|Part of the Sierran Civil War|
Photograph of republican militiamen posing in front of a barricade during the start of the uprising.
|Commanders and leaders|
|Albert Sidney Johnston||Arnold Harrison|
|Casualties and losses|
The Bernheim Revolt, also known as the Bernheim Uprising or the San Joaquin insurrection, was a major rebellion that broke out in the city of Bernheim, San Joaquin on April 13th, 1874. The uprising was carried out by radical Democratic-Republicans, the United Farmers' Front, and various pro-republican militiamen from the San Joaquin National Guard and regular civilians and rebelled against the royal government by attacking nearby troop garrisons as well as pro-monarchist groups such as Sierran Jacobites. The revolt took the monarchist forces by surprise and before long, the entire province of San Joaquin was in revolt and fell to the republican forces and General John C. Frémont was forced to order a retreat to suppress other uprisings and prevent the collapse of his forces within the Styxie, the latter of which also fell into revolt and republican hands.
The revolt was a decisive victory for the republican forces who, under the leadership of Isaiah Landon, took over the city and established the Second California Republic with Bernheim serving as the capital of the self-proclaimed revolutionary break away state. The Royal Army was repulsed, but Jacobite militiamen continued to resist the republican militiamen and the California Army until they were all defeated and their leaders subsequently executed. Any surviving Jacobite fighters fled to the neighboring province of Clark to seek refuge and join the army to retake lost territory. The revolt would ultimately begin the Sierran Civil War and would cement republicanism and Landonism as a common aspect of Styxie culture and the way of life.
The 1870s was a period of tensions in the Kingdom of Sierra as republicans in the Styxie, mainly farmers and working class Sierrans, and those in favor of the monarchy such as Sierran Jacobites and provinces in the southern parts of the country, clashed over the idea of the monarchy. The republicans, better represented in the Democratic-Republican Party, pushed for abolishing the monarchy and were opposed by the Royalist Party in parliament. In 1870, Democratic-Republican MP Ulysses Perry was elected Prime Minister and began passing bills and was getting close to officially abolishing the monarchy, but stopped when he fell into depression. In 1874, he was found dead and was officially stated to have committed suicide, but the idea of it being an assassinated was prominent and fighting in the Styxie broke out. Isaiah Landon and other leading republicans plotted to attack Sierran army convoys in the Central Valley and give time for rebels to revolt in San Joaquin and placed the date on April 13th as the date to stage the revolt.
Order of battle
The revolt began at 8:32 AM when citizens of Bernheim rose up and began storming police stations, army barracks, and any other building that housed weapons. The Bernheim Police Department was quickly disarmed and its members either imprisoned or joined the republican uprising. The uprising took the city by surprise and the town square was soon captured by the republican rebels. The local army garrison meanwhile was surrounded and laid siege to with the rebels giving the soldiers an ultimatum; surrender and join the republican cause or be killed in a desperate and futile last stand. The army depot in the city was also attacked and its weapons seized and any resisting soldiers killed while the rest were taken prisoner. News of it was revealed to the trapped men in the garrison and a shot was fired resulting in a shoot out at the local garrison headquarters.
After most of the town was captured, Isaiah Landon, the leader of the rebellion, addressed a crowd of rebels after the Bernheim Army Depot was seized along with other armories in Bernheim and proclaimed the establishment of the Second California Republic and gave his famous speech known as the Bernheim Address which read as follows:
"Through the course of recent events most peculiar to this nation, never have I witnessed here a greater offense against the people by the King then now. A murderer, a wily dog in robes dared laid hands on the people's elected, in cold blood. We impugned the King our queries, and he had only returned our earnest favors a dismissal of contempt and silence. After repeated injuries against the interests of the common man, we demand the return of power to the people away from the hounds of the city and their wretched King. So as the noble French have done, off with his head!"—Isaiah Landon, Bernheim Address (1874)
The address was viewed by many on both sides as an official declaration of war and was used by General John C. Frémont to send his forces up to recapture Bernheim and regain full control over the province. The republicans also viewed the speech as a declaration of war and began to mobilize for war with the Bear Flag Movement emerging a day after the revolt began. The movement was quickly sent to suppress attempts by Jacobite militiamen from recapturing Bernheim that rose up fearing what would happen if the republican movement was allowed to spread and capture more and more territory.
Monarchist relief attempt
News of the proclamation began to spread fast, but monarchist troops were already marching up towards Bernheim with the task of retaking the city. During the march, the relief force was ambushed by republican partisans and militiamen who bogged them down. Their attack was repulsed, but the relief force suffered losses and had to delay its advance up north. Meanwhile, Jacobites already living in Bernheim or nearby cities heard of the report and began grabbing arms and organizing into a militia. By April 16th, 8,000 Jacobites attacked Bernheim and ambushed the Bear Flaggers stationed there along with Landonist revolutionaries in the city's suburbs. The attack was lead by Samuel Griffin, a Sierran Jacobite and staunch monarchist, and wanted to assassinate Landon before his revolutionary state could take fold. The attack was met with an effective defense from the pro-republican provincial guard who repulsed the Jacobites and cornered them to the southwestern parts of the city.
Fall of the garrison
On April 16th, a 2,000 strong republican militia was sent to the garrison where they surrounded the garrison building and announced that reinforcements weren't coming and that the soldiers had to either surrender or be executed. An hour after the announcement was made, over 100 Sierran Royal Army soldiers walked out and surrendered and other 100 did the same half an hour later along with the commander, Colonel Arnold Harrison,but a handful of 300 soldiers remained and one of them fired their weapon starting a battle. The militiamen stormed into the building and were gunned down in enclosed hallways by real army soldiers. After two hours, the remaining soldiers were killed and the officers that survived were captured and executed via firing squad. The soldiers that surrendered before were impressed in the city's main prisons, but at least twelve were killed in mobs due to angry mobs of rioting militia supporters.
Revolts across San Joaquin
News of the fighting spread across San Joaquin once Bernheim fell into the hands of the revolutionaries and not long afterwards, radical Democratic-Republican politicians held referendums to secede from the union. These referendums passed while other cities fell due to revolts by radical republicans who either forced local officials to join the Second California Republic or killed them and forcibly joined the new state. By the revolt's end, all of San Joaquin had fallen into the hands of the revolutionaries and monarchists were driven out of the province and later the neighboring provinces in the Styxie. Monarchists and Jacobites who refused to leave and made a stand were suppressed and many Jacobites were imprisoned and/or executed such as the Danville massacre. By the end of the revolt, the entire province had fallen and provincial guard swore allegiance to the republic and fought off any attempt by the monarchists to recapture the province.
Secession of the Styxie
After San Joaquin fell to the republicans, news spread across the Styxie fast due to messengers being sent out to the neighboring provinces to convince the provinces to join the new republic. In the days after the revolt, the provinces of Tahoe, Reno, Santa Clara, and the Central Valley all announced their secession from the kingdom and joined the Second California Republic. The governors of the seceding provinces announced their secession and called on all citizens to rise up and join the militias to fight for the republic against the monarchists. The Sierran Royal Army was deployed, but was cut off due to early defeats and resistance from the Styxie with the provincial guards joining the second republic's army and militias. When the Styxie joined the republic, riots against monarchists were carried out and many were killed in riots including many of the worst cases of Anti-Jacobite violence in Sierran history prior to the cultural revolution and the Disturbances.