Historic California Militia and National Guard Units
Union Guard
(San Jose)

Military Unit Designation:
Union Guard, Company A, 5th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, California Militia
Date of Organization:
October 5, 1861
Date of Disbanding:
October 1, 1866
Inclusive dates of units papers:
Geographical Location or Locations:
San Jose, Santa Clara County
Papers on file at the California State Archives:

a. Organization Papers 1 document (1861)
b. Bonds 1 document (1863)
c. Correspondence (Unclassified letters) 28 documents (1861-1865)
d. Election Returns 7 documents (1862-1865)
e. Exempt Certificates, Applications for none
f. Muster Rolls, Monthly returns 9 documents (1862-1866)
g. Oaths Qualifications 7 documents (1862-1865)
h. Orders none
i. Receipts, invoices 3 documents (1863-1864)
j. Requisitions 1 document (no date)
k. Resignations 3 documents (1865)
l. Target Practice Reports none
m. Other none
Commanding Officers:
S. O. Houghton, Captain: Commissioned 22 October 1861
John Dorsey, First Lieutenant, Commissioned 22 October 1861
J. J. Owen, Captain, Elected 28 July 1862, commissioned 2 September 1862, reelected 18 August 1864, resigned 28 December 1865.
Alonzo B. Hamilton, First Lieutenant: Elected 28 July 1862, commissioned 2 September 1862
Charles P. Crittenden, First Lieutenant: First Lieutenant: Elected 26 September 1863, commissioned 12 October 1863
Charles P. Crittenden, Captain: Elected 20 February 1865, commissioned 6 March 1865, reelected 10 August 1865
George Evans First Lieutenant: Elected 22 May 1865, commissioned 30 May 1865, reelected 10 August 1865
Official History:

The Union Guard of San Jose was organized by a former Captain of a disbanded San Jose military company. [1] This company took over the arms and accoutrements of the former organization. The equipment had been stored for about two years and was in poor condition. The Captain in one of his letters to the Adjutant General, requesting new arms, stated that, "it cost him $80.00 to polish and scour up the arms and that they were still unfit for use." However, the. Union Guard's new arms and accoutrements were not received until August 25, 1863, nearly two years after their organization. The receiving of the new equipment evidently strengthened the morale of the company as the muster roll of November showed an increase from thirty-nine to fifty-three men in their enrollment.

In August 1864, the Union Guard received fifty-six new infantry uniforms from the Adjutant General's Office, which undoubtedly created an incentive to improve their efficiency. But misfortune intervened and the efficiency of. this company was curtailed when it was discovered that the Captain had used the unit's funds for his own personal benefit and as a result was suspended for the offense. This breach of conduct on the part of Captain Crittenden apparently was the undoing of this company, as an attempt to reorganize the unit after it had been disbanded on October 1, 1866, proved futile.
1. This company is the successor of the National Guard (San Jose), First Battalion, 2nd Brigade.
This history was completed in 1940 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in conjunction with the California National Guard and the California State Library
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Updated 8 February 2016