California Militia and National Guard Unit Histories
Mariposa Guard
Other or Official Titles: Mariposa Guard, Third Division, First Brigade, California Militia
Location: Mariposa, Mariposa County
Date of Organization: March 1, 1856
Inclusive dates of units papers: 1856
Commanding Officers
A. J. Gregory, Captain, Elected March 1, 1856
G. C.N Johnson; First Lieutenant, Elected March 1, 1856
Unit papers on file at the California State Archives:

a. Organization Papers 2 docs (1856)
b. Bonds none
c. Correspondence (Unclassified letters) none
d. Election Returns none
e. Exempt Certificates, Applications for none
f. Muster Rolls, Monthly returns none
g. Oaths Qualifications none
h. Orders none
i. Receipts, invoices none
j. Requisitions none
k. Resignations none
l. Target Practice Reports none
m. Other none
Official History
Mariposa County was one of California's first settled counties and contains one of the "Groves of Big Trees" for which California is famous. The residents of the district were desirous of having a volunteer militia company so preparations were instituted for such an organization. The Mariposa Gazette published a Military Notice on Thursday evening, February 28, 1856, signed by J. M. Bondurant, County Judge of Mariposa County, which stated that J. F. Myers, John Keefe, J. W. Huey, and forty-eight other persons, all citizens of said locality and subject to military duty, had subscribed to a call for a volunteer company. The Judge appointed B. B. Harris as the proper person to open the book for enrolling the names at the same time setting Saturday evening, March 1, 1856, as the time and the Southern Hotel as the meeting place for the purpose of organizing the company.(1)

Mr. Harris presided as Chairman of the meeting and appointed C. W. Blaisdell as Secretary. The roll was called and as fifty one members were present which was a sufficient number, the motion was made and carried to proceed to the election of officers. Twelve officers were elected, but the election of drummer and fifer was postponed until a future meeting. It was unanimously resolved by the company, "that the arms be muskets and bayonets, that it be an infantry company and that it be designated Mariposa Guard." A committee was appointed to draft a Constitution and By-Laws and to report at a future meeting. A committee of three was also appointed to propose a suitable uniform and to report to the company at the follow ing meeting. It was also resolved that the term of the officer elected 'be twelve months. After the completion of this business the Mariposa Guard adjourned to meet on Thursday the twentieth of March at ten o'clock for the purpose of drilling.

The Guard was another of the early day companies organized, but where no record of their official mustering into the State's Militia was recorded. Ambitious men were instrumental in the organizing of many companies where it was thought they were needed. Sometimes the records show the officers were commissioned, but there was a deficiency of arms and accoutrements in the State Arsenal and all companies so organized were not furnished the supplies needed for the maintenance of a well drilled corps. The Adjutant General endeavored to supply these materials to the districts who were suffering most from Indian depredations thus leaving the other companies without the desired arms; causing a loss of interest which resulted in a final disbanding of the volunteers. It is assumed that the well meaning efforts of these patriotic men were allowed to become stagnant and the Mariposa Guard was disbanded before they were officially mustered into the State service.


(1) The original copy of this notice with the County Seal affixed was filed with the Adjutant General's Office dated February 18, 1856.



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