Army of the West (1846)

For the Confederate army of this name during the American Civil War, see Army of the West (1862). For the French force of this name, see Army of the West (1793).

The Army of the West was the name of the United States force commanded by Stephen W. Kearny during the Mexican–American War, which played a prominent role in the conquest of New Mexico and California.

It was headquartered at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. After the war, it was broken up into the Department of the Pacific and the Department of the West.

New Mexico

Colonel Stephen W. Kearny initially commanded some 1,700 regular army and volunteer soldiers mustering at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Kearny was promoted to brigadier general, and he designated the force the Army of the West and advanced on the Santa Fe trail by the end of June 1846. Other American forces followed including Colonel Sterling Price and the Second Missouri Mounted Volunteer Regiment and the famous Mormon Battalion, the only religious unit in American military history. Months later the 1st New York Volunteer Infantry and some regular army units arrived by ship in California. Kearny moved into present day New Mexico and seized Santa Fe, establishing a military government there. Kearny dispatched forces under Colonel Alexander Doniphan for further operations in New Mexico while Kearny with the remaining forces of the army proceeded overland towards California, guided by Kit Carson. Colonel Sterling Price was left in command of U.S. troops in New Mexico. The forces left behind in New Mexico were still regarded as part of Army of the West. Price was able to successfully put down the Taos Revolt in the early part of 1847. Eventually the Army of the West would have some 4,000–5,000 soldiers operating in California, New Mexico and also Doniphan's regiment and its expedition in Chihuahua.

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