Where the Regiment Was Scattered During the Mexican War

A lack of Mexican War records has vexed historians as they’ve tried to pin down where the ten companies of the 1st Dragoons operated between 1845 and 1848. It wasn’t until 1851, three years after the treaty with Mexico, that the army comprehensively recorded where the units were during the war.

Except for five companies assigned to the Army of the West, the rest lay all over the map, in groups formed from between one and three companies, from present-day Oklahoma and south into the Valley of Mexico. This complicated efforts to track troop movement and personnel from the regimental headquarters at Ft. Leavenworth, Missouri Territory.

Below is a useful summary of where the regiment’s ten companies served during the years 1845-1848. I’ve taken these from annual returns of each year (from the National Archives’ NARA M7742).

1845

Comy “D” left Fort Washita, March 26th, marched along the Chickasaw frontier on account of false rumors of Indians being there, returned to Fort Washita April 1.  On the 23rd April, in consequence of a false rumor that Indians had attacked “Warner’s Station,” Compy “D” marched 30 miles from Fort Washita & returned next day.

Compy E left fort Towson, March 1st for Fort Washita & returned on the 13th, marched again for Fort Washita on the 30th & arrived there April 1st.  Marched from Fort Washita April 23rd, crossed Red River into Texas and returned the 25th.

Compy “A” left Fort Scott on the 3rd & reached Fort Leavenworth on the 8 May.  Comps A, C, F, G, K under the Command of Col Kearny having with him the Adjutant & Non Comd. Staff, left fort Leavenworth on the 18th May on an expedition to the Rocky Mountains & encamped on the right bank of the Platte river, near the head of Grand Island, May 31st.  It reached Fort Laramie on the 14th June, leaving Co. “A” in camp near that place, the other four proceeded up the North Fork of the Platte River & Sweet Water; marched through the “South Pass” of the Rocky Mountains, & encamped on the 30th June on the waters of Green River or the Colorado of the West; thence returning the Command reached the camp of Co. A near Fort Laramie, July 13th, reinforced by this compy, the Command proceeded South, along the base of the mountains, passing Long & Pike’s Peaks; struck the Arkansas about 60 miles above Bent’s Fort, passed that fort on the 20th & encamped 30 miles below it on the Arkansas river July 31st.  Thence the Command marched on the direct route for Fort Leav-th and arrived there on the 24th Aug & Co. “A” having been detached at Council Grove, arrived at Fort Scott the same day.—Col. Kearny accompanied by the Adjutant arrived at Saint Louis on the 30th Aug.

Compy “I” left Fort des Moines on the 29th May, & joined Copy “B” at Travers des Sioux on the St. Peters on the 21st June, the latter Co. had left Fort Atkinson on the 2nd June; this Command under Capt. Sumner left Travers des Sioux on the 25th & on the 30 June encamped on the Saint Peters, near Patterson’s falls; thence the Command marched to Lake Travers, crossed the Chiane river on the 10th, reached Devil’s lake on the 18th, & returning, encamped at Lac qui Parle on the 31st July.  Comps. B & I marched thence to their respective stations, Forts Atkinson & Des Moines, arriving at the former on the 19th & at the latter on the 28th August.

Comp. D & E left Fort Washita on Nov. 27th & arrived at Fort Gibson Dec. 4, marched thence to the Arkansas line near Evansville, & arrived there Dec. 11th.  Compy “D” left this camp Dec. 14th & encamped near Fort Wayne Dec. 17th.  Compy “H” left Fort Gibson Nov. 15th & encamped on the Arkansas line nears Evansville Nov. 16th. 26 men of Co. “B,” under Lieut. Thompson, detached from Fort Atkinson to Fort Crawford, Dec. 5th.

1846

Hd Qrs of the Regiment at St. Louis 1 Jany.  Left St. Louis 10th and arrived at Ft. Leavenworth 20 April 1846.

“A” Company left Fort Scott 6 June en route for Mexico.  Joined Genl Wool’s Division near San Antonio, Texas.

“B” Company left Fort Atkinson 6 June, joined the Army of the West commanded by Col. Kearny at fort Leavenworth, en route for New Mexico.  Compny B was broken up at Savonal [sic, Sabinal], N. M. and its Privates Transferred to Co.s G & I, the N. C. officers returned to Fort Leavenworth as an escort to major Sumner.

