|The 2nd Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Cavalry was recruited
in late 1862. Company
"A" was raised in California, called the "California Hundred"
mustered in at San Francisco in December, 1862. It arrived in Boston in January, 1863,
and was assigned to the Regiment's Boston quota. Later four more companies; "E", "F",
"L", and "M" were raised in California and were called
Battalion". They were a rare "fighting" cavalry
unit that lost 8 Officers and
82 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded, mostly while fighting Mosby
in Northern Virginia. (see a
short history here) They also lost 3
Officers and 138 Enlisted men to disease.
These volunteers, who had already migrated to California
to seek their fortunes, were by nature capable, self-sufficient
men. One Eastern writer exclaimed "their horses climbed
The pages below are from a from a fine
estate collection and the carte de visités offered present a rare opportunity. They are of the only
organization of Californians who fought Confederate forces east of New
Mexico. Their sacrifices were
great in their effort to save the Union.