A-M #02

Submitted by: David F. New

A-M #02 2021-06-10T21:19:21+00:00

The Man Who Won The West Mexican War 1846 – 1848

The Man Who Won The West Mexican War By Page #

Instructions from the War Department

To Colonel S. W. Kearny

Washington   ~  June 3, 1846


Sir:  I herewith send you a copy of my letter to the governor of Missouri for an additional force of one thousand mounted men.  The object of thus adding to the force under you command is not as you will perceive, fully set forth in that letter, for the reason that it is deemed prudent that it should not, at this time become a matter of public notoriety; but to you it is proper and necessary that is should be stated.

    It has been decided by the President to be of the greatest importance, in the pending war with Mexico, to take the earliest possession of Upper California.  An expedition with that view is hereby ordered, and you are designated to command it.  To enable you to be in sufficient force to conduct it successfully, this additional force of a thousand mounted men has been provided, to follow you in the direction of Santa Fe, to be under your orders, or the officer you may leave in command at Santa Fe.

    It cannot be determined how far this additional force will be behind that designed for the Santa Fe expedition, but it will not probably be more then a few weeks.  When you arrived at Santa Fe with the force already called, and shall have taken possession of it, you may find yourself in a condition to garrison it with small part of your command. (as the additional force will soon be at that place) and with the remainder press forward to California.

    In that case you will make such arrangements, as to be followed by the reinforcements before mentioned as in your judgment may be deemed safe and prudent.  I need not say to you that in case you conquer Santa Fe (and with it will be included the department or State of New Mexico) it will be important to provide for retaining safe possession of it.  Should you deem it prudent to have still more troops for this accomplishment of the object herein designated, you will lose no time in communicating your opinion on that point, and all others connected with this enterprise, to this department.  Indeed, you are hereby authorized to make a direct requisition for it upon the governor of Missouri.

    It is known that large body of Mormon emigrants are en route to California for the purpose of settling in that country.  You are desired to use all proper means to have a good understanding with them, to that end that the United States may have their cooperation in taking possession of, and holding that country.  It has been suggested here, that many of these Mormons would willingly enter into the service of the United States, and aid us in our expedition against California.  You are hereby authorized to muster into service such as can be induced to volunteer; not, however, to a number exceeding one-third of your entire force. Should they enter the service, they will be paid as other volunteers, and you can allow them to designate, so far as it can be properly done, the persons to act as officers thereof.  It is understood that a considerable number of America citizens are now settled on the Sacramento river, near Sutter’s establishment, called Nueva Helvetica, who are well disposed toward the United States.

    Should you, on your arrival in the country, find this to be the true state of things there, you are authorized to organize and receive into the service of the United States, such portion of these citizens as you may think useful to aid you to hold the possession of the country.  You will in that case allow them, so far as you shall judge proper, to select their own officers.  A large discretionary power is invested in you in regard to these matters as to all others in relation to the expeditions confided to your command.

    The choice of routes by which you will enter California will be left to your better knowledge and ample means of getting accurate information.  We are assured that a southern route (called the caravan route, by which the wild horses are brought from that country into New Mexico is practicable; and it is suggested as not improbable, that it can be passed over in the winter months, or, at least, late autumn.  It is hoped that this information may prove to be correct.   In regard to the routes, the practicability of procuring needful supplies for men and animals, and transporting baggage, is a point to be well considered.  Should the President be disappointed in his cherished hope that you will be able to reach the interior of Upper California before winter, you are then desired to make the best arrangement you can for sustaining your forces during the winter and for an early movement in the spring.

Though it is very desirable that the expedition should reach California this season (and the President does not doubt you will make every possible effort to accomplish this object,) yet if, in your judgment, it cannot be undertaken with a reasonable prospect of success, you will defer it, as above suggest, until spring.  You are left unembarrassed by any specific direction in this matter.

    It is expected that the naval forces of the United States which are now, or will soon be in the Pacific, will be in possession of all the towns on the sea coast, and will co-operate with you in the conquest of California, Arms, ordnance, munitions of war and provision, to be used in that country, will be sent to you by our squadron in the Pacific for the use of the land forces.

    Should you conquer and take possession of New Mexico and Upper California or considerable place in either you will establish temporary civil governments therein; abolishing all arbitrary restrictions that may exist, so far as it may be done with safety.  In performing this duty, it would be wise and prudent to continue in their employment all such of the existing officers as are know to be friendly to the United States, and will take the oath of allegiance to them.  The duties at the custom houses ought at once to reduced to such a rate as may be barely sufficient to maintain the necessary officers, without yielding any revenue to the government.

    You may assure the people of those provinces that it is the wish and design of the United States to provide for them a free government, with the least possible delay, similar to that which exists in our territories.  They will then be called on to exercise the wishes of freemen in electing their own representatives to the territorial legislature.  It is foreseen that what related to the civil government will be a difficult and unpleasant part of your duty, and much must necessarily be left to your own discretion.

    In your whole conduct you will act in such a manner as best to conciliate the inhabitants, and render them friendly to the United States.

    It is desirable that the usual trade between the citizens of the United States and the Mexican provinces should be continued, as far as practicable, under the changed condition of things between the two countries.  In consequence of extending your expedition into California it may be proper that you should increase your supply of goods to be distributed as presents to the Indians.  The United States Superintendent of Indian Affairs at St. Louis will aid you in procuring these goods.  You will be furnished with a proclamation in the Spanish language, to be issued by you, and circulated among the Mexican people, on your entering or approaching their country.

