California Militia and National Guard Unit Histories
Sotoyome Guard
Official or Other Names: Sotoyome Guard, 2nd Brigade, 5th Division, California Militia
Location: Healdsburg, Sonoma County.
Mustered In: February 16, 1859.
Date of Disbanding: 1860-1861
Inclusive dates of units papers: 1859-1860
Unit papers on file at the California State Archives:
a. Organization Papers 5 documents (1859-1860)
b. Bonds 1 document (1859)
c. Correspondence (Unclassified letters) 5 documents (1859-1860)
d. Election Returns 1 document (1859)
e. Exempt Certificates, Applications for none
f. Muster Rolls, Monthly returns 3 documents (1860)
g. Oaths Qualifications none
h. Orders none
i. Receipts, invoices none
j. Requisitions none
k. Resignations none
l. Target Practice Reports none
m. Other none
Commanding Officers
L. A. Norton, Captain; Elected February 10, 1859; Commissioned February 16, 1859
R. M. Matheson, First Lieutenant; Elected February 10, 1859; Commissioned February 16, 1859



The Sotoyome Guard was an independent military company organized February 16, 1859, at Healdsburg, Sonoma County. This company was formed during the period when great delay was experienced in obtaining arms and equipment and according to the Adjutant General's Report of 1861, there never were any arms issued to the Sotoyome Guard. As a way out of the difficulty, and wishing to have his company trained, Captain Norton borrowed arms from the Petaluma Guard who were in the service of the State at that time. Even though the new company was able to obtain arms for drill purposes, the members received a discouraging blow when a fire which nearly destroyed the entire town in the fall of 1860, burned the armory including the borrowed equipment.

Captain Norton advised the Adjutant General in the latter part of 1860, that the membership of his company was falling off rapidly, and according to the Adjutant Generals Report of 1861, no returns had been received by that office and the Sotoyome Guard was therefore, considered a disbanded unit (1)


(1) Adjutant General Report, 1861, page 128


This history was written in 1940 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in conjunction with the office of the Adjutant General and the California State Library


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Updated 8 February 2016