The Mexican War and California
Brig. Gen. Stephen W. Kearny's Report on the March from New Mexico to California
The following is a transcription of Brig Gen Stephen Watts Kearney's report concervning his march from Santa Fe, NM to San Diego. It is as written including mis-spellings, punctualtion, etc.

Head Qtr Army of the West

San Diego - Upper California
Dec. 12th 1846



As I have previously reported to you, I left Santa fe' (N.M) for this Country on the 25th Sept. with 300 of the 1st Dragoons under Major Sumner - We crossed to the right bank of the Del Norte at Albuquerque (65 miles below Santa fe'-) continued down on that bank, 'til the 6th Octob, when we met Mr. Kit Carson, with a Party of 16 men, on his way to Washington city with a mail & papers - an Express from Com Stockton & Lieut Col Fremont - reporting that the California's were already in possession of the Americans under their command - that the American flag was flying from every important position in the Teritory & that the country was forever free from Mexican control - the War ended, & peace & harmony re-established among the People.

In consequence of this information I directed that 200 Dragoons under Maj Sumner should remain in New Mexico, & that the other 100 with 2 Mountain Howitzers under Capt Moore should accompnay me as a guard to Upper California - With this guard we continued our March to the South, on the right bank of the Del Norte to the distance of about 230 miles below Santa fe, when leaving that River on the 15th Octob in about the 33°of lat, we marched Westward for the Copper Mines which we reached on the 18th - and on the 20th reached the River Gila - proceeded down the Gila, crossing and recrossing it as often as obstructions in our front rendred necessary - On the 11th Nov. reached the Pimo Village, about 80 miles from the settlements in Sonora - these Indians we found honest, & living comfortably, having made a good crop this year, & we remained with them

two days, to rest our Men, recruit our Animals & obtain provisions On the 22nd Nov. reached the mouth of the Gila, in lat about 32; 42', our whole march on this River having been nearly 500miles, & with but very little exception between the 32'& 33°of lat.

We crossed the Colorado about 10 miles below the mouth of the Gila, & marching near it about 30 miles further, turned off & crossed the "Desert," a distance of about 60 miles without water or grass - On the 2nd Decemb reached Warners Rancho (awa calliente) the frontier settlement in California on the Route leading to Sonora - On the 4th marched to Mr. Stokes Rancho (San Isabella) & on the 5th was met by a small Party of Volunteers under Capt Gillespie, sent out from San Diego by Comadore Stockton, to give us what information they possessed of the enemy, 6 or 700 of whom are now said to be in the Army, & in the field thro'out the Teritory, determined upon opposing the Americans, & resisting their authority in the Country - En =camped that night near another Rancho (San Maria) of Mr. Stokes about 40 miles from San Diego The Journals & Maps kept & prepared by Capt Johnston 1st Dragoons (my Aid deCamp) & Lieut Emory Topo Eng. which will accompany or follow this Report, will render any thing further from me on this subject unnecessary

                          Very Respectfully
                          Your ob. Servt
                          S. W Kearny
                          Brig. Genl
Brig. Genl R. Jones
Adjt Gen'l

This River (the Gila) more particularly the Northern side, is bounded nearly the whole distance by a range of lofty Mountains, & if a tolerable waggin Road to its mouth from the Del Norte is ever discovered, it must be on the South side & therefor the boundary line between the U. States & Mexico should certainly not be North of the 32°of lat. the country is destitute of timber, producing but few cotton wood & mesquite trees, & tho' the soil on the bottom lands is generally good, yet we found but very little grass or vegetation in consequence of the dryness of the climate & the little rain which falls here - The Pimo Indians who make good crops of wheat, corn, vegetables & irrigate the land by water from the Gila, as did the Aztecs (the former inhabitants of the Country) the remains of whose sequias or little canals were seen by us, as well as the position of many of their dwellings, & a large quantity of broken pottery & earthen ware used by them -


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Updated 8 February 2016