Battle of Dominguez Rancho

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Battle of Dominguez Rancho
Part of Mexican–American War
California 1846.jpg
Date October 7-8, 1846
Location Dominguez Hills, California
Result Mexican victory
 Mexico  United States
Commanders and leaders
Captain José Antonio Carrillo Captain William Mervine
~50 militia 285[1]:185
Casualties and losses
none 4 killed,
6 wounded[1]:185

The Battle of Dominguez Rancho or The Battle of the Old Woman's Gun (7-8 October 1846) was a military engagement of the Mexican–American War. The battle took place within Manuel Dominguez's 75,000-acre (300 km2) Rancho San Pedro.


After receiving word of the Siege of Los Angeles, Commodore Robert F. Stockton sent US Navy Captain William Mervine and the Savannah on 4 Oct. to San Pedro to assist Capt. Archibald H. Gillespie.[1]:185 Arriving on 6 Oct., Mervine set out on 7 Oct. with sailors, marines and Bear flaggers to recapture the town .[1]:185 However, they were not mounted and had no artillery.[1]:185 They camped at Rancho Dominguez that night.[1]:185


During the night, the Americans were hit by snipers and at 2 AM, shelled by a 4-pounder.[1]:185 Setting off at daylight, Mervine's force formed a square when in sight of the Californians astride the road with their cannon, expecting a cavalry charge.[1]:185 Yet, when the Americans charged, the Californians moved the gun wit their reatas.[1]:185

Captain José Antonio Carrillo, led fifty Californio Lancer troops in a successful defense. By strategically running horses across the Dominguez Hills, while transporting their single small cannon to various sites, Carrillo and his troops convinced the Americans they had encountered a large enemy force.

By 9 AM, the Americans concluded they could not take the gun and could not retake Los Angeles and decided to retreat back to San Pedro.[1]:185 Five hours later, they were back on their ships.[1]:185


The American dead were buried on a little island in San Pedro Bay called Isla de los Muertos, or more commonly called Deadman's Island.[2][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Bauer, K.J., 1974, The Mexican War, 1846-1848, New York:Macmillan, ISBN0803261071
  2. ^ Bancroft, Hubert Howe, History of California: Vol. V, 1846-1848, p. 320.
  3. ^ Walker, Dale L., Bear Flag Rising: The Conquest of California, 1846. [New York, 1999]. See page 200.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°46′N 118°19′W / 33.77°N 118.32°W / 33.77; -118.32