San Pasqual Battlefield
Fought between December 6-11, 1846, the Battle of San Pasqual was the bloodiest engagement between Mexican and American forces in California. The battle was marred by gross incompetence on both sides, an inconclusive result, and ultimately contributed nothing to the conflict at large, save adding additional drama into the narrative of the Wild West.
California was seen as perhaps the most important objective of the United States in the Mexican-American War, and when war was declared in 1846 Pres James Polk ordered an army raised to seize the territory as soon as possible. The Army of the West was formed by Col Stephen Kearney, the "Father of the US cavalry" at Fort Leavenworth, a scattered force consisting of Kearney’s 1st Regiment of Dragoons and two regiments of Missouri volunteers, with a New York regiment moving up by ship and the Mormon Battalion belatedly following the main army. The total force numbered perhaps 4000 men, though only about 1900 were in the main movement. Heading down the Santa Fe Trail, Kearney’s forces captured Santa Fe without a shot, whereupon the bulk of his troops were redeployed to Chihuahua while Kearney, now promoted to brigadier general, continued towards California with his 300 dragoons. In New Mexico, Kearney ran into famed explorer Kit Carson, who told him that the US Navy had already seized California, helped by American settlers. Kit Carson also derided the Californios as cowards unable to face American forces. Deciding that little more than a token force would be needed for occupational duty, Kearney sent 200 of his troopers back to Santa Fe.
In what is now Arizona, Carson and Kearney captured a messenger proving how wrong they were. After California had been seized, the tactless garrison commander of Pueblo Los Angeles, Cap Archibald Gillespie, managed to quickly alienate and anger the local population, declaring martial law and deriding the locals as "an inferior race". Rallied by the new Governor of California, Jose Flores, the Californios of Southern California revolted, forcing Gillespie to surrender after a short battle and unceremoniously dumping him back to the ships of the US Navy. Commodore Robert Stockton managed to retake San Diego under cover of his naval guns, but failed to retake Los Angeles and without additional ground troops was unable to do more. The situation fell into a stalemate.
Hearing of the situation, Kearney pushed his 120 men Westward through the desert. Most of the horses died in the harsh desert terrain and most dragoons were now riding on barely trained mules. Beating desert sun gave way to drenching downpours as the troops approached San Diego. By December 5, when they ran into a detachment of 38 marines and American settlers under the command of Cap Gillespie, the troops and their mounts were exhausted, half-starved, ill armed and ill-equipped. Gillespie proclaimed that a large force of 100 Californios, Los Galgos (The Greyhounds), were encamped at the Native village of San Pasqual, located in the valley below, completely unaware of the American forces. Gillespie further pronounced that the Californios were liable to flee at the first attack. Despite the poor condition of his men and being able to bypass the enemy completely, pushed by Carson and Gillespie and perhaps desiring to capture fresh mounts, Kearney elected to attack the Californios at camp.
The Greyhounds were led by Andres Pico, brother to former Governor Pios Pico, and were here to stop what Andres thought was a cattle raid by Gillespie’s small force. He refused to believe the presence of Kearney’s force, despite information passed by Gov Flores, as well as that of his own sister. Additionally he sent away the unit’s horses to graze. Luckily for Pico however, Kearney elected to send a scouting party under Lt Thomas Hammond to check on the Californio positions. Barking dogs and a sentry challenge quickly alerted the Californios to the presence of the American forces, and after being shown a wool blanket stamped "US", Pico finally readied his forces.
Seeing the element of surprise was lost, Kearney readied his forces along the ridge seen in the background. It was now early in the morning of a cold December 6. Rain had soaked everything the night before and the gunpowder was wet. The force was divided into three, a small vanguard led by Cap Abraham Johnson, Kit Carson, and 12 dragoons on the best horses. This was followed by Kearney and his staff, Cap Benjamin Moore, and 50 dragoons. Finally the rest of the forces under Gillespie followed in the rear with two cannon, numbering around 100. The army is believed to have rode along the ridge, before descending towards the valley below. With their mounts in various stages of health, the army was quickly strung out.
