"… Californians, especially notoriously good fighters, were standing up to the rack like men, dealing out to us the best they had. They rallied at every call on them and went down with banners flying."
-John W. Munson, Commenting on the California Cavalry Battalion from Reminiscences of a Mosby Guerrilla.
Spanish Soldado de Cuera - circa 1790 (US Army Art Collection)
Welcome to California Military History Online!

Thank you for taking the time to visit our web site. We hope you find it educational and enlightening.

It should be noted that this site does not glorify war. Rather, its intent is to remind this and future generations of the sacrifices made by previous generations to keep our state and nation free.

Californians have a long and proud tradition of service that stretches back over two centuries when Alta California was a Spanish colony and later a Mexican province. Since joining the Union, California has provided more of its citizens to our common defense than any other state. From the lonely 18th century colonial presidios of the El Real Ejército de California (Royal Spanish Army of California) to the mountains of Afghanistan, Californians have always been there and continue the tradition of selfless service.

Californians who have served our nation reads like a who's who of American Military History. Generals William T. Sherman, Henry Halleck and Joseph Hooker all served in the California State Militia before the Civil War. Many of the leaders on both sides of that war served in California. The California Volunteers were among the first to enter Manila during the Spanish-American War. Nelson Holderman, considered by many to be the most decorated American soldier of the First World War, served in the California National Guard before and after the war. Generals George Patton and James Doolittle were native Californians and Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz and General of the Air Force Henry "Hap" Arnold considered California their home state.

Again, thanks for "surfing in" and we hope you visit us soon.

Status of the California State Military Museum System
Opened in 1991, The California State Military Museum was operated for the California Military Department by a non-profit organization, as the State did not have a mechanism to receive donated artifacts and funds. The museum operated under this arrangement until 2013 when a combination of factors resulted in the termination of the relationship with that non-profit organization. At the same time the state's budget crisis and limitations on state funds resulted in the closing of the Sacramento museum, which was occupying very expensive commercial rental property in Old Sacramento. In the interim, the Camp Roberts Historical Museum is functioning as the State's official military museum and US Army Museum Activity until the Sacramento museum is reestablished. The Military Department's strategic plan for the museum system is located HERE
The California Military Department is proud to announce the planned reestablishment of the California State Military Museum as part of an overall statewide museum system. On June 30, 2016, The Adjutant General of California, Maj. Gen. David S. Baldwin, and the commanding general of the California State Military Reserve, Brig. Gen. (CA) Frank Emanuel, symbolically broke ground at the site of the California State Military Museum and Center for Military History at its new site located at 2814 B Street in Midtown Sacramento. The three- acre, state- owned site consists of 75,000 square feet of display, educational, administration and artifact storage and conservation space.

The site, currently a Military Department logistical facility, will be converted in stages to a state-of-the-art museum and historical research center focusing on all aspects of military history as it relates to California and its people. The museum's coverage will span from 1769, with the establishment of the first Spanish military presence in San Diego, to the present fight against terrorism.
To view the groundbeaking of the new museum complex in Sacramento, CLICK HERE

The Sacramento museum will be an addition to the already established museum at the Camp Roberts Maneuver Training Center located in Southern Monterey County. A third museum is in the planning stages and will be located at the 7th Street Armory in Long Beach. In addition to these three public museums, major exhibit areas are going to be located at the Joint Forces Training Base-Los Alamitos, San Diego National Guard Armory and Fresno Air National Guard Base.

Leadership for this enterprise rests with Col. (CA) John Goodnight, commander of the State Military Reserve's Military Heritage Command, with Col. (CA) Fred Rutledge serving as director of museum operations and Sgt. Maj (CA) Dan Sebby serving as curator of the museum system.

You can support the museum system by making a contribution to the California State Military Museums at
www.californiamilitarymuseum.org. A recent change in California state law now gives the California Military Department the authority to solicit and receive tax- deductible monetary contributions for the California State Military Museum System without requiring the use of an outside non-profit organization.

For your tax- planning purposes here are the Federal and California tax citations:
You can follow the progress of the museum enterprise at the new California State Military Museums' new Facebook page.

If you have any questions, please e-mail

(Approved CMD PAO 12 Aug 16)
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