Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Pratt, Ezra T. Benson, Jedediah M. Grant, and John D. Lee went to the historian’s office, where Willard Richards prepared a bundle of thirty letters. Jedediah M. Grant was getting ready to travel to St. Louis on his way to Washington, D.C. He received some good instructions from the brethren. He also received a copy of the “Word and will of the Lord” (D&C 136) and a letter of instructions to purchase flag material in the east. Brigham Young also wrote a letter and gave instructions to his teamsters who were leaving for Mount Pisgah.
Wilford Woodruff celebrated his 40th birthday by writing five letters to be taken by Brother Grant to New York for Ezra Cartersen, Ilus F. Carter, Freedom Moulton, Sarah B. Foss and Brother Enion. He also wrote more letters, one to Joseph Stratton, still in St. Louis, and one to Brother Cotton in St. Joseph, Missouri.
Eliza R. Snow wrote: “The day fine ‑‑ the snow thaws some with the sun altho’ the wind is quite chilly.”
Ellis Eames, an accomplished violinist, visited Winter Quarters from Council Point. The band gathered together and went around in a sleigh driven by Porter Rockwell, and serenaded the Saints at several locations in the city. Heber C. Kimball invited them to his home, where a dance was held.
A daughter, Emeline Rebecca Adair, was born to George W. and Miriam Billingsley Adair.1
A company of Mexicans and Indians camped near the mission. They were thought to be on the way to Sonora, Mexico. Daniel Tyler wrote: “Some had pack‑animals and others ox teams; the ox yokes were straight poles lashed to the back of the oxen’s horns with rawhide. The cattle were large and fat and of the same variety as the wild bulls.”
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 532; Kenney, ed., Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:140; Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 105‑06; Beecher, ed., The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow, 155; Tyler, A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion, 269; Woman’s Exponent, 14:4:30-1
John D. Lee let Norman Bliss borrow his mules and wagon to haul wood, on condition that Brother Lee would receive half of the wood. The Missouri River was still frozen solid, allowing Brother Bliss to cross on the ice.
John Kay arrived from Ponca. He had to leave his family fifty miles up the river because their cattle failed from lack of feed.
In the evening, John D. Lee went and visited with Brigham Young for two hours. They spoke about raising funds and purchasing items for the journey to the west. They then walked to the Council House and joined a supper and party with the police. Hosea Stout wrote about the party: “We had the Police, Twelve & Band present, and enjoyed ourselves uncommonly well by dancing, talking, eating sweet cakes &c, and some little preaching and about had the old Police dance called ‘President Marks’ return to Mormonism.’” Brother Stout then gave a “loud sermon” on “real Mormonism.” The party continued until 3 a.m. Brother Stout added, “It is almost unnecessary to say that the Twelve seemed to enjoy themselves well.”
Luman Shurtliff and Daniel Hunt started heading down the Mississippi River on a riverboat bound for St. Louis. Brother Shurtliff wrote: “This was the first boat down the river this spring and there were great cakes of ice floating on the river which made the trip rough.”
An Indian child was bit by a rattlesnake and only lived a few more hours. The child was buried with Catholic rites that included ringing of the mission bell. Azariah Smith recorded: “While we were drilling this afternoon, the bells in the Catholic Church rung for nearly an hour and sounded most beautiful. After being dismissed from drill, I went in the Church and there was twelve images which looked very nice.” Melissa Coray, one of four women still with the Battalion, celebrated her nineteenth birthday.
An order was issued by Colonel Cooke:
Authentic information of the withdrawal of all naval forces from the town and harbor of San Diego having been received, Lieutenant Stoneman, with a detachment of thirty‑one non‑commissioned officers and privates, dismounted men of the First Dragoons, will march to‑morrow morning to take the post (formerly occupied by marines and sailors) at San Diego, for the protection of the town and the depot of provisions and other public property. He will take rations for four days.
A daughter, Margaret Elizabeth Shupe, was born to the Mormon Battalion family of James W. and Sarah Prunty Shupe. She was born in the barracks.2
Journals of John D. Lee, 106; Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, 1:237 Our Pioneer Heritage, 1:505; “Luman Shurtliff Autobiography,” typescript, BYU, 71‑2; Tyler, A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion, 269; Bigler, The Gold Discovery Journal of Azariah Smith, 78; Ricketts, Melissa’s Journey with the Mormon Battalion, 68; Woman’s Exponent, 14:4:30-1
The weather was clear, warm, and pleasant. Ice was starting to thaw. Eliza R. Snow mentioned that the thawing also affected the houses. “It thaw’d so much that the water broke into the house like a torrent & we retreated to Sis. Walkers till eve, when we return’d to a cheerful fire . . . the frost stiffen’d the mud & snow & we came home ‘dry shod’ at late bed‑time.”
The band went around the city playing and collecting grain to help John Kay bring his family to Winter Quarters.
Brigham Young met with his brother, Joseph Young, to discuss his concerns about the preparations for the pioneer journey. Joseph believed that one hundred pounds of provisions per man was too little. President Young commented in his journal, “I did not want any to go who had not faith to start with that amount.” Many in the city were very busy making preparations for the pioneer journey. Hosea Stout was very sick with a headache and had to have his brother Allen arrange the guard for the night.
President Young and Willard Richards attended a High Priests’ party that lasted until 2 a.m.
Luman Shurtliff and Daniel Hunt arrived by steamboat at St. Louis.
More provisions arrived from San Diego. One of the wagons had broken down and did not arrive.
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 533; Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 107; Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, 1:237; Beecher, ed., The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow, 156; Bigler, The Gold Discovery Journal of Azariah Smith, 78; Woman’s Exponent, 14:4:30-1
At 2 p.m., Brigham Young, John D. Lee, George D. Grant, and Albert P. Rockwood met to count the wagons and teams in their company. While some of John D. Lee’s men were crossing over the frozen Missouri River, the wheels cut through the thawing ice clear to the hub.
Eliza R. Snow heard news that the cattle at the herding grounds up the river were dying because the rushes were buried under eighteen inches of snow. She also heard that the pioneer company was planning to leave on March 18.
Horace K. Whitney wrote: “This morning Ellis Eames, Jackson Redden, Merit Rockwell, two ladies and myself went down to the point in Bro. Kimball’s carriage, and attended a party. I took my flute to assist Bro. Eames in playing. Had a very good time, good supper, etc.”
Cyrus Neff, age twenty, died of fever. He was the son of John and Mary Neff.3
The men received four days of provisions and in the evening held a dress parade. James S. Brown later reflected on the difficult life while at the mission.
Day after day the duties of soldier were performed, drilling, out on detached duty, or marching here, there and everywhere, early and late, by day and by night, just to suit the fancy of some of our officers, and not always upon real occasion for the movements. It would seem that in many respects the soldier’s life is much like a faithful wife’s; and in others much unlike a woman’s work. Like hers, in that the task seems never done, busy all day and up at every hour of night in response to calls of first one child, then another, or even to the exploits of some mischievous cat, her rest broken and her life worn away; unlike hers, in that she usually has a dry shelter, regular meals, and a place to lie down when she can rest, while the soldier in time of war never knows where he will make his bed at night, often is without food and drink, having to move at the word of command over deserts, rocks, mountains, plains and rivers‑‑a stranger to the locality he may call his home. But the toils of both are necessary, she to rear the nation’s pride and strength ‑‑ a soldier in the right; he to protect her and himself, to defend their country’s rights and avenge her wrongs.
Thomas Ward, a former editor for the Millennial Star, died of dropsy and a liver problem.4
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 533; Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 107‑08; The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow, 156; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 340; Bigler, The Gold Discovery Journal of Azariah Smith, 78; Woman’s Exponent, 14:4:30-1
The morning was “cold and dark” and the ground froze again. Later in the day it warmed up and in the afternoon the “streets as a flood of mud and water” were very difficult to travel.
In the afternoon, Allen Weeks arrived from Mount Pisgah with Lucinda Pace and her family. John D. Lee read to her a letter from her husband, James Pace, who was away with the Mormon Battalion. Brother Lee purchased a home for her family near the house of Charles Bird.
Hosea Stout discovered that one of his policemen was not at his post and had been suspected of not doing his duty for many weeks. Brother Stout went to confer with Brigham Young on the matter. They received word that the policeman was at a party being held at Phinehas Young’s home. They went to the party and indeed found the man there. They stayed for a while, danced a couple dances, and then left the party. Brother Stout kept a watch on the man to see if he would do his duty at all that night. He did not.
Joseph Smith Turley, age three months, died of water on the brain. He was the son of Theodore and Sarah Turley.5
Journals of John D. Lee, 108; Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, 1:239‑240
The morning was cloudy, with a few rain showers. Brigham Young preached at the funeral of Cyrus Neff. Afterwards a Council Meeting was held. The captains of the various companies gave reports. Thomas Bullock reported that the first division had 116 pioneers, 38 wagons, 38 horses, and 26 mules. Brigham Young prophesied to Charles Bird that he would have some money for him within a few days because he had dreamed the previous night that three hundred dollars of gold would be given to him.
Ezra T. Benson spoke to the gathering. He discussed two alternatives for the pioneer company. One idea proposed that the pioneers with the Twelve continue all the way over the mountains this season until they found the place “to plant the standard and build the Temple of the Lord.” The other alternative plan would have them stop short of the mountains and plant a crop, then bring the Saints from the Missouri River. The second alternative looked attractive because many people felt the Missouri River was a sickly place and they feared that they would all die if they stayed another season. Elder Benson argued that most of the sickness had been brought into the camp prior to arriving at the Missouri.
Dr. Willard Richards arose and offered some medical opinions regarding the various diseases they had experienced and their probable causes. He felt they were cause by inhaling impure air and drinking stagnated water near Nauvoo. He suggested that the air was cleaner away from the saltwater oceans. Thus, the mountain air and clean water would improve their health as they traveled to the west. But, if he rushed his sick family to the mountains, it would shorten their lives rather than lengthen their days. He preferred to leave his family at Winter Quarters for another season. Dr. Richards also believed that many of the brethren were sick because they labored too hard in such a short time. “Too much exercise is injurious to health.”
