The American Civil War ends in a U.S. victory over the rebel Confederate states.


Though much of the activity of the American Civil War (1861 - 1865) took place in eastern and southern states, some troops were stationed in California.

Among these were Union troops stationed in Wilmington, just west of Long Beach. Among these troops were Spanish, Mexican, native, and black soldiers who fought alongside white soldiers to preserve California as a free state.

Soldiers in the area were stationed at the Drum Barracks in Wilmington, which today functions as a historic site operated by the City of Los Angeles. You can visit the Drum Barracks to learn more about Civil War history and see additional civil war sites in Wilmington on one of their tours.

After the war ended in 1865, a severe drought and huge loss of cattle forced Don Juan Temple to sell Rancho Los Cerritos. It was purchased by the Flint & Bixby Company.

The Flint & Bixby company took over the rancho, and then began dividing and leasing portions of its land. Some of the land remained agricultural and was used to produce dairy goods, grains, and beans. The remainder was prepared to be developed, laying the foundation for what would become the City of Long Beach.


Sources we used and further reading on this era of Long Beach:

  • Berner, Loretta. Sketches from way back. Special Collection. Rancho Los Cerritos Collection Vol 3. Long Beach Public Library.

Drum Barracks Museum, Wilmington. Photograph courtesy of We Are the Next.

Drum Barracks Museum, Wilmington. Photograph courtesy of We Are the Next.