California Militia and National Guard Unit Histories
Washington Horse Guard
Official or Other Names: Washington Horse Guard, 2nd Brigade, 5th Division, California Militia
Location: Santa Rosa, Sonoma County.
Date of Organization: July 25, 1859
Inclusive dates of units papers: 1859
Unit papers on file at the California State Archives:
a. Organization Papers 1 document (1859)
b. Bonds none
c. Correspondence (Unclassified letters) 2 documents (1859)
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
Commanding Officers
J. W. Morris, Captain; Elected July 28, 1859
C. White, First Lieutenant; Elected July 28, 1859


County Judge, William Churchman, July 13, 1859, approved the petition presented by the citizens of Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, for the organization of an Independent Cavalry Corps and a notice appeared in the local. newspaper, The Democrat, for the required number of days, informing residents of the registration of volunteers for such a company. In accordance with the notice, a meeting was held July 25, 1859, and the Washington Horse Guard was organized. An election was held at this meeting when J. W. Morris was elected Captain and C. White, First Lieutenant. Included with the company's organization papers on file was the original Tally-Sheet.(1) The object of the young men raising the volunteer company was for military discipline and to be in readiness for service. when needed.

Due to the scarcity of material on file and also the absence of an Adjutant General's Report for 1859, it was impossible to follow the company's activities. Although the corps had a rank of fifty-four members and the Governor had commissioned the officers with rank date July 28, 1859 it was assumed the members lost interest and were disbanded by mutual consent soon after organization.
(1) Original record of election July 28, 1859, on file State Archives
(2) Sacramento Union, October 22, 1859, page 2, column 1.
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

Updated 18 May 2008