Willard Richards explained that irrigation would be needed at their next location to plant crops which would require very hard labor to build a dam and dig ditches. It would also be more difficult protecting the crops and the land would not produce as much as in the east. “Will it not be better to leave the families here this season where they have houses to shelter them from the storms and other necessaries prepared and let the pioneers go over the mountains and prepare the place, then return and bring the families over next season in perfect safety to the place of gathering.”
Orson Pratt spoke about the revelations received to organize the Camp of Israel. He stated that if any families journeyed west that season, they should be the families of the Mormon Battalion. Brigham Young put an end to the “diversity of spirits” regarding this topic. He said that he would not be hurried, “for I am determined to do as I am dictated by the Spirit of the Lord.”
George D. Grant came into the meeting and shared the alarming news that the snow was thawing so fast that a portion of the mill dam had broken away. He warned that it would break again if they did not immediately send men to secure it. He stated that “if the brethren were humble and pliable, all would be well; the best thing that could be done at present was to repair the mill dam so that the Pioneers could get their grain ground.”
President Young and Willard Richards walked up to the dam and were pleased to see Wilford Woodruff, Ezra T. Benson, and fifty other brethren hard at work repairing the dam.
In the evening, the weather “turned cold as Greenland.” A trial was held for the negligent policeman at the home of James W. Cummings. The policeman admitted his faults and conducted himself with honor. He was reprimanded sharply for neglecting his duty. Hosea Stout wrote: “After the investigation was over, all was well satisfied with him and if he will profit by what has passed he will do well.”
Luman Shurtliff and Daniel Hunt went to see the mayor of St. Louis to solicit his support on behalf of the poor at Garden Grove. Brother Shurtliff wrote:
He read our petition and looked over our subscription list for Quincy. All this time we prayed that his heart would be softened and direct his mind and pen for our best good. I think he was directed as he wrote a very good newspaper article asking the citizens of St. Louis to respond liberally to our call. He then wrote us two subscriptions and got us each a partner to go with us, then divided the city. My partner and I took the upper part and Brother Hunt and his partner took the lower part. The mayor also signed five dollars.
The battalion drilled as usual and was allowed to “play ball” and amuse themselves during the day. The weather was cool, making it uncomfortable because they lacked clothing.
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 533‑34; Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 108‑12; Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, 1:240 “Luman Shurtliff Autobiography,” typescript, BYU, 72; Bigler, The Gold Discovery Journal of Azariah Smith, 78
It was again very cold. The Missouri River froze hard overnight making it again safe to cross teams over on the ice. Heber C. Kimball and Wilford Woodruff preached in several of the Winter Quarters wards. Elder Woodruff asked the people in his ward to donate food to Bishop Abraham O. Smoot for the poor. Elder Woodruff committed that he would also take provisions to the bishop. After the meeting he took thirty pounds of flour and other goods to Bishop Smoot. He then went with the bishop to visit the sick. They called on Brother Bundy, Sister Cox, and Job Smith. They anointed them, blessed them, and left them some provisions.
John D. Lee spent the day visiting and taking care of two of his sick wives. He spent two hours with Louisa Free Lee reading his journal to her.
In the evening, Brigham Young met with Bishops Newel K. Whitney and George Miller. A large number of Omaha Indians came near Winter Quarters.
William A. Morse, age four weeks, died. He was the son of Gilbert and Cynthia Morse. William Spears, age fifty-three, died of black scurvy. He was the husband of Janet Spears.
The wind was very cold. An inspection was held at 9 a.m. and a dress parade at 4 p.m. Colonel Cooke drilled Company A for quite some time but then got mad and quit. Henry Standage went to the nearby Indian Village. He recorded: “Saw some very aged Indians which while meditation on the Restoration, Mormonism &c. Brought to mind the words of Isaiah ‘There shall no more thence be an infant nor an old man that hath not filled his days’ . . . God being pleased to remove his people into so healthy a country. Surely the Times of Restitution has begun.”
A conference of the Church was held. Eight branches were represented, comprising nine Elders, eighteen priests, five teachers, nine deacons and 276 members. Since the last conference forty‑one people had been baptized into the Church.
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 534; Kenney, ed., Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:140; Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 112‑13; Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, 1:240; The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow, 157; Bigler, The Gold Discovery Journal of Azariah Smith, 78; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 211‑12
The morning was cold and “disagreeable.” John D. Lee helped Elisha Groves and Sylvanus Collett, who were out of meal.
In the evening, Brigham Young met with the officers of his company and reproved them sharply because they did not have their pioneer companies ready. He expected them all to be ready for the march by the following Monday. He would then take them up to Old Council Bluff to draw out timber and fencing for those who would stay at Winter Quarters for another year.
A son, Edward Milo Webb, was born to Edward M. and Caroline Owens Webb.
A daughter, Anna Nelson, was born to Edmond and Jane Taylor Nelson.
Colonel Cooke, frustrated with some of the men, reduced in rank several non‑commissioned officers for not learning the drill. The cold weather continued and snow could be seen on the mountains.
Luman Shurtliff and Daniel Hunt started to go door‑to‑door asking for donations for the poor in Garden Grove. Brother Shurtliff wrote, “Sometimes we got curses and sometimes we got money and sometimes we got clothing.”
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 534; Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 113‑14; “Luman Shurtliff Autobiography,” typescript, BYU, 72; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 212
The weather was quite cold and the ground was covered with snow. Brigham Young wrote letters to battalion wives, Sisters Allen and Rosecrans, instructing them to get ready to emigrate. He also met with the Twelve and Bishop Newel K. Whitney to read mail that was recently brought from the east by Alexander McRae and Andrew L. Lamoreaux. These letters confirmed reports that had been received regarding persecutions of the Saints near Farmington, Iowa. The mob had been “hanging” Saints up by ropes. William H. Folsom had been hung up and had lost conscienceness. Fourteen‑year‑old Rodney Swasey was hung by his heels for five minutes by the mob, trying to frighten the boy into saying something which could be used as evidence against the rest of the Saints. The mob could get nothing out of him.
Six others were also hung, Charles Drown among this number. Alexander McRae had been taken by a mob and carried to Madison jail near Mount Rose and was held for ten days. He was finally released on bail and then quickly escaped the area with young Rodney Swasey, whom he brought with him to Winter Quarters. John D. Lee was asked to care for Rodney and get him ready to go with the pioneers.6
After dining with Willard Richards, the Twelve met with Bishop Newel K. Whitney and others, to form a committee to discuss the needs of various people. Heber C. Kimball’s company met at the Council House.
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 535; Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 114‑15; Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, 1:240
John D. Lee and George Laub worked in the Council House rigging wagons for the pioneer company.
Brigham Young met with the Twelve and others in the evening to discuss the needs of those who would remain at Winter Quarters for another year. Plans were made to establish a new farm. They planned to find a location on the next day.7
A daughter, Lydia Davis, was born to Franklin and Ann Davis. Patty Sessions helped with the delivery. A son, John Henry Tanner, was born to John J. and Rebecca Smith Tanner.8
Private Thomas Dunn recorded:
Nothing of importance transpired. The weather is colder than we have had for some time past. A cool and chilling wind from the sea, also cloudy and dull but no frost. Time passes off well. Still I, as well as most of the Battalion, am anxious for the time to arrive when we can be discharged and return to our families. At the same time bearing in mind that they are anxious also for our return to them.
Parley P. Pratt and John Taylor arrived in New Orleans. They made arrangements for a steamboat to carry them up the Mississippi River. The Church publication in Wales later reported: “It took them only 30 days from England to there; and there were no crosswinds, nor any cause to take in one sail except for one time, for a few hours. They went past all the ships they saw, and some who started from two or three weeks before them arrived there after they did.”
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 535; Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 115‑16; “Private Journal of Thomas Dunn,” typescript, 22; Smart, ed., Mormon Midwife, 73; Dennis, ed., Prophet of the Jubilee, 98, 115
The morning was clear, warm, and pleasant. Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Ezra T. Benson, Alpheus Cutler, Daniel H. Spencer, George A. Smith, and John D. Lee rode around the city to find a location for a farm. They found only a “suitable small piece” of one thousand acres, south of the city which could be used for early crops by the Saints during the coming year. They decided to continue their search on another day to the north, near Old Council Bluff.
In the afternoon, Brigham Young, the Twelve, Levi Richards, Luke S. Johnson, and Lyman O. Littlefield had supper at the octagon.9 Wilford Woodruff recorded that he “assisted Br Richards to eat a Potatoe Pie.”
Horace and Orson Whitney prepared to emigrate in the spring in the place of their father, Bishop Newel K. Whitney, who would remain behind.
After supper, the Twelve retired to the historian’s office and read a bogus revelation that had been written by Charles W. Wandell to entrap the Strangites. (See March 6, 1846, in volume one.) They all agreed that this method was terribly wrong. Brigham Young wrote, “Any man that presumes to write in the name of Jehovah is doing wrong and will see cause to repent in dust and ashes.”
John D. Lee later met with Willard Richards and Ezra T. Benson to read letters from the battalion at Pueblo. A letter from William Bird made mention of the Great Salt Lake area. He also complained about the outrageous conduct of Captain James Brown, leader of the battalion at Pueblo.
Hyrum Bassett, age twenty‑one, died. He was the husband of Lucinda Stout Bassett. Lumber for a casket was not obtained. Some men went into the woods and chopped down a large, straight tree, sawed it long enough for a coffin, dug out the center, lined it with material, and laid Hyrum to rest.
A daughter, Almira Davenport, was born to James and Almira Phelps Davenport. Patty Sessions helped with the delivery. A son, Volney LeRoy King, was born to Thomas R. and Matilda Robison King. A son, Edwin John Lawrence, was born to John and Rhoda Sanford Lawrence. He died within hours. A son, Hezekiah Thatcher Jr., was born to Hezekiah and Abbie Thatcher. He also died the same day.
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 536; Kenney, ed., Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:141; Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 116‑17; Our Pioneer Heritage, 16:423; Smart, ed., Mormon Midwife, 73
Wilford Woodruff spent the day preparing his carriage for the pioneer journey.
