California Militia and National
Guard Unit Histories
Chico Light Infantry
Military Unit Designation: Chico Light Infantry, 5th Brigade,
California Militia Date of Organization: 28 November 1863 Date of Disbanding: 28 July 1866 Inclusive dates of units papers at State Archives: 1863-1866 Geographical Location or Locations: Chico, Butte County
on file at the California State Archives
a. Organization Papers 2 documents (1863)
b. Bonds 1 document (1864)
c. Correspondence (Unclassified letters) 5 documents (1864)
d. Election Returns 2 documents (1864-1865)
e. Exempt Certificates, Applications for none
f. Muster Rolls, Monthly returns 6 documents (1864-1865)
g. Oaths Qualifications 8 documents (1863-1866)
h. Orders none
i. Receipts, invoices 5 documents (1864-1866)
j. Requisitions 1 document (1864)
k. Resignations 1 document (1866)
l. Target Practice Reports none
m. Other none
Joseph Eddy, Captain: Elected 28 November 1863, commissioned
10 December 1863, reelected 7 December 1864 and 2 December 1865.
Edward Hallet, First Lieutenant: Elected 28 November 1863, commissioned
10 December 1863, reelected 7 December 1864
J. H. Frost, First Lieutenant: Elected 2 December 1865.
At a meeting of the citizens of Chico, Butte County, a volunteer
military company known as the Chico Light Infantry was organized.
Officers elected were Joseph Eddy, Captain and Edward Hallet,
The requisition for arms was approved December 21, 1863, however,
the equipment was not received until late in 1864. According
to the Law, 43 active members was the minimum required before
a unit was officially recognized, and as the Chico Light Infantry
had only twenty men on the Muster Roll/ at organization, the
delay of receiving the arms was apparent. A Bond of $1,500 was
filed to cover the cost of the arms and one for $1,770 for clothing.
When the clothing arrived it proved a disappointment as the shipment
was incomplete with no hats and only 43 pairs of pants while
73 coats had been issued.
The Chico Light Infantry was organized soon after the horrible
murders and depredations caused by the Indians in Butte and Tehama
counties, and the residents felt it was necessary to have military
However, the corps was
mustered out of service July 28, 1866, under the Military Law
of that year which was the result of the recommendation by Brigadier-General
George S. Evans that it was impossible for companies in the interior
mining sections where the population was transient, to maintain
their organizations under the stringent requirements of the law.
1. Adjutant General Report, 1865-1867, page 7.
was completed in 1940 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA)
in conjunction with the California National Guard and the California
Extract, History of Butte County
The first military organization of
Chico was the Chico Light Infantry, mustered into service of
the state in January, 1864. The roster of December shows that
Joseph Eddy was captain; Edward Hallett, Charles L. Stillson
and Israel Hull were lieutenants. The organization at first numbered
sixty, and afterwards increased somewhat. In 1868 the company