Discussion Confederate recruiting in California and Oregon.

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Oct 24, 2019
Location
Texas
The Knights of the Golden Circle, Copperheads, and plain old Southern Sympathizers were present in California and Oregon. Does anyone know of recruiting efforts in these states? To be more specific, I'm not talking about partisan or gang activity, I'm talking people trying to send other people east to the CSA.

P.S. If you have anything on recruiting in Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Washington, Idaho, and Montana that would be awesome aswell, thank you!

Also gonna leave some good reading material. https://www.jstor.org/stable/20612901?seq=1 https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/41168901.pdf
 

Lubliner

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As far as I have been able to discern so far, a group claiming to be Knights of the Golden Circle in one of the bigger cities went so far as trying to organize a raid against an arms shipment to Los Angeles but too many became fearful. There also is a very lengthy report on capturing 19 men supposedly headed for Sonora, Mexico via Fort Yuma on the Rio Grande, that were under suspicion of all being southern men going to Texas to enlist. They were arrested, and in early reports it is given note that any men found not taking the Oath of Allegiance to the Union would be arrested. Even though the party of 19 were willing to take the oath, letters had been intercepted providing enough circumstance that they were not set free. I have not found anything beyond these reports so far to indicate any organization or implementation for enlisting, but for supporting the rebellion, they would remove from the west coast and make their way to Austin to be signed in. All reference work I can gather at the moment is Volume 50, Parts 1 and 2, of Series 1 in the Official Records. Possibly Series 3 Volume 1, covering Nov. 1, 1860 to March 31, 1862 probably has some correspondence to cross-reference.
Lubliner.
 
Joined
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As far as I have been able to discern so far, a group claiming to be Knights of the Golden Circle in one of the bigger cities went so far as trying to organize a raid against an arms shipment to Los Angeles but too many became fearful. There also is a very lengthy report on capturing 19 men supposedly headed for Sonora, Mexico via Fort Yuma on the Rio Grande, that were under suspicion of all being southern men going to Texas to enlist. They were arrested, and in early reports it is given note that any men found not taking the Oath of Allegiance to the Union would be arrested. Even though the party of 19 were willing to take the oath, letters had been intercepted providing enough circumstance that they were not set free. I have not found anything beyond these reports so far to indicate any organization or implementation for enlisting, but for supporting the rebellion, they would remove from the west coast and make their way to Austin to be signed in. All reference work I can gather at the moment is Volume 50, Parts 1 and 2, of Series 1 in the Official Records. Possibly Series 3 Volume 1, covering Nov. 1, 1860 to March 31, 1862 probably has some correspondence to cross-reference.
Lubliner.
Thanks Lub, I believe the 19 men you speak of was the Showalter Party. I might be wrong though.

Career[edit]
Showalter became a miner in Horseshoe Bend, Mariposa County. He ran for and won a seat in the California State Assembly 6th District in 1857–1858 and 1861–1862. In 1861, he voted against a state resolution for California to stay in the Union (which passed the assembly).[1] During the vote, Charles W. Piercy prevented him from saying why he was opposed to it.[1] The two men argued and Piercy challenged him to a duel.[1]

Despite dueling being officially illegal in California at the time, it proceeded nonetheless on Saturday afternoon, May 25, 1861, near the residence of Charles S. Fairfax, three miles west of San Rafael in Marin County. The weapons chosen were rifles, to be fired at a distance of forty yards. The first fire was ineffective and Showalter demanded another. On the second fire, Showalter shot Piercy in the mouth and killed him. This was the last of the duels between political figures in California.[2]

Now a fugitive as a result of the duel, Showalter made his way south to Los Angeles County, joining with friends and fellow secessionist sympathizers who wanted to go east to join the Confederate States Army. This party was caught at Minter Ranch on November 29, 1861, by a 1st California Cavalry Regiment patrol under Second Lt. C. R. Wellman from Camp Wright, in the mountains southwest of the Warner's Ranch, in the San Jose Valley of eastern San Diego County. On December 10, fearing a large rescue party was coming from El Monte, the commander of Camp Wright sent them under guard to Fort Yuma. Eventually they were released after swearing allegiance to the Union.[3] Showalter then went on to Texas where he was made lieutenant colonel of the 4th Arizona Cavalry Regiment.

 
Joined
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When I was younger I was always dissappointed in the lack of Civil war history in my home state of California, I was actually suprised to find out I was wrong. There were no battles in California, but it was hardly unaffected by the War.
 

