A-M #09 2021-06-10T21:25:22+00:00

The Man Who Won The West Mexican War 1846 – 1848

The Man Who Won The West Mexican War By Page #


by E. W. POMEROY on SEPTEMBER 4, 1846

Santa Fe September 4 1846

Santa Fe September 4, 1846

Dear Maria

      I wrote you several days ago, since then nothing has taken place of interest.  Bangs will get off with some light punishment as I am told by Col. Doniphan.  His friends do not have any fears of punishment being serious.  Mr. Aull is still in the country.  No one knows when they traders will start for Chihuahua.  James is getting thoroughly tired of the trip and will be more so before it is ended.  For my part I am to busy to think of any discomfort.  I actually do labour seven hours in the day without much inconvenience.  My flesh does not increase much but my appetite is enormous and strength much increased.

Figure 16 September 5, 1846 Independence

Figure 16   September  5, 1846  Independence, Missouri

To  Mrs. Maria Pomeroy  Lexington  Missouri with 5 cent rate

Carried by Military Courier to Independence  with 5 cent rate


    You even would not credit me if I were to tell you how much we are making daily.  Without some accidents our gain will be sufficient for our small wants the balance of our time here.  We must actually make in cash fifty thousand dollars clear.  Tho this is for only you to know.  I have not been twenty yards from the store but one in eight days.  When James was here we walked out daily & I saw all I wanted to see of this place.  If the place could be saved from one.  No woman is ever suspected of virtues here.  We have three servants & cook for ourselves.

We have every variety of climate within a few miles of town, in the mountains it is quite cold very fine grapes made their first appearance today.  Also, peaches that are tolerably good.  Ewing, B. & R are just over the way & doing well.  Capt. Walton, Mr. Lee & Barnett you can also report as Hale & every one from the County  Give my best to E. h. Mary and remember me to all that inquire.   A ever your afft husband,   E. W. Pomeroy



Fort Leavenworth, Missouri September 15, 1846

Fort Leavenworth, Missouri  September 15, 1846


Dear father

         I take up my pen in great haste to write you a few lines.   I am well at present and desire you enjoy the same blessing.  I have received Forty Two dollars as my Bounty for Twelve months Clothing and will get 72 cent for every twenty miles coming up to be paid the first payment at Bents Fort.  It is uncertain when we will leave here and I wish you to answer my letter in haste.  Direct your letter to Fort Leavenworth 4th Regiment Company “I”.  I send you in this letter twenty dollars out of which I wish you

Figure 17 September 16, 1846 Fort Leavenworth

Figure 17   September 16, 1846  Fort Leavenworth, Missouri

To  Mr. William Bampass  Mt. Sterling Gasconade County, Missouri

to take what I owe, and make any use of the rest you see proper.  I could have loaned ten dollars in good hands with Capt. Boweing for security at the rate of forty percent interest to be received at Bents fort, but I thought best to send it home on account of carrying it.  I will write again before I leave,

                                                                                   nothing more but remain yours until Death.

O. P. Bampas

Sent to   Mr. William Bampass

Mt. Sterling

Gasconade County, Mo.

Major Philip St. George Cooke and the Mormon Battalion

Formed on July 15, 1846

In June of 1846 Colonel Kearny wrote to Captain James Allen an important letter authorizing him to raise a regiment of volunteers from the Mormon community in the area.  The Colonel promised them they would be paid wages and at the end of twelve months service then released and permitted to retain their arms and accouterments furnished to them by the army.

The Mormon battalion consisted of five hundred men divided into five companies, lettered A, B, C, D, and E, respectively, their elected captains were Hunt, Hunter, Brown, Higgins and Davis, commanded by Lieutentant-colonel Allen; Dykes being adjutant, and Glines, Sergeant-major.  It was attended by twenty-seven women, for laundresses, and was mustered into service on July 15th 1846.  Lieutenant-colonel Allen, having delayed at the fort a short time after the companies began to march, remained behind to assist in forwarding supplies.  There he was suddenly taken ill, and after a short time passed away on August 22nd.  Thus died Lieutenant-colonel Allen, of the 1st Dragoons, in the midst of a career of usefulness, under the favoring smiles of fortune, beloved while living, and regretted, after the death, by all who knew him, both among the regular troops, and the volunteers.

