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Encyclopedia > Battle of San Pasqual
Battle of San Pasqual

A map of the battle site.Mexican-American War
Date December 6, 1846
Location San Pasqual Valley, San Diego, California
Result Mexican Victory
Combatants
United States of America Mexico
Californios
Commanders
Stephen Watts Kearny Andrés Pico
Strength
139 150
Casualties
17 killed
18 wounded
1 missing
2 killed
18 wounded

The Battle of San Pasqual (also spelled San Pascual) was a military encounter that occurred during the Mexican-American War in what is now the San Pasqual Valley community of the city of San Diego, California. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Combatants United States Mexico Commanders Zachary Taylor Winfield Scott Stephen W. Kearney Antonio López de Santa Anna Mariano Arista Pedro de Ampudia José Mariá Flores Strength 78,790 soldiers 25,000–40,000 soldiers Casualties KIA: 1733 Total dead: 13,271 Wounded: 4,152 AWOL: 9,200+ 25,000... is the 340th day of the year (341st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1846 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... NorthEastern Area Map and neighborhood boundaries San Pasqual Valley is the northernmost community of the City of San Diego. ... A Californio was a Spanish-speaking inhabitant of Alta California who lived there when it was a part of Mexico, before it was taken by the United States after the Mexican-American War. ... Stephen Watts Kearny (August 30, 1794–October 31, 1848) was a United States Army officer, noted for action during the Mexican American War. ... General Don Andrés Pico (1810-1876) was the brother of Pio Pico. ... Combatants United States Mexico Commanders Zachary Taylor Winfield Scott Stephen W. Kearney Antonio López de Santa Anna Mariano Arista Pedro de Ampudia José Mariá Flores Strength 78,790 soldiers 25,000–40,000 soldiers Casualties KIA: 1733 Total dead: 13,271 Wounded: 4,152 AWOL: 9,200+ 25,000... The Siege of Fort Texas marked the beginning of active campaigning by the armies of the United States of America and Mexico during the Mexican-American War. ... Combatants United States Mexico Commanders Zachary Taylor Mariano Arista Strength 2,400 infantry 2,300 infantry, 1,100 cavalry and 160 artillery 12 guns Casualties 5 killed 43 wounded 102 killed 129 wounded 26 missing The Battle of Palo Alto was the first major battle of the Mexican-American War... At the Battle of Resaca de la Palma, one of the early engagements of the Mexican-American War, Zachary Taylor engaged the retreating forces of the Mexican Army of the North under Gen. ... In the beginning of the Mexican-American War, Stephen W. Kearny brought 1,700 soldiers from Kansas in the contested Indian territory to conquer the New Mexico territory. ... Battle of Santa Fe Conflict Mexican-American War Date August 15, 1846 Place Santa Fe, New Mexico Result U.S. victory The Battle of Santa Fe occurred on August 15, 1846 during the Mexican-American War. ... The Battle of Monterrey (September 21–September 23, 1846) was an engagement in the Mexican-American War in which General Pedro de Ampudia and the Mexican Army of the North managed to fight US troops to a standstill at the important fortress town of Monterrey. ... The First Battle of Tabasco was fought during the Mexican-American War. ... The Terra Cotta relief on the current Fort Moore Pioneer Memorial Fort Moore was a historic fort in Los Angeles, California, during the Mexican-American War. ... Well, Mexican-American, was a very long war; it lasted for two whole years. ... The Battle of El Brazito took place on December 25th, 1846, early in the Mexican-American war. ... Combatants United States of America Californios, Mexico Commanders Robert F. Stockton Stephen Watts Kearny José Mariá Flores Strength U.S. naval and army forces 600 sailors, marines and dragoons Californios 160 Militia soldiers Casualties 143 80 The Battle of Rio San Gabriel was a decisive action of the California campaign... The Battle of La Mesa occurred on January 9, 1847 in present-day