“C” Compy left Fort Leavenworth with the army of the West and arrived at Santa Fe 18 august.  Left Santa Fe 26 Sept. as a portion of an escort to General Kearny and arrived in California Dec 1.

“D” Company Stationed in the Cherokee Nation.

“E” Company left Fort Gibson 6 July.  Joined Genl Wool’s Division at San Antonio, Texas, 27 August and marched with it to Mexico.

“F” Company broken up at Fort Leavenworth June 6.  Reorganized Jeff Bks August 31.  Left Jeff Bks Oct 6 for Mexico & Arrived at Monteray 24 Nov.

“G” Company left Fort Leavenworth 30th March on an expedition to the Six Indian Nations.  Returned to Fort Leavenworth 13 April.  Joined the Army of the West and marched for New Mexico 5 June.  Arrived at Santa Fe 18 Aug.  Stationed at Albuquerque 24 Oct.

“H” Compy left camp near Evansville 31 Jany and arrived at Fort Gibson 19 Oct.

“I” Compy left Fort Demoines 10th and arrived at Fort Leavenworth 28 March.  Left with Army of the West for New Mexico.  Arrived at Santa Fe 18 August.  Stationed at Albuquerque 24 Oct.

“K” Compy left Fort Leavenworth 9 and arrived at fort Crawford 30 March, left Fort Crawford 6 June.  Joined the Army of the West.  Arrived at Santa Fe August 18, left Sant Fe 26 Sept as a portion of an escort with Genl Kearny and arrived in California Dec. 1st, 1846.  Captains Moore and Johnston and Lieut. Hammond killed in action at San Pasqual, Cal, Dec. 6 1846.  Capt. Allen died at Fort Leavenworth 20 August 1846.

1847

Headquarters of the regiment stationed at Fort Leavenworth during the year.

Companies A & E doing duty with Genl. Taylor’s Army during the year.

“B” company reorganized at Jeff. Bks 1 May, left Jeff Bks 15 May en route for N Mexico via Fort Leavenworth, the company had an action with the Cumanche Indians at Grand Prairie on the Arkansas river on the 26th day of June in which 5 privates were killed and one n.c.o. & 5 privates were wounded. Compy left camp on Arkansas river 2 July, arrived at Santa Fe August 6.  Stationed at Albuquerque 7th Sept.

“C” Compy left San Bernardo 1st Jany and arrived a Pueblo De los Angelos 10 Jany left the same 19 and arrived at Sandiago 23 Jany and on the 31st marched to the Mission of Sandiago, the Co. was engaged in a Battle 8 Jany on the Rio San Gabriel on the 9th on the planes of Mesa [?] under the command of Brigr Gen Kearny USA, left the mission of Sandiago 1 Feby and arrived at Los Angeles 30 March.

“D” Co left Fort Washita enroute to the Cumanches 1 June, returned to Ft. Washita 2 July, left Ft. Washita 26 Augt enroute for General Taylor’s Army (orders countermanded) returned to Fort Washita 29 Augst, left for fort Scott and arrived there 29 Sept, left Fort Scott 1 Oct to join the Army in Mexico under gen. Scott arrived at Vera Cruz 15 December 1847.

“F” Compy left Saltillo on the 8 Jany enroute for Vera Cruz arrived at Camp Washington near Vera Cruz on the 25 Jany.  The Co. quartered in Vera Cruz from 30 March till 12 Aprl left Vera Cruz 12 Apl as escort to Gen Scott & staff, en route to City of Mexico.  Present at the Battles at and near the City of Mexico, left City of Mexico 1 Nov as escort to train and arrived in Vera Cruz 16 Nov left Vera Cruz 29 Nov as escort to train and arrived in City of Mexico 20 Dec 1847.

“G” compy marched from Albuquerque the evening of the 23 arrived at Santa Fe 26 Jany on the morning of the 28th the compy with the men of Co.s B & I joined Col Price 35 miles from Santa Fe enroute for Taos. On the 29th the Co. was detached from the main body together with 100 Volunteers all under the command of the late Capt Burgwin and encountered a body of Mexicans amounting to at least 500 and routed them without loss (the enemies reported a loss 80 killed & wounded) on the 31st it joined the main body on the 3rd Feby the column reached Don Fernando De Taos, and on the 4th was engaged in storming of El Pueblo in which engagement the company sustained a loss of 24 Killed & wounded of officers and men. It was Stationed at Taos until the 21 march when it left by order for Albuquerque at which place it arrived on the 29th, since which time it has remained in Quarters doing Garrison duty.

