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The Second Mass and Its Fighting Californians

A Reference site of images, articles, artifacts of the Second Massachusetts Cavalry including the Cal 100 and the Cal Battalion.

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C. Mason Kinne

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Charles Mason Kinne was born at DeWitt, N.Y., April 11, 1841, the son of Mason Prentice and Mary Jane (Spaulding) Kinne. He received his education in the public schools of DeWitt and Syracuse, N.Y.  In 1859 he came to California and began his business career as bookkeeper in the Agricultural Implement Foundry, San Francisco. From his home in New York, he took with him to California the first honey bees known to that state. Soon after his arrival, he enlisted in the First California Guard (Light Artillery) C. S. M. and soon made Corporal, First Sergeant and Second Lieutenant of that organization.

He resigned his commission in 1862 to enlist as a private in the "California Hundred", Company A, 2d Massachusetts Cavalry. He participated in the first engagement of the command at South Anna Bridge, June 26, 1863, and in July following joined the balance of the regiment at Centreville, where Col. Lowell promoted Kinne from First Sergeant of his company to Sergeant-Major of the regiment. Eleven months later he was promoted 2nd Lieutenant of Company A, and in January, 1864, promoted to 1st lieutenant and Adjutant of the regiment. The 2d Massachusetts was doing picket duty at the time in front of Washington, D.C. Kinne took part in the fighting against Early's first advance on Washington, and was present in the subsequent operations in the Shenandoah Valley, including the battles of Winchester and Cedar Creek. He was wounded at Waynesboro, Va., September 28, 1864. At the close of the Valley campaign, he was commissioned by President Lincoln as Captain, and A.A.G. of Volunteers, being assigned to duty as Adjutant-General of the Regular Brigade of the First Cavalry Division under General Alfred Gibbs, and was with that command through to Five Forks and Appomattox. He was mustered out as Captain in July, 1865. (His commission papers, signed by Lincoln, identified him as C. Mason Kinne, and from that time forward he insisted that he be so identified and refused to accept anything not so addressed.)

He returned to San Francisco in April of 1866 and entered into the fire insurance business, in which he continued until 1912, when he retired He was a charter member of the first Grand Army Post organized on the Pacific Coast and was Department Commander for two terms. He was a commander and treasurer of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of California; member of the California National Guard , in which he rose to the position of Colonel and Paymaster General on the staff of Governor Perkins. He was a founder of of the Veterans' Home in Yountville and became the first president of the Veterans' Home Association.

He was married at Vienna, Va., April 11, 1864, to Elizabeth D'Arcy, of Boston, Mass. He passed away at his home in Berkeley, December 25, 1913.

biography courtesy of Larry Rogers