This Was Kit Carson's Role During The Mexican-American War

Legendary mountain man and soldier Kit Carson lived a complicated life in which he was often pulled in opposite directions by those in authority and what he believed to be right. Known to history as one of the greatest mountain men of the era of the United States' westward expansion, he helped Native American tribes maintain their land, livelihoods, and traditions in some instances, but was also involved in some of the worst atrocities the country committed against them. According to Biography, in 1853, he began his service as a federal agent in the Office of Indian Affairs, and worked to help improve relations between white settlers and tribes like the Utes and Jicarilla Apaches. However, he was also responsible for events such as the Long Walk, when he and other U.S. agents forcibly removed Navajo tribespeople from their homes, making them walk 300 miles to a reservation.

Carson also served in two of the most influential wars in United States history. He notably helped stop Confederate forces from expanding westward through New Mexico during the Civil War. And a few decades before that, he had served in the Mexican-American War. This was his contribution to that conflict that helped further the country's expansion into the west.

Kit Carson helped the U.S. Army in a pinch

War between the United States and Mexico broke out in 1846. Carson was in California at the time, forging a trail from Oregon with fellow mountain man John Fremont. According to Young American Republic, when a group of American settlers rose up against the Mexican government in California — an insurrection known as the Bear Flag Revolt — Fremont sent Carson to Washington D.C. with messages for President James K. Polk. However, on his way, Carson was met by General Stephen W. Kearny, who ordered him to abandon his mission and help guide his troops to California.

On their way, Carson, Kearny, and his men were set upon by Mexican soldiers. Already low on supplies, the general knew they were outnumbered, and he sent Carson on to San Diego on his own to bring back reinforcements. Carson crossed the 25 miles of rough terrain full of hostile combatants and brought back reinforcements within 48 hours, and Kearny's men were able to fend off the Mexican soldiers. Carson's actions helped the United States win the war. Mexico ended up selling the territory that became California, Nevada, Utah, and much of Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado as per the terms of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in February 1848, which brought an official end to the Mexican-American War.