Looking To Learn More About West-Coast Secessionists

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Komi

Private
Joined
Oct 3, 2017
Messages
36
Hello all,
Would anyone here be able to help me a bit with learning about secessionist activity in the west coast states during the US Civil War? It's a subject I've been interested in, both as a history buff and someone who spent most of my childhood in that region, but sadly I'm not too well read on it so I was hoping I could get a bit of help from more knowledgeable people here. I thought I'd pose a few starting questions if anyone's interested in discussing this. :smile:

1) How much of a presence did secessionist groups have in the San Francisco Bay Area? It seems from my reading so far that secessionist sympathy was primarily strong in southern California (e.g. with groups like the Los Angeles Mounted Rifles) so I was curious what the situation was like farther north.

2) What was the position of the Californios in all this? Were there any notable communities that sided with the secessionist cause due to resentment over the US annexation of California?

3) Was there much secessionist sympathy or activity in Oregon? I've seen a few claims in online articles that there was talk among Californian secessionists of seceding with Oregon into a "Pacific Republic", but I haven't found any hard evidence to verify that either way.

Thanks.
 

leftyhunter

Colonel
Joined
May 27, 2011
Messages
17,401
Location
los angeles ca
Hello all,
Would anyone here be able to help me a bit with learning about secessionist activity in the west coast states during the US Civil War? It's a subject I've been interested in, both as a history buff and someone who spent most of my childhood in that region, but sadly I'm not too well read on it so I was hoping I could get a bit of help from more knowledgeable people here. I thought I'd pose a few starting questions if anyone's interested in discussing this. :smile:

1) How much of a presence did secessionist groups have in the San Francisco Bay Area? It seems from my reading so far that secessionist sympathy was primarily strong in southern California (e.g. with groups like the Los Angeles Mounted Rifles) so I was curious what the situation was like farther north.

2) What was the position of the Californios in all this? Were there any notable communities that sided with the secessionist cause due to resentment over the US annexation of California?

3) Was there much secessionist sympathy or activity in Oregon? I've seen a few claims in online articles that there was talk among Californian secessionists of seceding with Oregon into a "Pacific Republic", but I haven't found any hard evidence to verify that either way.

Thanks.
The Los Angeles Times recently had a series of articles on pro secessionists in Southern California.in California has a whole per the articles far more Calufornians enlisted in the Union Army then the Confederate Army.There was no organized armed Confederate insurgency in the West.
Leftyhunter
 

Komi

Private
Joined
Oct 3, 2017
Messages
36
The Los Angeles Times recently had a series of articles on pro secessionists in Southern California.
Thanks I'll have a look if they're online. You wouldn't have a link by any chance would you?

in California has a whole per the articles far more Calufornians enlisted in the Union Army then the Confederate Army.There was no organized armed Confederate insurgency in the West.
Leftyhunter
True, it was nothing like what happened on the east coast. But still I'm aware there were groups with secessionist sympathies and even a few pro-Confederate militias (like the L.A Mounted Rifles), so I was hoping to learn a bit more about that.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Komi

Private
Joined
Oct 3, 2017
Messages
36
If anyone is interested here are a few of the sources I found mentioning, at least briefly, secessionist sympathies in the west-coast region:

From 'The Pacific Northwest: An Interpretive History' by Carlos A. Schwantes:
"While most Pacific Northwesterners remained loyal to the Union cause, Southern sympathizers talked openly of seceding to form a Pacific republic. The idea of an independent nation had been discussed for several years, but the Civil War made its advocates so bold that the legislatures in Oregon and Washington Territory passed resolutions repudiating such a creation."

From this article: http://www.narhist.ewu.edu/pnf/articles/s1/iii-1/civil_war/civilwar.html
"Present-day Lane County (Eugene) and Jackson County (Medford) were the two strongest centers of pro-Southern feeling in Oregon; however, many other communities ranked close behind them due to the geographical origins of their settlers.

A few miles west of Eugene on the Old Territorial Road is the site of the town of Franklin which was known as Smithfield during the Civil War era.

In August of 1862 the men of Smithfield, true to their Southern traditions, cut and peeled a young fir tree and erected it in front of the town's general store. The women sewed a Confederate flag, the "stars and bars," and the colors were raised to the top of the flag pole. They also confiscated a cannon and prepared to defend their Southern traditions and their community.

When the news reached both the state capitol and Washington, D.C., word was sent to the local officials in Eugene ordering them to proceed to Smithfield and seize the rebel flag. The sheriff and other law enforcement officials received the orders, but did not dare to carry them out. They were well aware of the reputation these hardy Southerners had for shooting game with their long-barreled Kentucky squirrel rifles. In desperation the federal authorities sent orders to Vancouver Barracks for a troop of U.S. cavalry to proceed to the rebel strong point at Smithfield. Thus, it was that in August 1862, the U.S. cavalry rode into Smithfield, Oregon, and after a brief skirmish, hauled down the only flag of the Confederacy which flew west of Missouri."

