Antonio Maria de la Guerra

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Antonio Maria de la Guerra (1825 – November 28, 1881), Mayor of Santa Barbara, California, several times a member of the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors, California State Senator and Captain of California Volunteers in the American Civil War.

Antonio Maria de la Guerra, was a Californio born in 1825 in Alta California, as the youngest son of José de la Guerra y Noriega an officer of the Mexican army. His father became a wealthy and influential man with extensive landholdings and a great house in Santa Barbara. He was educated by California mission padres and then in a Chilean college for several years.

In 1849, at the age of 24, he became secretary to the Santa Barbara ayuntamiento. In 1853, he served in the California Senate, and in 1857 was appointed Adjutant General for the Santa Barbara District of the California militia. He served as Mayor of Santa Barbara and was several times on the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors, including once being elected Chairman.[1]

On July 27, 1864, he became captain of Company C, 1st Battalion of Native Cavalry, California Volunteers recruited among the Californios of Santa Barbara for the United States Civil War. After training at Drum Barracks at Wilmington, California, he led his company to Arizona Territory in 1865. There they were stationed in Tubac and later at Fort Mason a little to the south where they were involved in the pursuit of troops the Mexican Empire that had raided into Arizona and fought against the Apache.[2]

While in Arizona, Captain de la Guerra fell sick with a venereal disease and was disabled, returning to Santa Barbara in February 1866. His health never recovered and he became totally blind in 1873. He eventually became paralyzed, suffering greatly during the last years of his life. His family physician believed his health has ruined by the mercury used to treat him during his illness in Arizona. Never married, he died on November 28, 1881, at the age of 56. He was buried at the La Patera or Cieneguitas Catholic Cemetery, in Goleta, California on the Goleta Road, now Hollister Avenue.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The California State Military Museum, Captain Antonio Maria de la Guerra by Edson T. Strobridge, originally published in the Summer 2000 issue of La Campana, the quarterly journal of the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation
  2. ^ The California State Military Museum, 1st Battalion of Native Cavalry, California Volunteers
  3. ^ "Antonio Maria de la Guerra". Find a Grave. Retrieved September 2, 2010.