John Winn

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State of Jefferson
I've studied Oregon during the war (and during reconstruction) and I've never heard of any recruiting. There were sympathetic newspapers (five of which got shut down) but there weren't any cases where the volunteers had to quell any sort of armed resistance.

I'm not as up on California although I have studied their history, too. It was a bit more complicated there and they did have some bushwhackers but I've not heard of any confederate recruiting.

The attitude in Oregon was generally that the war was an eastern problem and they didn't want to get involved. When the war broke out Oregon had a Democrat governor and he just refused to raise troops. There were some areas in the state where people tended to be sympathetic to the confederacy (i.e. southern Oregon) but they were mostly anti-Lincoln and just didn't support his call for troops (Lincoln barely won Oregon by a few hundred votes and only because the ticket was divided; he only got thirty-something percent of the vote).

A Republican governor was elected a year or so after the war was underway and he did raise a volunteer regiment to replace the regulars but they only dealt with Indians. Oregon and California were exempted from the Union draft, basically because it wasn't practical to send troops back east. On paper, the volunteer units they raised to protect against Indians were considered their contribution.

Interestingly, there was a movement by politicians in both Oregon and California to try and secede and form a separate country but those guys never really got any footing. Their reason, though, was largely because they felt that - being way out on the coast - their interests didn't receive much attention in Washington and they'd be better off by themselves. So, there was a general feeling of not being much connected to what was happening back east.

Edit: it wouldn't have been practical for the confederacy to recruit on the west coast either. Remember there wasn't any railroad so recruits would have had to either get on horses and trek across the mountains and plains or get on a ship and spend months at sea (and that wasn't exactly cheap, either). Now, troops were collected in the southwest but they didn't have to travel that far.
 
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leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
The Knights of the Golden Circle, Copperheads, and plain old Southern Sympathizers were present in California and Oregon. Does anyone know of recruiting efforts in these states? To be more specific, I'm not talking about partisan or gang activity, I'm talking people trying to send other people east to the CSA.

P.S. If you have anything on recruiting in Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Washington, Idaho, and Montana that would be awesome aswell, thank you!

Also gonna leave some good reading material. https://www.jstor.org/stable/20612901?seq=1 https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/41168901.pdf
There was an article posted by the Gene Autry Museum of the West about "The Los Angeles Rangers" a small group of men from Los Angeles County who escorted General Joseph Johnston to Texas and the men rose fairly high up the ladder as officers as the ACW progressed.
Dyers Compendium mentions a California regiment who did travel east via the Central American shipping route who then merged into a Pennsylvania Regiment.
Leftyhunter
 
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Joined
Oct 24, 2019
Location
Texas
I've studied Oregon during the war (and during reconstruction) and I've never heard of any recruiting. There were sympathetic newspapers (five of which got shut down) but there weren't any cases where the volunteers had to quell any sort of armed resistance.

I'm not as up on California although I have studied their history, too. It was a bit more complicated there and they did have some bushwhackers but I've not heard of any confederate recruiting.

The attitude in Oregon was generally that the war was an eastern problem and they didn't want to get involved. When the war broke out Oregon had a Democrat governor and he just refused to raise troops. There were some areas in the state where people tended to be sympathetic to the confederacy (i.e. southern Oregon) but they were mostly anti-Lincoln and just didn't support his call for troops (Lincoln barely won Oregon by a few hundred votes and only because the ticket was divided; he only got thirty-something percent of the vote).

A Republican governor was elected a year or so after the war was underway and he did raise a volunteer regiment to replace the regulars but they only dealt with Indians. Oregon and California were exempted from the Union draft, basically because it wasn't practical to send troops back east. On paper, the volunteer units they raised to protect against Indians were considered their contribution.

Interestingly, there was a movement by politicians in both Oregon and California to try and secede and form a separate country but those guys never really got any footing. Their reason, though, was largely because they felt that - being way out on the coast - their interests didn't receive much attention in Washington and they'd be better off by themselves. So, there was a general feeling of not being much connected to what was happening back east.