Vernon, in which the outgunned and outnumbered Californios (The Americans having rifles, the Californios fighting on horseback with only lances)almost gained the advantage, but they fell back and camped at present-day Pasadena, giving up Los... Insurgents in New Mexico under the leadership of Pablo Chavez, Pablo Montoya and Jesus Tafoya began marching south towards the American-held city of Santa Fe. ... Combatants United States Mexican Insurgents Commanders Israel R. Hendley Jesse I. Morin Manuel Cortez Strength 80 200 Casualties 1 killed 3 wounded 25 killed 17 prisoners The Battle of Mora was part of the Taos Revolt, a popular insurrection against the United States. ... Combatants United States Mexican/Indian Insurgents Commanders John Burgwin Ceran St. ... The Siege of Pueblo de Taos was an engagement between U.S. forces and Insurgent forces in New Mexico during the Mexican-American War. ... The Battle of Buena Vista was a land battle of the Mexican-American War fought on 23 February 1847 in Buena Vista, Coahuila, seven miles (12 km) south of Saltillo, in northern Mexico. ... The Battle of the Sacramento took place on February 28, 1847 during the Mexican-American War. ... Combatants United States Mexico Commanders Winfield Scott (Army) David Conner (Navy) Matthew C. Perry (Navy) Juan Morales Strength 12,000 3,360 Casualties 18 killed 62 wounded 180 killed and wounded 100 civilian The Battle of Veracruz was a 20-day siege of the key Mexican seaport of Veracruz, Veracruz... Combatants United States Mexico Commanders Winfield Scott Antonio López de Santa Anna Strength 8,500 12,000 Casualties 417 4,000 Gen Ciriaco Vasquez dead Gens. ... Combatants United States Mexico Commanders Matthew C. Perry Martin Perfecto de Cos Strength 1,519 400 Casualties 3 killed 11 wounded  ? The Battle of Tuxpan was a battle fought during the Mexican-American War. ... The Second Battle of Tabasco (also known as the Battle of Villahermosa) was a battle fought during the Mexican-American War as part of the U.S. blockade of Mexican Gulf ports. ... Combatants United States Mexico Commanders Winfield Scott Antonio López de Santa Anna Gabriel Valencia Strength 8,500 20,000 Casualties 60 killed and wounded 700 killed 843 surrendered Gen Frontera dead Gen Salas, Nicolas Mendoza captured The Battle of Contreras (also known, particularly in Mexico, as the Battle of... Combatants United States Mexico Commanders Winfield Scott Antonio López de Santa Anna Manuel Rincón Strength 8,497 2,641 Casualties 133 dead 865 wounded 40 missing 263 dead 1,261 captured 20 missing. ... The Battle of Molino del Rey turned out to be one of the bloodiest fights of the Mexican-American War. ... Combatants United States Mexico Commanders Winfield Scott Nicolás Bravo #, Mariano Monterde School Commandant, Juan N. Perez commander Remants Leon Brigade) Strength 13,000 876 cadets, 4000 regulars Casualties 130 killed 703 wounded 29 missing 862 total 1,800 killed and wounded 823 captured 2,623 Total Gen. ... Combatants United States Mexico Commanders Winfield Scott Antonio López de Santa Anna Strength 7,200 16,000 Casualties 1,651 4,500 The Battle for Mexico City refers to the series of engagements from September 8 to September 15, 1847, in the general vicinity of Mexico City during the... The Battle of Huamantla was a U.S. victory late in the Mexican-American War that forced the Mexican army to lift the Siege of Puebla. ... The Siege of Puebla began the same day Mexico City fell to Winfield Scott and lasted for 28 days when a relief force was able to fight its way into the city and lift the siege. ... Combatants United States Mexico Commanders Zachary Taylor Winfield Scott Stephen W. Kearney Antonio López de Santa Anna Mariano Arista Pedro de Ampudia José Mariá Flores Strength 78,790 soldiers 25,000–40,000 soldiers Casualties KIA: 1733 Total dead: 13,271 Wounded: 4,152 AWOL: 9,200+ 25,000... NorthEastern Area Map and neighborhood boundaries San Pasqual Valley is the northernmost community of the City of San Diego. ... San Diego redirects here. ...


