California State Military Department
The California State Military Museum
Preserving California's Military Heritage
California State Militia and National Guard Unit Histories
San Francisco Light Guard
 
Official or Other Names: San Francisco Light Guard, Company F, First Infantry Regiment, Second Brigade
Location: San Francisco, San Francisco County
 
Mustered In: October 10, 1858
 
Commanding Officers
Eli Cook, Captain; Commissioned 1858
T. B. Parker, First Lieutenant; Commissioned 1858
 
George T. Lnox, Captain; Elected December 28, 1860; Commissioned January 1, 1861; Resigned August 22, 1861
John Hanna, First Lieutenant; Elected December 28, 1860; Commissioned January 1, 1861;
 
Rufus Smith, Captain; Elected September 5, 1861; Commissioned September 23, 1861
John Hanna, First Lieutenant, Re-elected September 1861
 
Charles F. Robbins, Captain; Elected March 9, 1863; Commissioned March 27, 1863; Resigned January 4, 1865
Cyrus H. Simpson, First Lieutenant; Elected March 9, 1863; Commissioned March 27, 1863
 
Cyrus H. Simpson, Captain; Elected January 4, 1865; Commissioned January 21, 1865; Re-elected January 8, 1866
D. T. Phelps, First Lieutenant; Elected January 4, 1865; Commissioned January 21, 1865; Re-elected January 8, 1866
 
Eli Cook, Captain; Elected May, 7, 1866; Commissioned November 7, 1866; Resigned April 8, 1868
Stephen Barker, First Lieutenant; Elected May, 7, 1866; Commissioned November 7, 1866
 
Stephen Barker, Captain; Elected March 2, 1868; Commissioned March 28, 1868
Mortimer G. Shove; Elected March 2, 1868; Commissioned March 28, 1868
 
James E. Hughes; Captain; Elected August 15, 1871; Commissioned August 30, 1871; Re-elected March 9, 1872; Re-elected September 21, 1875; Re-elected August 7, 1877
John H. Warren, First Lieutenant; Elected March 1, 1870; Commissioned March 10, 1870; Re-elected March 9, 1872; Resigned January 22, 1873
William E. Deering, First Lieutenant; Elected May 6, 1873; Commissioned May 23, 1873
Joseph J. Butler, First Lieutenant; Elected September 21, 1875; Commissioned October 11, 1875
 
Martin Jones, Captain; Elected March 5, 1878; Commissioned March 9, 1878; Resigned February 20, 1879
George M. Gaylord, First Lieutenant; Elected March 5, 1878; Commissioned March 9, 1878
 
George M. Gaylord, Captain; Elected April 1, 1879; Commissioned April 10, 1879
W. H. McClintock, First Lieutenant; Elected April 1, 1879; Commissioned April 10, 1879; Resigned July 1, 1879
George M. Reed, First Lieutenant; Elected August 19, 1879; Commissioned September 9, 1879


History

The San Francisco Light Guard was organized on November 12, 1858 at a meeting at which Lieutenant-Colonel Henry A. Cobb presided, Eli Cook was elected Captain and T. B. Parker, First Lieutenant.

The company received thirty-eight old and almost unserviceable muskets, that belonged to the State and started to drill regularly while waiting for new arms. Not until 1861 did this unit receive their arms consisting of a stand of sixty rifles and all the necessary accoutrements. Upon the receipt of their new arms the Adjutant General reported the company as being well drilled, well officered and fully equipped for efficient service to the State if needed. (1)

On November 14, 1859, the San Francisco Light Guard held their first public parade under the leadership of Captain Eli Cook. The company made a splendid appearance in their new uniforms of grey, slashed with white, with gold trimming, and caps of bear skins. (2)

On October 18, 1859, seven companies of the volunteer militia participated in a reception given in honor of General Winfield Scott, hero and noted soldier of the Mexican Campaign. Upon his arrival in the Bay City, Governor Weller and other high dignitaries of the State tendered their respects to the famous General. The militia companies taking part in the reception were the Black Hussars, First California Guard, San Francisco Light Guard, Independent National Guard, California Fusileers, and the Marion Rifles. (3)

The records on file indicate that the San Francisco Light Guard was faithful in drill and parade activities. On one muster roll dated September 9, 1870, the following notation appears:

"This company had during the year forty-four drills and sixteen parades a with an average attendance at drills of rank and file twenty-five, and at parade thirty-five. The papers regarding this company are routine in character, Muster Rolls, monthly returns and target practice returns."

In 1880 with the reorganization of the National Guard in California, the San Francisco Light Guard became formally designated as Company F. For additional information relative to this company refer to Company F, First Infantry Regiment.

Footnotes

(1) Adjutant General Report, 1861, page 89.

(2) The San Francisco.Daily Herald, November 15, 1859, page column 3.

(3) Sacramento Union, October 19, 1859, page 3, column 3.


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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