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.
Bear Flag Volunteers Go Off to War
In the late summer of 1862, a group of Californians, all originally from the East Coast, had contacted Governor Andrews of Massachusetts and proposed to raise one hundred volunteers to form a separate company in a cavalry regiment that was being raised in Massachusetts. The Governor agreed with the condition that the Californians would provide their own uniforms and equipment. Officially they became company A of the Second Massachusetts Cavalry, but were more popularly know as the "California Hundred".
The Californians used their enlistment bounty to pay for their passage and set off aboard the Golden Age by sea from San Francisco, December 1, 1862. At the Isthmus of Panama they debarked, transited the Isthmus by rail, then boarded the Ocean Queen for the eastern seaboard. The men arrived at Camp Meigs, Readville, Mass. on January 4, 1863. After spending several weeks of basic training at Camp Meigs, the Company was transported to Fortress Monroe, Va. and placed on active duty at Gloucester Point on February 22, 1863.
This first contingent was so appreciated that it was followed by 400 more California volunteers. They arrived at Camp Meigs during March and April of 1863 and soon after receiving their basic training joined Company A and the rest of the 2nd Mass. Cavalry as Companies E, F, L, and M. This second group of Californians were known as the "California Battalion".
Recommended reading. Three talented and dedicated historians have written new histories of this site's regiment. By no coincidence, these same authors have been major contributors to this site. Please consider buying all three, as each has its own perspective and treasure trove of fascinating stories. (For first hand answers about these books, their email addresses can be found below)
Sabers, The Second Massachusetts in the Civil War by James McLean.
Available from Amazon.com and in bookstores.
Bear Flag and Bay State: The Californians of the Second Massachusetts Cavalry by
Thomas Parson Available October 17th 2001. Available from Amazon.com.
Their Horses Climbed Trees by Larry Rogers & Keith Rogers.
Available October 2001 at www.schifferbooks.com
Bear Flag and Bay State: The Californians of the Second Massachusetts Cavalry by Thomas Parson Available October 17th 2001. Available from Amazon.com.
Their Horses Climbed Trees by Larry Rogers & Keith Rogers. Available October 2001 at www.schifferbooks.com
Visit Drum Barracks and it's Second Massachusetts Special Exposition
These pages are dedicated to these Californians and the following roll of
contributors welcomes those who wish to add their names and knowledge to this Reference Site.
Last updated: 02/18/15