Department of California
The Department of California was one of two Army Departments created September 13, 1858, replacing the original Department of the Pacific and was composed of the territory of the United States lying west of the Rocky Mountains and south of Oregon and Washington territories, except the Rogue River and Umpqua Districts of southwestern Oregon Territory, which were assigned to the Department of California and excluding the Utah Territory east of the 117th meridian west and New Mexico Territory east of the 110th meridian west. Its creation was authorized by General Orders, No. 10, of the War Department, Adjutant-General's Office, September 13, 1858. Headquarters as before remained at San Francisco.
- 1 Commanders
- 2 Reduction to District status 1861-1865
- 3 Department again June 1865 - February 1913
- 4 Commanders
- 5 Posts in the Department of California
- 6 References
The Department of California was commanded first by Brevet Brigadier General Newman S. Clarke, Colonel U.S. 6th Infantry Regiment, until his death on October 17, 1860. It was next commanded by Lt. Colonel Benjamin L. Beall, U.S. 1st Dragoon Regiment, who had assumed command, by seniority of rank, on the death of General Clarke, on October 17, 1860. It was merged into the restored Department of the Pacific on January 15, 1861, as the District of California administering the same territories, under Brevet Brigadier General Albert Sidney Johnston from January 15, 1861.
Reduction to District status 1861-1865
When General Edwin Vose Sumner, relieved General Johnston in March 1861 he continued in command of the Department of California now renamed the District of California. His successor in October 1861, Brigadier General George Wright continued in command of the District even after losing command of the Department of the Pacific, on July 1, 1864, to Gen. Irvin McDowell.
Department again June 1865 - February 1913
In June 1865, Col. Edward McGarry was ordered to succeed Brigadier General George Wright (who was moving to his new command of the Department of the Columbia), in command of the District of California until General McDowell could take command of the District which was again raised to Department status once more under the Military Division of the Pacific, now commanded by Major General Henry W. Halleck. The territory encompassed by the new Department of California now consisted of the States of California and Nevada and the District of New Mexico and District of Arizona in the Territories of New Mexico and Arizona. Maj. Gen. Irvin McDowell, U. S. Army, assigned to command the Department of California.
The Department of Arizona was established under the Division of the Pacific on April 15, 1870. It consisted of Arizona Territory and California south of a line from the northwest corner of Arizona to Point Conception so as to include most of Southern California.
From December 7, 1871, the one general officer at San Francisco commanded both the Division of the Pacific and the Department of California and the separate staffs were consolidated into one. On July 1, 1878, Division of the Pacific headquarters moved from San Francisco to the Presidio of San Francisco.
The Department of Arizona lost Southern California to the Department of California on February 14, 1883, but regained California south of the 35th parallel on December 15, 1886. The Department of California then consisted of California north of the 35th parallel and Nevada.
The Military Division of the Pacific was discontinued on July 3, 1891. Each of the three subordinate departments of Arizona, California, and the Columbia, then reported directly to the War Department. The Department of California, with its headquarters at San Francisco, consisted of California north of the 35th parallel and Nevada.
The Hawaiian Islands were added to the department July 12, 1898. It became the District of Hawaii in 1910 under the Department of California.
From 1904 to 1907, the Department of California, with the Department of Columbia was subordinate to a new Pacific Division, then was independent again until they were again under a new Western Division from 1911 to 1913.
On February 15, 1913 the Department of California, with all the mainland territorial departments, was disbanded for a new organization of the Army. The territory of the former departments of the Columbia and California were now controlled by the Western Department, except for the District of Hawaii that now became the independent Department of Hawaii.
