Monday, August 29, 2016

California's Confederate Militia: The Los Angeles Mounted Rifles

Mind jog from MissV on The South and the West–Targets for cultural destru...
Southern cartoonist Adalbert J. Volck's 1861 "Albert Sidney Johnston Crossing the Desert" is the only period depiction of the Los Angeles Mounted Rifles. Though not particularrly accurate, it did much to romanticize the epic desert crossing.

The arrival of Albert Sidney Johnston in Richmond, Virginia, in mid-September 1861, created considerable excitement. His arrival had been eagerly anticipated by his friend, Confederate President Jefferson Davis, who quickly appointed him General and assigned him to command the Confederate forces in "the West." The story of his long journey from California, across the desert South west to Texas, and then on to Richmond, has become almost legendary. Most accounts of his journey mention that there were others with him - generally referred to as "Johnston's escort." Though, in effect, these others did "escort" Johnston to the Confederacy, they were more than that. Their organization had preceded Johnston's resignation from the U. S. Army by over two months. They were members of a bona fide company of California Militia - the Los Angeles Mounted Rifles. As the only Free State militia unit that "went Confederate," their story is unique in itself.

It could have happened only in California. 

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