Saturday, January 8th, 2012
California State Archives, Research Room
OPEN Including the Root Cellar Family History Library located at 1020 "O" Street in Sacramento will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For general information, telephone (916) 653-7715, Reference Desk (916) 653-2246 or visit the California State Archives website.
December 29, 1846
American military commanders clash.
During the middle of the Mexican-American War, communication in California proved to be one of the more difficult problems. On this date in 1846 the leaders of the Naval and Army forces fought over whom would be in charge. Commodore Robert F. Stockton and Brigadier General Stephen Watts Kearney disputed their respective authorities. Stockton claimed command due to his initial conquest of the territory, and by the fact that his sailors and marines were numerically superior to Kearny's tiny force of Dragoons. However, Kearny was of superior rank, as a Brigadier General, and had specific authorization from the War Department to command in California. After negotiating in San Diego, they decided that Kearney would command the 600 troops north to Los Angeles with Stockton as "commander-in-chief." The militarily expedient compromise would break down after the fighting ended, as both men disputed who had the power to organize a government. In the end, Kearny won, as Stockton was recalled home, ending his claim to command of California.
For more information on American military operations in California, go to The Conquest of California.
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