The California State Capitol Museum’s flag collection consists of approximately 45 flags relating to military units associated with California. Nineteen of them date from the Civil War. Eighteen of these nineteen Civil War flags come from seven different Union regiments, and there is also one rebel flag.
Of the 18 Union flags, four are from the Second Massachusetts Volunteer Cavalry Regiment. The remaining 14 flags are all from California Infantry and California Cavalry Regiments. Of these 14 flags, I have listed below the flags from units that served in New Mexico during the Civil War:
There are two flags from the 1st California Volunteer Infantry Regiment. One is the regiment’s National Colors, and the other is the National Colors of Company C. Several companies from this regiment, including company C, served in New Mexico.
There are also three flags from the 1st California Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, including the regiment’s National Colors. The other two flags are the company guidon and national guidon of Company M, 1st California Cavalry. Almost all of the companies from this regiment served in New Mexico during the Civil War. Company M was involved in several operations against Indians in the Southwest during the Civil War, including the Battle of Adobe Walls in Hutchinson County, Texas in November of 1864. During this battle Kit Carson lead just over 300 soldiers, including Company M, in a fight with over 5,000 Comanche and Kiowa warriors. Two privates in Company M were killed during this engagement. Company M was also kept busy guarding Confederate Prisoners of War. At one point, Captain Albert French and Company M escorted more than one hundred Rebel prisoners, including many sick and wounded men. Portions of the 1st California Cavalry also participated in some skirmishes with Confederates in Arizona. On March 6, 1862 Captain William McCleave of the First California Cavalry and a squad of nine troopers were captured by Confederate Captain Sherod Hunter and the men of Company A, Baylor's Regiment of Arizona Rangers. On March 30th, private William Semmilrogge of the First California Cavalry was wounded during a skirmish with Confederate pickets at Stanwix Station, about 80 miles east of Yuma, Arizona. On April 15, 1862 a patrol from the First California Cavalry took part in the so-called Battle of Pichaco Pass about 50 miles northwest of Tuscon, Arizona. Thirteen men of the First California Cavalry exchanged gunfire with ten Confederate soldiers for about ninety minutes, during which time six members of the First California Cavalry were either killed or wounded.
There are also four flags from the 2nd California Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, including the regiment’s National Colors and three flags from Companies D, E and I. I think only company B of this regiment entered New Mexico, so I don’t know if any of these flags flew there.
Let me know which of these flags you are interested in and I will help you with photographs, measurements, etc…
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