John D. Lee met with Brigham Young, who was in good spirits. President Young had received $200 in gold which fulfilled what he had seen in a dream recently. President Young still owed several hundred dollars to Brother Lee and they discussed payments in leather, meal, and other items needed for the pioneer journey. Brother Lee received forty‑four pounds of leather and two “Morocco dressed skins.”
In the evening, the Twelve and others held a dance in the Council House. The party lasted until 3 or 4 a.m.
Isabella Hood Hill, age twenty-five, died. She was the wife of Archibald Newell Hill. Susan A. Roberson, age three months, also died. She was the daughter of Joseph L. and Susan Roberson.
Charles C. Rich and his family left Mount Pisgah, heading for Winter Quarters to prepare for the pioneer journey. Lorenzo Snow was appointed as the new president of the Mount Pisgah settlement. Before the Rich family left, a party was held in their honor by the Saints in Mount Pisgah. Sarah Rich wrote: “Before we left Pisgah, the brethren and sisters got up a party for our benefit; it was held in Brother Orval Cox’s shop. There were about one hundred people there. Mr. Rich was helped to some means to assist us on our journey. We had a good time, and good feelings prevailed; all were sorry to have us leave.” Charles Decker had been sent with a team to help the Rich family, and Sister Huntington and her family, make the journey to Winter Quarters. They traveled fifteen miles and camped on the prairie.
Lorenzo Snow wrote of the conditions at Mount Pisgah:
In the fore part of March provisions began to grow scarce in Pisgah. We had made arrangements for each Ten to send as many hands as possible into the Settlements to work for provisions but the weather was so cold and blustering and roads so slipry they did not get away till about the middle of the month. Our dependence for sustaining the lives of People of Pisgah rested almost entirely upon the successful and speedy execution of these arrangements.
Brother Snow’s family had been suffering from lack of food but he wrote: “Thus far they suffered without a groan or murmur, or any bitterness of complaint. Our living was coarse but we always had bread stuff of some kind. Such articles as Beans, Onions, Turnips and Potatoes etc. we done without . . . and I feel grateful beyond expression that I am honored with a family that have endured these things with so good feelings.” He honored his wife Harriet for her “course of management that was prudent saving and economical, relieving me of much care and burden.”
Colonel Cooke wrote:
General Kearny is supreme‑‑somewhere up the coast; Colonel Fremont supreme at Pueblo de Los Angeles; Commodore Stockton is Commander‑in‑chief at San Diego; Commodore Shubrick, the same at Monterey, and I at San Luis Rey; and we are all supremely poor, the government having no money and no credit, and we hold the territory because Mexico is poorest of all.
Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:141; Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 117‑18; Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, 1:241; “Sarah Rich Autobiography,” typescript, BYU, 64‑5; “The Iowa Journal of Lorenzo Snow,” BYU Studies, 24:3:271‑72; Tyler, A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion, 270
The morning was cold with occasional snow showers. At 9 a.m., men were quickly called together to work on the mill dam, to protect it from rising water.
In the afternoon, Brigham Young met with the members of the Twelve and Captains of Hundreds to discuss the government and direction of Winter Quarters after the pioneers left for the journey to the west. Several decisions were made. Winter Quarters was to be stockaded for protection. The brethren should labor together for the good of the settlement. Labor would be tithed to help the poor. Each family could have a private garden. A guard must be maintained. The wives of the battalion members should plan on emigrating with the companies that would leave after the pioneers. Thomas Bullock was appointed as the historian of the pioneer company. Charles C. Rich was appointed to be in charge of the military. John Scott would continue to be in charge of the artillery. Hosea Stout would continue as captain of the guard. Horace S. Eldredge would continue as the marshal. The Nauvoo bell would ring each morning to wake up the pioneer company. Later it would again ring to signal that the day’s journey would soon begin.
Dr. Willard Richards went to visit the George A. Smith’s family who were very sick. Elder Smith’s mother‑in‑law was dangerously ill. John Smith was also quite ill. There was concern that these illnesses would affect the planned journey of their pioneer companies.
In the evening, a meeting of the Seventies was held at the Council House. The case of Jonathan P. Packer was brought forward. Brother Packer was accused of stealing some six shooters by forging an order. Some felt that he should be cut off from the quorum. Others, including Hosea Stout argued that he should stay in the quorum and be fellowshipped.
Eliza R. Snow spent a very enjoyable evening at Sister Gheen’s home with Sister Chase, and Patty Sessions. Heber C. Kimball called on them and gave some wonderful instruction. Sister Snow wrote, “after which we had some glorious communications of the spirit of God both by way of prophecy & the gift of tongues and our hearts were made to rejoice & praise the name of God.”
A son, Ephraim Young, was born to James and Elizabeth Seeley Young.
Charles C. Rich’s company crossed over the “Big Prairie,” traveled twenty‑six miles, and arrived at Brother Evans’ camp.
A son, Willard Willber Weeks, was born to Allen and Melissa Bennett Weeks.
Henry Jacob Brown was born.
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 536‑37; Kenney, ed., Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:141; Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 118‑20; Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, 1:241; “Sarah Rich Autobiography, typescript,” BYU, 65; Beecher, ed., The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow, 159
Wilford Woodruff visited the sick family of George A. Smith. Soon after he left, Elder Smith’s mother‑in‑law, Susannah Ogden Bigler, age sixty, died of consumption. She was the wife of Mark Bigler
A Sabbath meeting was held. Speakers included: J. Wallace and Heber C. Kimball.
Eliza R. Snow spent the evening with Patty Sessions. She brought some poetry that she composed for Sister Sessions. These verses included:
Truth and holiness and love
Wisdom, honor, joy and peace
That which cometh from above
In your pathway shall increase
Thus the spirit of the Lord
In your bosom shall abide:
And produce a rich reward,
While the still small voice shall guide.
Righteous are your hearts desires,
And they will not be denied;
But our Father oft requires
That our patience shall be tried.
Brother H. Loveland visited with the sisters and shared a “curious” tale of a cake which had been baked for a short time covered by a lid. When it was uncovered, some writing was discovered on the cake.
Also in the evening, at the Council House, the High Council heard charges against Bishop John Murdock. They were about to rule against him, when Brigham Young stepped forward and showed inconsistencies and problems with the charges. He “trimmed out the council for not doing their duty.” He asked the brethren to cease holding dances and to start holding prayer meetings and sacrament meetings. He exhorted them to repent and commit to fulfill their duties. He asked them to pray for the Twelve that they might be able to “bear off the kingdom of God triumphantly.”
At 10 p.m., the Twelve went to Willard Richards’ office and instructed the Captains of Hundreds and other leaders regarding the pioneer camp. The meeting concluded at 1 a.m.
Horace K. Whitney spent most the day and much of the night making a copy of the revelation on plural marriage for his father, Bishop Newel K. Whitney. The original would be given to Brigham Young and the copy kept by Bishop Whitney.
Luman Shurtliff and Daniel Hunt continued their mission to solicit donations for the poor at Garden Grove. On this day the two men felt uneasy and retired to a private room to talk things over and to pray to the Lord. Brother Shurtliff wrote:
My mind was lit up by the Holy Ghost and our duty was made plain before my mind. It was that I should give all my affairs to Brother Hunt in St. Louis and go immediately to Louisville, Kentucky, only taking what money would pay my passage and that Brother Hunt should finish collecting in St. Louis and take the means collected in St. Louis and Quincy and go to camp for the Saints needed the means collected. When we arose I asked Brother Hunt if he had obtained any satisfaction. He replied, “It is manifest to me that you shall go south and I finish here and take the means home.”
This was a hard assignment for Brother Shurtliff because of his close association with Brother Hunt. They had thus far collected about $200 in goods. Brother Shurtliff went to the editors of two newspapers and received letters of introduction to some of the most respectable editors of Louisville and Cincinnati.
Orders were received from General Kearny to send Company B to San Diego to protect the town. Kearny’s dragoons who had been in San Diego, and Companies C, D, and E were to proceed to the Pueblo of Los Angeles. Company A would remain at San Luis Rey.
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 537; Kenney, ed., Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:141; Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 120‑21; “Luman Shurtliff Autobiography,” typescript, BYU, 72; Beecher, ed., The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow, 159; “Private Journal of Thomas Dunn,” typescript, 22; Tyler, A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion, 271; Our Pioneer Heritage, 2:63; Smart, ed., Mormon Midwife, 74; Woman’s Exponent, 14:4:30-1
The day was very cold. In the morning, Brigham Young met with the captains of the various pioneer companies. He asked each captain to present a report on the following day regarding how many men were ready to start on the journey. These men would then be asked to travel several miles to the north to prepare a farm near “Old Council Bluff.”
Norton Jacob wrote: “On the 15th in compliance with Brother Heber’s counsel I went down to where Brother Joe Ricks is settled on west branch of the Nishnebotana to see if I could get any assistance to help me to go with the pioneers. Brother Ricks very readily agreed to send a two horse team with me and take care of my family while I should go along with the Twelve as a pioneer.”
In the evening, Brigham Young said that he wanted to hold many council meetings before the lead pioneer group left. He wished to instruct and train the leaders who would be staying behind. Winter Quarters would be governed by the High Council and the presidency of two emigration companies. No one would be allowed to start the journey west without three hundred pounds of bread stuff for each person.
Martha Maria Hurlbutt Redden, age thirty-two, died. She was the wife of Jackson Redden. A daughter, Elizabeth Scott, was born to John and Elizabeth Menerey Scott.
Twins, Rhoda Ann and David Fullmer, were born to David and Rhoda Marvin Fuller. A daughter, Maranda Jane Whipple, was born to Nelson W. and Susan Bailey Whipple.10
Company B left for San Diego to replace General Kearny’s dragoons. Robert S. Bliss was part of this company. He wrote: “It is a great relief to once more get out of our quarters & we hope to get full rations when we get there & it is a sea port so we will get oysters &c occasionally.” They camped fourteen miles south of San Luis Rey. Extra beef rations were issued.
Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 121; Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, 1:241; “Norton Jacob Autobiography,” BYU, 45; “The Journal of Robert S. Bliss,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 4:88‑9; Smart, ed., Mormon Midwife, 74
Many of the Saints were busy preparing for the pioneer journey to the West. John D. Lee received a letter from Charles Bird, informing Brother Lee that he had bought 50‑75 bushels of seed potatoes. Brigham Young advised John D. Lee to purchase the potatoes from Brother Bird for the journey.
Patty Sessions visited Mary Harvey Peirce, who was gravely ill. Later on, Sister Peirce died at the age of twenty‑five of pneumonia. She was a wife of Brigham Young.
At 4 p.m., the Captains of Hundreds and the presidents of the companies were called together for a meeting at Willard Richards’ office. They discussed whether or not oxen should be taken on the lead pioneer trek. After much discussion, it was decided to allow oxen to be taken at their own risk.11
Simeon F. Howd and Lucinda Morgan were married. A son, John Willard Rushton, was born to James and Isabella Hoyle Rushton. A son, Dexter Stillman, was born to Dexter and Barbara Redfield Stillman. Patty Sessions helped with the delivery.
A daughter, Angeline B. W. Bennion, was born to John and Esther Wainwright Bennion.
Luman Shurtliff prepared for his journey to Louisville, Kentucky. Parting with his companion, Daniel Hunt, was difficult. Brother Shurtliff wrote:
On the morning of March 16, 1847, Brother Hunt came to the landing with me and about nine o’clock we parted. I stood on the deck and watched this good man and wept like a child. I reviewed in my mind all the events of the Saints and prophets and knew that I would be cast into all kinds of company, many of whom would hate the Mormons, and I felt like no other man could feel unless in similar circumstances. I felt lonely and alone. After supper, I locked myself in my room and reflected, if Eternity was full of such spirits of those whom I was now associated on this boat, I would keep out of it as long as I could. Quite a contrast between this society and the Saints.
Company B continued their march to San Diego. They traveled twenty miles and had to dig for water that night at their camp six miles from San Diego. Robert S. Bliss wrote, “Today makes 8 months of our time in the service of U[ncle] Sams, we look to the time of our discharge with all the patience possible.”
Addison Pratt, concluding his mission in the Society Islands, received word from Captain Sajat on the Island of Papeete, that he would be leaving for Oahu very soon. Elder Pratt needed to sail with this ship to start his journey toward America. The headwinds from Tiarei to Papeete were bad and the sea was rough in the morning, making it impossible to row by canoe to Papeete. But in the afternoon the seas calmed. He rowed by canoe with a friend Haametua, and they spent the night on a small, low island.
Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 121‑22; Ellsworth, ed., The Journals of Addison Pratt, 323‑24; “Luman Shurtliff Autobiography,” typescript, BYU, 72; Our Pioneer Heritage, 2:63; Bigler, The Gold Discovery Journal of Azariah Smith, 79; “The Journal of Robert S. Bliss,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 4:89
Brigham Young buried his wife, Mary H. Peirce, the daughter of Robert and Hannah Harvey Peirce. Eliza R. Snow wrote a poem for the Robert Peirce family.
Mary’s gone‑‑she’s gone: but wither?
To the paradise of love:
Gone to mingle in the circle
Of our friends who dwell above.
Did they not rejoice to meet her?
They had sent for her to come,
And were waiting to receive her ‑‑
She was freely welcom’d home.
There she is a gem of honor;
Yes, a gem of precious worth:
She will there increase the glory
Of her kindred on the earth.
Tho’ she’s gone from us, she’s moving
In a more exalted sphere:
And while she is made more happy
Do we well to shed a tear?
Could we for one passing moment
Death’s dark mystery unfold ‑‑
Could we draw aside the curtain,
And eternity behold,
We should chide our grief & sorrow
And suppress each rising sigh;
And rejoice in death, the portal
Op’ning to the worlds on high.
Therefore, bow in sweet submission.
God has chasten’d you in love;
You will yet rejoice with Mary
In the royal courts above.
Wilford Woodruff spent the day putting the top on his carriage. A rally was again made to raise men to work on the mill dam. They succeeded in getting the water to run into the mill race.
Bishop George Miller wrote a letter to Brigham Young stating his objections to the plan of settling in the Great Basin. He predicted, “we would find it hard to sustain ourselves in food and raiment; and would most likely, bring on the thoroughfare where all the slime and filth, malcontents from Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, etc. would pass nearby us to the newly acquired Territory of California and Oregon.” He felt the Saints should gather in Oregon somewhere or in Texas. Even though he strongly disagreed with the current plan, Bishop Miller closed his letter with a testimony:
Although I am in poverty and rags, I am not unwilling to undertake to do anything that this people persist in doing to build up this Kingdom. I have been as a beast of burden ever since I came into the church, and have never swerved in my actions, or feelings, to do with my might all things to push forward the cause of Zion, and am, and ever have been, willing to spend and be spent for the cause. I do not say this by way of boasting, but because of the frankness of my heart.
In the evening, at 7 p.m., President Young continued to instruct the Captains of Fifty and Hundreds regarding emigration. It was reported that many of the pioneers were almost ready for the journey. President Young was anxious to start the trek. He hoped to arrive at the Loup Fork of the Platte River by April 1st. He spoke of criticism regarding his management of funds.
Just as I am with my brethren now going to the mountains, not to benefit myself independent of my brethren. I feel as the apostle said, that they without the ancients could not be made perfect, neither can you be made perfect without me nor I without you. I never have wronged any man out of his money. Still I do not expect to pay all my debts before I go, but the borrowed money I will pay and I will do it by faith.
During the meeting, a messenger arrived to announce that the mill had started operating. On hearing this, the assembly shouted with joy.
President Young spoke of Patriarch John Smith, the uncle of the Prophet, Joseph Smith. “Don’t leave him. He has been with us from the beginning. He is of Joseph’s family and we want him along. . . . It would be better for some young persons to remain than Father Smith to be left.” He called on the men to help George A. Smith, Orson Pratt, and Willard Richards obtain what would be needed for the pioneer journey. The meeting concluded at 9 p.m.
Benjamin A. Babcock, age eleven, died of scurvy. He was the son of Amos and Mary Archer Babcock. Willard Richards Bullock, age two, died of “effects of persecution.” He was the son of Thomas and Henrietta Rushton Bullock.
As Company B was approaching San Diego, they met part of General Kearny’s Dragoons marching north. The battalion learned that two to three hundred marines had landed at San Diego under the command of Commodore Stockton. Company B soon arrived at San Diego and camped at the foot of Presidio Hill, six miles west of the San Diego Mission.12 Captain Jesse D. Hunter was placed in command of the post, as Lt. George Stoneman left with General Kearny’s dragoons for Los Angeles.
The other four companies, received four days reduced rations of flour and salt beef. Henry Standage wrote, “Great talk through the battalion of refusing to do duty until more food is furnished as the country abounds in beef and plenty of rations at San Diego. Several of Co[mpany] D put under guard and [William] Maxwell put in stocks for refusing to drill.”
At daylight, Addison Pratt and his companion continued rowing their canoe toward Papeete. Elder Pratt wrote:
We had not proceeded far before we were overtaken with a rain squall which wet us and but for my umbrella I should have got a severe soaking. After experiencing two or three squalls, we arrived at Papeete with no other injury. I found the bad weather had put back Capt. Sajat, that he would not be ready for sea before the first of next week. So I have some time to visit among the friends.
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 538; Kenney, ed., Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:141; Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 120‑24; Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow, 160; Ellsworth, ed., The Journals of Addison Pratt, 324; Bigler, The Gold Discovery Journal of Azariah Smith, 80; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 212‑13; “Private Journal of Thomas Dunn,” typescript, 22; Bennett, Mormons at the Missouri, 158
John D. Lee and Thomas Johnson drove their teams across the frozen Missouri River and traveled to Trader’s Point, in Iowa. The traveling was difficult over muddy roads. When they arrived at the Point, Brother Lee bought forty‑five bushels of seed potatoes and fifty dollars worth of dry goods. They stayed overnight at John Gheen’s house.
Another work crew was assembled to work on the mill dam. It was a very warm day. Hosea Stout and George W. Langley went up the river to hunt and try out their guns.
Patriarch John Smith wrote in his journal this day:
The cold weather has continued until yesterday; it has been very severe ever since it commenced, in December. At this time the weather is more moderate; the ice on the river is getting very thin, but our teams crossed last evening on their way to Missouri for provisions. . . . The Twelve, with a company of pioneers, are fitting out for the mountains. We are doing all we can to assist them and furnishing them with provisions, seeds, teams, etc. We have had the coldest winter I ever experienced, or at least it seems so to me.
Wilford Woodruff was feeling ill much of the day, but in the evening was able to go to a concert held in the Council House.
John Proctor, age seventy-eight, died of old age. Phebe P. Trane, age sixteen, also died. She was the daughter of Parson and Charlotte Trane. Lucy T. McGate, age twenty-five, died of consumption. She was the wife of James McGate.
Eliza R. Snow spent the afternoon at the Noble’s home. While there, Brigham Young stopped by and talked to Sister Snow about her accommodations for traveling to the west. She recorded, “The present calculation is for the families of the Twelve & all others that were able to go over the Mts this season.”
Sister Snow wrote a Song for President and Sister Young.
The time of winter now is o’er
There’s verdure on the plain:
We leave our shelt’ring roofs once more
And to our tents again
Thou Camp of Israel, onward more
O Jacob, rise and sing ‑‑
Ye Saints, the world’s salvation prove,
All hail to Zion’s king.
We go to choice & goodly lands,
With rich & fertile soil:
That with the labor of our hands
Will yield us wine & oil
We go beside the mountain cliffs
Where purest waters flow ‑‑
Where mature will her precious gifts
We’ll find a climate pure & free
Producing life & health
Where steady care & industry
Will be a source of wealth.
