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The Battle of Olómpali was fought on June 24, 1846 in present day Marin County, California. It was the first battle of the Mexican-American War fought in California and the only skirmish of the Bear Flag Revolt that resulted in casualties.[1]


The skirmish began when General José Castro’s Californio forces from Monterey, under the command of Joaquín de la Torre, headed north reacting to the declaration of an independent California Republic in Sonoma ten days earlier. Near Olómpali (north of present day Novato) they met up with troops who had come from Sonoma in hopes of rescuing two American rebels who had been captured and (unbeknownst to their would-be rescuers) shot.[2]


During the "Bear Flag Revolt", on June 24, 1846, the "Battle of Olómpali" occurred when a violent skirmish broke out between a group of American Bear Flaggers from Sonoma led by Henry Ford, and a Californio force of 50 from Monterey, under the command of Joaquin de la Torre, at Camilo Ynitia's adobe. This was one of two engagements between California Republic militia and Mexican loyalist forces. Bear Flaggers attempted to seize horses from a corral of Californios, who were planning to recapture Sonoma from the Americans who had taken it earlier that week. Two Californios were killed and some wounded.[3]

The area is now a part of the Olompali State Historic Park.


  1. Solnit, Rebecca (5 September 2011). A Book of Migrations (2nd ed.). Verso Books. p. 129. ISBN 9781844678143. Retrieved 14 June 2013. 
  2. Bernard DeVoto. The Year of Decision: 1846 Boston: Little Brown, 1943, p. 227.
  3. Josiah Royce, California, Berkeley: Heyday Books, 2002, p. 63

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