Edit: it wouldn't have been practical for the confederacy to recruit on the west coast either. Remember there wasn't any railroad so recruits would have had to either get on horses and trek across the mountains and plains or get on a ship and spend months at sea (and that wasn't exactly cheap, either). Now, troops were collected in the southwest but they didn't have to travel that far.
Thats's a fair point, I imagine only the die hards and people who had skin in the game would've made the trip.
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2019
Location
Texas
There was an article posted by the Gene Autry Museum of the West about "The Los Angeles Rangers" a small group of men from Los Angeles County who escorted General Joseph Johnston to Texas and the men ride fairly high up the ladder as officers as the ACW progressed.
Dyers Compendium mentions a California regiment who did travel east via the Central American shipping route who then merged into a Pennsylvania Regiment.
Leftyhunter
Right, alot of people don't know the story of Albert Sydney Johnston's journey too Texas. He had to go all the way through California, across the Arizona dessert (in the hottest part of the year), and met with John R. Baylor in New Mexico.

Here is the whole story, it's long, but an awesome read.
 

John Winn

Major
Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Location
State of Jefferson
Thats's a fair point, I imagine only the die hards and people who had skin in the game would've made the trip.

Some did go back east on their own, Edward Baker probably being the most well known (he having been a very close friend of Lincoln), but they weren't recruited. I don't think there's good records of how many did so or, certainly, if any joined the confederate forces but I think the numbers were quite small.
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
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los angeles ca
I got very interested in creating this post when I found evidence of Rebel recruitment in Denver CO. Although the veracity of these claims is up for debate, they seem to check out. http://nebula.wsimg.com/deb554c2095...59C48D68C23EC2E5B&disposition=0&alloworigin=1
Which would be easily offset by the regiments raised by the Union per Dyers Compendium. The Second Colorado Cavalry Union in particular saw quite a bit of combat in Missouri against Confederate guerrillas and during Price's invasion of Missouri.
Overall yes men from the West certainly volunteered to enlist in the Confederate Army but they were more then offset by Western men who enlisted in the Union Army. The same can be said for all the border States.
In a sense the ACW as in all conventional wars ( although the ACW had a significant counterinsurgency aspect) the ACW was a numbers game.
Leftyhunter
 

John Winn

Major
Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Location
State of Jefferson
Which would be easily offset by the regiments raised by the Union per Dyers Compendium. The Second Colorado Cavalry Union in particular saw quite a bit of combat in Missouri against Confederate guerrillas and during Price's invasion of Missouri.
Overall yes men from the West certainly volunteered to enlist in the Confederate Army but they were more then offset by Western men who enlisted in the Union Army. The same can be said for all the border States.
In a sense the ACW as in all conventional wars ( although the ACW had a significant counterinsurgency aspect) the ACW was a numbers game.
Leftyhunter

Not to derail the thread but there are two brothers, both of whom joined the Second and fought both Indians and Price, buried in the cemetery where I volunteer. They were Canadians.
 

Lubliner

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I got very interested in creating this post when I found evidence of Rebel recruitment in Denver CO. Although the veracity of these claims is up for debate, they seem to check out. http://nebula.wsimg.com/deb554c2095...59C48D68C23EC2E5B&disposition=0&alloworigin=1
I cannot find my source beyond the NPS site (.gov) that mentioned the arms action of the Golden Circle happened at Vancouver, Wash. where nothing came of it. It also made mention of confederate sympathizers heading east without marshalling a enlistment program.
Yes, it was the Showalter party I referred to, and the other man mainly involved was Moore.
As for the Colorado troops so far as I have found, which were northern volunteers, when Sibley withdrew to Texas, there were fears of another threat coming in from Kansas, so the Colorado troops were set in motion to cover the border there. It seems the Mexicans were more inclined to cast their lot with yankees instead of confederates. Sibley had some confrontations before leaving New Mexico.
Lubliner.
 
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Location
Texas
I cannot find my source beyond the NPS site (.gov) that mentioned the arms action of the Golden Circle happened at Vancouver, Wash. where nothing came of it. It also made mention of confederate sympathizers heading east without marshalling a enlistment program.
Yes, it was the Showalter party I referred to, and the other man mainly involved was Moore.
As for the Colorado troops so far as I have found, which were northern volunteers, when Sibley withdrew to Texas, there were fears of another threat coming in from Kansas, so the Colorado troops were set in motion to cover the border there. It seems the Mexicans were more inclined to cast their lot with yankees instead of confederates. Sibley had some confrontations before leaving New Mexico.
Lubliner.
This?


