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Movies & Million-Dollar Mansions, Behind the Scenes at the "Flying A," Silents on the Islands, Way Back When: SB in 1924


Civil War soldier, The soldier in Our Civil War: a pictorial history of the conflict, Frank Leslie, 1893

The Mesa's First Family - Part 2


I mentioned last week, that Luis Gilber was a soldier. He was one of about 100 horsemen from Santa Barbara who joined the Union Army during the Civil War. In early 1864, Antonio María de la Guerra, the son of the former Presidio Comandante José de la Guerra, gathered a group of Santa Barbara men together and formed Company C of the First Battalion of the Native California Cavalry. Luis was among them. Spanish was the first language of these men, and only a few spoke English.


Luis rode down to Los Angeles with the rest of the group in 1864, but for a variety of reasons, his group was never in a battle. A year later, he was back in Santa Barbara. He and his group had been assigned work in L.A. that involved walking, not riding, and his old injury was a problem. He was given an honorable discharge in mid-1865.


Luis died in Santa Barbara on Christmas Day in 1867, only a year and a half after returning home. Luis' wife, Maria del Refugio, must have been a strong woman. Luis died in December of 1867, and in May of that same year, their newborn baby had also died. What a sad year for her. She never remarried, and died in 1910, more than 40 years after her husband's death.

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