The California Campaigns of the U.S.–Mexican War, 1846–1848

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About the Book

For the Mexican government to go to war with its more powerful northern neighbor in 1846 was folly. Mexico surrendered to the United States more than half a million square miles of territory, contributing to a legacy of distrust and bitterness towards the U.S. that has never entirely dissipated.
The real prize was California. The Californios—Spanish speaking, non-native inhabitants of the province of Alta (Upper) California—had ambiguous loyalties to the Mexican government and minimal military capabilities. American control of California was considered the keystone of Manifest Destiny, and naval and amphibious operations along the Pacific coast began as early as 1821 and continued for weeks after the end of the war. This book describes the often overlooked military and naval operations in California before and during the Mexican War, and introduces readers to the colorful Californios, the American adventurers who arrived after them, and the Indians, who preceded them both.

About the Author(s)

Hunt Janin is an American writer living in southwestern France. He has written numerous nonfiction and scholarly books on a range of subjects, including medieval history and cross-cultural studies.
Ursula Carlson is a professor emerita at Western Nevada College, Carson City, Nevada.

Bibliographic Details

Hunt Janin and Ursula Carlson
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 224
Bibliographic Info: chronology, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9420-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2093-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Preface 1

Introduction: Causes and Conduct of the U.S.–Mexican War 8

1 • Peoples of California 25

2 • Foreigners in Alta California 47

3 • The Mexican Army in Alta California 57

4 • Preludes to War 62

5 • A Secret Mission to California 73

6 • The Californios Expel an American Expedition 77

7 • Frémont Prepares for War 85

8 • The Bear Flag Revolt 91

9 • The “Battle of Monterey” and the End of the Bear Flag Revolt 99

10 • The California Battalion 105

11 • Naval and Amphibious Operations I: From the Establishment of the American Blockade to the Capture of La Paz 111

12 • Naval and Amphibious Operations II: From the Capture of La Paz to the Return of the ­Sloop-of-War Cyane to Norfolk, Virginia 122

13 • The Californio Uprising and Its Aftermath 132

14 • The Army of the West and the Mormon Battalion 139

15 • The Battle of San Pascual 145

16 • The Treaty of Cahuenga 149

17 • The Earliest Days of the Gold Rush 152

18 • Frémont Is ­Court-Martialed 159

19 • The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo 163

20 • From Military to Civilian Rule 167

21 • Significance of the Pacific Campaigns of the U.S.–Mexican War 174

Chronology 181

Chapter Notes 189

Bibliography 202

Index 211