Department of California 1865 to December 7, 1871
- General Irvin McDowell, July 27, 1865 - March 31, 1868
- Major General Henry Halleck, (temp), March 31, 1868 - April 24, 1868
- Major General E. O. C. Ord, April 24, 1868 - November 18, 1871
Military Division of the Pacific and Department of California
- Major General John M. Schofield, December 7, 1871 - July 1, 1876
- Major General Irvin McDowell, July 1, 1876 - October 15, 1882
- Major General John M. Schofield, October 15, 1882 - November 30, 1883
- Major General John Pope, November 30, 1883 - March 16, 1886
- Major General Oliver Otis Howard, March 16, 1886 – 1888
- Brigadier General Nelson A. Miles, November 23, 1888 - September 1, 1890
- Brigadier General John Gibbon September 1, 1890 - April 20, 1891
- Brigadier General Thomas H. Ruger, April 20, 1891 - July, 1891
Department of California after July 3, 1891 - February 15, 1913
- Brigadier General Thomas H. Ruger, July 3, 1891 - November 10, 1894
- Brigadier General James W. Forsyth, November 10, 1894 - 1897
- Major General William Rufus Shafter 1897 - May 1898
- ?, May 1898 - September 1898
- Major General William Rufus Shafter September 1898 - February 1901
- Major General Samuel B. M. Young February 1901 - March 1902
- Major General Robert P. Hughes March 1902 - April 1, 1903
- Major General Arthur MacArthur, Jr., April 1, 1903 - September 30, 1904
- Brigadier General Francis Moore, September 30, 1904 - March 31, 1905
- Brigadier-General Frederick Funston March 31, 1905 - 1907
- Col. Marion F. Maus, Aug. 10, 1908 -
- Brigadier General John Joseph Pershing, 1907 - October 1908
- Brigadier General Frederick A. Smith, October 1908 - January 13, 1909
- Major General John F. Weston, January 13, 1909 - June 30, 1909
- Major General Thomas H. Barry, June 30, 1909 - August 12, 1910
- Brigadier General Tasker H. Bliss August 12, 1910 - August 13, 1911
- Brig. Gen. Daniel H. Brush, from July 1, 1911, to April 7, 1912
- Colonel John P. Wisser, Coast Artillery Corps (temporary), May 2 to June 26, 1912
- Brig. Gen. Walter S. Schuyler, June 27, 1912 - January 2, 1913
- Colonel John P. Wisser, January 3, 1913 - February 15, 1913
Posts in the Department of California
- Benicia Arsenal, Benicia, 1851–1964
- New San Diego Depot, San Diego, 1851-June, 1866.
- Fort Yuma, Fort Yuma Indian Reservation, 1851–1883
- Benicia Barracks, Benicia, 1852–1866
- Post of Alcatraz Island or Fort Alcatraz, 1853–1907
- Roop's Fort, Fort Defiance, Susanville 1853-1863 
- Fort Humboldt, Eureka, 1853–1867
- Fort Point San José, San Francisco, 1853–1882
- Fort Point, San Francisco, 1853–1886
- Fort Tejon, near Lebec, 1854-1861, 1863-1864.
- Camp Burton, near San Diego, 1855 
- Fort Crook 1857-1869 
- Fort Bragg, 1857-1864.
- Fort Ter-Waw, 1857-1862 
- Fort Mojave 1858-1861, 1863–1890
- Fort Beale 1859-1861 
- Fort Piute 1864-1868
- Fort Gaston, 1859–1892
- Fort Soda, Hancock's Redoubt 1860 
- Camp Cady 1860-1871 20 miles east of Barstow
- Camp Allen, Oakland 1860-? 
- Camp Dragoon Bridge, 1860-1863 
- The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series 1, Vol. 50, Part 1, OPERATIONS ON THE PACIFIC COAST JANUARY 1, 1861 - JUNE 30, 1865, Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1897. pp. 1
- The war of the rebellion, Series 1, Vol. 50, Part 1, OPERATIONS ON THE PACIFIC COAST.", pp. 1, 433.
- The United States army and navy journal and gazette of the regular and volunteer forces, Volume 3 1865-66, Publication Office, No. 39 Park Row, New York, September 2, 1865, p. 18
- The California State Military Museum; Historic California Posts: San Diego Barracks(Including New San Diego Depot)
- The California State Military Museum, Historic California Posts: Roop's Fort (Fort Defiance, Lassen County)
- The California State Military Museum, Historic California Posts: Camp Burton
- The California State Military Museum, Historic California Posts: Fort Crook
- THE HISTORICAL MARKER DATABASE, Fort Crook, Near Fall River Mills in Shasta County, California
- California Historical Landmark #615
- The California State Military Museum; Historic California Posts: Fort Bragg (Camp Bragg)
- Located in Klamath, California.California Historic Landmark #544
- Historic California Posts: Fort Ter-Waw
- The California State Military Museum; Historic California Posts: Fort Piute (Fort Beale, Fort Piute Hill)
- The California State Military Museum; Historic California Posts: Fort Soda (Hancock's Redoubt, Fort Soda Lake, and Camp Soda Springs)
- The California State Military Museum; Historic California Posts: Camp Cady
- The California State Military Museum, Historic California Posts: Camp Allen (Alameda County)
- The California State Military Museum, Historic California Posts: Camp Dragoon Bridge