California Historical Artillery Society soldiers

Join CHAS Today!

Your support helps to care for our amazing rescued horses!

You have the opportunity to become a part of the most exciting living history organization in the country. Feel the excitement of firing a Civil War cannon during a heart-throbbing battle reenactment. Feel real horse power as you drive a team of artillery horses into action. Enjoy a leisurely evening around the campfire with your best friends. Or, quite simply, show your support from the sidelines as a supporting member.

  • Cannoneers - Service and fire our four artillery pieces
  • Drivers - Care for the horses and drive the teams that pull all of our rolling stock into position
  • Signal Corp. - An aspect of command and control that deals with communication
  • Artificers - Maintain all of our equipment in top operating condition
  • Sanitary Commission and Civilians - Support all non-military functions including medical, teamster and townspeople


Membership fees are listed below. In addition, a small fee may be charged for meals provided at events and there may be event fees at non CHAS events.

  • Individual - $50.00
  • Family - $80.00
  • Supporting - $35.00 (Cannot vote or reenact)
  • New Recruit - $15.00
  • Student - $15.00

How Do I Sign Up?

Click here to open an application form, fill in the fields, print it out, initial or sign where required, attach your check or money order for the appropriate fee and return it to the CHAS Treasurer. As part of the application process for reenacting, you will need to attend an event for an interview and complete necessary safety tests. Minors who are interested in reenacting must also have a parent who will join and attend the events together. Under-age reenactors will be assigned to "Soldiers' Aid", and must be accompanied by an adult at all times.


Most reenacting members take about a year to get a full complement of the gear necessary to look historically correct on the field. The cost of a uniform, canteen, brogans (shoe-boots) and other equipment runs about the same as a nice new suit. One advantage you will have as a member of CHAS is you won't have to spend $400 for a musket. Your weapon is provided!

Is CHAS Union or Confederate?

We represent Batteries L & M of the 3rd United States Artillery. But, on occasion, we will galvanize to make the reenactment appear more authentic.

What is Galvanizing?

At times during the Civil War, prisoners of war were offered freedom from prison in exchange for service in the captor's army under the condition that they would not bear arms against their own countrymen. These soldiers were referred to as "galvanizers". This occurred most frequently out West with Southern soldiers galvanizing as Federal in order to protect the frontier settlers from hostile Indians. In re-enacting, galvanizing is a term used to describe fighting for the opposing side in order to make the troop numbers look more realistic at a given event. Typically, some of us will wear Confederate uniforms and fight on the Reb side.

Why Galvanize?

It's kind of tough to portray an actual battle re-enactment and have 500 Federals face 50 Confederates. By galvanizing, we are portraying the actual numbers involved more authentically and giving our ancestors on both sides of the lines the honor and remembrance they deserve. Galvanizing also gives you a feel for what it was like in both armies. You get a different perspective wearing blue and marching behind "Old Glory" than you do when you are wearing gray and singing the "Bonnie Blue Flag."