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California State Militia and National Guard Unit Histories
Sierra Greys
(Sierra County Blues)
 

Official or Other Titles:
Sierra Greys, Second Brigade, Sixth Division
 
Location: La Porte, Sierra County
 
Mustered in: October 9, 1858
Mustered Out: December 9, 1861

Commanding Officers
Creed Haymond, Captain; Commissioned October 9, 1858
Eli B. Evans, First Lieutenant; Commissioned October 9, 1858
 
W. S. Parvins, Captain; Elected July 24, 1861; Commissioned August 29,1861
N. B. Dover, First Lieutenant; Elected July 24, 1861; Commissioned August 29,1861


Official History

La Porte, Sierra County, was named by Frank Everts, a leading spirit of the town in honor of his old home in Indiana. In 1866, the State Legislature changed the county boundaries giving to Plumas County the section wherein lay La Porte. (1) Civic minded residents believing that a season of peace was the time to prepare for war, banded themselves together to form a volunteer military organization so as to have protection for the immediate vicinity, as the settlement was located in a section of the country where hostile Indians often times besieged the pioneers, increasing their troubles and 'hardships. At the organization meeting of the new unit of militia, October 9, 1858, the company was designated as the Sierra Greys to be a part of the Sierra Battalion. The same officers, Captain Creed Haymond and First Lieutenant Eli B. Evans who had been elected at the organization meeting, were retained until the election of July 1861.

The town of La Porte was planning a Fourth of July celebration and the committee in charge of the affair had engaged Colonel E. D. Baker to deliver the oration of the day for which he was paid $1,000. William S. Byrne was engaged as the poet for the occasion. The military company not liking this expensive arrangement also invited Moses Kirkpatrick and Matthew Taylor, two of their militia friends, to be orator and poet. As a result, there were two orations delivered and two poems read. The "militia boys" made the most noise, much to the disgust of the "nobs", as the committee was called in patriotic fervor. (2)
It was not until the thirtieth of June 1859, before the new company was given arms, which were not in good condition when turned over from the Nevada Rifles. Captain Haymond at the same time was borrowing ten guns from Captain Ager of the National Guard of Downieville, in order that both the Sierra Greys and the Gibsonville Blues could have enough equipment for drilling routine.
,
An opportunity came for this company to give their services to their country. The Indian depredations in Washoe necessitated the calling out of troops to go to the aid of that district. The Sierra Greys, sixty strong armed and equipped men, tendered their services for the Washoe War. They were ready to march at a moment's notice and to take their chances for pay from the Federal Government. The company's offer was accepted and it served as a part of the Sierra Battalion under command of Major Hungerford. This battalion was subsequently a part of the Utah Regiment under the command of Colonel John C. Hays until discharged, June 10, 1860 (3)
 
In the early part of the year of 1861, California began preparations to tender her military forces for services in the United States Army. On July twenty-fourth the Sierra Greys as an infantry unit for the second time unanimously resolved, "To tender the services of the company to the Government to be used at any time and place they may be needed," and requested of Governor Downey that he give favorable consideration to their company on the first requisition made by the Federal Government for State troops. The company's offer was later accepted and it went into the United States Army as a part of Company F, First Regiment of Infantry, California Volunteers with Captain Parvin as one of the two Captains of the new corps. There is no mustering out date for the Sierra Greys other than a letter from Adjutant-General Kibbe to the Captain, December 9, 1861, requesting the return of the company's arms so that the Bond could be canceled for the same. Captain Haymond replied to the General that the arms had been sent to Downieville and from there to the Washoe War. The Captain also stated that the guns had been left at Downieville, and were not in good condition; that they belonged to the Sierra Battalion and were in charge of Captain Ager of the National Guard of that city.
 
Company F, First Regiment of Infantry, California Volunteers, was formally assembled and organized at Camp Downey, which was named in honor of the Governor of the State. On January 1, 1862, Company F left Fort Yuma and after long marches and resting points arrived at Fort Craig, New Mexico, October 4, 1862, a total distance of 750 miles. On the eighteenth of June the same year, Sergeant Wheeling, a former member of the Sierra Greys, was massacred by Indians in the Apache Pass, while en route to the Rio Grande, carrying express. The company was sent from Fort Craig to Socorro County for Indian scouting during the year of 1864, marching 600 miles. Company F, First Regiment of Infantry was mustered out of the service of the United States Army at Los Pinos, New Mexico, August 31, 1864, and those members whose terms had not expired were consolidated into a Battalion of seven companies and known as the First Veteran Infantry, California Volunteers.
 
 


Footnotes
(1) History Plumas, Lassen and Sierra Counties, California; Fariss and Smith, 1882, page 291.
 
(2) History Plumas, Lassen and Sierra Counties, California.; Fariss and Smith, 1882, page 292, calls the company the Sierra County Blues.
 
(3) Letter and telegram, State Archives.

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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