The Mormons were then led by Lieutenant Smith of the 1st Dragoons on their way to Santa Fe.  The Mormon battalion was technically part of the army, and reached Santa Fe on October 9th, presenting to the General the problem regarding their leadership.  He quickly sent for Captain Cooke asking him to return to Santa Fe and lead the Mormon battalion as volunteer Lieutenant colonel.  His assignment was to march the battalion to California a quickly as possible.  Little did Lieutentant Cooke realize that his efforts would become a small, but famous part of the history of the Mexican War in the southwest.

The Mormons had not arrived at Santa Fe when General Kearny took his departure for California.  Captain Cooke arriving shortly afterwards received orders from the General to begin the trip to California in haste.  Their army being in readiness left Santa Fe and commenced their march on Sunday the October 18th, 1846.  Other then some brushes with Navahos they were making good progress in the march to the Pacific.  They were following the route of General Kearny down the Rio Del Norte to a point twenty-five miles below the Jornada Mountains.

Turning west over the southern spurs of the Sierra de los Mimbres toward the Gila River, suddenly a new difficulty happened.  The Mexican teamsters who had been engaged all of a sudden refused to enter the hills, claiming great fear of the Apaches.  It was then that Major Swords, acting as quartermaster suspected it was more about money then fear.  He offered what was needed and paid the teamsters a liberal price.  Much to the American’s surprise the teamsters were delighted and the caravan moved on into the mountainous area.

Before leaving the Del Norte valley Cooke sent part of his baggage trains, and a number of sick Mormons back to Fort Pueblo, on the Arkansas located above Fort Bent.  There a large group of not less then 900 Mormon families were gathering with the view of immigrating to California early in the spring of 1847.  This group had started from various other points, including as far away as Council Bluffs, were now beginning to assemble at Fort Pueblo.

General Kearny wrote a letter to the War Department on September 20th calling attention to the outstanding services of Major Cooke in leading the Mormon Battalion to California.  He noted in the letter that when Cooke’s forces were nearing Tucson they encountered four Mexican presidios that had been concentrated in Tucson.  Cooke promptly proceeded to mount an attack and with his artillery drove the enemy out of Tucson.  Then the Army of the West occupied the town marching through it taking military possession of the country.

This concludes a story about how much a few volunteers with good leadership could accomplish.

Courtesy of Major Cooke’s Archives



Santa Fe September 16, 1846

Santa Fe September 16, 1846

Dear Rollin

As the mail leaves day after tomorrow I take the opportunity of letting you hear from me again.,  My last letter was to California (Missouri) written just as we were on the eve of marching south, we have just returned from a successful tirp through the towns of Tome, St. Domingo, Bernalillo, St. Felippe and Valencia, which was the extreme southern point of the march, all the above named towns surrendered without a blow and at Tome, they combined patriotism and church matters together making all with smart sprinkling of reveling at the Cathedral at frequent intervals the church bells rang a chime, the drums beat and vollies of musketry were fired.  The affair was brought to a climas by carrying the image of the Virgin around the town square.

Relying on the wisdome and goodness of god.  I have been perfectly reconsiled and self composed under all circumstance and hope and will full expect to return in the same manner.

Kiss William and Sis for me

Your affectionate brother    M. Pike Lientz

Figure No. 18 October 10, 1846

Figure No. 18   October 10, 1846   Weston, Missouri

To Rollin Lyman, Esq.  Rockport, Boone County, Missouri  with 5 cent rate

Private Lientz was mustered into service at Fort Leavenworth on June 20 1846.  He served in Comp. “F” of the 1st Regiment of Mounted Missouri Volunteers.  This group of 900 men fought with Col. Doniphan at the battle of Sacramento in Chihuahua, Mexico on February 28, 1847.  There they faced 3,000 Mexican troops with cavalry and heavy artillery, however, in short the short time of just three hours they soundly defeated the Mexican army that fled the battle field leaving, wagons, artillery and many supplies.

The Man Who Won The West Mexican War By Page #