California Militia and National
Guard Unit Histories
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
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
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.
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. 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.
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.
1. Letter from Sheriff J. H. Warwick to
Governor Leland Stanford, July 21, 1862, State Archives, State
2. Letter from Sheriff J. W. Bowles to Governor Leland Stanford,
July 17, 1862, State Archives, State Capitol.