Local militias, which are now known as the National Guard, date back to Colonial days in the United States. Organized as necessary by state, their records are often found on the state level. This collection of records of the California Adjutant General includes organization papers, muster rolls, and other records relating to Independent Militia Units, the Civil War, the Indian Wars, the Spanish–American War, and World War I. There are name indexes available for Independent Militia Units, 1851–1866, and Civil War Volunteers, 1861–1867.
Details in the records can include soldier or sailor's name; regiment; company; rank; nativity; age; occupation; enlistment and discharge dates and places; injuries, illnesses or diseases; marital status; whether eligible to draw a pension; promotions; and remarks.