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To honor Napa's hometown veterans who served in the "War of the Rebellion" 1861 - 1865 . . .


Compiled by Dean A. Enderlin

(Member, Col. Elmer Ellsworth Camp, No. 23, SUVCW)

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Civil War Veterans in Tulocay Cemetery
    Greetings, and welcome to my latest project!  Having completed similar websites for Civil War veterans buried at other towns in the Napa Valley, I decided it was time to roll up my sleeves to tackle Napa!

   Napa was a vibrant community with a population of about 2,400 at the time of the outbreak of American Civil War.  Although distant from the great theatre of war being waged in the eastern states, the strain of war was nevertheless acutely felt here.  The country was in crisis, and Napa was no exception when it came to concerns about the outcome of the conflict.

   Following the war, many veterans headed west.  Many came to Napa and chose to settle here.  This website in its small way attempts to remember them.  These pages will continue to be a work in progress for many years.  There are so many people and so many stories that I expect many updates to be made along the way.  This is just the start.  Please visit often to see what's new!

   Thank you for your interest!

Dean A. Enderlin

star Napa's G.A.R Posts

star Napa's Allied Orders to the G.A.R.

star Napa's Civil War Militia









new  Updated 10 April 2011
 


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veteran

Tulocay Cemetery Veterans


   As their website states, the history of Tulocay Cemetery is the history of the Napa Valley.  The land was donated by Don Cayetano Juarez in 1859 for use by the people of the Napa Valley.  It has been in continuous use as a cemetery since that time.  The cemetery is located on Coombsville Road on the east side of the City of Napa.

   Most Civil War veterans who lived their later years in Napa are buried at Tulocay.  Over two hundred have been identified to date (2011), with many more probably yet to be discovered.  Chronicling their histories and service records is a major undertaking, which will no doubt take several years to complete.  To view the list of veterans and read their biographical data, please go to the following link:


    The cemetery also hosts a Grand Army of the Republic plot and a granite monument erected to their memory.  Research is underway to learn more about the history of the monument.  When complete, I'll add more details about it to this website.






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GAR badge

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Grand Army of the Republic


   The Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) was formed in Illinois in April of 1866.  Its membership was limited to Union veterans of the American Civil War, who had served between 1861 and 1865.  It was both a fraternal order, and (for a time) a volunteer reserve corps of veterans.  In addition to the primary organization, the G.A.R. included women's auxiliaries, known as the Woman's Relief Corps (WRC) and the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic (LGAR).  In the 1880's the G.A.R. established a corps of cadets which evolved into the Sons of Veterans (SV), and in the 1920's into the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW).  Other allied orders included the Daughters of Veterans (DV), now known as the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War (DUVCW), founded in 1885; and the Auxiliary to the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (ASUVCW), founded in 1883.

   The G.A.R. was divided into administrative areas called departments, ours being the Department of California (now called the Dept. of California and Pacific).  Within each department were numerous community-level organizations, called posts.  Napa had two G.A.R. posts:  Kit Carson Post, No. 74, established 1885, and Napa Post, No. 192, established 1907.  Other nearby towns had their own G.A.R. posts, the nearest being Vallejo's Farragut Post, No. 4, and the Yountville Veterans Home's Unity Post, No. 171.

   The final national encampment of the G.A.R. was held in 1949 in Indiana.  Today, the spirit of the G.A.R. is perpetuated by the SUVCW, which is the official successor organization to the now-extinct G.A.R.  Today, Napa falls within the jurisdiction of Col. Elmer Ellsworth Camp, No. 23, SUVCW, based out of Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California.  The camp serves Napa, Lake, Del Norte, and Humboldt Counties, as well as Sonoma, Mendocino and Marin Counties east of U.S. 101.

KIT CARSON POST, NO. 74, G.A.R.

   The first G.A.R. post to organize in the City of Napa was Kit Carson Post, No. 74.  News of the plans for a post first appeared in Napa newspapers on Friday, January 16, 1885, when it was announced that an organizing committee had been established in Napa.  This "temporary organization" met at the real estate office of Hunt & Wood in Napa on the evening of Monday, January 12.  They elected Chet Wood chairman pro tem, and William A. Smith secretary.  A committee of three was also formed, consisting of Luther T. Hayman, Philip Plass and N. Hein, who were assigned the tasks of securing a hall room, arranging for the mustering-in ceremony, and organizing "an old Camp Fire" for the public.  It was noted that 25 men were ready to join, having discharge papers in hand, while an additional 25 were also interested in applying but needed to obtain documents.  The committee convened at its second meeting at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 17, again at Hunt & Wood's office, where final plans were drawn up.

