Historic California Militia and National Guard Units
Stockton Light Artillery
Stockton's Agricultural Hall. This building served as the Armory of the Stockton Light Artillery.

Military Unit Designation: Stockton Light Artillery, 3rd Brigade, California Militia (after 1866, National Guard of California)
Initial Date of Organization: September 10, 1864
Date of Mustering Out of State Service: June 16, 1868
Inclusive dates of units papers: 1863-1868
Geographical Location or Locations: Stockton, San Joaquin County

Papers on file at the California State Archives:
a. Organization Papers 2 documents (1864)
b. Bonds 2 documents (1864-1867)
c. Correspondence (Unclassified letters) 17 documents (1864-1867)
d. Election Returns 2 documents (1866)
e. Exempt Certificates, Applications for none
f. Muster Rolls, Monthly returns 14 documents (1864-1868)
g. Oaths Qualifications 14 documents (1866-1867)
h. Orders 1 document (1863)
i. Receipts, invoices 9 documents (1864-1868)
j. Requisitions 3 documents (1864-1866)
k. Resignations none
l. Target Practice Reports none
m. Other none

Link to Official History:
History of the Stockton Light Artillery

Stockton's Light Artillery Company

The largest and most expensive military company was the Stockton Light Artillery. It numbered about 120 of Stockton's best men, and when on parade they attracted much admiration. Their parades were few and far between because of the heavy expense, for it took thirty-two horses to draw the eight six-pound cannon and caissons, and each time the company has to pay for horse hire. The company was organized through the efforts of M. G. Cobb, a lawyer, who had formerly been in command of the Boston Light Artillery. The company was enrolled September 10, 1864, with Moses G. Cobb, as captain; S. W. Sperry, first lieutenant; E. B. Bateman, second . lieutenant; H. S. Sargent, third lieutenant, and George E. Weller, fourth lieutenant.
The Adjutant General gave them the use of the four six-pound field guns and caissons then stored at Sacramento, and the cannon arrived October 6 of that year. They were placed in the George Natt Building, still standing on the north side of the court house. The second story was used as the Union Guards Armory. The company were on parade only occasionally, because of the heavy expense. They turned out every July 4th and held also an annual parade. During the four years of their existence they had target practice on May 8, 1866. The company assembled at their armory that day and accompanied by the band marched to the Castle ranch on the Lower Sacramento Road. A target was set up in the tules a mile distant and each detachment of the company tried to hit the bull's eye. Lunch was then in order, followed by a sham battle in which each detachment loaded and fired at an imaginary enemy. The scene was very exciting and the hundreds of visitors obtained a slight idea of the horrors of war.
The artillery company was disbanded under very peculiar circumstances. Upon receiving the news in Stockton of the nomination of General U. S. Grant for President the company fired a salute of 100 guns. This honor to the General who had defeated the rebels angered greatly the secession sympathisers then in power at Sacramento, and the company received orders to have all state property ready for inspection June 16, 1868. At that time the company assembled in full uniform and on the arrival of General Allen he was received by a salute of eleven guns. He later reviewed the company and insulted them by appearing in an undress uniform. The cannon, caissons and equipments were then turned over to him according to military tactics, and immediately some one yelled out "Three cheers for Grant and Colfax." There were given with a vim that made the hall echo
Extracted from History of San Joaquin County, 1923.


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Updated 8 February 2016