And there again we will surround
In peace the luscious board;
And share the products of the ground
With skill and prudence stor’d
We leave the mobbing Gentile race
Who thirst to shed our blood;
To rest in Jacob’s hiding place,
Where Nephite Temples stood.
We seek a land where truth will reign
And innocence be free ‑‑
Where lawful rights will be maintain’d
A land of Liberty
We seek a land of holiness
Where justice to the line,
And to the plummet, righteousness
Will ev’ry work define.
We go where virtue will be known,
And merit meet it’s due;
For Zion’s pathway will be strewn
With light & glory too.
We go where hypocrites will fear,
And tremble at the word
Of him who is appointed here
To wield the two‑edg’d sword
We’ll find the land the prophet saw ‑‑
In vision, when he said:
“There, there will the celestial law
Be given and obey’d.”
We go where nations yet will come
In ships, from climes abroad:
To seek protection‑‑and a home,
And worship Israel’s God.
We’ll build in peace & safety there
A City to the Lord
And shout amid our toils, to share
A Latter‑day’s reward.
William Hyde, Henry Bigler, and seventeen other men were sent to take charge of a fort on a hill east of San Diego, recently constructed by the marines. Henry Bigler described this fort, called Fort Stockton:
They had dug a ditch and set up a line of large wine casks filled with dirt and gravel, and against them they had thrown up from the ditch a heavy embankment of earth, rocks and gravel. There were seven cannons placed so as to command the town and surrounding country. Inside this fortification stood a building in which we quartered. On the top was a small swivel gun, so hung as to be easily turned and brought to point in any direction.
The marines who had been at San Diego for a time returned to their ship, the U.S. frigate Congress. Robert Bliss commented, “The Marines are the finest troops I ever saw; we now have all we want to Eat for the first time since we left Santa Fe & spend our time more happy amidst the various scenes here.”
At the post in San Diego, the Physician, Dr. John S. Griffin recorded his observations of Company B of the Mormon Battalion:
The Californians [Mexicans] have no great ideas of their [the battalion’s] soldier like qualities and in action would not dread them much‑‑this arises in a great measure from their dress‑‑carriage &c‑‑which is as unlike any soldier‑‑as any thing could possibly be‑‑yet I think if brought into action they would prove themselves good men‑‑as I am told they are generally fine shots and they drill‑‑tolerably well‑‑they are bear‑footed and almost naked.
Colonel Cooke issued an order for Lt. Oman, Sergeant Brown, and thirty privates from the four companies to remain at San Luis Rey Mission to guard the post. The rest of the battalion was preparing to march to Pueblo de Los Angeles. Since many of the men were without shoes, they prepared for the march by wrapping their feet in raw hides.
The soldiers of the battalion continued to have hard feelings toward their leader, James Brown. John Steele explained: “He would confess his sins before the boys and partly confessed and tried to soothe it over and asked the boys if they would forgive him if he had done them any harm and promised to do better for the time to come, but next morning the tremendous oaths that came from his mouth were horrible. . . .” Captain Brown asked for the men to pray for him. Private Steele observed that only six or eight out of 130 men committed to do so.
Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 120‑24; Kenney, ed., Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:142; Beecher, ed., The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow, 160‑63; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 344; Bigler, The Gold Discovery Journal of Azariah Smith, 80; “Journal Extracts of Henry W. Bigler,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 5:59; “The Journal of Robert S. Bliss,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 4:89; Daniel Tyler, A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion, 272‑73; Yurtinus, A Ram in the Thicket, 547, 311; George Walcott Ames, Jr., “A Doctor Comes to California,” California Historical Society Quarterly, 22:54; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 213
The morning was foggy and warm. A council meeting was held in the evening with the Twelve and the High Council. Wilford Woodruff recorded that Brigham Young “reproved and rebuked in the power of God.” Other speakers include Ezra T. Benson, William W. Major, and Brother Case.
At 6 a.m., John D. Lee left Trader’s Point and started to head back toward Winter Quarters. Because the roads did not freeze overnight, they were very muddy and his mules had great difficulty dragging the wagon. Along the way, he met Brother Hendrickson who asked Brother Lee to pay back a fourteen-dollar loan. Brother Lee explained that his funds were being used to build the mill, so he would have to wait. He observed that Brother Hendrickson was well off, with five yoke of oxen, three horses, and plenty of provisions for his family of two. Brother Lee encouraged him to use his means to help two or three families of the Mormon Battalion and to take ten pounds of flour to help Brigham Young, “and if you do this you shall never regret it but shall receive an 100 fold in the own due time of the Lord.” Brother Hendrickson promised to follow this counsel.
By sunset, Brother Lee reached the ferry crossing. He could not cross because the ice had thawed during the day. He secured his loads for the evening and stayed at Jesse P. Harmon’s home. Brother Lee wrote: “After supper I was called upon to administer to his wife who had been confined mostly since September last. She was instantly restored and was the next morning up singing and prepared breakfast with her own hands. Rejoiced in the Lord and felt confident that she would survive her sickness, that she felt perfectly free and well.”
Charles C. Rich’s family arrived at the ferry crossing and John D. Lee greeted them after their long journey from Mount Pisgah. Sarah Rich recorded: “On the 19th of March we arrived at the Missouri River, and found we could not cross, and here we had to remain three days.”
Companies A, C, D, and E struck their tents at sunrise, leaving their temporary home of several weeks at San Luis Rey Mission, and marched twenty miles to the north toward Pueblo de Los Angeles. The battalion camped at Foster’s Range, close to the sea shore, on the edge of the “Plains of Domingo.”13
Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:144; Sarah Rich Autobiography, typescript, BYU, 65-66; Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 124‑26; Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, 1:242; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 213; “The Journal of Nathaniel V. Jones,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 4:14; Yurtinus, A Ram in the Thicket, 563; Brown, Life as a Pioneer, 91
Hosea Stout recorded the weather: “The weather this morning was cold and windy having turned to the North yester evening and was howling all night as in the middle of the winter. We had a clear sky to day notwithstanding.” Sarah Rich, with her family, across the river from Winter Quarters wrote: “It was cold and windy and very disagreeable, especially for the little babies ‑‑ we had three of them in our family, the oldest of the three a little over one year old. We all felt good natured and made all hands as comfortable as possible.”
A long-awaited day arrived in Winter Quarters. The water‑powered grist mill was put into operation in the afternoon. It ground 11 bushels of corn per hours and seemed to run smoothly. Brother Stout wrote: “It runs beautifully grand and does a good business.”
The ice continued to break up on the river, allowing the ferry to make two or three crossings. John D. Lee was able to cross back over the river to Winter Quarters during the morning. He labored all day hauling potatoes to his house that he had recently purchased at Trader’s Point.
In the evening, President Young instructed John D. Lee that most of the potatoes needed to be provided for the sick. It had been recently discovered that potatoes greatly improved the health of those suffering from sicknesses caused by malnutrition. Wilford Woodruff attended the funeral of sixteen‑year‑old Phebe Trane, who died the day before. He wrote, “There is now much sickness and death in the camp.”14
The battalion marched at sunrise and traveled ten more miles up the beach. They then traveled up a rich valley, along San Juan Creek, and came to the mission at San Juan Capistrano.15 Henry Standage described the mission as “a large stone building, rent by earthquake, some 30 years ago. Plenty of beautiful fruit trees here such as Quince, Pear, Apple, Orange, Fig, Olive, Pepper, date and a large Vineyard.” James S. Brown added, “We were told that an earthquake did the damage, and that some three hundred people had been killed.” The men treated their sore feet. Henry Standage wrote: “I suffered much today my feet being very sore. The raw hide with which I had bound my feet around having become very hard by the sun.”
Azariah Smith and a few others went down to the ship, Congress, anchored in the bay. He wrote, “She was well finished, ready for war, having upward of sixty cannons on board some 26, 32 and 62 pounders, &c. The marines and crew was very sociable, showing us different parts of the Ship.” The ship Savannah came in from Monterey and anchored about two miles from the harbor.
Luman Shurtliff arrived at Louisville at 8 p.m. The Lord directed him to that city to collect donations for the poor in Garden Grove, Iowa. He lodged that night in an Inn.
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 538; Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 126‑27; Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, 1:242; “Sarah Rich Autobiography,” typescript, BYU, 65‑66; Bigler, The Gold Discovery Journal of Azariah Smith, 80; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 213; “Private Journal of Thomas Dunn,” 22; “Luman Shurtliff Autobiography,” typescript, BYU, 73
On this Sabbath morning, the Nauvoo Temple bell rang at 11 a.m., calling all the Saints together for a Sunday service. The meeting opened by singing the hymn, “The Morning Breaks, the Shadows Flies” and prayer by Alpheus Cutler, of the High Council.
Brigham Young addressed the congregation. He stated that he wanted to spend a whole day with the Saints before he left with the advance pioneer company. He spoke of trials that had been experienced recently. “Experience is the dear schoolmaster . . . if the people were universally righteous they might overcome and not fall by sickness, yet the Lord takes some away before they arrive to years of maturity to accomplish His will.” He encouraged the Saints to do the work in the Kingdom. “The Lord bestows upon his children a certain portion of the dowry that he has for them according to the light which they have lived up to which has been given to them and says to them go and occupy upon what I have given.”
President Young again related the recent dream he experienced, when Joseph Smith visited with him. Joseph had told him repeatedly that the Saints must keep the Spirit of the Lord. “Be pure and holy for the Comforter will not dwell in an unholy temple.” President Young spoke out against stealing, murmuring, and coveting. “Be contented with your lot and station and stop your whining and babbling about the Twelve, saying that Brigham oppressed the poor and lives off their earnings.” Such charges were false. He reminded them of the thousands of poor who had been fed because of his efforts. He continued to reprove the people sharply, “This people mean to tie my hands continually as they did last year so that we can’t go to the place of our destination. They are already coming to me saying can’t you take me along? Don’t leave me here, if you do I am afraid I shall die, this is such a sickly place. . . . If you have not faith to live here you will die over the mountains.” He encouraged the Saints to have greater faith and to listen and obey counsel. He then concluded by speaking of future days, “We want to build up another Temple and then send out 1000 of the elders to preach and gather out the honest in heart.”
