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Frontier service during the rebellion or, A history of Company K, First Infantry, California Volunteers   By: (1834-)

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Transcriber's note: The erratum at the end of the original book has been applied to this e book version.

PERSONAL NARRATIVES

OF EVENTS IN THE

WAR OF THE REBELLION,

BEING PAPERS READ BEFORE THE

RHODE ISLAND SOLDIERS AND SAILORS HISTORICAL SOCIETY.

THIRD SERIES NO. 14.

PROVIDENCE:

PUBLISHED BY THE SOCIETY.

1885.

PROVIDENCE PRESS COMPANY, PRINTERS.

FRONTIER SERVICE DURING THE REBELLION;

OR, A

HISTORY OF COMPANY K,

FIRST INFANTRY, CALIFORNIA VOLUNTEERS.

BY

GEORGE H. PETTIS,

[Brevet Captain United States Volunteers; Late First Lieutenant Company K, First California Infantry, and First Lieutenant and Adjutant First New Mexico Infantry.]

PROVIDENCE:

PUBLISHED BY THE SOCIETY.

1885.

[Edition limited to two hundred and fifty copies.]

FRONTIER SERVICE DURING THE REBELLION.

The first battle of Bull Run had been fought. The government had become satisfied that the slaveholder's rebellion was not to be put down with seventy five thousand men. The Union people of the United States now fully realized that the rebels were to use every effort on their part towards the establishment of the Confederacy, and the men of the north, on their part, were ready to "mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor" to preserve the government as their fathers before them had pledged themselves to establish it. The loyal States were ready to respond to any demand made upon them by the government, and there were none more anxious to do their duty to the old flag than the Union men of California.

The people of that far distant part of our country were, in the early days of our "late unpleasantness," stirred to their very depths. A large portion of the inhabitants had emigrated from the southern States, and were, therefore, in sympathy with their brethren at home. General Albert Sidney Johnston was in command of the military department, and a majority of the regular officers under him were sympathizers with the rebellion, as were a majority of the State officers. The United States gunboat "Wyoming," lying in the harbor of San Francisco in the early part of '61, was officered by open advocates of secession, and only by the secret coming of General E. V. Sumner, who arrived by steamer one fine morning in the early part of '61, totally unknown and unannounced, and presenting himself at the army headquarters on Washington street, San Francisco, without delay, with, "Is this Gen. Johnston?" "Yes, sir." "I am General E. V. Sumner, United States Army, and do now relieve you of the command of this department," at the same time delivering the orders to this effect from the War Department at Washington, were the people of the Pacific States saved from a contest which would have been more bitter, more fierce, and more unrelenting than was exhibited in any part of the United States during all those long four years of the war.

As I have said before, the prompt and secret action of the government and that gallant old soldier, General E. V. Sumner (for you all will remember that California had no railroads and telegraphs in those days), prevented civil war there. The secessionists, who were preparing to take possession of the property of the government in that department and turn the guns of Alcatraz, Fort Point and the Presidio upon the loyalists, were taken completely aback; they delayed action. General Sumner took all precautions against surprise, and the Union men of the Pacific States breathed free again, for civil war had been driven from their doors. Many of the secession leaders, with General Albert Sidney Johnston, seeing their plans miscarry, left the State shortly after, and did service in the Confederate armies.

On the steamer from the States that brought the news to California of the disaster at Bull Run, came orders from President Lincoln for that State to furnish its quota of men for the Union army... Continue reading book >>




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