   On Saturday, January 24, 1885, Kit Carson Post, No 74, G.A.R. was officially mustered in with a charter membership of nineteen Union veterans.  The ceremony took place early that evening at the Good Templars' Hall on Randolph Street in Napa.  The mustering officer was Department of California Commander James M. Davis (a veteran of the 12th Pennsylvania Reserves and member of San Francisco's Lincoln Post, No. 1) accompanied by other Department officers from San Francisco.  The mustering-in ceremony and elections were held in secrecy, but the installation of officers was a public affair.  After an unexpectedly late adjournment of the meeting, the members of the new post proceeded to the Napa Opera House on Main Street, where a large crowd had gathered in anticipation of the 8:00 p.m. social and public installation of officers.  The social (known as a "campfire" in G.A.R. circles) was a popular way of involving the public.  The evening's events began with songs by local soloists and a quartet, recitations, short skits, and speeches by dignitaries.  Next came the installation ceremony, presided over by Past Department of California Commanders James W. Staples and William A. Robinson.  Dinner followed, consisting of the Civil War soldier's mainstays of smoking-hot beans, coffee and hard-tack.  The festivities concluded at midnight with the sounding of Taps.

  G.A.R. posts were often named for Civil War battles or famous persons.  In the case of Kit Carson Post, they chose as their namesake the beloved American frontiersman and hero, "Kit" (Christopher Huston) Carson.  Famous as a trapper and guide in the West in the earliest days of its settlement, Carson also saw service in the Mexican War, Civil War and Indian Wars.  Carson served as a Colonel in the 1st New Mexico Volunteers, and participated in the defense of Fort Craig against Confederate forces in the New Mexico Campaign in 1862.  Later in the war, the forces in his command were responsible for suppressing "Indian troubles."

   Meetings of Kit Carson Post were held on the second and fourth Friday of each month.

   Kit Carson Post had a total of 94 members over the course of its existence, all but four having passed away by 1928.  The latter were George M. Francis who served as the last Post Commander, O. E. Clark (Sr. Vice-Commander and Quartermaster), James D. Smith (Jr. Vice-Commander), and John E. Hayman (Adjutant and Chaplain).  All were in their 80's, and due to their failing health, none of them were able to attend the department encampment in 1928.  The post came to an end with the passing of its last member, James D. Smith, on August 18, 1932.  Smith died at the Veterans Home in Yountville at the age of 88, and was buried in the Veterans Home cemetery with military honors.

NAPA POST, NO. 192, G.A.R.

   Napa Post, No. 192, was a late-comer to Napa, organized with a charter membership of twenty-eight in 1907.  The reasons for its formation are lost in time, but it may have arisen from philosophical disagreements within Kit Carson Post, No. 74.  Notable among the charter officers in the new post was Robert Risk who was a former member and officer of Kit Carson Post.

   The mustering-in ceremony for Napa Post, No. 192, took place in the evening of Saturday, August 17, 1907.  The ceremony was conducted at the Union Labor Hall in the Bank Building in Napa.  The installing officer was Past Post Commander George L. Voorhees from Vallejo's Farragut Post, No. 4.  At the conclusion of the organizing ceremony and installation of officers, the members of the new post joined with ladies from Napa's Julia Dent Grant Circle, No. 39, L.G.A.R., for a celebration banquet.

  Like Kit Carson Post, meetings for Napa Post were conducted twice monthly.

   At first, Napa's two G.A.R. posts distanced themselves in public activities.  Napa Post would conduct annual Memorial Day services at Tulocay Cemetery in the morning, while Kit Carson Post would hold a similar service in the afternoon.  As the years passed by, the two posts and their allied organizations grew closer, and by the onset of World War I, their public activities were -- for the most part -- held jointly.