“H” Company Stationed at Fort Gibson during the year.

“I” Company Stationed at Albuquerque during the Year.

“K” Compnay broken up 1st Jany in California, reorganized at Jeff Bks 1 August, it left Sept 15 under command of Lt. Jenkins for Mexico reached Vera Cruz 30 Sept. (Lt. Jenkins died at Vera Cruz Cot 18.)  Co left at Vera Cruz Oct 22 and arrived in the City of Mexico Dec. 18, 1847.

{Head Quarters of the First Regiment of Dragoons

{Fort Leavenworth Mo

{April 17, 1851 Col. Th. Fauntleroy [signature]

1848

Headquarters left Fort Leavenworth, Mo [sic, actually federal Indian land, as was Fort Scott, later territory and State of Kansas] and arrived at Jeff Bks during the Month of October, left Jeff Bks for  Leavenworth Dec. 18, 1848.  Brevt. Col. Sumner joined by promotion ; [Lt] Col. Wharton deceased 13 July 1848.

A & E companies left Monteray [sic], Mex. July 25 for California and arrived there in Dec 1848.

B Compy left Albuquerque , NM 15 Feby & arrived at Santacruz De Rosalies [sic, Santa Cruz de Rosales] Mex 16 march, left their [sic] for and arrived at Chihuahua 20 March left there 14 July and arrived at Santa Fe August 10.  The compy was broken up August 21.  Lieut Love with the NC Officers and one bugler started from there and arrived at Fort Leavenworth on 28 Sept.  The compy was reorganized at Jeff Bks in Nov, left there on the 19th and arrived at fort Leavenworth 31st Dec 1848.

C Company stationed at Los Angeles during the year.

D left Vera Cruz on the 4 and arrived in the City of Mexico on the 22 Jany.  Stationed there and a Tacubaya until June 10 when the compy left en route for the United States and arrived at Fort Snelling, WT [Wisconsin Territory] Oct 13, 1848.

F Company stationed at City of Mexico until 12 June, when it left en route for the United States and arrived at Fort Scott, Mo. 19 Nov.

G Compy left Albuquerque N. M. 11 Feby and arrived at Santa Cruz de Rosalies Mex 9 March left their [sic, usually writing “their” for there] 18 March and arrived at Chihuahua same day.  Stationed their until 16 July left their 16 July and arrived at Albuquerque 16 Augst Station there during the year.

H left Fort Gibson in July en route for New Mexico arrived at Santa Fe 8 Sept.  Left Santa Fe on the 18th and arrived at Socorro Sept 29.  Stationed there the remainder of the year.

I left Albuquerque 11 Feby, en route for SantaCruz De Rosalies and arrived their 9 March left Santa Cruz for and arrived at Chihuahua 18 March, left Chihuahua 16 April as escort to train of dispatches to the United States, and arrived at Bueyna [sic] Vista 18 April left their and arrived at Chihuahua 18 June left their 16 July and arrived at Santa Fe 18 August left Santa Fe 31 Sept & arrived at Taos 9 Oct.  Stationed there the remainder of the year.

K compy left Toluca Mex 2 June en route for the United States and arrived at Jeff Bks Mo Augst 17.  Compy broken up on August at Jeff Bks, reorganized at Carlisle Bks Pa. In Oct, left Carlisle 8 Oct and arrived at Fort Leavenworth 5th Dec 1848.

3 Replies to “Where the Regiment Was Scattered During the Mexican War”

  1. What an awesome website you have here.
    You’ve done a yeoman’s job collecting, archiving and publishing this.
    I love the original flavor you’ve kept.
    I came across it looking for info about Dragoons and Col Kearney who is oft mentioned in Francis Parkman Jr.’s ‘The Oregon Trail.’
    I’ve been listening to the Librivox.org rendition and reading it along, too.
    Again, Good Job!

    jc

    1. JE,

      Thanks for the kind words. I’m using the blog as closet to store goods I’ve been collecting for the past five years and, with lots more stuff, shall be including in a regimental history.

      Minor curiosity: Kearney, Nebraska and Fort Kearny are spelled the way you spell it, but the proper spelling for Steven’s name is Kearny.

      Will

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