Siege of Los Angeles

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Siege of Los Angeles
Part of the Mexican–American War
San Pedro Bay, 1900.
Date 22–30 September 1846
Location Los Angeles, Alta California,
Result Mexican victory
 United States Mexico Mexico
Commanders and leaders
Robert F. Stockton
John C. Fremont
Archibald H. Gillespie
Jose Maria Castro
José María Flores
José Antonio Carrillo
Andrés Pico
48[1]:183 150 militia[1]:184
Casualties and losses
0 0

The Siege of Los Angeles was a military response by armed Californios to the occupation, which had begun 13 August 1846, by the United States Marines of the Pueblo de Los Angeles during the Mexican–American War.[2]


Following the Battle of Monterey, the Americans held northern California but General Jose Maria Castro and Governor Pio Pico planned resistance in the south around the Los Angeles area.[1]:172 Commodore Robert F. Stockton arrived at Monterey Bay aboard the Congress on 15 July and took over command from John D. Sloat.[1]:170 Stockton accepted the Bear Flag revolutionaries, under the command of Major John C. Frémont, as the California Battalion.[1]:173 Stockton then garrisoned Sonoma, San Juan Bautista, Santa Clara, and Sutter's Fort.[1]:173 Stockton's plan for dealing with Castro was to have Commander Samuel Francis Du Pont carry Fremont's men in the Cyane to San Diego to block any movement southwards, while Stockton would land a force at San Pedro which would move overland against Castro.[1]:174 Fremont arrived at San Diego on 29 July and reached San Pedro on 6 August aboard the Congress.[1]:174


Upon holding a council of war, Castro decided to leave California, heading to Sonora with Pico and a few supporters on 11 August, while the rest of his force retired to Rancho San Pascual.[1]:176

On 13 August 13, 1846, Stockton led his column into town, followed by Fremont's force a half hour later.[1]:176 On the 14 August, the remnants of the California army surrendered.[1]:176


Stockton established a garrison of forty-eight men under Capt. Archibald H. Gillespie and departed in September[1]:177,183 His men, however, were undisciplined in an area with pro-Mexican feelings.[1]:183


On 23 September, twenty men under the command of Cerbulo Varela exchanged shots with the Americans at Government House, which ignited Los Angeles.[1]:184 On 24 September, 150 Californios, organized under José María Flores, a Mexican Officer who remained in California, at Castro's old camp at La Mesa.[1]:184 Gillespie's forces were effectively besieged, while Gillespie sent Juan "Flaco" Brown to Commodore Stockton for help.[1]:184

Gillespie's men retreated to Fort Hill on 28 September, but without water, they surrendered the next day.[1]:184 Terms called for Gillespie's men to leave Los Angeles, which they did on 30 September 1846, and boarded the American merchant vessel Vandalia.[1]:184

Flores quickly cleared remaining American forces in southern California.[1]:184

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Bauer, K.J., 1974, The Mexican War, 1846-1848, New York:Macmillan, ISBN 0803261071
  2. ^ "Mexican-American War Timeline". Retrieved 2014-08-31. 

Additional Reading[edit]

Coordinates: 34°03′08″N 118°14′38″W / 34.0522°N 118.2440°W / 34.0522; -118.2440