  Napa Post, No. 192, continued to exist for nearly a decade after Kit Carson Post, No. 74, had disbanded.  The last member of Napa Post was William Franklin Brandt, who died in Napa on April 9, 1937.  Brandt had seen service as a Private in Company F, 12th U.S. Infantry, during the Civil War, and was affectionately known as the "father" of Napa Woman's Relief Corps (W.R.C.), No. 117.




Charter Officers of Kit Carson Post, No. 74


Post Commander...

George M. Francis

Sr. Vice-Commander...

William A. Smith

Jr. Vice-Commander...

W. E. Harrington

Adjutant...

W. T. Dunn

Quartermaster...

Luther T. Hayman

Surgeon...

J. F. Dickson

Chaplain...

Isaac G. Herron

Officer of the Day...

Philip Plass

Officer of the Guard...

J. W. Stephens

Colonel Kit Carson
Colonel (later Bvt. Brigadier General)
Christopher Huston "Kit" Carson
(1809 - 1868)







KIT CARSON POST MEMBERSHIP, 1886

NAME
CO.
SERVICE
RESIDENCE
Backus, E. H. [Erwin Hinckley]
I
20th Mass. Inf.
Napa City
Coghlan, O. R.
H
29th Mo. Inf.
"          "
Derry, Thomas
---
3d Wis. Inf.
"          "
Francis, G. M. [George Milton]
C
25th Wis. Inf.
"          "
Garwood, J. F.
E
82d Ohio Inf.
"          "
Gridley, E. S.
G
11th Mich. Cav.
"          "
Harrington, W. E.
I
9th Ind. Inf.
"          "
Harris, F. W. [Francis Wellington]
G
12th Iowa Inf.
"          "
Hayman, L. T.  [Luther Trumbull]
---
9th Mo. S. M. Cav.
"          "
Herron, I. G.  [Isaac G.]
A
78th Ohio Inf.
"          "
Hill, E. D. [Edwin D.]
C
4th Ind. Battery
"          "
Holden, S. E. [Samuel Emery]
D
16th N. H. Inf.
"          "
Hoover, Jas. W. [James W.]
F
Independent Penn. Light Art.
"          "
Jaekle, J. [Jacob]
F
23d Conn. Inf.
"          "
King, E. H. [Ensign Hill]
---
15th Iowa Inf.
"          "
Lasher, A. E.
C
184th N. Y. Inf.
"          "
Moffat, H. H.
C
39th Iowa Inf.
"          "
Mosher, R. [Raycide]
A
1st Mich. Engineers
"          "
Peck, N. F. [Nelson Ferdinand]
I
25th Mass. Inf.
"          "
Peterson, Larry [Lars]
C
11th Wis. Inf.
"          "
Plass, P. [Philip]
I
5th Cal. Inf.
"          "
Shepard, Wm. [William]
D
1st Ohio Cav.
"          "
Smith, W. A. [William A.]
B
38th Wis. Inf.
"          "
Spence, S. R. [Samuel R.]
---
2d Penn. Battery
"          "
Stevens, J. W.
H
140th Penn. Inf.
"          "
Van Anken, A. [Abram]
E
21st Conn. Inf.
"          "
Wallingford, J. N.
I
1st Minn. Inf.
"          "
Weaver, Henry
C
28th Wis. Inf.
"          "









Charter Officers of Napa Post, No. 192


Post Commander...

Zina A. Mason

Sr. Vice-Commander...

Thomas G. Dwyer

Jr. Vice-Commander...

George H. Randall

Adjutant...

Robert Risk

Quartermaster...

Charles G. Bates

Surgeon...

Theodore F. Willsey

Chaplain...

William Wiles

Officer of the Day...

William Moore

Officer of the Guard...

James E. Deakin

Quartermaster Sergeant...

B. [Benjamin?] F. Standiford

Napa Post 192




Other charter members were:  John P. Martin, Hezekiah Whitney, A. S. Orcutt, L. Jacks, W. H. Pyle, Owen L. Shroyer, Robert Risk, J. H. Hoover, S. Raddlefinger, R. R. Ramsey, James Hayes, Henry Wigmore, Thomas Adams, I. C. Langford, William I. Law, E. B. Heflin, G. I. Henderson, H. J. Hicks, and B. H. Brasted.

