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General Stephen W. Kearny (1794-1848) was commander of the Army of the West during the Mexican-American War.

In August 1846, Kearny's force of about 1,600 soldiers occupied Santa Fe and organized a new civil government for New Mexico, promising a democratic administration. Kearny then moved on to southern California, but was told that Commodore Robert F. Stockton and Lieutenant Colonel John C. Frémont had already conquered the region for the United States. Kearny's depleted force was then besieged at San Pasqual and Kearny discovered that Californios (Mexican citizens of California) had retaken much of the region. By early 1847, Kearny had combined forces with Commodore Robert F. Stockton and squashed the uprising. Kearny served as military governor of the California territory until the end of May 1847.

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