California Militia and National Guard Unit Histories
Montgomery Guard

Official or other designations: Montgomery Guard, Company B, First Infantry Regiment, Second Brigade

Location: San Francisco, San Francisco County

Mustered in: December 1859

Commanding Officers

R. P. Hanna, Captain; commissioned: April 29 1860
Thomas Callan, First Lieutenant; commissioned: April 29 1860

James T. Hyde, Captain; elected October 10, 1861; commissioned October 14, 1861; reelected December 4, 1863
Charles Quinn, First Lieutenant; elected October 10, 1861; commissioned October 14, 1861
William Lee, First Lieutenant, elected December 4, 1863; commissioned February 9, 1864

D. J. Oullahan, Captain; elected January 22, 1864; commissioned February 9, 1864
William Lee, First Lieutenant; reelected January 22, 1864; commissioned February 9, 1864

Charles Quinn, Captain; elected February 22, 1868 commissioned February 26, 1868; reelected February 25, 1870; March 9, 1872; February 3, 1874; February 12, 1878
William Lee, First Lieutenant; elected February 22, 1868 commissioned February 26, 1868; reelected February 25, 1870; March 9, 1872
John McCully, First Lieutenant; February 3, 1874; commissioned February 12, 1874; reelected February 15, 1876; February 12, 1878

John F. Megher Captain; elected May 29, 1879; commissioned May 28, 1879
Samuel B. Gang, First Lieutenant; elected April 1, 1880; commissioned April 21, 1880



The Montgomery Guard was organized in December 1859, and mustered into tile service of the State. The first officers were R. P. Hanna, Captain and Thomas Callan, First Lieutenant. On June 22, 1861, the company received their arms and accoutrements from the Adjutant General consisting of sixty muskets and necessary accessories. The company selected the name Montgomery Guard in honor of General William Reading Montgomery. General Montgomery was a graduate of the United States Military Academy in 1825, and became a Second Lieutenant in the Third Infantry of the United States Army. In 1838, he was promoted to Captain and served with his company on the Canadian Border. General Montgomery was wounded twice in the Mexican War of 1848, but was still fighting at the head of his regiment at Chapultepec during the capture of Mexico City. He also served in the Civil War with the Army of the Potomac, and was commissioned Brigadier General of the United States Volunteers on May 7 1861. Failing health caused the General's retirement in 1864 [1]

There are no letters or papers on file pertaining to the activities of the Montgomery Guard, and all information regarding the unit was taken from the Adjutant General's Reports.

In the reorganization plan of 1866, the Montgomery Guard was one of the companies selected to be mustered out of service. It is assumed that the reason for that action was a question of location rather than either weakness in numbers or efficiency, as in 1868 when another change in the Militia Law reduced the number of companies from eighty to sixty through the recommendation of the Board of Location and Organization, the Montgomery Guard was again mustered into the service of the State and attached to the First Infantry Battalion as Company A.

On February 24, 1871, the Third Infantry Battalion was mustered out of service and the Montgomery Guard was transferred to the Third infantry Regiment, Second Brigade by Special Order No. 8.

On July 23, 1876, the entire Second Brigade was ordered to assemble at their armories in anticipation of riotous disturbances on the part of agitators against the increasing number of Chinese "collie" labor being brought into the country. Mobs nightly intimidated the Chinese by assembling in Chinatown, and the rioters frequently were guilty of law violations. The National Guard was mustered and ready for immediate call, but no orders for action came until July twenty ninth at seven o'clock p.m. at which time the Sheriff of the city called on the troops for aid. The National Guard took up strategic points in the city and soon the rioting ceased. The next morning the Second Brigade was dismissed. [2] On November 10, 1877, the company was under arms with the Second Brigade for nine days, ready for immediate action if the civil authorities required their services. On January 16, 1878, the Second Brigade was called to arms for eleven days at the request of the Sheriff of San Francisco County in anticipation of a recurrence of anti Chinese demonstrations. Undoubtedly the mustering of the troops in their armories had a restraining effect on the riotously inclined citizens, as the services of the troops were not required and after eleven days the Brigade was dismissed. [3]

In 1880, the Montgomery Guard was ordered to be redesignated as Company A, Third Infantry Regiment. On June 1, 1881, Companies C and D were consolidated with Company A and designated as Company A, Third Infantry Battalion, Second Brigade. In less than a year on March 22, 1682, the Third Battalion was mustered out of the service of the State. However the former batalion reorganized into an independent regiment. On April 2, 1883, order was issued by the Adjutant General mustering the regiment into the National Guard again. Company A, organized as the Montgomery Guard, reentered the Third Regiment as Company D. For further activities of this unit refer to Company D, Third Infantry Regiment, Second Brigade.


1. Appleton Biography Encyclopedia, Volume 5, page 372.

2. Adjutant General Report 1875-1877, page 73.

3. Adjutant General Report 1877-1879, page 76.

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