We arrived at California about sunup, almost frozen; it cleared off during the night and a cold northwest wind was blowing. Leaving the train we entered the several churches in town and built fires to warm by, Company E going into a Catholic church, where the sexton and his wife brought us some hot coffee. We then put into winter quarters, occupying vacant houses and storerooms and made all the “secesh” skedaddle. The companies in quarters here are B, E, G, K and H, under command of Lieut. Col. William Hall. We just learned why it was that we were rushed up here last night. It had been reported at Jefferson City that a train with “secesh” prisoners was to pass through this place today, bound for St. Louis, and that their sympathizers in this locality were planning a raid on the train to liberate the prisoners.
Source: Alexander G. Downing, Edited by Olynthus B., Clark, Downing’s Civil War Diary, p. 25-6