William H. Lytle, Captain
Stanford Capps, First Lieutenant
Scott River in Siskiyou County is a tributary to the Klamath River which had its origin in the Scott Mountains on the Southern boundary of the County. The Northern part of the State was settled in many localities when the great gold rush moved into California. Life was extremely difficult and many times hazardous for the pioneers, not only because of the inaccessibility of the mining and lumbering locations, but there were numerous bands of hostile Indians throughout this section of the State.
It is possible the Indians were causing the settlers to become alarmed over the hostilets activities as on the twenty-sixth of January 1856,. the residents of the County took the necessary steps to organize a volunteer military company. Apparently the company was not officially perfected immediately,as the Muster In Roll is dated the tenth of May 1856. A Bond for $3,100 which was signed by William H. Lytle, E. J. Elzy, and William W. Smith on the tenth of May, was witnessed by James George, Justice of the Peace, and approved by A. M. Rosborough, County Judge of Siskiyou County. General D. D. Colton communicated with Adjutant General Kibbe on June 26, 1856, enclosing the muster roll and other papers belonging to the Scott River Guard. He also informed the General, "That they were very much in need of arms at the time as the Indians were committing depredations daily in the vicinity. All they wanted was arms, as they had enough good men to whip all the Indians in the State and the Vigilance Committee thrown in, if they just had the arms." (1)
On August 20, 1856, Governor J. Neely Johnson communicated with Adjutant-General Kibbe requesting the Adjutant-General to supply General D. D. Colton with 100 rifles and accoutrements, or their equivalent, for the arming of the volunteers in the Northern portion of the State. The arms were to be obtained from the Vigilance Committee.
The Adjutant General's Report of December 15, 1856, listed the numerical strength of the corps as seventy-five men. Also in this Report the General made the statement "That some of the companies have never been equipped, owing to the inability of the State to furnish them with the arms." The Scott River Guard is listed in the December 15, 1857, Report of General Kibbe. There are no records to indicate that the Scott River Guard was issued arms, nor, are there any records of activities that the corps may have participated in, although the Siskiyou History states that the company was in existence for several years before it was disbanded. (2)
(1) Letter on file State Archives, State Capitol.