National Guard, to protect its citizens against Indian depredations." Outline History of the California National Guard, Vol. 3, pp. 695-696.


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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