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GAR Auxiliaries

   Through the years that the G.A.R. existed, a variety of kindred societies formed to support them and carry out their principles.  This was a common practice in male-dominated fraternal organizations, where auxiliaries allowed women and youth to participate.

   Two national women's auxiliaries formed to support the G.A.R., and both of these were active in Napa.  The older of the two was the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic (L.G.A.R.) which organized in Trenton, New Jersey, in November 1881.  The other was the National  Woman's Relief Corps (W.R.C.), which organized in Denver, Colorado, in July 1883.  For a time, these organizations competed to become the recognized auxiliary to the G.A.R.  The Woman's Relief Corps ultimately won that honor.  Unlike the Ladies of the G.A.R., the Woman's Relief Corps
welcomed women into its membership who were not necessarily related to a Union veteran of the Civil War.  Any "loyal woman," being an American citizen who had never given aid or comfort to the enemies of the United States of America, was eligible for membership.  Both organizations are still in existence.

   Wishing to also officially participate in G.A.R.-related work, the children and descendants of Union Veterans and G.A.R. members also formed auxiliaries, and these too were active in Napa.  The Sons of Veterans (now called the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War) the Daughters of Veterans (now called the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, 1861-1865), and the Daughters of the Grand Army of the Republic all existed in Napa at one time.  Of the three, only the Sons of Union Veterans (SUVCW) and the Daughters of Union Veterans (DUVCW) are still in existence.

  The following list serves as a reference for each of the Allied Orders to the G.A.R. that are known to have existed in Napa.  Each is linked to a section on this web page that will provide further details:

            Kit Carson Corps, No. 24, Woman's Relief Corps (affiliated with Kit Carson Post, No. 74)
            Kit Carson Corps, No. 154, Woman's Relief Corps (affiliated with Kit Carson Post, No. 74)
            Kit Carson Camp, No. 26, Sons of Veterans (affiliated with Kit Carson Post, No. 74)
            Napa Corps, No. 117, Woman's Relief Corps (affiliated with Napa Post, No. 192)
            Napa Camp, No. 17, Sons of Veterans (affiliated with Napa Post, No. 192)
            Julia Dent Grant Circle, No. 39, Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic
           
Mary Todd Tent, No. __, Daughters of Union Veterans
            Hartford Circle, No. __, Daughters of the
Grand Army of the Republic

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Woman's Relief Corps badge
THE WOMAN'S RELIEF CORPS IN NAPA
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KIT CARSON CORPS, NO. 24.

  Kit Carson Corps, No. 24, W.R.C., was the earliest of the Allied Orders of the G.A.R. to organize in Napa.  It was instituted with a charter membership of thirty-one ladies in 1886, and served as the official auxiliary to Kit Carson Post, No. 74, G.A.R.  The "instituting" ceremony took place at the Good Templar's Hall on Randolph Street in Napa on the afternoon of Tuesday, March 16, 1886.  The instituting officer was Mrs. Jane B. Russell, President of the Department of California, W.R.C.  She arrived on the morning train from Oakland and commenced the meeting at 1 p.m.  After explaining the objects and benefits of the Order, Mrs. Russell presided over the election and installation of officers.

   Kit Carson Corps, No. 24, W.R.C., existed for about fifteen years.  Their charter was revoked on January 4, 1902, probably due to failure to complete annual paperwork the previous year.  This was not to be the end of Kit Carson Corps, however...

KIT CARSON CORPS, NO. 154.

   In 1942, the Woman's Relief Corps came back to Napa with the old name Kit Carson Corps and a new numeral, No. 154.  The eleven charter members were:  Anna E. Stark, Elizabeth F. Derry Corlett, Frances Corlett Howard, Ella May Didier, Catherine E. Jaekle Moss, Genevra Bell, Anna Allgern, Mona Trigg, Lenore Levy, Louise Gillies, and Edith Russell.  The Corps was instituted on May 5, 1942, in Napa  by Department President Vera Wortman of Vallejo, who was assisted by her Secretary, Isabel O'Malley, and staff.  The Corps was reinstituted as the official auxiliary to the long-definct Kit Carson Post, No. 74, of Napa.  A newspaper account in the Napa Register noted that President Stark wore a government-issued Civil War badge which had belonged to her father who fought in the Civil War.  The "badge" was most likely the Civil War Campaign Medal, authorized by Congress in 1904.  Elizabeth F. (Derry) Corlett was a speaker at the ceremony, and told of her father's work and her gratitude in being able to join the auxiliary.  Her father, Thomas Derry, was a charter member of Kit Carson Post, No. 74.

