Insurgents, Mexicans and Pueblo Indians in New Mexico under the leadership of Chavez, Montoya, Lafoya and Ortiz, assembled a large force at La Canada, intending to march onto the American-held city of Santa Fe.:140 They would be intercepted by the American garrison of Santa Fe, resulting in the battle.:140
Colonel Sterling Price, commander of the U.S. forces in Santa Fe, heard of this insurgent movement on 20 Jan., having intercepted letters from the rebels, and assembled a force of 353 soldiers and militia to march north on 23 Jan., and intercept them.:140 Price's force included Capt. McMillin's Company D, Capt. Williams' Company K, Capt. Lack's Company L, Capt. Halley's Company M, and Capt. Barber's Company N, 2d Regiment Missouri Mounted Volunteers, Capt. Agney's battalion of infantry and Capt. St. Vrain's Sante Fe volunteers, and Lt. A.B. Dyer's four mounted howitzers, while Lt. Col. Willock remained behind in command of the capital.