Historic California Militia and
National Guard Units
Military Unit Designation: Napa Guard, 2nd Brigade, California Militia (after
1866, National Guard of California) Date of Organization: 20 November 1861 Date of Disbanding: 6 January 1868 Inclusive dates of units papers: 1861-1868 Geographical Location or Locations: Napa, Napa County
Papers on file at the California State Archives:
a. Organization Papers 3 documents (1861)
b. Bonds 1 document (1866)
c. Correspondence (Unclassified letters) 35 documents (1861-1868)
d. Election Returns 6 documents (1863-1866)
e. Exempt Certificates, Applications for none
f. Muster Rolls, Monthly returns 19 documents (1861-1868)
g. Oaths Qualifications 10 documents (1863-1866)
h. Orders none
i. Receipts, invoices 6 documents (1863-1868)
j. Requisitions 4 documents (1862-1866)
k. Resignations 3 documents (1862-1866)
l. Target Practice Reports none
Chancellor Hartson, Captain: Elected 20 November 1861, commissioned
10 December 1861.
W. W. Stillwagon, First Lieutenant: Elected 20 November 1861,
commissioned 10 December 1861, term expired 10 September 1863
Frank I. Vaslit, Captain: Elected 5 January 1863, commissioned
20 January 1863.
C. H. Allen, Captain: Elected 22 September 1863, commissioned
12 October 1863
E. S. Chesbro, Captain: Elected 4 January 1864, commissioned
12 January 1864, reelected 20 January 1865
Jacob Blumer, First Lieutenant: Elected 4 January 1864, commissioned
12 January 1864, reelected 20 January 1865
J. C. Pierson, Captain: Elected elected 17 August 1866, commissioned
20 September 1866
Thomas J. Disroody·, First Lieutenant: 1 January 1866,
commissioned 6 January 1866.
Among the letter and records of this company only the subjects
of elections of officers and those relating to the requisition
of arms and ordinance supplies were found.
In its early years the Napa Guard was active, loyal and filled
with a spirit of patriotism. However, later this company lost
a great deal of its enthusiasm and finally requested the Adjutant
General that their corps be disbanded . The following letter
under the date of December 15, 1867, written by Captain Pierson
to the Adjutant General: discloses the then existing condition
of the Napa Guard:
"Will you please inform me what course to pursue with
regard to the Napa Guard. I have made no returns to Headquarters
lately because I have no returns to make. The existence of the
company is merely nominal; a majority of the members are men
who have been in the company a number of years, and have become
weary of it. The Muster Roll is not half full, and it is impossible
to get the men to drill or comply with the requirements of the
Military Law in almost any respect. It is the desire of a number
of the officers and privates that the company disband , thereby
relieving the officers of the responsibility resting upon them,
both in a military and financial sense."
The Adjutant General granted the request and the company was
mustered out of service on January 6, 1868. Thus closes another
chapter of the activities of some of the loyal citizens of Napa
and vicinity, who believed in keeping peace and order by being
prepared to maintain the law by force if necessary.
This history was completed
in 1940 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in conjunction
with the California National Guard and the California State Library.
Extracts, History of Napa County
This book indicates that the Napa Guard
may have been formed as early as 1857. This is possible since
volunteer military companies were often formed locally outside
the official state militia. The following appears on page 144:
"The first election of this military
company occurred November 23, 1857, and resulted in the election
of the following officers: Captain, F. S. Vaslit; first lieutenant
J. Bell; second lieutenant A. J. Cox; third lieutenant, T. Moyer;
surgeon, W. W. Stillwagon; quartermaster, J. Darnies; orderly
sergeant, G. Dennison; second sergeant, C. H. Clark; third sergeant,
G. Crawford; fourth sergeant, A. Raymond."
From page 146:
"1864 Napa Guard.
The annual election of officers for this organization in January,
1864, resulted as follows: Captain, E. S. Cheseboro; first lieutenant,
Jacob Blumer; second lieutenant, E, Kimball; second brevet lieutenant,
L. B. Kester; orderly sergeant, J. G. Norton; second sergeant,
August Miller; third sergeant, Joseph Elliot; fourth sergeant,
Imrie; fifth sergeant, D. Fairfield; first corporal, C. B. Walker;
second corporal, T. J. Dewoody; third corporal, W. R. Cooper;
fourth corporal, Oscar Steinback; treasurer, E. S. Cheseboro;
investigating committee, E. S. Cheseboro, J.Dukes, R. J. VanDoren,E.
Kimball and E. S. Smith; auditing committee, W. R. Cooper, T.
J. Dewoody and W. C. S. Smith; music committee, E. Kimball, J.
Haskins, and M. Dorr. "
Questions and comments concerning
this site should be directed to the Webmaster