The Oakland Guard was created on June 10, 1861 to support the cause of the Union in the Civil War after hearing a rumor about a secret plan that Oakland would become part of the Confederacy. From an early history of the Bay Area:

The city then numbered only about 2,000 population. Among those who signed the original muster roll were William Hoskins, Jeremiah Tyrell, J. Barnett, A. W. Burrell, Harry N. Morse, J. A. Whitcher, John H. Hobart, A. D. Eames, J. A. Webster, George M. Blake, H. Hillebrand, W. W. Crane, C. S. Haile, William C. Little and John McCann. The first officers were James Brown, captain; John Potter, first lieutenant; W. H. Puffer, second lieutenant; J. H. Newcomb, second sergeant; W. Woolsey, third seargeant; Charles McKay, fourth sergeant; H. A. Morse, first corporal; Henry Sommers, second corporal; C. Stewart, third corporal; James Travis, fourth corporal. Brown was succeeded as captain by H. N. Morce, W. C. Little, A. W. Burrall and H. D. Raulett who thus officiated in 1877, assisted by Henry Maloon, first lieutenant; J. B. O. Sarpy, second lieutenant. The company was independent or unattached and owned $3,000 worth of property, including a full arm and uniform equipment, a fine armory and mustered seventy men, called the Oakland Guard.

A drilling camp was on San Pablo road and was called Camp Downey; here a thousand men assembled and drilled and otherwise prepared for service in the Union army. On the Kennedy farm in Brooklyn, Camp Merchant was formed and there also many men were drilled, including a cavalry company. As a whole Oakland was loyal, but like oall other cities of the country contained men who espoused the cause of the South, or at least were lukewarm in the cause of the struggle to maintain the Union."1

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Links & References

  1. Past and Present of Alameda County, California, Volume 1.  SJ Clarke: 1914.