Kearny's March: The Epic Creation of the American West, 1846-1847

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Kearny's March: The Epic Creation of the American West, 1846-1847

Author: Winston Groom
Publisher: Knopf
Copyright: 2011
Pages: 310
Cover Price: $ 27.95

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In June 1846, General Stephen Watts Kearny rode out of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, with two thousand cavalrymen bound for California. James Polk had recently won the presidency by threatening England over the borders in Oregon, while Congress had just voted, in defiance of the Mexican government, to annex Texas. After Mexico declared war on the United States, Kearny’s Army was sent out, carrying orders to occupy Mexican territory. When his expedition ended a year later, the nation had doubled in size and stretched from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific.

Winston Groom recounts the amazing adventure and danger that Kearny and his troops encountered on the trail. Their story intertwines with those of Kit Carson, Brigham Young and his Mormon followers, and the infamous Donner Party. Together, they come across fierce Indians, political intrigue, gold rushes, and landgrabs. Some returned in glory, others in shackles. But they all saw America fulfill her destiny.

Distilling a wealth of letters, journals, and military records, Groom gives us a powerful account that enlivens our understanding of the exciting, if unforgiving, business of country-making

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Background Information

After Texas gained independence, its annexation to the United States created diplomatic problems with Mexico and internal controversy over slavery. The Mexican-American War was widely unpopular at home and gained vast new territories while leaving domestic issues like slavery unsettled. Christopher "Kit" Carson was famous guide and explorer in the early American West. Brigham Young succeeded to the leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) after the death of founder Joseph Smith.