California Militia and National Guard Unit Histories
Bloomfield Guard
 
 
 
Military Unit Designation: Bloomfield Guard. Company C, 1st Infantry Battalion, 2nd Brigade, California Militia
Date of Organization: 29 October 1962
Date of Disbanding: 1866
Inclusive dates of units papers at State Archives: 1862-1867
Geographical Location or Locations: Bloomfield, Sonoma County
 
Unit Papers on File at the California State Archives

a. Organization Papers 3 documents (1862)
b. Bonds 1 document (1863)
c. Correspondence (Unclassified letters) 9 documents (1862-1863)
d. Election Returns 4 documents (1863-1864)
e. Exempt Certificates, Applications for none
f. Muster Rolls, Monthly returns 5 documents (1863-1865)
g. Oaths Qualifications 4 documents (1862)
h. Orders none
i. Receipts, invoices 5 documents (1863-1867)
j. Requisitions 1 document (1863)
k. Resignations 1 document (1864)
l. Target Practice Reports none
m. Other none

Commanding Officers:

C. R. Arthur, Captain: Elected October 29, 1862; commissioned December 9, 1862; reelected August 13, 1864
H. B. Canfield, First Lieutenant: Elected October 29, 1862; commissioned December 9, 1862; resigned March 19, 1864)
Charles Tittmore, First Lieutenant: Elected August 13, 1864; commissioned August 24, 1864.
 
Official History:

The Bloomfield Guard, Company C of Bloomfield, Sonoma County, was organized October 29, 1862 . The commanding officers C. R. Arthur, Captain and H. B. Canfield, First Lieutenant were elected at the same meeting. The requisition for arms and clothing was approved and sent to the Adjutant General However, the arms and accoutrements were not received until August 1863. In a letter to Captain Arthur, June 24, 1863, General Kibbe explained the delay as follows:
"In March 1863, the Federal Government promised to supply the State with all the arms asked for, but although 10,000 muskets had arrived on the Coast, at the date of his letter, no order had been issued to turn the arms over to the State which would in turn give them to the companies. A Bond of $1,500 was filed in August 1863, to cover the cost of arms and equipment."

 


The Bloomfield Guard was organized the month following the strife between the Grant Owners and Settlers at Santa Rosa, as a recurrence of the Grant Owners and Settlers difficulties was momentarily expected. Also the country was infested with Secessionists and undoubtedly the residents felt military protection was necessary. In 1844 the Mexican Government issued to Captain Fitch eleven leagues of land in Sonoma Valley designated as the Late Toma Ranch. After Captain Fitch's death in 1849, his heirs quickly dissipated the immense fortune their father had accumulated and also contracted large debts. During the emigrant influx to the County. from the middle Western States in 1849 to 1852 inclusive, the farmers settled on what they supposed to be land belonging to the Government. Matters went quietly along until 1854 when Mr. Baillache married one of Captain Fitch's daughters. About this time, Mr. Fitch who was sole administrator of the estate, in order to appease the creditors sold the land holdings, which was in violation of the rights of the minors. At this sale Mr. Baillache bought 1,460 acres of the land. In 1858 he sued the settlers on the property in order to avoid the Statute of Limitations. Although the land title had been confirmed in 1856, the settlers still refused to accept the inevitable, contending the disputed property was not on the Fitch Ranch, and also that as the minors were trying to have the sale set aside, Mr. Baillache had no legal rights. The settlers strongly disapproved the Court action and felt they had been unjustly wronged and swindled.[1] On June twelfth the Sheriff of Santa Rosa with a posse of two hundred and fifty citizens unsuccessfully attempted to serve writs of Restitution in favor of Josephine Baillache against five settlers occupying the disputed ranch. Three days later the Sheriff together with another posse of prominent citizens again tried to serve the writs, but the settlers had banded themselves together and had between forty and fifty armed men ill front of the house preventing the execution of the writs of evacuation.[2]

The Bloomfield Guard, although a small company with a membership of fifty-five, was organized by the citizens and residents of Bloomfield for a two-fold purpose, namely the quelling of the Secessionists who were very active during this period,working quietly but determinedly for the cause of the Confederacy, and also for protection against the ever present menace of a fresh outburst of antagonism between the Settlers and Land Owners. There was no exact mustering out date, but it is assumed the Bloomfield Guard was disbanded under the Military Law of 1866. This order reduced the number of Infantry in the State to forty on the recommendation of Brigadier-General George s. Evans that it would be impossible for the smaller companies to keep their organizations up to t he stringent requirements of the law.[3]
 
Footnotes:
 
1. Letter from Sheriff J. H. Warwick to Governor Leland Stanford, July 21, 1862, State Archives, State Capitol.

2. Letter from Sheriff J. W. Bowles to Governor Leland Stanford, July 17, 1862, State Archives, State Capitol.

3. Adjutant General Report 1865-1867, page 7.
 
 
 
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Updated 8 February 2016