Mishearing an order from Kearney to "trot" his horses, Johnson drew his saber and ordered his vanguard to "Charge!". Before Kearney could countermand the order, Johnson’s troops surged far ahead to the waiting Greyhounds in the valley seen in the midground. As per orders, the Californios fired a single volley, killing Johnson and another trooper before retreating. Kit Carson was unhorsed, then had to quickly jump out of the way before the second wave led by Moore galloped past in a second charge.
As the day broke, the Californios quickly saw how scattered the American forces were. Mostly ranchers and thus expert horsemen, the Greyhounds expertly wheeled their horses around and launched a countercharge, armed with few guns but their deadly 8ft lances and lassos. The fight quickly fell into a vicious melee. Moore came upon Pico, fired his pistol and missed, then drew his saber, but before the duel lasted too long he was run through by several lances. Hammond tried to aid Moore, his brother-in-law, but also quickly fell to the lances. With their guns mostly useless, the dragoons fought against the Californios with rifle butts. Gillespie’s mixed unit then arrived, adding to the confusion. As the marine tried to lead his forces, the Californios recognized him. Seeing their hated enemy, several Californios charged the marine. Gillespie fought off several lances but was badly lanced several times, yet somehow managed to survive and reach safety. Brig Gen Kearney was badly wounded as well, and after ordering the doctor to help the gravely wounded, fell unconscious himself.
Finally, the army’s two artillery pieces arrived. The mule of one bolted, and the Californios quickly roped off and seized that cannon. The other one deployed and may or may not have fired a few shots. As it were the Californios broke off contact at this point and retreated, whether due to the cannon, the supposed death of Gillespie, or to simply continue their withdraw is unclear. The main fight was over. It had lasted perhaps 15 minutes.
The Battle of San Pasqual was short but brutal. Of the 50 or so dragoons in the first two lines, 18 were dead, and around 13 were wounded (three mortally), many of them officers like Kearney, Moore, Johnson and Gillespie. The final line had barely contacted the enemy. Casualties on the Californio side are unclear, with either 2 or 6 dead, perhaps a dozen wounded. The Greyhounds had shown that they were dangerous opponents.
San Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park, Escondido, California
By www78 on 2015-12-30 17:38:15
Trading well in the stock markets is left to those with the best discipline.
And the Art of Scalping could be the most under rated form of day trading discipline.
The day trader who scalps for no more than 10% and then sells regardless will never go broke, he or she won’t ride the big waves of course, but think of it this way
Your Canadian $ 5,000 TFSA, when traded and scalped for 10% profits could look like this
Day 1 – $ 5,000 invested, a $ 500 profit earned
Day 2 – $ 5,000 re-invested, a $ 500 profit earned
Day 3 – $ 5,000 re-invested, a $ 500 profit earned
Day 4 – $ 5,000 re-invested, a $ 500 profit earned
Day 5 – $ 5,000 re-invested, a $ 500 profit earned
At the end of week 1, no big profit days, but at week’s end you are up 50%. Now repeat that in week two, still only investing your original $ 5,000 TFSA and your original $ 5,000 is now worth $ 10,000.00 by the end of week two.
And further, if you did that for 50 weeks, your $ 5,000.00 TFSA would be worth $ 130,000.00
Don’t be tempted to invest more than your original $ 5,000.00 for at least a few months, for safety sake.
If you buy 25,000 shares of a Canadian .20 stock on the pullback, the stock only has to move up 2 cents and you’ve earned 10% .. let me give you two great examples:
If you caught the Canadian drilling news at Stock Research Portal on Friday August 14, 2009 for Aura Silver Resources you could have scalped likely a lot more than 10%. As the stock did run on the news from .15 at the open to over .50 during the day on 9 million shares traded.
And just two days prior to the Aura news release, Lydian International had news of their own. News that lifted the stock from the open of .55 to a high that day of .88 on 1.8 million shares traded. So clearly the news matters, but it matters most, when the volume is there to support it. In the case of these two Canadian companies, the trading volume increased immediately after the news was released.
But as a disciplined process oriented day trader, you take your 10% and say “thank you very much”.
So what if you left money on the table, you had a profitable dayand in the end, that’s the discipline, void of any fear or greed. Discipline is not easy I admit, we’re all human, but it’s that discipline that keeps you from making emotional trading decisions. Emotional trading is death to a day trader!