Battle of La Mesa

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Battle of La Mesa
Part of the Mexican–American War
SanGabrielBattleMap.jpg
Date January 9, 1847
Location Vernon, California
34°0′8.65″N 118°12′17.36″W / 34.0024028°N 118.2048222°W / 34.0024028; -118.2048222Coordinates: 34°0′8.65″N 118°12′17.36″W / 34.0024028°N 118.2048222°W / 34.0024028; -118.2048222
Result United States victory
Belligerents
 United States  Mexico
Commanders and leaders
Robert F. Stockton
Stephen Watts Kearny
José María Flores
Strength
607[1]:192 300
Casualties and losses
1 killed
5 wounded[1]:192
1 killed
some wounded[1]:192
Official name La Mesa Battlefield
Reference no. 167[2]

The Battle of La Mesa was the final battle of the California Campaign during the Mexican–American War, occurring on January 9, 1847, in present-day Vernon, California, the day after the Battle of Rio San Gabriel.[3] The battle was a victory for the United States Army under Commodore Robert F. Stockton and General Stephen Watts Kearny.

Background[edit]

Not finding any Californians at Governor Pío Pico's ranch, the Americans under Stockton and Kearny crossed the plain between the San Gabriel River and the Los Angeles River called La Mesa.[1]:192 They encountered José María Flores' 300-strong force of Californio militia, including artillery,[1]:192 near where the city of Vernon now stands, about four miles south of Los Angeles.

Battle[edit]

The Californian guns were ineffective, while the American guns responded from their square as the Americans advanced.[1]:192 Flores extended his line and brought up two more guns.[1]:192 Stockton halted and formed his guns into a single battery.[1]:192 After fifteen minutes, Stockton's fire drove the Californian artillery from effective range.[1]:192 Flores sent his lancers against the American left flank but were driven back; most of his men deserted, allowing the Americans to advance into Los Angeles.[1]:192

Aftermath[edit]

The battle was the last armed resistance to the American conquest of California, and General José María Flores returned to Mexico afterward. Three days after the battle, on January 12, the last significant group of Californios surrendered to U.S. forces. The conquest and annexation of Alta California was settled with the signing of the Treaty of Cahuenga by U.S. Army Lieutenant-Colonel John C. Frémont and Californio General Andrés Pico on January 13, 1847.

The site of the battle is now registered as California Historical Landmark #167.[2] The marker is located at 4490 Exchange Avenue at Downey Road in Vernon.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Bauer, K.J., 1974, The Mexican War, 1846-1848, New York:Macmillan, ISBN 0-8032-6107-1
  2. ^ a b c "La Mesa Battlefield". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  3. ^ Hubert Howe Bancroft (1886). History of California, 1846-1848. XXII. History Company. p. 395. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Bancroft, Hubert Howe (1882). The Works of Hubert Howe Bancroft. San Francisco: A.L. Bancroft & Co. OCLC 2539133.