In the afternoon, the Twelve met together and spoke on “the celestial law of the Kingdom of God.” After this discussion, they enjoyed a social hour at Ezra T. Benson’s home.
In the evening, the Twelve met with the High Council. Orson Pratt reported that five hundred dollars of city tax had been collected to support the police, but that few additional funds were expected to come in. Jon C. Wright was released as the tax collector, and Horace S. Eldredge was appointed in his place.
A severe snow storm hit the city during the night.
Moses M. Dayton, age twenty-five, died. He was the son of Hiram and Permelia Bundy Dayton. Lewis Huls also died.
Arnold Stevens experienced a terrible accident. He was handling a wild mule when he was dragged over some logs and received serious internal injuries. Brother Stevens, fearing that he would die, called Ebenezer Hanks and Orson Adams in to make out a will. He planned to leave his mule, saddle, and bridle to his oldest son. The rest of his things would be left to his wife.
The Saints in St. Louis were organized into two wards. John H. Rummel, John Murray, Joseph L. Vandyke and I.I. Smith were ordained elders.
Luman Shurtliff called upon the mayor of Louisville, asking for support in Brother Shurtliff’s efforts to raise donations for the poor in Garden Grove, Iowa. The mayor was kind and promised assistance. Brother Shurtliff also called on the editors of the newspapers and they promised to publish a lengthy note announcing Brother Shurtliff’s mission.
The soldiers felt very worn‑out in the morning as they started their march. They traveled on a large plain with thousands of cattle and horses. There was not a house in sight. They established their camp after marching twenty‑three weary miles.
Robert S. Bliss recorded:
I visited the Shiping in the harbour the Congress Man of War carrying over 60 Guns now lies in port. She is a fine vessil a Spanish Bark which came from the Sandwich Island with our provisions also is in port & we expect another ship in dayly; I am now in the fort on the hill above town & can see two ships a long distance out at Sea; we hope they will come into port & take us to [Monterey]; there is only one company in town to Guard the fort town & the Bastion so we are divided into 3 parts which keeps busy here.
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 538‑39; Kenney, ed., Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:21; Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 127‑30; Our Pioneer Heritage, 2:238; “The Journal of Robert S. Bliss,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 4:89; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 213; Ricketts, The Mormon Battalion, 249; “Luman Shurtliff Autobiography,” typescript, BYU, 73
The morning was cold, blustery, with driving snow showers. At 1 p.m., Brigham Young met with the Twelve, the presidents of the companies, and the captains of the divisions in the Council House. They discussed modifying the plans for the pioneer company. The Twelve and others in the lead pioneer company would leave behind their families until a place could be prepared for them over the mountains. The pioneers would proceed all the way to the Great Basin and decided to take enough provisions to last two years. There would be two pioneers for each wagon. About one hundred families could follow after the pioneer group, including as many of the battalion families as possible. They should have two years provisions and bring fresh supplies for the pioneers. The pioneers would return and bring their families forward the following spring. Horace K. Whitney commented in his journal, “The new arrangements with regard to our removal will probably [delay] our departure somewhat.”
It was decided to stockade Winter Quarters for protection. The houses west of Second Main Street would be moved to form a line. This work would be accomplished during the next week.
The Charles C. Rich family crossed over the river and arrived at Winter Quarters, completing their journey from Mount Pisgah. Sarah Rich wrote: “We finally crossed over the river in a flat boat and arrived safe in Winter Quarters. The brethren there soon found an empty house for us to stop for a while.”
In the evening, a meeting was held with the bishops to discuss caring for the poor. Brigham Young spoke about patriarchal blessings and the blessing of children. He said that any father who held the priesthood was a patriarch to his own family and when he blessed his family, it was a patriarchal blessing. These blessings could be recorded.
Leach Bostwick, age seventy-two, died.
The battalion marched early. They could see cattle on the plain “as far as the eye [could] reach.” Their camp was established on the San Gabriel River. They were told that this was the site where General Kearny and Commodore Stockton had fought a victorious battle against Mexican troops in January.
Azariah Smith wrote: “I and Father went down to the Ocean to bathe and as we were a coming back, the ship Savannah came in sight around a point which extended out into the Pacific west of San Diego.” There were three ships in the harbor and one anchored outside the harbor.
A meeting was held between General Kearny and Colonel Fremont. Fremont offered to resign, but Kearny refused to accept it, and asked Fremont if he would obey his orders. Fremont eventually agreed to accept orders from Kearny.
Luman Shurtliff started to go door‑to‑door asking for donations for the poor Saints in Garden Grove.
Elder Addison Pratt went to visit Captain Sajat and found him very ill. Elder Pratt wished to help Captain Sajat get better as soon as possible so he could start his voyage toward home. The captain showed him some disgusting chicken soup that had been prepared for him and Elder Pratt made arrangements to send a man to make Captain Sajat some good soup. Elder Pratt wrote, “he ate of it verry heartily, and said it relished better than anything he had tasted since he had been sick.”
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 538‑39; Kenney, ed., Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:21; Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 127‑30; Our Pioneer Heritage, 2:238; “The Journal of Robert S. Bliss,” 4:89; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 213; “Excerpts from the hitherto unpublished Journal of Horace K. Whitney,” Improvment Era, 50:202; Ricketts, The Mormon Battalion, 133; “Luman Shurtliff Autobiography,” typescript, BYU, 73
In the morning, a committee met at the Council House to carefully define new boundaries for the Winter Quarters City, and identify those houses to be moved into a stockade line. The committee consisted of: Alpheus Cutler, Winslow Farr, Isaac Morley, Reynolds Cahoon, John D. Lee, Willard Snow, Hunter Edwards, Shadrach Roundy, Henry Herriman, Ira Eldredge, and Brother McCrary.
Brigham Young and several of the Twelve met in council with David Lewis, who had recently come in from the Ponca settlement located about 150 miles up the Missouri River. George A. Smith proposed that the Ponca settlement be closed down, that the four hundred Saints residing there return to Winter Quarters as quickly as possible to put in a spring crop. Brother Lewis was instructed to return to Ponca with the new plans. Wilford Woodruff reported that there was about one thousand acres of good land on the east side of the river covered with weeds. He believed the land could easily be fenced in.
In the evening, Brigham Young met with his extended, adoptive family to conduct business and make plans for the emigration.16
President Young spoke to the brethren:
My plan is to leave my family here for the present and take my adopted boys or brethren, fit up my own waggons and go over the mountains, find the place, plant the standard, put in crops, build houses, then come back and receive my family to myself, then remove them to the place of our destination and the preparation that we make. . . . I also intend to leave a part of my boys here to plant and raise a crop and fit themselves out to come on next season. . . . Just as soon as I find the spot I want Bro. [William Weeks] to dig deep and lay the foundation of the Temple unto the Lord just as soon as the Saints by a united exertion can complete it.
President Young proposed that Isaac Morley be appointed to preside over the farm to be created sixteen miles north of Winter Quarters, above Old Council Bluff. He said, “But this is my council that you build your houses and lots for your cattle so as to be perfectly safe from Omaha depredations.” Volunteers were chosen to work on the farm which would become known as “Summer Quarters.”
A son, John Alma Vance, was born to Isaac Y. and Martha Yager Vance.
The battalion waded across the San Gabriel River and arrived in Pueblo de Los Angeles at about noon.17 James S. Brown wrote: “We marched into the main street and stacked our arms as if to say, ‘We have possession here.’” They could not find convenient quarters, so they returned one mile to the river and camped on a green, close to the Spanish Rancho ranch.
A son, George Butterfield, was born to Thomas J. and Mary Parker Butterfield.
Thomas Dunn recorded on this day:
I went to coast but there was little to be seen. The Frigate Congress is now laying in harbor. Two small boats besides. We also received intelligence from San Luis Rey, that the Battalion had all left for Pueblo [Los Angeles] except for 25 who still remained there. . . . It has been very dry for some years. Otherwise the climate is delightsome and healthful. But very little sickness. For a few days past it has been rather cool for the country.
Robert S. Bliss added: “The boys caught plenty of fish to day; we are well situated here & our drill is light on us & we have plenty to eat so our time passes away more pleasant than it did under Col. Cooke. Capt. Hunter is the highest Officer here.” They also observed whales spouting water, and watched them rise 30‑40 feet out of the water. Azariah Smith caught twenty‑three fish, averaging over a pound each.
Private David Smith, part of the small company maintaining the mission, died on this day.
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 539; Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 130‑31, 133‑34; Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, 1:242; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 214; James S. Brown, Life of a Pioneer, 91; “Private Journal of Thomas Dunn,” typescript, 23; “The Journal of Robert S. Bliss,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 4:89; Bigler, The Gold Discovery Journal of Azariah Smith, 81
The morning was clear and warm. Brigham Young spent some time in the morning making plans for the farm to the north, which would later be called “Summer Quarters.” He decided to delay further plans until some families were ready to move up to the farm site.
Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Newel K. Whitney, and Albert P. Rockwood rode in President Young’s carriage to John Neff’s home. Brigham Young sold the grist mill to John Neff for $2,600. This enabled President Young to pay off his debts on the mill.18
Willard Richards wrote a letter to Jacob Peart in St. Joseph, Missouri. In this letter he reported:
In a few days I start with my brethren, the Twelve, and as many more as can get ready, as pioneers, to find the place where a stake of Zion shall be located over the mountains, leaving all our families at this place with the anticipation of returning here to winter and taking our families over one year hence. A few families may follow us this spring, after grass starts, such as have teams and provisions plenty to last them one year and a half, or from 300 to 500 pounds of beard‑stuff per soul; but few can do this, and none can depend upon the labors of the pioneers.
He encouraged Brother Peart to bring his family to Winter Quarters, to help plant crops on the Willard Richards’ farm plot, planned for the east back of the river.
It is not probable that my farm will be more than a mile or two from my house, and you can visit at your leisure. The farming company will be organized and a record will be kept of every man’s labor, and one will not live on the toils of another. . . . Come and help make a garden this spring that I may, with your help, eat the fruits thereof, and my heart will bless you. . . . Our new water mill is now running and grinds about twelve bushels per hour. It is a first rate article, and can do the business of two such camps.
