Historic California Militia and National Guard Units
Burnett Light Horse Guard
Military Unit Designation:
Date of Organization: 25 January 1864
Date of Disbanding: 4 June 1868
Inclusive dates of units papers: 1864-1868
Geographical Location or Locations: San Jose, after 29 September 1866, Gilroy. Both in Santa Clara County.

Unit papers on file at the California State Archives:
a. Organization Papers 3 documents (1864)
b. Bonds 1 document (1867)
c. Correspondence (Unclassified letters) 6 documents (1864-1868)
d. Election Returns 6 documents (1864-1867)
e. Exempt Certificates, Applications for none
f. Muster Rolls, Monthly returns 22 documents (1864-1868)
g. Oaths Qualifications 11 documents (1864-1867)
h. Orders none
i. Receipts, invoices 6 documents (1864-1868)
j. Requisitions 2 documents (1864-1866)
k. Resignations none
l. Target Practice Reports none
m. Other Public Property, 1 document (1867)

Commanding Officers

R. H. McIlroy, Captain: Elected 25 January 1864, commissioned 1 March 1865
P. K. Dow, First Lieutenant: Elected 25 January 1864, commissioned 1 March 1865
J. R. Hall, Captain: Elected 12 May 1865, commissioned 15 June 1865
Phillip Henry, First Lieutenant: 28 January 1865, commissioned 7 March 1865
Official History:

On January 25, 1864, Isaac Senter, County Judge of Santa Clara County appointed Sheriff J. H. Adams to superintend the meeting to organize a volunteer military company. This unit, the Burnett Light Horse Guard, Company I, was sworn into the service of the State of California, with R. H. Mcilroy as Captain. The company had the thankless task of aiding t he civil authorities in maintaining law and order during the years of the Civil War, when the element of mistrust existed even among neighbors. How well the guard accomplished this may be see.n by the fact that no serious outbreak by the Secessionists ever occurred in San Jose.

In a meeting held September 29, 1866, the company was reorganized and the name changed to Burnett Light Horse Guard, Company F, the headquarters was moved to the town of Gilroy, Santa Clara County. There was no further record of any of the company's activities, but Adjutant-General James M. Allen, declared that there remained no great need for this company, therefore, on June 4, 1868, he ordered Colonel J. W. McKenzie, to muster the unit out of service.
This history was completed in 1940 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in conjunction with the California National Guard and the California State Library.
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Updated 23 June 2017