California and the Civil War
32nd Regiment of Infantry, New York Volunteers
(1st California Regiment)
Organized as the 1st California Regiment at Staten Island, N.Y., and mustered in May 31, 1861. Left State for Washington, D.C., June 29, 1861. Attached to Davies' Brigade, Miles' Division, McDowell's Army of Northeast Virginia, to August, 1861. Franklin's Brigade, Division of the Potomac, to October, 1861. Newton's Brigade, Franklin's Division, Army of the Potomac, to March, 1862. 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 1st Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, and Dept. of the Rappahannock, to May, 1862. 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 6th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to June, 1863.
Reconnaissance from Alexandria on Fairfax Road July 14, 1861. Advance on Manassas, Va., July 16-21. Near Fairfax Court House July 17. Battle of Bull Run July 21. Duty in the Defenses of Washington until March, 1862. Skirmish at Springfield Station October 3, 1861. Advance on Manassas, Va., March 10-15. McDowell's advance on Falmouth, Va., April 4-12. Ordered to the Peninsula, Va., April 22. Siege of Yorktown, Va., April 24-May 4, on transports. West Point May 7-8. Seven days before Richmond June 25-July 1. Gaines' Mill June 27. White Oak Swamp, Charles City Cross Roads and Glendale June 30. Malvern Hill July 1. At Harrison's Landing until August 16. Movement to Fortress Monroe, thence to Centreville August 16-28. In works at Centreville August 28-31, and cover Pope's retreat to Fairfax Court House September 1. Maryland Campaign September 6-22. Crampton's Gap, South Mountain, September 14. Battle of Antietam September 16-17. Duty in Maryland until October 29. Movement to Falmouth, Va., October 29-November 19. Battle of Fredericksburg, Va., December 12-15. "Mud March" January 20-24, 1863. At Falmouth until April 27. Chancellorsville Campaign April 27-May 6. Operations about Franklin's Crossing April 29-May 2. Maryes Heights, Fredericksburg, May 3. Salem Heights May 3-4. Banks' Ford May 4. Mustered out June 9, 1863, expiration of term. Three year men transferred to 121st Regiment New York Infantry.

Regiment lost during service 8 Officers and 37 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 1 Officer and 53 Enlisted men by disease. Total 99.
Colonel Roderic Matheson, a native of New York, lived in California. He recruited a regiment, while in the East, composed of men from the West Coast. When this original First California was formed, it was not credited to any state, but was treated as a Regular Army organization. Mustered into Federal service at Fort Schuyler, New York, it was thereafter sent to pull picket and scouting duty at Fort Monroe, New York. Matheson's First California took part in nine major battles and campaigns. Although he called his unit The First California Regiment, its heroic struggles were noted in battle records as the accomplishments of the 32nd Regiment of New York Volunteers.
Colonel Matheson 's war ended with his death during the fighting at Campton Pass, Maryland. He was later buried at his California residence with full military honors. When the terms of enlistment expired for the men of the regiment, they were honorably mustered out on June 9, 1863.
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Updated 19 July 2017