Omaha chief, Big Elk and an Indian interpreter called on Brigham Young, asking for provisions. President Young shared dinner with them and let them sleep overnight in the Council House. Hosea Stout wrote, “Council House full of Omahas again.”
Emeline Pendleton, age two, died of congestive fever. She was the daughter of Calvin C. and Sally Seavey Pendleton.
A confrontation occurred with some Omaha Indians. John Barrows was stripped of his coat and his dog was shot by five Indians. The Omahas had also recently killed a number of cattle.
The battalion rested in their camp while Colonel Cook and Doctor Sanderson went to San Gabriel Mission to examine it for possible quarters. Some of John C. Fremont’s men were staying there. Captain Owens was in command of the Missouri horsemen there. Colonel Cooke tried to take possession of the artillery there, and ordered the men to leave the mission, but Captain Owens refused, declaring that he would only take orders from Colonel Fremont. Doctor Sanderson later declared the Mission to be an unhealthy place for quarters.
Colonel Cooke was outraged that Captain Owens refused his orders.
The general’s [Kearny] orders are not obeyed? . . . To think of a howitzer brought over the deserts with so much faithful labor by the dragoons; the howitzer with which they have four times fought the enemy, and brought here to rescue of Lieut. Colonell Fremont and his volunteers, to be refused to them by the Lieut. Colonel Fremont and in defiance of the orders of his general! I denounce this treason or this mutiny.
Several of the battalion officers and others went into Los Angeles for entertainment. Some Indians came into the camp to try to sell their wares and food.
Rations of flour were increased for the men. Robert Bliss wrote: “My health continues to improve & I feel more cheerful.”
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 539‑40; Journal of Discourses, 6:173‑74; Jenson, Encyclopedic History of the Church, 503; Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 131‑32; Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, 1:243 Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 345‑46; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 214‑15; “The Journal of Robert S. Bliss,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 4:89; Tyler, A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion, 273‑74; Clarke, Dwight L., Stephen Watts Kearny, Soldier of the West, 303; Ricketts, The Mormon Battalion, 146
Omaha Chief, Big Elk visited with Brigham Young. President Young complained that some Big Elk’s men had stolen two of George A. Smith’s horses during the night and they had recently killed a number of the Saints’ cattle. Big Elk promised that if the horses were found, they would be returned, but that the Ponca and Pawnee were also nearby and may have been causing this trouble.
Brigham Young replied in letter to Mr. E. M. Estill, who had inquired about the possibility of opening a store at Winter Quarters. President Young mentioned that a variety of articles were needed by the people. These articles needed to be light, durable, and portable. Botanic medicine was especially needed. “This place will be under the watch of vigilant police, and we shall not expect Indians to come within the stockade, or that any disorderly conduct will be tolerated here. Consequently we shall object to your bringing any spirituous liquors to this place, to sell or give away.”
President Young met with the Twelve and the High Council in the evening. The sale of the flour mill to John Neff was approved and it was decided by vote that John Neff should take one fifth of the grain at the mill as payment for its use. President Young warned the brethren that if any man shot an Omaha Indian for stealing, they would be delivered up to Big Elk for the murder.
Thomas P. Cloward and Mary Ann Page were married. Samuel B. Flake, age five months, died. He was the son of James M. and Agnes H. Love. John Lawrence, age two weeks, died. He was the son of John and Rhoda Sanford Lawrence.
The battalion officers were trying to make arrangements for some new clothing for the men. Mule teams left in the morning for San Diego to obtain provisions. Henry Sanderson observed that things were three to five times more expensive in Pueblo de Los Angeles than they were back east.
At a meeting of the St. Louis Branch it was decided to divide the city into six wards with leaders over each, acting as bishops. The leaders appointed were: George Norval of the 1st Ward, Thomas Forester of the 2nd Ward, William Standing of the 3rd, John Barker of the 4th, James Beck of the 5th, and Samuel Musick of the 6th Ward.
John Taylor and Parley P. Pratt arrived on the steamer Patrick Henry from New Orleans, traveling back from their mission to England. At this point they parted company. Elder Pratt would journey through the country to Winter Quarters and Elder Taylor would go with a company of Saints on a steamer up the Missouri toward Winter Quarters.19 Parley P. Pratt recorded, “I took a horse and rode through the northwestern portion of Missouri, and into Iowa, by land. I went incog. for fear of my old enemies in that State.”20
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 539‑40; Our Pioneer Heritage, 1:5:440; Record of St. Louis Branch 1847‑50, 5; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 215; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 347; Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, 1:243; Roberts, The Life of John Taylor, 185; Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, 356‑57
Horace S. Eldredge, the city marshal, rang the Nauvoo Temple bell at 9 a.m. signalling that a public meeting was to be held. A special conference was convened at 10 a.m. to transact business before the Twelve and the other pioneers left for the west. Heber C. Kimball formally proposed that Winter Quarters be stockaded on four sides for protection. Brigham Young counselled those living in dugouts to move out of those houses into more healthy homes for the summer. He warned the people not to use bloodshed against the Indians. Precautions should be used to discourage the Indians from stealing, but shooting the Indians for stealing was not acceptable. He also condemned stealing within the city. Those caught should be delivered to the authorities. He instructed the pioneers to keep the Word of Wisdom. Orson Pratt and George A. Smith also spoke.
Norton Jacob attended this meeting. He later recorded: “Brother Brigham chastened the people severely for being so covetous and withholding their means in fitting out the pioneers.”
In the afternoon Brigham Young preached to the Saints and announced that those who would follow after the pioneers this year needed to take eighteen months of provisions. To prevent families from leaving ill‑prepared, as happened the previous year, a committee would be appointed to inspect each wagon. But he added, “If mob violence should rend it necessary for all to remove, take your cows, put your loads on their backs and fasten your children on the top. Where the saints do all they can, the Lord will do the rest.” He warned the people that after the Twelve left, men would rise up, condemn the Twelve, and assert themselves as leaders to govern the people. Orson Pratt read to the congregation “The Word and Will of the Lord” (D&C 136) and commented on it. He was followed by Heber C. Kimball.
Wilford Woodruff met with his emigration company in the evening. He recorded, “I met with my company & expressed my feelings to them concerning labouring together for the season in raising grain taking care of the families of those who went in the pioneer company. The spirit of union prevailed among them.”
The Twelve met with the William McCarey, a black member of the Church from New Orleans who claimed to be part Indian (see February 26, 1847). Mr. McCarey made “a rambling statement,” claiming to be Adam in an Indian costume. He said he had an odd rib, showing his body to the brethren. He remarked that he discovered his missing rib in his wife. He entertained the brethren with his musical ability on the flute.
Lydia Davis, age two weeks, died. She was the daughter of Franklin J. and Ann Davis. Mary Ettleman Houston, age sixty-one, died of scurvy. She was the wife of James Houston.
Rations were very scarce. Only one pound of coarse flour and one and a quarter pound of beef was issued to each man.
The Savannah sailed for New York with a salute from four cannons on the Congress, which could be heard five miles away. Many of the men had sent letters for family and friends in the east, which were taken on the ship.
Corporal Arnold Stevens, age forty-four, died of internal bleeding, caused by injuries sustained the previous week from a mule. John Steele wrote: “He was dressed in his robes and neatly laid in a coffin made of what is called puncheons of cottonwood. These are slabs split off like staves.” He was buried with military honors.
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 531‑32; Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 134‑35; Kenney, ed., Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:143; Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, 1:243‑44; Our Pioneer Heritage, 2:238; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 215; “The Journal of Robert S. Bliss,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 4:89; “Journal Extracts of Henry W. Bigler,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 5:59; “Norton Jacob Autobiography,” BYU, 43, 45‑46
The day was warm and signs of spring were noticed. Large flocks of geese were seen flying north. The Missouri River was finally free from ice. Hosea Stout wrote that the day was “pleasant as summer.”
Brigham Young asked John D. Lee to care for Andrew Lytle’s wife, Hannah. Brother Lytle was away in the Mormon Battalion and President Young wanted Brother Lee to watch over her family until they could be sent over the mountains during the next year.
At 7 p.m., Brigham Young held another meeting with his extended family. Isaac Morley called the meeting to order. New family members were welcomed into the organization. Plans were made for the summer farm. Three companies were organized, to be led by Isaac Morley, John Vance, and John D. Lee. Laborers would start working at the farm on Monday.
Daniel Spencer arrived with mail from the Austin post office in Missouri. He brought fourteen packages of newspapers. In the evening, the Twelve and others read the newspapers together and examined a map of the west.
Mary C. Burnham, age nineteen, died of scurvy. She was the wife of Jacob D. Burnham. Wilford Woodruff attended the Sister Burnham’s funeral. Nancy Clement Smith, age thirty-one, wife of George A. Smith, died of scurvy. Mary C. Huntley, age nineteen, also died. Hyrum Turner, age three died. He was the son of Nelson and Lucinda Turner.
Elder Woodruff recorded, “During the evening I took a ride out with my family & friends around the City & down the river Bank. I wet my feet & returned home.”
The battalion moved their camp about a mile north, three‑quarters of a mile from Pueblo de Los Angeles, on the bank of the San Gabriel River. James S. Brown wrote: “At this time the air was full of alarming rumors. A revolt of Californians was talked of; then it was Fremont who was said to be in rebellion against General Kearny’s authority; and again, a powerful band of Indians was ready to pounce down upon us.”
Elder Addison Pratt boarded the schooner Providence for the first leg of his voyage home from his mission. He paid fifty dollars for passage to Oahu (Hawaii). Captain Sajat was feeling much better.