On December 6 and December 7, 1846, the Californios, and their Presidial Lancers, led by General Don Andrés Pico, (1810-1876), defeated Stephen W. Kearny's US Army column of 150 men, killing 18 ( though some modern scholars have reason to believe the American death toll much higher, perhaps as much as 50 dead.) is the 340th day of the year (341st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 341st day of the year (342nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1846 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Languages Spanish Religions Predominantly Roman Catholic Related ethnic groups Mediterranean Amerindian Mestizo The Californios were Spanish-speaking inhabitants of Alta California, first a part of New Spain, later of Mexico. ... A Lancer was a cavalry soldier who fought with a lance. ... General Don Andrés Pico (1810-1876) was the brother of Pio Pico. ... 1810 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... Year 1876 Pick up Sticks(MDCCCLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a leap year starting on Thursday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Portrait of Stephen W. Kearny Stephen Watts Kearny (August 30, 1794–October 31, 1848) was a United States Army officer, noted for action in the southwest during the Mexican-American War, in particular in the conquest of California. ...

Contents

Background

General Kearny had orders to assume command of U.S. forces in California, but before entering California from Santa Fe, Kearny sent back 200 of his 300 mounted dragoons after hearing from messenger Kit Carson that all of California had already been captured by Commodore Robert F. Stockton and his 400 combined sailors and Marines, and John C. Frémont and his approximate 400 man Caifornia Battalion. After an 850-mile (1,370 km) grueling march across the Sonora Desert, Kearny and his mostly mule-mounted men finally reached California in a greatly weakened condition. There they met up with Captain Archibald Gillespie of the U.S. Marines, who with his small force of 36 men and a small howitzer had recently been driven out of Los Angeles. The total American forces amounted to about 139. Gillespie also brought a message from Stockton that informed Kearny of the presence at San Pasqual of a rebel force of about 150 men mounted on fresh horses led by Andrés Pico. For other uses, see United States (disambiguation) and US (disambiguation). ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... Nickname: Location in Santa Fe County, New Mexico Coordinates: , Country State County Santa Fe Founded ca. ... For other uses, see Dragoon (disambiguation). ... Kit Carson Christopher Houston Kit Carson (December 24, 1809 – May 23, 1868) was an American frontiersman. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... Commodore Robert Field Stockton Robert Field Stockton (20 August 1795–7 October 1866) was an United States naval officer, notable in the capture of California during the Mexican-American War. ... The United States Marine Corps (USMC) is a branch of the United States military responsible for providing power projection from the sea,[1] utilizing the mobility of the U.S. Navy to rapidly deliver combined-arms task forces. ... John Charles Frémont (January 21, 1813 – July 13, 1890), was an American military officer, explorer, the first candidate of the Republican Party for the office of President of the United States, and the first presidential candidate of a major party to run on a platform in opposition to slavery. ... Categories: Stub | Deserts | Ecoregions | Arizona geography | California geography | Geography of Mexico ... Major Archibald H. Gillespie (14 August 1810 – 16 August 1873) was an officer in the United States Marine Corps during the Mexican-American War. ... 19th century 12 pounder (5 kg) mountain howitzer displayed by the National Park Service at Fort Laramie in Wyoming, USA A howitzer is a type of artillery piece that is characterized by a relatively short barrel and the use of comparatively small explosive charges to propel projectiles at trajectories with... Flag Seal Nickname: City of Angels Location Location within Los Angeles County in the state of California Coordinates , Government State County California Los Angeles County Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) Geographical characteristics Area     City 1,290. ... General Don Andrés Pico (1810-1876) was the brother of Pio Pico. ...


The Americans did not expect the Californios to be formidable adversaries, but Kearny still wanted to capitalize on a surprise attack if at all possible. He also wanted more exact information about the enemy force in preparation for an attack the following morning.


Lieutenant Thomas C. Hammond together with a Californio deserter, Rafael Machado, and a detachment of six dragoons (one report says three dragoons and still another eleven) were ordered to scout Pico's position which was located in a small Indian village in San Pasqual Valley. Hammond's scouting party was discovered by Pico's force, and the element of surprise was lost. At midnight Kearny ordered an immediate advance. It had rained that night. Men, muskets, pistols and equipment were wet and cold, but the troops after over six months without any action were eager to engage the Californios. Early in the morning of December 6, 1846, the column proceeded by twos across the ridge between Santa Maria (present day Ramona, California) and San Pasqual. During the descent while it was still dark and with a low lying fog, Kearny's force became strung out. Accounts differ as to what command was given and by whom, but Captain Abraham R. Johnson is thought to have prematurely initiated action. is the 340th day of the year (341st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1846 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Ramona is an unincorporated town located in San Diego County, California, USA. As of the 2000 census, the census-designated place had a total population of 15,691. ...