  To have a new Woman's Relief Corps for in Napa in the midst of World War II, was remarkable.  The nation was at war, and people had many other things on their minds.  Sadly, the new Corps had a very short life.  It was disbanded on November 18, 1944, probably because of the demands of life during wartime.


Kit Carson Corps, No. 24, Charter Officers

President...

Mrs. G. M. Francis

Sr. Vice-President...

Mrs. C. B. Seeley

Jr. Vice-President...

Mrs. L. T. Hayman

Treasurer...

Mrs. F. M. Hackett

Chaplain...
Mrs. M. E. Gates

Conductor...

Mrs. D. M. Stockmon

Guard...

Mrs. E. S. Gridley

Secretary...

Miss Annie Derry

Assistant Conductor...

Miss Nina Chapman

Assistant Guard...

Mrs. T. R. Parker

-------------

Kit Carson Corps, No. 154, Charter Officers

President...
Mrs. Anna E. Stark

Sr. Vice-President...

Mrs. Lenore Levy

Jr. Vice-President...

Mrs. Louise Gillies

Treasurer...

Mrs. Frances Howard

Chaplain...

Mrs. Geneva Bell

Conductor...

Mrs. Edith Russell

Guard...

Mrs. Anna Allgern

Secretary...

Mrs. Mona Trigg




wrc pin

Woman's Relief Corps Pin,
showing the year the order was
established and the initials F. C. L,
standing for
Fraternity, Charity & Loyalty.



Woman's Relief Corps badge NAPA CORPS, NO. 117.

   Napa Corps, No. 117, W.R.C., was the Auxiliary to Napa Post, No. 192, of the Grand Army of the Republic.  The corps was instituted about three and one half years after the post was established.  The instituting ceremony took place at the Turn Verein Hall in Napa on the afternoon of Saturday, May 13, 1911, with a charter membership of forty-five ladies.  The instituting officer was Past Department President Mrs. Carrie W. Dibble, accompanied by five ladies from San Franciso's Lincoln Corps, No. 3, W.R.C.  Newspaper accounts noted that Mrs. Dibble performed the ceremonies "in a very creditable manner."  Once business was completed, the new corps adjourned to the banquet room for a "splendid repast."  Joining them were a number of members of Napa Post, No. 192.

  By the time that Napa Corps organized, it was the only Woman's Relief Corps in Napa.  Kit Carson Corps, No. 24, which was the auxiliary to Napa's other G.A.R. post, had been defunct for nine years.  Napa Corps remained active for many years, continuing to exist for over a decade after the last member of Napa Post had passed away.  Napa Corps finally disbanded in 1942.

Napa Corps, No. 117, Charter Officers

President...

Mrs. E. Manners

Sr. Vice-President...

Mrs. M. Hamilton

Jr. Vice-President...

Mrs. M. Jackson

Treasurer...

Mrs. A. Martin

Chaplain...
Mrs. M. Bates

Conductor...

Mrs. A. Fehrle

Guard...

Mrs. C. Culbertson

Secretary...

Mrs. E. Hadley

Assistant Conductor...

Mrs. M. Gremon

Assistant Guard...

Mrs. A. Skivington

Patriotic Instructor...

Mrs. Parsons

Press Correspondent...

Mrs. L. Latta

Musician...

Miss E. Manners

Color Bearers

Mrs. E. Treadway
Mrs. M. Hill
Miss A. Dwyer
Miss E. Gibson






Ladies of the GAR badge
LADIES OF THE GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC IN NAPA
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JULIA DENT GRANT CIRCLE, NO. 39.

  Working in conjunction with Napa's two Grand Army of the Republic Posts were the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic (L.G.A.R.).  The local chapter (known as a "circle") formed circa 1904, and was named Julia Dent Grant Circle, No. 39.  The date in which the circle organized is not presently known, however, they were in existence on Memorial Day 1905.