    You will use your utmost endeavors to have the pledges and promises therein contained carried out to the utmost extent.  I am directed by the President to say, that the rank of Brevet Brigadier General will be conferred on you as soon as you commence your movement towards California, and sent round to you by sea, or over the country, or to the care of the commandant of our squadron in the Pacific.  In that way cannon, arms, ammunition and supplies for the land forces will be sent to you

Very respectfully, your obedient servant

  1. L. Marcy

Secretary of War

W. L. Marcy Sec of War February 1, 1848

W. L. Marcy   Sec of War  February  1, 1848


Mexican War   ~   Letter Index

Letter No. From Letter Dateline Letter Date Postmark
1 Capt. Stephen W. Kearny Baton Rouge, Louisiana 12-1-1821 Baton Rouge
2 Capt. Stephen W. Kearny Cantonment Leavenworth 10-13-1837 Cant. Leavenworth
3 Capt. Stephen W. Kearny Cantonment Leavenworth 10-13-1837 Hand carried
4 Col. Stephen W. Kearny Cantonment Gibson, Ark. 7-4-1842 Cantonment Gibson
5 Lieut. Col. James Mason Fort Gibson, Arkansas 7-7-1842 Cantonment Gibson
6 Col. S. W. Kearny Fort Leavenworth, Mo. 6-16-1846 Order No. 17
7 Brig. Gen. Bela M. Hughes Plattsburg, Missouri 5-25-1846 Brigade Order No.1
8 Brig. Gen. S. W. Kearny Monterey Document 4-27-1847 Special Decree
9 Maj. Gen. S. W. Kearny Jefferson Barracks, Mo. 9-18-1848 Jefferson Barracks
10 Pvt. William S. Hayter Paughnee Fork, Mo. 7-15-1846 Fort Leavenworth
11 E. W. Pomeroy 8 Miles from Bents Fort 7-30-1846 Fort Leavenworth
12 Maj. Wm. N. Grier Camped near Bents Fort 7-31-1846 Fort Leavenworth
13 R. W. Bower Fort Leavenworth, Mo. 8-7-1846 Fort Leavenworth
14 Pvt. James M. Finley Sand Creek Camp, N. M. 8-22-1846 Weston, Mo.
15 E. W. Pomeroy Santa Fe, N. M. 8-30-1846 Independence, Mo.
16 E. W. Pomeroy Santa Fe, N. M. 9-4-1846 Independence, Mo.
17 Pvt. O. P. Bampass Fort Leavenworth, Mo. 9-15-1846 Fort Leavenworth
18 Pvt. M. Pike Lientz Santa Fe, N. M. 9-16-1846 Weston, Mo.
19 Lieut. John A. Boarman Cimmeron Creek 9-17-1846 Independence, Mo.
20 Pvt. King Santa Fe, N. M. 10-6-1846 Fort Leavenworth
21 A. G. Wilson, Chief Sutler Santa Fe, N. M. 12- 4-1846 Independence, Mo.
22 Lieut. John A. Boarman Camp Calhoun, N. M. 12-12-1846 Fort Leavenworth
23 Lieut. John Hinton Santa Fe, N. M. 12-28-1846 Independence, Mo.
24 G. L. Jackson, Surgeon Santa Fe, N. M. 1-11-1847 Independence, Mo.
25 Seaman Charles Hand USS Columbus, Monterey 3-5-1847 New York

Mexican War   ~   Letter Index

Letter No. From Letter Dateline Letter Date Postmark
26 Capt. John Hinton Chihuahua, Mexico 3-6-1847 Independence, Mo.
27 Seaman Allen Putnam San Francisco, California 3-23-1847 St. Louis
28 Seaman  William Broom USS Congress, San Diego 3-24-1847 St. Joseph, Mo.
29 1st Officer John C. Bull Bark Sasso, San Francisco 4-30-1847 St. Louis
30 Sergt. J. H. Maneis San Francisco, California 5-2-1847 Fort Leavenworth
31 Sergt. J. S. Vincent Monterey Barracks 5-27-1847 St. Louis, Mo.
32 Pvt. M. I. Baker Arkansas River 6-27-1847 New York
33 Capt. William. N. Grier Albuquerque, N. M. 7-13-1847 Washington, D. C.
34 Pvt. Uriah Thomas Fort Leavenworth 7-10-1847 Florence, Mo.
35 James Gleason Monterey, California 8-18-1847 New York
36 Pvt. Huling Major Cold Springs, Texas Terr. 8-27-1847 Belleville, Ill.
37 Lieut. John Snyder Santa Fe, N. M. 9-30-1847 Belleville, Ill.
38 Pvt. Thos. McDowell Santa Fe, N. M. 10-15-1847 Steam Ten St. Louis
39 Lieut. John Snyder Sante Fe, N. M. 11-7-1847 Belleville, Ill.
40 Capt. Koscialowski Fort Mann, Indian Territory 12-6-1847 Washington, D. C.
41 Pvt. C. W. Abbott Santa Fe, N. M. 1-16-1848 Fort Leavenworth
42 Gov. R. W. Mason California Proclamation 2-9-1848 Pueblo de San Jose
43 Pvt. E. B. Bateman Fort Leavenworth, Mo. 5-14-1848 Westport, Mo.
44 Pvt. E. B. Bateman Wagon Mound, N. M. 7-23-1848 Independence, Mo.
45 Pvt. E. B. Bateman Santa Fe, N. M. 8-26-1848 Independence, Mo.
46 Pvt. Charles Boarman Boonville, Missouri 9-7-1848 Fort Leavenworth,
47 William I. Averill Monterey, California 4-17-1849 Monterey, California
48 William L. Smith Socorro, New Mexico 11-16-1849 Socorro, New Mexico
49 Orlando Wilcox Old Fort Mann 9-3-1850 Independence, Mo.
50 Col. Alexander Doniphan Liberty, Missouri 2-5-1850 Liberty, Mo.

The Man Who Won The West Mexican War By Page #