John Drake Sloat Orders His Forces To Occupy Yerba Buena

Commodore John Drake Sloat, upon hearing of imminent war and the revolt in Sonoma, ordered his naval and marine forces to occupy Yerba Buena (present-day San Francisco) on July 7 and raise the flag of the United States; this was accomplished on July 9. On July 15, Sloat transferred his command to Commodore Robert F. Stockton, a much more aggressive leader, who put Frémont's forces under his orders. On July 19, Frémont's "California Battalion" swelled to about 160 additional men from newly-arrived settlers near Sacramento, and he entered Monterey in a joint operation with some of Stockton's sailors and marines. The word had been received: war was official. The U.S. forces easily took over the north of California; within days they controlled San Francisco, Sonoma, and the privately owned Sutter's Fort in Sacramento.

John Drake Sloat (July 6, 1781 – November 28, 1867) was a commodore in the United States Navy and, in 1846, claimed California for the United States.

He was born in Sloatsburg, New York, of Dutch ancestry, and orphaned at an early age, his father having been killed by a British soldier two months before he was born, and his mother dying a few years later. He was brought up by his maternal grandparents.

Appointed midshipman in the Navy in 1800, he became sailing master of the frigate USS United States under Commodore Stephen Decatur by the War of 1812, and was promoted to lieutenant for conspicuous gallantry in the capture of the frigate HMS Macedonian.