As reported in the Sacramento Daily Union, 11 July 1861

EVACUATION OF SECESSIONISTS. – According to a correspondent of the Alta, writing from Los Angeles, the following parties recently left for Texas:

 Alonzo Ridley, George W. Gift, David McKenzie, Thomas Stonehouse, Hugh May, William Skinner, William Bowers, Camran Frazer, William Jones, Dillon Jordan, J. J Dillard, James D. Darden, Dr. F. Sorrel, and some others – who are accompanied by ex-army officers General A. S. Johnston, Major L. Armistead, Lieutenant R. H. Brewer, A. Shaaff, E. B. Dudley, Riley, Mallory, Hardcastle and Wickliffe.  Some of these persons expressed their intention of seeking service in the rebel army.  Gift, according to report, will go into the navy.  Crittenden, ex-member of the Legislature from El Dorado, who had conditionally offered his services to South Carolina, started with the party, but turned back on reaching Temecula.

 Note: Major L. Armistead is General Armistead of Gettysburg fame (Pickett’s Charge) and the ‘High Water Mark of the Confederacy’.


Lewis Addison Armistead (February 18, 1817 – July 5, 1863)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

When the Civil War began, Captain Armistead was in command of the small garrison at the New San Diego Depot in San Diego, which was occupied in 1860. Armistead was friends with Winfield Scott Hancock, serving with him as a quartermaster in Los Angeles, California, before the Civil War. Accounts say that in a farewell party before leaving to join the Confederate army, Armistead told Hancock, “Goodby; you can never know what this has cost me.”

When the war started, Armistead departed from California to Texas with the Los Angeles Mounted Rifles, then traveled east and received a commission as a major, but was quickly promoted to colonel of the 57th Virginia Infantry regiment. He served in the western part of Virginia, but soon returned to the east and General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. He fought as a brigade commander at Seven Pines, and under Lee in the Seven Days Battles (where he was chosen to spearhead the bloody, senseless assault on Malvern Hill), and Second Bull Run. At Antietam, he served as Lee’s provost marshal, a frustrating job due to the high levels of desertion that plagued the army in that campaign. Then he was under command in the division of Maj. Gen. George Pickett at Fredericksburg. Because he was with Lt. Gen. James Longstreet’s First Corps near Norfolk, Virginia, in the spring of 1863, he missed the Battle of Chancellorsville.

In the Battle of Gettysburg, Armistead’s brigade arrived the evening of July 2, 1863. Armistead was mortally wounded the next day while leading his brigade towards the center of the Union line in Pickett’s Charge. Armistead led his brigade from the front, waving his hat from the tip of his saber, and reached the stone wall at the “Angle”, which served as the charge’s objective. The brigade got farther in the charge than any other, an event sometimes known as the High Water Mark of the Confederacy, but it was quickly overwhelmed by a Union counterattack. Armistead was shot three times just after crossing the wall. His wounds were not believed to be mortal, being shot in the fleshy part of the arm and below the knee, and according to the surgeon that tended him, none of the wounds caused bone, artery, or nerve damage. When he went down he gave a Masonic sign asking for assistance. A fellow Mason, Captain Henry H. Bingham, a Union officer and later a higher officer and then a very influential Congressman, came to Armistead’s assistance and offered to help. Bingham informed Armistead that Hancock, Armistead’s old friend, had been commanding this part of the defensive line, but that Hancock, too, had just been wounded. This scene is featured in Michael Shaara’s novel, The Killer Angels, in which Armistead is a principal character. He was then taken to a Union field hospital at the George Spangler Farm where he died two days later. Dr. Daniel Brinton, the chief surgeon at the Union hospital there, had expected Armistead to survive because he characterized the two bullet wounds as not of a “serious character.” He wrote that the death “was not from his wounds directly, but from secondary fever and prostration.”

Published in: on August 30, 2011 at 2:10 am  Leave a Comment  

Temecula Breaks Ground for 20-Ton Historical Monument

As reported in the Rancho California News – September 1969

Temecula, the oldest community in California still known by its original name, has a unique new monument honoring its first visitors and inhabitants which sets the town apart as one of the state’s most historic spots.

Ground breaking ceremonies for the monument took place at 1 p.m., Aug. 14, on the grounds of Temecula’s old school house just west of Front St. near the entrance to Rancho California.

The monument, when completed, will have a base 20 ft. square and approximatley three ft. high constructed of granite blocks taken from historic Temecula quarries.

On the base will stand a 20-ton boulder towering more than nine feet in the air. On the face of the boulder will be carved names of early explorers who passed through Temecula, Indian chiefs’ names, and name of pioneers who settled in the valley.

Guest speaker at the ceremony was Tom Patterson who is with the Riverside County Historical Society and a reporter for the Riverside Press Enterprise. He talked about Temecula and her glamorous past.

The project is sponsored by the Temecula Chamber of Commerce with Howard Raish as president and Sam Hicks as chairman of the Historical Committee.

Published in: on August 24, 2011 at 7:05 pm  Leave a Comment