Being there . . . . with men who came from the Eastern Seaboard and lands adjacent the
Atlantic to what was conceived a Camelot, not so much for any metal or mineral wealth that
might be found, but because there was a place boarding on the Pacific Ocean called “kal-i-forn-
ya” with 158,693 sq. m. in it abounding with prosperous and happy opportunities in an equable
climate flourishing with golden sunshine. Intrepid pathfinders from the dimming turbulent past
pondered how to transform the incredible wealth waiting to be tapped from billions of broad
feet of timber, enticing cliff rocks and nearby earth emitting oils, lush grazing valleys and their
plains, fruit blooming groves, and salmon and trout streams awaiting canneries. But, dang! no
sooner had they gotten here and settled in, they and their sons were off to, of all places and
dramas, where they originally came from and the drama an unnecessary, horrendous-made,
Civil War between brothers! No, sadly, the possibility of creating an even more noble American
race, a usonian society with new kinds of political-economic systems, and prosperity for all
would have to wait . . .
A LITTLE-KNOWN STORY OF 500 VOLUNTEERS KNOWN AS THE “CALIFORNIA HUNDRED
BATTALION” FIGHTING IN THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR, 1862 – 1865, RETURNS TO LIFE IN A
SPLENDID BOOK PUBLISHED BY, WHO ELSE? SCHIFFER MILITARY HISTORY BOOKS
Reviewed and highly, highly recommended by Don DeNevi
“THEIR HORSES CLIMBED TREES – – A Chronicle of the California 100 and Battalion in the Civil
War, from San Francisco to Appomattox”, by Larry Rogers and Keith Rogers. SCHIFFER
PUBLISHING LTD, A Schiffer Military History, Atglen, PA: 2003, 480pp, 6 ½” x 9 ¼”, hardcover;
$35. Visit, www. schifferbooks.com, or email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Very few Civil War books have had their stories told in the words of the combatants
themselves, including and commingling word descriptions, eye-witness accounts, and the
recollections of buddies, all fighting side by side, from newspaper stories, diaries, letters home,
and official records and reports, “THEIR HORSES CLIMBED TREES” is indeed a heroic story of
true patriotism for California, first, and America, second.
The California Hundred in the Second Massachusetts Volunteer Cavalry Regiment served
from 1862, when they departed from San Francisco. The unit interacted primarily against
Colonel John Mosby. In the latter part of the War. They also served under General Sheridan in
the Shenandoah Valley, and at times fought with their own horses alongside George Custer’s
The book is mainly a compilation of newspaper accounts from 1862 – 1865, and 1866-1937.
The National Archives staffs and the Rogers families, via meticulous, persevering research,
yielded the primary sources which are the letters, diaries, and excerpts from regimental
documents. This is not a narrative or reworded history; the words are from those who were
there. Fortunately for us, “Their Horses Climbed Trees” contains the rosters of the five hundred
original volunteers, as well as obituaries for many of the veterans. Period photographs of the
Company officers, and a valuable bibliography, are provided. Genealogists, teachers,
researchers, and historians will gain new insights into California’s involvement in the Civil War
in the East, which has been largely overlooked. Virtually all the survivors returned to their
homes in California.