   The circle was named in honor of Julia Boggs Dent-Grant (1826 - 1902), wife of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant.  As was customary in the allied orders of the G.A.R., new chapters were sometimes named in honor of deceased individuals.  Clearly, the passing of Julia Dent-Grant in December 1902 left an impression on those responsible for forming the new L.G.A.R. circle, and they felt it fitting to name their new organization after her.

  Julia Dent Grant Circle, No. 39, participated regularly alongside Napa's G.A.R. members on Memorial Day for many years.  The circle remained active at least until 1936, when members were present for the Memorial Day observance at Tulocay Cemetery.  Further research is necessary to determine when the circle disbanded.

  It is possible that there was a second L.G.A.R. circle in Napa, but further research is necessary to confirm this.  Mention is made of Liberty Circle teaming up with Napa Post on Memorial Day 1908, while Julia Dent Grant Circle teamed up with Kit Carson Post.  If Liberty Circle was an L.G.A.R. circle, it appears to have been short-lived.

Julia Dent-Grant
Julia Boggs Dent-Grant
1826 - 1902






SV badge
SONS OF UNION VETERANS OF THE CIVIL WAR
-----


   Napa's two G.A.R. posts each boasted a separate Woman's Relief Corps as its auxiliary, and each also has a separate Sons of Veterans (SV) camp associated with it.  The Sons of Veterans (later renamed Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War) organized nationally in 1881.  The Department of California was established in 1886 with fifteen local chapters (called camps).

KIT CARSON CAMP, NO. 26.
   Very little is known about Napa's two camps.  The first to organize was Kit Carson Camp, No. 26.  The camp is noted in the national camp card file of the SUVCW as having organized in the Department of California.  This is an older department designation, suggesting that the camp formed sometime in the late 19th Century.  The camp was nonexistent by 1923, when another camp was granted its numeral 26.

NAPA CAMP, NO. 17.
  This camp is noted in the national camp card file of the SUVCW as having organized in the Department of California and Oregon.  Its charter application was approved in 1912.
   The Sons of Veterans are mentioned as having participated in Memorial Day exercises in Napa in 1911.  Although not identified by name in newspaper articles, they were clearly affiliated with Napa Post, No. 192, GAR, and therefore must have been some of the young men who organized Napa Camp, No. 17, the following year.  They were again mentioned as having participated in the Memorial Day observance in 1912.  In the 1914 Memorial Day news coverage, two members of the Sons of Veterans are mentioned by name:  W. H. Glazier and F. L. Alexander.


   By the end of World War I, the Sons of Veterans seem to have faded out of the picture in Napa, probably as a result of the demands of the war and post-war life.  The exact date of disbanding of Napa Camp, No. 17, is not known.  Although the original Napa camps are long gone, the Sons of Union Veterans organization is still active in the region, with Napa falling under the jurisdiction of Col. Elmer Ellsworth Camp, No. 23, based out of Santa Rosa, Sonoma County.







Daughters of Union Veterans

DAUGHTERS OF UNION VETERANS OF THE CIVIL WAR, 1861-1865
-----


MARY TODD TENT

  The Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, like the Sons of Union Veterans, were (and are) an allied order of the Grand Army of the Republic.  Local chapters are referred to as "tents."

   The Napa Daily Journal newspaper in several issues in October 1934 mentions a tent that was active in the Napa area at that time.  It was known as Mary Todd Tent (the number was not stated).  The namesake of the organization was our nation's First Lady during the Civil War, Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of President Abraham Lincoln.  As with other allied orders of the Grand Army of the Republic, the naming of local chapters after famous persons of the Civil War era was a common practice.

   The Tent President in 1934 was Mrs. Catherine Moss, residence 1729 Second Street, Vallejo.  Other members mentioned (some from Napa) were:  Mrs. Clara Switzer, Mrs. Nellie Borman, Mrs. Lillie Burroughs, Mrs. Anna L. Shaw, Mrs. Carrie True, Mrs. Mildred Hunter, Mrs. Edna Butler, Mrs. Louise Murr, Mrs. Margaret Graham, Miss Nelda Curry, Mrs. Edward Moors, Mrs. Anne Siefert, Mrs. Al Lebel, Mrs. T. C. Pettit, and Mrs. Sherwood.

