The Battle of the Natividad (November 16, 1846). While San Juan Bautista was the marshaling area for Fremonts forces, a scouting party of 50 men was attacked by a 15 man force of Mexican Californios on the Rancho Natividad in the Salinas Valley. The Californios were attempting to capture some horses. A battle ensued in which the Californio force killed 3 Americans and wounded seven. The Californios suffered no dead and 5 wounded. As a great number of American reinforcements approached, the Californios retreated as night fell.
The Native-American detachment fighting for the Americans fought aggressively and bravely, which the Californio force had not expected. This became known as the Battle of Natividad. The Battle of Natividad was important because although only a skirmish, the Americans were able to keep their horses and therefore deliver them in a timely manner to Colonel Fremont and his hard-pressed rifle battalions in Southern California.
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