Threat of privateers from Victoria, British Columbia[edit]
On March 15, 1863, a schooner, called J. M. Chapman, had been seized in the harbor of San Francisco, just as she was preparing to put to sea as a Confederate privateer. This seizure made Union men everywhere along the coast more alert for other attempts to get a vessel for the purpose. Among its papers was one letter disclosing plans for the capture of USS Shubrick but the scheme appeared to have been abandoned.

However early in 1863, Allen Francis, United States consul at Victoria, British Columbia, received information that led him to believe a plot was forming, to seize Shubrick, and convert her into a Confederate privateer. In the ensuing Shubrick Incident, Shubrick's Captain Pease and most of the crew, all suspected Southern sympathizers, were discharged by the Customs Collector for Puget Sound. This was accomplished on the next visit of Shubrick to Victoria, while the captain and a large part of the crew were on shore, Lieutenant Selden, second in command aboard Shubrick, threw off her mooring lines, and with only six men on board, he sailed away for Port Townsend.[3][4]

On May 13, 1863, Consul Francis, writing about the Shubrick incident to Captain Hopkins of the United States Navy steamer USS Saginaw, said:

There is still in this city a rebel organization,[5] which has had several meetings within the last few weeks. They are awaiting, it seems from rumors, the receipt of letters of marque from the president of the so-called Confederate States. At this moment an English steamer, called the Fusi Yama, is expected in this port from England, and it is rumored that she is to be purchased for a privateer."[6]
USS Saginaw cruised the Puget Sound and Straits of San Juan de Fuca and found no privateer.

Consul Francis raised the alarm once again in October 1863, when the president of this same "Southern Association" had contacted Confederate Secretary of State Judah P. Benjamin to obtain letters of marque for a ship yet to be obtained. When Francis discovered two British ships entering the port, one with a cargo of shot and shell and the other with iron construction, he feared they would be used by the Confederacy and alerted the Navy, which sent USS Narragansett to patrol the waters near Victoria. The "Southern Association" failed to carry out their intentions to outfit a privateer.[7]

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Lubliner

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This?


Threat of privateers from Victoria, British Columbia[edit]
On March 15, 1863, a schooner, called J. M. Chapman, had been seized in the harbor of San Francisco, just as she was preparing to put to sea as a Confederate privateer. This seizure made Union men everywhere along the coast more alert for other attempts to get a vessel for the purpose. Among its papers was one letter disclosing plans for the capture of USS Shubrick but the scheme appeared to have been abandoned.

However early in 1863, Allen Francis, United States consul at Victoria, British Columbia, received information that led him to believe a plot was forming, to seize Shubrick, and convert her into a Confederate privateer. In the ensuing Shubrick Incident, Shubrick's Captain Pease and most of the crew, all suspected Southern sympathizers, were discharged by the Customs Collector for Puget Sound. This was accomplished on the next visit of Shubrick to Victoria, while the captain and a large part of the crew were on shore, Lieutenant Selden, second in command aboard Shubrick, threw off her mooring lines, and with only six men on board, he sailed away for Port Townsend.[3][4]

On May 13, 1863, Consul Francis, writing about the Shubrick incident to Captain Hopkins of the United States Navy steamer USS Saginaw, said:


USS Saginaw cruised the Puget Sound and Straits of San Juan de Fuca and found no privateer.

Consul Francis raised the alarm once again in October 1863, when the president of this same "Southern Association" had contacted Confederate Secretary of State Judah P. Benjamin to obtain letters of marque for a ship yet to be obtained. When Francis discovered two British ships entering the port, one with a cargo of shot and shell and the other with iron construction, he feared they would be used by the Confederacy and alerted the Navy, which sent USS Narragansett to patrol the waters near Victoria. The "Southern Association" failed to carry out their intentions to outfit a privateer.[7]

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No, I am sure it was an NPS link that led on to another, because it was not recorded in my 'history' search. It displays the primary link I used, and wikipedia. I searched Fort Vancouver Historic Site, Fort Vancouver Barracks, Fort Vancouver, each of these three on the latter, and the NPS. The one I mention had something less particular concerning the emotions of the men in the west, and their reactions to the coming conflict. Also the site on the Army Paymaster from 1861-1870, appointed by President Lincoln in Washington Territory. It is just one of those predicaments I face, recalling where I was and where I went, when it covered so many spots; such as "Where did I read this before?"
I like that source you posted. I found this one also to be helpful;
I left out some others, but the NPS is very helpful.
Lubliner.
 
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