Battle

A charge was initiated while Kearny's force was still three quarters of a mile (1.2 km) from Pico's encampment. About forty of the best mounted officers and men got far ahead of the main body of the force. The mules pulling Kearny's howitzers bolted, taking one of the guns with them. Pico's force was already mounted and easily managed to remain ahead of the pursuing Americans on their weary mules. Their fresh horses and superior horsemanship made it easy for them to manoeuvre as they wished, and they led the advance group of Americans even further away from their main force. The Americans did not know the terrain and the Californios did. A second separation developed until about twenty eight Americans including Kearny were in the forefront of the charge. Damp powder reduced the effectiveness of the American carbines and pistols, and they were soon reduced to relying on their sabers alone. The Californios were armed with a mixture of firearms, sabers, long lances and lariats. A lasso is a loop of rope that is designed to be thrown around a target and tighten when pulled. ...


As the leading element of the American attack drew close to the Indian village, the Californios wheeled back and fired their few firearms. One of their first shots killed Captain Johnson, but the Americans continued on and were able to fire back. The Californios retreated, and the Americans pursued. Captain Benjamin D. Moore ordered a second charge. This further increased the distance between the American elements and further reduced the size of the leading element. When the Californios again turned back, they were able to deal with Captain Moore alone. He was quickly surrounded and killed. Other Americans caught up with the action, but their weapons misfired and many of them were wounded or killed by Californios using lances. Some were pulled from their horses by the Californio's lariats and then lanced. Most of the Americans were mounted on mules and were particularly vulnerable because of the mules reluctance to wheel. It was easy for the better mounted Californios to get behind the Americans and attack them with their long lances.


Both Captain Gillespie and General Kearny were wounded in the battle and several of the other officers were killed or wounded. Captain Henry Turner temporarily took command and organized a defensive position, which permitted the rest of the command to catch up with the battered lead element. Dr John S. Griffin, Kearny's surgeon, reported that the Americans had lost seventeen killed and eighteen wounded out of the fifty officers and men that actually engaged the enemy. The dead were buried in a mass grave. Pico's forces suffered two killed and 18 wounded in the battle.


The badly beaten and terrified American forces managed to retreat to San Diego under the cover of darkness that very night.


Aftermath

Kearny sent dispatches carried by Kit Carson requesting urgent reinforcements to Commodore Stockton, who was headquartered at San Diego, 28 miles (45 km) to the south-southwest. Stockton quickly dispatched a unit of over 200 sailors and Marines, whose arrival caused the Californios to disperse, and Kearny's battered forces were escorted to San Diego, California. San Diego redirects here. ...


Kearny Mesa, an area of San Diego was later named after General Kearny and is a very populous neighborhood to this day, Kit Carson Park in San Diego's north east corner was named in honor of Kit Carson. In September 1942 Camp Gillespie was completed and named in honor of Lieutenant Archibald Gillespie. In 1944 it was handed over to San Diego City and rechristened Gillespie Field now a municipal airport. Eastern San Diego Area Map and neighborhood boundaries Kearny Mesa is a community in eastern part of San Diego, California. ... Flag Seal Nickname: Americas Finest City Location Location of San Diego within San Diego County Coordinates , Government County San Diego Mayor City Attorney         City Council District One District Two District Three District Four District Five District Six District Seven District Eight Jerry Sanders (R) Michael Aguirre Scott Peters Kevin... Year 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Gillespie Field is a public airport in El Cajon, CA. This article is a stub. ...


The battle was the worst defeat for American forces during the Mexican-American War. While the Californios fared badly in Northern California, it was one of many battles and skirmishes where the Californios bested American forces in Southern California. Inexplicably, Kearny later recalled the battle as a victory for the United States, perhaps as way of covering up the embarrassing defeat.


Captain Benjamin D. Moore, who fell during the battle, was honored by the dedication and naming of Fort Moore in Los Angeles, California, which was memorialized with the Fort Moore Hill Pioneer Memorial. The Terra Cotta relief on the current Fort Moore Pioneer Memorial Fort Moore was a historic fort in Los Angeles, California during the Mexican-American War. ... Los Angeles and L.A. redirect here. ...


References

  • William B. Dunne, Notes on the Battle of San Pascual (Berkeley: Bancroft Library)
  • Sally Cavell Jones, The Battle of San Pascual (Masters Thesis, USD, 1973)
  • Executive Document Number 1, accompanying the President's message at the Second Session of the 30th Congress, December, 1848, including the Report of Commodore Stockton.
  • The U.S.-Mexican War in San Diego, 1846-1847: Loyalty and Resistance, by Richard Griswold del Castillo, The Journal of San Diego History, Volume 49, 2003, Number 1.

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