After 1846, New Mexico was under absolute U.S. military rule for almost five years. A limited civil government was appointed by whatever U.S. Army commander was in charge, following the departure of Gen. Stephen Watts Kearny. (After his invasion in Aug. 1846, Kearny stayed in New Mexico only 40 days, continuing his march west to occupy California, where he declared himself military governor in March 1847.)
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