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.
At the end of the War, tens of thousands of Veterans found the lure of California too great to resist. These men had a new sense of self-sufficiency and, in many cases, a return to the humdrum of "home" was unthinkable.
As a result, California boasted some large Grand Army of the Republic posts and United Confederate Camps throughout the state. As these comrades grew older, the establishment of large GAR retirement/hospital complexes drew even more Veterans to the mild climates of Napa valley and Los Angeles. California hosted National Encampments of the GAR in San Francisco in 1886 and 1903, and in Los Angeles in 1912, proof of the area's influence in an age of railroad travel.
Today, their legacy is part of our environment. In Pasadena, the massive shade trees in the park along Fair Oaks Boulevard were saplings transplanted from Civil War Battlefields. Monuments, cemeteries, city names, the Drum Barracks in Wilmington, Fort Point (a.k.a. Fort Hancock) under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and Benecia Arsenal are all "living" reminders of that time.
Some California Grand Army of the Republic reunion ribbons. (click to enlarge)