  No other information on this organization is currently available.

Mary Todd
Mary Todd Lincoln
1818 - 1882






dgar

DAUGHTERS OF THE GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC
-----


HARTFORD CIRCLE

   Local newspapers mention Hartford Circle, Daughters of the G.A.R., as participants in the Memorial Day observance in Napa in 1936.  Anna Stark and Elizabeth (Derry) Corlett were members.  Both of these ladies later resurrected Kit Carson Corps, W.R.C., in 1942, and both were daughters of local veterans of the Civil War.  The Daughters of the G.A.R. was yet another allied order of the Grand Army of the Republic, but local chapters were rare in this part of California.  Unlike the other allied orders of the G.A.R. which each adopted a fraternal badge, the Daughters of the G.A.R. only wore a recognition pin.

  Hartford Circle was most likely named for the sloop-of-war USS Hartford, which served as the flagship of Admiral David G. Farragut during the Civil War.  It was aboard this ship at the Battle of Mobile Bay that Farragut purportedly uttered the words, "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!"  Farragut was the first Commander of Mare Island Naval Shipyard in nearby Vallejo.  He was also the namesake of Vallejo's G.A.R. post, so Hartford Circle may have been based out of Vallejo.  More research is necessary to uncover the history of this circle.


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Militia in Napa



troops
  With federalized troops summoned elsewhere during the Civil War, many towns and cities in California felt the need to organize local militia companies who could respond to the defense of the community at short notice.  These companies were made up of men of the community -- often with little or no military training -- eager to defend their interests and share in the prestige of being militiamen.  They formed their units at the discretion of the Governor of California, and were equipped with arms supplied by the State.  Although considered by some to be more of a social club than an actual military organization here, the militiamen were sworn to serve in time of crisis, they were armed, and they drilled sufficiently to be in military preparedness in the event of civil unrest.



   The need for local militia was very real in the community of Napa during the Civil War.  Napa County -- like its neighbors -- had a population with divided political allegiances.  The larger communities, such as the City of Napa, tended to have a population dominated by businessmen from the Northern states, but pockets in the rural areas were sometimes populated with citizens with Southern ties and sympathies.  In the early years of the war, things were not going well for the Union Army.  With each Union defeat, flags in support of the Confederacy could be seen flying from some local buildings.  Southern sympathizers wishing to recognize the plight of the South -- mostly Democrats known as Copperheads -- were often vocal in the community.  Napa even had a newspaper that catered to their politics.  Known as the Pacific Echo, this weekly paper published by Alexander Montgomery echoed (as the name implies) strong and sometimes violent views in opposition to the Lincoln administration and its efforts to subdue the rebellion.  It was published weekly from 1861 until the morning of the announcement of President Lincoln's assassination in April 1865.  Montgomery left town in short order, and ultimately became publisher of the Mendocino Democrat newspaper in Ukiah.



   Three local militia companies organized in the City of Napa during the war years.   All three were part of the 2nd Brigade of the California State Militia, and were subject to call-out in times of state emergency.  The Napa Guard (infantry) was the first to organize in 1861, followed by the Washington Light Artillery in 1863, and the Napa Rangers (Cavalry Company "L") in 1864.

   Frank Aleamon Leach (1846 - 1929) was a young man in Napa when the war broke out.  He signed up for duty in the Napa Guard when it first organized, and served in the company for five years.  Being a newspaperman in later years, he shared his reminiscences on paper.  His stories form a rich account of life in the Napa militia during the civil war.  I have transcribed his lengthy accounts in full, and they can be read by clicking on the following link:

Frank A. Leach and the Napa Guard

  The Washington Light Artillery disbanded in 1866.  The Napa Guard and the Napa Rangers did so in 1868, ending a very colorful episode in Napa's history.
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News of the organization of the Napa Rangers
(from the Napa County Reporter newspaper, 23 April 1864)


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Links

Napa County Historical Society

Napa Valley Genealogical & Biographical Society

Col. Elmer Ellsworth Camp, No. 23, SUVCW

Tulocay Cemetery


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Contact Information:

Dean A. Enderlin
2950 Lake County Highway
Calistoga, CA  94515

E-mail:  enderlin@sonic.net

Member:
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Website launched Memorial Day 2010



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