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Images of the California Hundred and California Battalion, Second Mass Cavalry



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 the "California 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 trees".  

The pages below are from a from a fine estate collection and the carte de visits 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.  

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