California State Military Department
The California State Military Museum
A United States Army Museum Activity
Preserving California's Military Heritage
The Mexican War and California
Brig. Gen. Stephen W. Kearny's Report on the Battle of San Pasqual

 
The following is a transcription of Brig Gen Stephen Watts Kearney's report concervning Battle of San Pasqual. It is as written including mis-spellings, punctualtion, etc.


Head Qtr Army of the West

San Diego - Upper California
Decemb 13th 1846

 

Sir

In my communication to you of yesterdays date, I brought the report of the movements of my Guard up to the evening of the 5th Inst in camp near a Rancho of Mr. Stokes {Santa Maria) about 40 miles from San Diego.

Having learned from Capt Gillespie of the Volunteers, that there was an armed Party of Californians, with a number of extra horses at San Pasqual, - 3 leagues distant - on a Road leading to this place, I sent Lieut Hammond 1st Dragoons with a few Men to make a reconnaisance of them.

He returned at 2 in the morning of the 6th Inst, reporting that he had found the Party in the place mentioned, & that he had been seen, tho not pursued by them - I then determined that I would march for & attack them by break of day - Arrangements were accordingly made for the purpose - My Aid deCamp Capt Johnston 1st Dragoons was assigned to the command of the advanced Guard of 12 Dragoons mounted on the best horses we had - then followed about 50 Dragoons un =der Capt Moore mounted with but few exceptions on the tired mules they had ridden from Santa fe (New Mexico) (1050 miles) - then about 20 Volunteers of Capt Gibsons compy under his command & that of Capt Gillespie - then followed our two Mountain Howitzers with Dragoons to manage them & under the charge of Lieut Davidson of the Regt - the remainder of the Dragoons, Volunteers & citizens employed by the officers of the Staff &c, were placed under the command of Major Swords (Qtr Master)



with orders to follow on our trail with the baggage & to see to its safety


As the day (Dec. 6th) dawned we approached the enemy at San Pasqual, who was already in the Saddle, when Capt Johnston made a furious charge upon them with his advance guard, & was in a short time after supported by the Dragoons, soon after which the enemy gave way, having kept up from the beginning a continued fire upon us - upon the retreat of the enemy, Capt Moore led off rapidly in pursuit accompanied by the Dragoons mounted on horses & was followed, tho'slowly by the others on their tired Mules - the enemy well mounted, & among the best horsemen in the world, after retreating about half a mile, & seeing an interval between Capt Moore with his advance & the Dragoons coming to his support, rallied their whole force - charged with their lances, & on account of their greatly superior numbers, but few of us in front remain =ed untouched - for five minutes they held the ground from us, when our Men coming up, we again drove them, & they fled from the field, not to return to it, which we occupied and encamped upon

A most melancholy duty now remains for me - It is to report the death of my Aid Capt Johnston who was shot dead at the commencement of the action - of Capt Moore who was
lanced just previous to the final retreat of the enemy & of Lieut Hammond also lanced & who survived but a few hours - We had also killed 2 Sergts 2 Corpls & 10 Privs of the 1st Dragoons - 1 Priv of the Vols, & one man, an engage in the Topo Dept - Among the Wounded are myself (in two places) Lieut Warner, Top. Eng. (in 3 places) Capts Gillespie & Gibson of the Vols (the former in 3 places) 1 Sergt 1 Bugler & 9 Pr ivs of the Dragoons, many of these receiving from 2 to 10 lance wounds, most of them when unhorsed & incapable of resistance.

Our Howitzers were not brought into the action, but coming to the front at the close of it, before they were turned so as to admit of being fired upon the retreating enemy, the two Mules before one of them got alarmed, & freeing them =selves from their Drivers ran off & among the enemy, and was thus lost to us -

The enemy proved to be a Party of about 100 Californians under Andreas Pico, brother of the late Governor - the number of their Dead & Wounded must have been considerable tho I have no means of ascertaining how many, as just previous to their final retreat they carried of all excepting Six -

The great number of our killed & wounded proves that our officers & men have fully sustained the high character & reputation of our troops, & the victory thus gained over more than double our force may assist in forming the wreath of our National glory.

I have to return my thanks to many for their gallantry & good conduct on the field & particularly to Capt Turner 1st Dragoons, (Act As. Adj. Genl) & to Lieut Emory (Topo Engs) who were active in performance of their duties & in conveying orders from me to the command On the morning of the 7th, having made ambulances for our Wounded & interred the dead, we proceeded on our March when the enemy showed himself occupying the hills in our front, but which they left as we approached, 'til reaching San Bernardo, a Party of them took possession of a hill near to it, &



maintained their position until attacked by our advance, who quickly drove them from it, killing & wounding five of their number, with no loss on our part.


On account of our Wounded Men & upon the report of the Surgeon that rest was necessary for them, we remained at this place 'til the morning of the 11th, when Lieut Gray of the Navy in command of a Party of sailors & Marines sent out from San Diego by Com. Stockton joined us - We proceeded at 10 AM, the enemy no longer showing himself, & on the 12th (yesterday) we reached this place, and I have now to offer my thanks to Com Stockton & all of his gallant command, for the very many kind attentions we have received & continue to receive from them

 
Brig. Genl R. Jones

Posted 23 March 2009


Search Our Site
Google
Search the Web Search California Military History Online
Join our Online Discussion Forum
Google Groups Subscribe to California Military History
Email:
Browse Archives at groups-beta.google.com
 


[WELCOME] [LOCATION AND HOURS] [CURRENT EXHIBITS] [MG WALTER P. STORY LIBRARY] [SATELLITE AND PARTNER MUSEUMS]
[HOW CAN I HELP?] [WHAT'S NEW?] [UPCOMING EVENTS] [CALIFORNIA MILITARY HISTORY] [ONLINE BOOKSTORE]
[CALIFORNIA CENTER FOR MILITARY HISTORY] [LINKS]
 
Questions and comments concerning this site should be directed to the Webmaster