California Militia and National Guard Unit Histories
Banks Guard
Military Unit Designation: Banks Guard, Company E, 2nd Infantry Battalion, 4th Brigade, California Militia.
Date of Organization: 31 October 1863
Date of Disbanding: 25 July 1866
Inclusive dates of units papers at State Archives: 1863-1866
Geographical Location or Locations: Smith's Flat, El Dorado County
Unit Papers on file at the California State Archives, Sacramento:

a. Organization Papers none
b. Bonds 1 document (1864)
c. Correspondence (Unclassified letters) 9 documents (1863-1864)
d. Election Returns 1 document (1865)
e. Exempt Certificates, Applications for none
f. Muster Rolls, Monthly returns 6 documents (1864-1866)
g. Oaths Qualifications 4 documents (1865)
h. Orders none
i. Receipts, invoices 3 documents (1864-1866)
j. Requisitions 1 document (1863)
k. Resignations none
l. Target Practice Reports none

Commanding Officers:

Pling M. Taft, Captain: Elected October 3, 1863; commissioned October 31, 1863; reelected April 28, 1865
William Wiltse, First Lieutenant: Elected October 3, 1863; commissioned October 31, 1863
Charles W. Childs, First Lieutenant: Elected April 28, 1865
Official History:

The town of Smith's Flat· is situated near Placerville in a rich mining district. During the prime of its mining activities the town was the scene of many riots caused by the transient population, found congregated together wherever mine operations were conducted. The citizens of this town felt an urgent need of a military unit to enforce law and order among these people which prompted them to organize the Banks Guard on October 3, 1863.

There were no records on file pertaining to the activities of this company except for the annual election of officers. At the first election P. M. Taft was appointed as Captain of the company and William Wiltse as First Lieutenant. Upon expiration of their term (April 28 , 1865) P. M. Taft was re-elected as Captain, while William Wiltse joined Company K, Eight Infantry Regiment , California Volunteers, and was given the rank of Second Lieutenant. The vacancy caused by Lieutenant Wiltse was filled by electing Charles W. Childs to the office of First Lieutenant. The newly elected Lieutenant served with Captain Taft until .the company was mustered out of the service on July 25, 1866, pursuant to the Military Law of that year which eliminated the companies in small mining towns having transient populations which prevented the units keeping up the membership requirement under the stringent Military Laws of the State.
Search our Site!
Search the Web Search California Military History Online
View My Stats
Visitors since 8 December 1998
Questions and comments concerning this site should be directed to the Webmaster
Updated 23 June 2017