From 'American Civil War: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection' edited by Spencer C. Tucker:
"Briefly in January 1861, a cabal of pro-Southern Californians declared the Pacific Republic, actually raising a flag of the breakaway state in Stockton, California. State authorities swiftly squashed the effort, however."

Here's an interesting NY Times blog post that discusses the Stockton incident:
https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/14/the-bear-wars/
 

leftyhunter

Colonel
Joined
May 27, 2011
Messages
17,401
Location
los angeles ca
If anyone is interested here are a few of the sources I found mentioning, at least briefly, secessionist sympathies in the west-coast region:

From 'The Pacific Northwest: An Interpretive History' by Carlos A. Schwantes:
"While most Pacific Northwesterners remained loyal to the Union cause, Southern sympathizers talked openly of seceding to form a Pacific republic. The idea of an independent nation had been discussed for several years, but the Civil War made its advocates so bold that the legislatures in Oregon and Washington Territory passed resolutions repudiating such a creation."

From this article: http://www.narhist.ewu.edu/pnf/articles/s1/iii-1/civil_war/civilwar.html
"Present-day Lane County (Eugene) and Jackson County (Medford) were the two strongest centers of pro-Southern feeling in Oregon; however, many other communities ranked close behind them due to the geographical origins of their settlers.

A few miles west of Eugene on the Old Territorial Road is the site of the town of Franklin which was known as Smithfield during the Civil War era.

In August of 1862 the men of Smithfield, true to their Southern traditions, cut and peeled a young fir tree and erected it in front of the town's general store. The women sewed a Confederate flag, the "stars and bars," and the colors were raised to the top of the flag pole. They also confiscated a cannon and prepared to defend their Southern traditions and their community.

When the news reached both the state capitol and Washington, D.C., word was sent to the local officials in Eugene ordering them to proceed to Smithfield and seize the rebel flag. The sheriff and other law enforcement officials received the orders, but did not dare to carry them out. They were well aware of the reputation these hardy Southerners had for shooting game with their long-barreled Kentucky squirrel rifles. In desperation the federal authorities sent orders to Vancouver Barracks for a troop of U.S. cavalry to proceed to the rebel strong point at Smithfield. Thus, it was that in August 1862, the U.S. cavalry rode into Smithfield, Oregon, and after a brief skirmish, hauled down the only flag of the Confederacy which flew west of Missouri."

From 'American Civil War: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection' edited by Spencer C. Tucker:
"Briefly in January 1861, a cabal of pro-Southern Californians declared the Pacific Republic, actually raising a flag of the breakaway state in Stockton, California. State authorities swiftly squashed the effort, however."

Here's an interesting NY Times blog post that discusses the Stockton incident:
https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/14/the-bear-wars/
Thanks I'll have a look if they're online. You wouldn't have a link by any chance would you?



True, it was nothing like what happened on the east coast. But still I'm aware there were groups with secessionist sympathies and even a few pro-Confederate militias (like the L.A Mounted Rifles), so I was hoping to learn a bit more about that.
I just googled los angeles times articles on Confederates in Southern California and they popped right up. Yes there were pro Confederates on the west coast but for practical purposes it was very insignificant. For example Southern California contributed approximately 250 troops to the Confederacy vs per a source by my goid friend @CSA Today 2000 men from Pensylvania or @CM Winkler had a source of 4,000 men joined the Confederate Army from Indiana.
Leftyhunter
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Joined
Mar 3, 2017
Messages
9,789
Location
Chicagoland
Hello all,
Would anyone here be able to help me a bit with learning about secessionist activity in the west coast states during the US Civil War? It's a subject I've been interested in, both as a history buff and someone who spent most of my childhood in that region, but sadly I'm not too well read on it so I was hoping I could get a bit of help from more knowledgeable people here. I thought I'd pose a few starting questions if anyone's interested in discussing this. :smile:

1) How much of a presence did secessionist groups have in the San Francisco Bay Area? It seems from my reading so far that secessionist sympathy was primarily strong in southern California (e.g. with groups like the Los Angeles Mounted Rifles) so I was curious what the situation was like farther north.

2) What was the position of the Californios in all this? Were there any notable communities that sided with the secessionist cause due to resentment over the US annexation of California?

3) Was there much secessionist sympathy or activity in Oregon? I've seen a few claims in online articles that there was talk among Californian secessionists of seceding with Oregon into a "Pacific Republic", but I haven't found any hard evidence to verify that either way.

Thanks.
Welcome, @Komi . Glad to have you with us.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Komi

Private
Joined
Oct 3, 2017
Messages
36
Thanks everyone, appreciate the replies and your nice welcomes. :smile:

Thank you I'll check those out.

This is a subject I have been very interested in. @Komi , have you ever heard of the Biderman Flag? Here's some neat background information on it:

http://www.militarymuseum.org/BidermanFlag.html
Just the other day when I was reading about the subject. As a former resident of Sacramento I admit I'd never heard of it before then. This is partly why I opened the thread here, I figured there's quite a few things I could learn about the ACW in the places I used to live. :smile:
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top