The Civil War at Golden Gate

soldiers at attention overlooking bay of water
Union soldiers at West Battery, Point San Jose military reservation, (now Fort Mason) overlooking the San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate strait. (photo circa 1865)



150th Anniversary of the Civil War

The National Park Service is commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War (1861 – 1865.) We acknowledge this defining event in our nation’s history and its legacy in continuing to fight for civil rights, or as Abraham Lincoln said in his Gettysburg Address, “that this nation….shall have a new birth of freedom.”

To learn more about the National Park Service’s Sesquicentennial Commemoration of the Civil War, please visit The Civil War: 150 Years website. To learn more about the history of the Civil War at Golden Gate National Recreation Area, please visit the following pages.


For More Information:

The National Park Service's Network to Freedom website is implementing a national Underground Railroad program to promote education and preservation of this valuable history.

Their page provides a very educational page on the issue of slavery and anti-slavery.

"Civil Rights, Racial Protest and Anti-Slavery Activism in San Francisco, 1850-1865" by Albert S. Broussard (PDF file, 250 KB)

Visit the San Francisco Bay Seacoast Fortification page to learn how the Spanish, then Mexico and then the United States Army defended this valuable land.

Additional Readings:

The Golden State in the Civil War: Thomas Starr King, the Republican party, and the Birth of Modern California by Glenna Mathews; Cambridge University Press, New York, 2012

The California Gold Rush and the Coming of the War by Leonard L. Richards

The Civil War in the American West by Alvin M. Josephy; Alfred P. Knopff, New York, 1991

"The Velvet Glove: The Army During the Secession Crisis in California, 1860-1861," by Robert J. Chandler in the Journal of the West, Vol. 20, No. 4 (October, 1981)

"An Uncertain Influence: The Role of the Federal Government in California, 1846-1880," by Robert J. Chandler in California History, Vol. 81, No. 3/4 (2003)

"The Chivalry and the Shovelry" by Sandra Hansen in Civil War Times, Vol. 23, No. 8 (December 1984)

Last updated: April 12, 2019

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Golden Gate National Recreation Area
201 Fort Mason

San Francisco, CA 94123


United States Park Police Dispatch: Non-Emergency: 415-561-5505 Emergency: 415-561-5656

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