Civil War California Reenactors Sanitary Concession

The Civil War was a pivotal event in the history of the United States and much to California's credit, the state an important role in that conflict. Although major engagements took place in the East, troops from Drum Barracks in Los Angeles, for example, kept California in the Union, protected much of the Southwest and secured the territory which is now Arizona and New Mexico for the Union. The State of California is credited with providing 15,725 volunteers to the Union Armies during the Civil War. The units provided break down as follows: two full regiments and one battalion of cavalry, eight full regiments of infantry, and one battalion of infantry called mountaineers. These men all served in the west and southwest. The First Regiment, Washington Territory Infantry Volunteers had eight companies that were recruited in California. California gold helped finance the Union effort.


California soldiers helped keep the land between CA and the rest of the Union from anarchy. California soldiers helped keep the Confederates in Texas from spreading farther west. California soldiers helped secure the Pacific Coast and keep the confederacy from gaining strength there.

Californians served on the east coast and in other states units. Five companies of the Second Massachusetts Cavalry Volunteers were enrolled and mustered into service in the State of California. California Senator Baker raised regiment of men on the East Coast. These former Californians and others were generally known as the "California Regiment," but officially known as the 71st Pennsylvania Volunteers.


The Drum Barracks Museum is the last remaining Civil War related museum in Los Angeles.
The Drum Barracks Civil War Museum is housed in the last remaining wooden building of Drum Barracks, named after Adjutant General Richard Coulter Drum, head of the Department of the Pacific. This facility served as the Union Army headquarters in the Southwest (Southern California and the Arizona Territory) from 1861 - 1871. Drum Barracks, which was first called Camp Drum, served as the main staging, training and supply base for military operations in the Southwest, and occupied approximately sixty acres of land with an additional thirty-seven acres near the harbor. The land was sold to the Army by Phineas Banning, and B. D. Wilson, who each received one dollar, with the agreement that the land would revert back to them after the camp was closed.

Camp Drum was home to the California Column, formed and commanded by Colonel James Henry Carleton, first commander of the camp. In 1862, Texas Volunteers had taken control of the territory, which is now Arizona and New Mexico, for the Confederacy. Colonel Carleton was ordered by the War Department to gather his troops and retake control of the territory. Thus, 2,350 men began a march to Santa Fe during the driest summer of the century. On the way to Santa Fe, the California Column fought the Battle of Picacho Pass, the westernmost battle of the Civil War. Colonel Carleton successfully marched his large body of troops through much of the most inhospitable territory in the United States without the loss of a single soldier, a feat regarded as a masterpiece of military planning and execution.

After the surrender at Appomattox, Californians from Camp Drum continued to soldier in the Southwest during the Indian Wars. The California units were recognized by the army commanders of the time as being among the best equipped and trained in the U. S. Army. Drum Barracks included the most important medical facility in the western states. The hospital at the camp, recognized as the best equipped and staffed medical facility west of the Mississippi River, was so vital that the facility was kept open for two additional years after the closure of the camp.  Tours of the Drum Barracks are available Tuesdays through Sundays, Call:  (310) 548-7509. Address: 1052 Banning Boulevard, Wilmington, CA 90744


You'll find Civil War Reenactors in Redlands, Huntington Beach, San Gabriel Valley - Pasadena, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Jose, Woodland Hills, Fresno, Sacramento, Bakersfield, Pleasanton, San Francisco, Imperial and San Mateo.


For a list of Civil War Roundtables on the web, visit