[CALIFORNIA AND NEW MEXICO]. COOKE, Phillip St. George. The Conquest of New Mexico and California; An Historical and Personal Narrative. New York: G.P. Putnam Sons, 182 Fifth Avenue, 1878. [i-iii]-iv, ,  2-307 [1, blank] pp., folded map (showing route of the march). 12mo (19 x 13.5 cm), original green cloth, spine gilt lettered. Except for light bumping of spine extremities, fine. With printed Kennedy book ticket on front pastedown.
First edition. Bradford 1055. Connor & Faulk 293. Cowan I, p. 142. Flake 2499. Graff 869. Haferkorn, pp. 34-35. Howes C738. Munk (Alliott), p. 54. Plains & Rockies IV:228 note. Rader 912. Streeter Sale 182: “An important source on the course of the Mexican War in the Far West by one of the great western soldiers.” Tutorow 3426: “[Cooke] opposed Frémont’s course in California and criticizes him severely.” Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 505.
Kearny ordered Cooke to open a wagon route to the Pacific by the Gila Route, involving a 1,100 mile march through unknown wilderness without a road or trail. “Cooke assumed command of the Mormon Battalion at Santa Fe and marched it to California. His opinion of the Battalion was poor at first, but in nine months, he worked it into a satisfactory force of which he was proud” (Graff). The Mormon Battalion’s March is one of the legendary events of the Mexican-American War. They were instrumental in establishing control of California and frustrating Frémont’s designs. Several of their number became prominent California citizens.
Cooke (1809-1895), a career military officer was famously the father-in-law of Confederate cavalry commander J. E. B. Stuart, who once humiliated him during the Civil War and basically ended his career as a field officer.