California Militia and National Guard Unit Histories
Butte Mountain Rangers
Organizational Data
Military Unit Designation: Butte Mountain Rangers, Company D, 7th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade, California Militia
Date of Organization: 30 December 1863
Date of Disbanding: 3 September 1866
Inclusive dates of units papers at State Archives: 1863-1866
Geographical Location or Locations: South Butte Mountains (now the town of Sutter), Sutter County
Unit papers on file at the California State Archives:

a. Organization Papers 3 documents (1863)
b. Bonds 1 document (1864)
c. Correspondence (Unclassified letters) 8 documents (1864)
d. Election Returns 2 documents (1864-1865)
e. Exempt Certificates, Applications for none
f. Muster Rolls, Monthly returns 6 documents (1864-1866)
g. Oaths Qualifications 9 documents (1864-1866)
h. Orders none
i. Receipts, invoices 7 documents (1864-1866)
j. Requisitions 1 document (1864)
k. Resignations 1 document (1864)
l. Target Practice Reports none

Commanding Officers

Thomas, Dean, Captain: Elected 30 December 1863, commissioned 19 January 1864, resigned 23 June 1864
W. D. Wadsworth, Captain Elected 18 July 1864, commissioned 8 February 1865
E. B. Crouch, First Lieutenant: Elected 30 December 1863, commissioned 19 January 1864, reelected 11 January 1865
Eli Davis, Captain: Elected 6 January 1866, commissioned 3 February 1866.
W. D. Wadsworth, First Lieutenant: Elected 6 January 1866, commissioned 3 February 1866.
Official History:

The Butte Mountain Rangers were organized in South Butte Mountains December 30 , 1863, fulfilling the wishes of the citizens of Sutter County to establish a volunteer cavalry company . W. H. Packs was appointed by the County Judge to preside over the election of officers for the new unit. Thomas Dean was elected Captain and E. B, Crouch, First Lieutenant .

A Bond for $3000 was filed and the company received their arms March 11, 1864 . The participation of California in the War of the Rebellion at the time caused a shortage of arms and as no cavalry arms were available , rather than disband, the Mountain Rangers accepted infantry arms and accoutrements . The change required t he filing of a smaller Bond, as $4000 was required for cavalry units . In September of that year, the remainder of the company' s allowance $ 750 was paid to A. T. Wilbur, a merchant tailor in Marysville, to cover the cost of fifty pairs of fatigue trousers and fifty fatigue drill shirts. One of the members had the misfortune to have his uniform and arms destroyed by fire when his home burned in November 1864. This loss was charged to his account.

Captain Eli Davis and W. D. Wadsworth were wealthy ranchers, the former owning a thousand acre ranch, and as there is no evidence on file of Indian depredations or secessionist trouble, it is assumed the Butte Rangers were organized for social reasons. [1]

Under the Military Law of 1866 the Butte Mountain Rangers were eligible for reorganization. However, it is evident that the men had lost interest in their company when advantage was not taken of the special time from May twenty-fourth to August first, 1866, allotted by a Special Order from Brigade Headquarters for reorganization. Consequently, the unit was mustered out September third and the arms and accoutrements were returned to the State in good order and condition, October 1, 1866.[2]
1. History of Sutter County, Thompson and West, Oakland, 1879, page 46 .
2. Muster Out Roll September 29, 1866, correspondence, on file California State Archives.

This history was completed in 1940 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in conjunction with the California National Guard and the California State Library.
Posted 11 October 2014,
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