|Name||Date of Rank||Date of Commission||Remarks|
|John McComb, Captain||August 31, 1861||September 5, 1861|
|James J. Ayers, First Lieutenant||August 31, 1861||September 5, 1861|
|John McComb, Captain||Reelected March 18, 1863|
|H. H. Thrill, First Lieutenant||March 18, 1863||March 24, 1863|
|John McComb, Captain||Reelected March 31, 1864|
|Edwin Hunt, First Lieutenant||March 31, 1864||April 9, 1864|
|John McComb, Captain||Reelected October 9, 1865|
|Lewis Cohn, First Lieutenant||October 9, 1865||October 20, 1865|
|John McComb, Captain||Reelected October 9, 1866. Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, October 30, 1867)|
|James Ware, First Lieutenant||October 9, 1866||October 23,1866|
|William O'Breyfoge, Captain||October 30, 1867||March, 21, 1868|
|James Hand First Lieutenant||January 21, 1868||March 21,1868|
|Frederick Pierce, Captain||November 19, 1869||December 4, 1869|
|James K. Phillips, First Lieutenant||November 19, 1869||December 4, 1869|
|Frederick Pierce, Captain||Reelected December 24, 1872|
|Albert D. Arper, First Lieutenant||December 24, 1872||December 30, 1872|
|Richard Orton, Captain||January 6,1875||January 2, 1875|
|James Parkinson, First Lieutenant||January 6,1875||January 25,1875|
|Eugene Allen, Captain||November 20,1878||December 31,1878|
|Fred Wentworth, First Lieutenant||July 8, 1878||August 12, 1878|
|Fred Wentworth, Captain||June 11,1879||July 25, 1879|
|Vincent Hallowell. First Lieutenant||June 11, 1879||July 25, 1879|
On August 31, 1861, a volunteer military company was organized in San Francisco, San Francisco County, under the command of Captain John McComb. This company was composed of sixty five men, most of whom were printers by trade, and for that reason the company was designated as the Franklin Light Infantry in honor of Benjamin Franklin. This unit was organized during the Civil War for the purpose of entering the United States service, but later the organization decided to remain as a Home Guard.
In 1866 the military system of the State was changed. The militia force was reduced to eighty companies in all. The remaining uniform troops of the State were to be designated and known as the National Guard. The State Legislature created a Board of Location and Organization, having the power to reorganize or disband various companies with reference to the military needs. The Franklin Light Infantry was one of the units the Board reorganized on August 23, 1866, and became known as the Franklin Light Infantry, Company C, also referred to as the Franklin Light Guard.
For the next few years there were no records of any unusual activities concerning this company other than participating in the usual company drills. However, on April 29, 1870, the application of the officers and members of the unit was approved and the company transferred to the First Regiment. Hereafter, the company was to be known as the Franklin Light Infantry, Company D, First Infantry Regiment, Second Brigade.
On July 23, 1876, the various companies of the Second Brigade, including the Franklin Light Infantry, were ordered under arms in anticipation of a riot that was expected to result from mass meetings held in San Francisco denouncing the Chinese. The San Francisco Chief of Police requested that the troops be held in readiness and be prepared for any emergency. Several times during the night word came that the number of rioters were increasing and , the militia was asked to stand by. The police force seemingly was riot able to cope with the situation for they made no arrests, although Chinese wash houses and places of business were burned and destroyed and the Chinese intimidated. This riotous condition existed for several nights until culminated at seven o'clock in the evening of July twenty ninth, when the Chief of Police requested the militia troops to halt the disorder. At eight o'clock the militia companies fully armed were on their way to the various destinations assigned to them. After remaining on duty until 5:00 A.M. of the following morning, the troops were dismissed at the request of the Chief of Police. The Infantry Battalion of which the Franklin Light Infantry was attached were very useful on this occasion of riot and disorder and performed good service during the outbreaks.
The Franklin Light infantry in 1878, attended an Encampment held in connection with the State Fair at Sacramento. The State Agricultural Society together with various citizens of Sacramento offered prizes for drill, and marksmanship to the attending companies. Governor William Irwin, accompanied by a number of National Guard officers visited Camp Irwin, named in honor of his Excellency, and reviewed the troops there.
The following day D. M. Key, Postmaster General of the United States, was present, and that day the military exercises were witnessed by an unusually large assemblage of people. The Franklin Light Infantry was one of the several companies that participated in the competitive drill, which was judged by officers of the United States Army. First place was won by this unit and M. D. Boruck, President of the State Agriculture Society, presented Captain Orton with $300.00 and a gold medal. The Judges united in the statement that they had rarely if ever observed a series of drills so uniform in excellence. The contesting companies displayed a very thorough knowledge of the tactics as embraced in the scheme of competition, and it was evident that careful and conscientious work had been expended on them by their commanders.
With a graceful generosity, highly creditable to recipients, the Franklin Light Infantry resolved to donate their winnings to the fund for the relief of the yellow fever sufferers in the South.
A law was passed in the State Legislature in 1872, stating that each company of the National Guard could adopt a distinct name, but if attached must be known by a particular letter or number in the Regiment or Battalion to which it' belongs. This law was not enforced until March 26, 1880 when Adjutant General Samuel Backus issued General Order No. 12 which stated that hereafter, in all official correspondence, companies would be recognized only by company letter. The Franklin Light Infantry was one of the companies designated by letter. For further information concerning this unit refer to Company D, First Infantry Regiment Second Brigade, National Guard of Californian.