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 532; Kenney, ed., Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:143; Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 135‑36; Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, 1:243‑44; Ellsworth, ed., The Journals of Addison Pratt, 324; Brown, Life of a Pioneer, 92; “The Journal of Nathaniel V. Jones,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 4:14
Hosea Stout recorded, “The weather still, beautiful, clear & warm like summer.” The Saints at Winter Quarters met at the stand for a Sabbath service. Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Pratt, Ezra T. Benson, Wilford Woodruff, and George A. Smith spoke. Elder Smith testified that God would take the Twelve to “the very place for a stake of Zion.” Patriarch John Smith was appointed to preside over the Church at Winter Quarters after the Twelve left. President Young prophesied, “You will find when I am gone that rebellious and arbitrary spirits will arise who will usurp authority that was never given to them and lose sight of the council that was given to them and will kick up the devil among the people. When these things take place, remember what was told you.”
In the afternoon, a sacrament meeting was held. Brigham Young, Willard Richards, George A. Smith, Amasa M. Lyman, Willard Richards, and W.W. Phelps spoke to the congregation. This was the first time the sacrament was administered to a general assembly in Winter Quarters.
In the evening, the Twelve met with the High Council and bishops. Afterwards, they met together in council.
James Cummings, age sixty-seven, died of scurvy. He was the husband of Sarah Wright Cummings.
A daughter, Lydia Urslin Webb, was born to Charles Y. and Margaret Allen Webb.21
On this Sunday, the battalion listened to the preaching of Private Jeremiah Willey. The dragoons, led by Lt. Stoneman, arrived in from San Diego. They reported that they had to kill four Indians on the way because of “depredations on the Spaniards and taking life.” Colonel Cooke recorded: “The Dragoons horses came back with feet so worn as to make the most of the lame and useless. I shall tomorrow commence the introduction of horse shoes in California, at least in this southerly part.”
Robert S. Bliss went to the coast and caught “a fine mess of fish.” A ship from Denmark entered the Harbor with a cargo of merchandise. In the evening John J. Warner, of Warner’s Ranch, buried his child. Azariah Smith wrote: “Two Indians carried the corps on their heads and a couple [of] young ladies one on either side with a candle burning. In this way the corps was borne to the grave, and after being placed in the grave the Gentlemen and Ladies help cover it by pawing the dirt with their hands.”
The schooner, Providence, with Elder Addison Pratt on board, waited in the harbor for favorable winds to start the journey from Papeete, Tahiti toward the Sandwich Islands. On the ship were also nine crew members and four other passengers. At 3 p.m., the winds shifted and the ship caught a fine breeze out to sea. After long months of waiting, Elder Pratt finally started his voyage home from his mission.
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 533; Kenney, ed., Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:143‑44; Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, 1:243‑44; Ellsworth, ed., The Journals of Addison Pratt, 324‑325; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 215; “The Journal of Robert S. Bliss,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 4:89; “Journal Extracts of Henry W. Bigler,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 5:59; Bigler, ed., The Gold Discovery Journal of Azariah Smith, 81; Cooke, Conquest, 295; Ricketts, The Mormon Battalion, 146
A meeting was held in the Council House with the captains of the companies and the pioneers. Twenty‑five pioneers reported that they were ready to start the journey. Thirty‑two others said they would be ready within two days. Brigham Young requested that those who were ready should assist moving families up to “Summer Quarters,” about thirteen miles to the north. John D. Lee was appointed to move his family to the farm. Ezra T. Benson would act in Brother Lee’s place as a captain in the pioneer company. Some of the pioneers would start the journey to the Elkhorn river on the following morning.
A terrible accident occurred. Two mules were hitched to a blacksmith shop. They pulled down the shop and timbers fell upon several men at work in the shop. Wilford Woodruff reported, “A large stick fell upon the head of Brother Little John Utley & was a wonder that it had not broke his head & neck both. It injured him severely. He was carried into the house. Several of us laid hands upon him & I prayed with him.”
John D. Lee started his journey to Summer Quarters. By 8 p.m., his company reached a creek three miles north of the fort ruins at Old Council Bluff.
Hosea Stout had difficulty raising the city guards because so many were sick, absent, or preparing to go with the pioneers.
Patty Sessions wrote: “I bought 5 cents worth horse radish, set some of it out, sowed some garden seeds in trays of dirt and put some more into the ground.”
Elizabeth McFate Richards died of scurvy. She was the wife of Franklin D. Richards, who was on a mission in England. A son, Hyrum Thomas Fielding, was born to Joseph and Hannah Greenwood Fielding.
Levi Jackman and Lyman Curtis left their homes, to begin their journey, to join the historic pioneer company. Brother Jackman wrote:
I left home in company with Lyman Curtis to join the camp of pioneers to find a home for the saints somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. I had one yoke of oxen and a wagon. Lyman had one horse. We took bread stuff to last us eighteen months. Some beans, a little pork, but we had no groceries for we were not able to get them. My clothing was old and scarce. And in this condition we started to go, where, we could not tell or what we should have to contend with. We only knew that we must go and the Lord would attend to the bringing out the result.
Captain Daniel C. Davis announced to Company D that he had made some arrangements for some leather and wanted to know who wished to get shoes. At 4 p.m., drilling started again. In the evening a meeting was held. The speakers included, George P. Dykes and Cyrus C. Canfield.
Robert S. Bliss visited the harbor. He caught a “fine mess of fish” and oysters. He saw a ship sail into the harbor. Azariah Smith wrote: “Today I and Father went down to the coast and ran races, jumped and sung songs for the first tie since we left Nauvoo.”
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 533; Kenney, ed., Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:144; Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 140; Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, 1:244; “Levi Jackman Autobiography,” typescript, BYU, 26; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 215; “The Journal of Robert S. Bliss,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 4:90; Bigler, The Gold Discovery Journal of Azariah Smith, 81; Smart, ed., Mormon Midwife, 77
April 5, 1847 is traditionally recognized as the start of the historic pioneer journey of 1847, however, in reality, this day, March 30, may have been the first day some pioneers moved out of Winter Quarters. Tarlton Lewis and Stephen H. Goddard probably left on this day to start traveling to the Elkhorn River, thirty‑four miles to west, to build a raft to be used to cross the river.
Heber C. Kimball had six wagons ready for the journey. Horace K. Whitney and his brother Orson were “flying around” getting ready to start.
In the afternoon and evening, Brigham Young met with the Twelve and discussed plans for the pioneer journey. A concert was held in the evening by William McCarey.
John D. Lee explored the country about thirteen miles north of Winter Quarters. He found a “splendid location” for a farm, consisting of about six thousand acres. He described the land as: “2 creeks leading from a steep precipice which formed the W[est] line running to the Mo. river enclosed the N[orth] and S[outh] line and the river the E[ast] with the exception of the foot of the N[orth] and south precipice.” His company reached the site at noon. In the evening, Brother Lee called his family together to consecrate and dedicate the location to the Lord.
Colonel Cooke visited the battalion. The men drilled again. It was reported that money would soon arrive to pay the battalion, who had only received one and a half months pay. In the evening, Captain Jefferson Hunt preached to the men. Captain Hunt explained to the men in detail the reason why Captain A.J. Smith was allowed to take command of the battalion after Colonel Allen died. He tried to turn away perceived hostile feelings toward himself for this action back many months ago. Levi Hancock and Philemon Merrill also spoke.
Lydia Hunter, nine months pregnant, was not feeling well. The men were experiencing some prejudice feelings from the people in San Diego because of rumors spread by the Missouri soldiers before the battalion company arrived. The battalion men drilled.
Luman Shurtliff arrived in Cincinnati, by way of Louisville, on his mission to collect donations for the poor in Garden Grove, Iowa. He called upon the mayor, but did not receive any support. However, the editors of the newspapers were very kind and published good articles for him. A rich foreigner donated twenty dollars to the cause of the poor.
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 544; Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, 1:244; Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 140‑41; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 215; “Excerpts from the hitherto unpublished Journal of Horace K. Whitney,” Improvement Era, 50:202; Ricketts, The Mormon Battalion, 134; “Luman Shurtliff Autobiography,” typescript, BYU, 73
Joseph A. Stratton arrived from St. Louis. He had been recently released from his leadership over the Saints in that city and was asked to come to Winter Quarters to prepare for the journey west. He brought a package of letters from the St. Louis Saints. Levi Jackman and Lyman Curtis arrived in Winter Quarters, ready to be part of the pioneer company.22
In the evening, Brigham Young addressed the captains of the various companies. He spoke against selfishness. Letters from Orson Hyde and John Taylor were read. These were sent while on their mission in England. Wilford Woodruff wrote of this meeting: “Expressed my feelings with many others upon the subject of blockading this city & uniting together in their labour in cultivating the earth.”
Later, the Twelve met together and decided that W.W. Phelps was to be authorized to travel to the east and obtain a printing press and type. A letter of recommendation would be given to him, calling upon the eastern Saints to assist Elder Phelps complete his mission.
John D. Lee cleared off the ground for the foundation of one of his houses. A. D. Young assisted him to begin cutting logs. Thomas Woolsey and W. Woolsey did the hauling. In the afternoon, William Pace and McGee Harris helped cut logs until nightfall. All the hard labor of that day resulted in logs enough for two houses.
Mary Richards packed up her things and prepared to return to Winter Quarters after about a six-week visit with the Burton family. The Burtons tried to persuade her to stay until June, but she needed to return. The family had treated her very kindly, especially when she had been ill. At 3 p.m., a little boy came to inform her that the Brother Duel was ready to take her on the journey back to Winter Quarters. She wrote: “I there parted with them, after receiving many Invitations to visit them again and promising to write to them. I found Bro Duels family to be very kind and sociable, they treated me with the greatest respect. We traveled about 4 miles and at night camped by the Lake.”
Two wagons arrived to obtain provisions for the battalion in Los Angeles. News was received that the Indians had been raiding some of the settlements and had killed 15‑20 Mexicans. Kearny’s dragoons had been sent to fight against them. The men of Company B learned that they were much better off than the rest of the battalion in Los Angeles.
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 544; Kenney, ed., Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:144; Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 140‑41; “Levi Jackman Autobiography,” typescript, BYU, 26; Ward, ed., Winter Quarters, 115; Bigler, Chronicles of the West, 52
1The Adair family would arrive in Salt Lake Valley later in the fall with the Charles C. Rich company. They would later settle in Beaver, Utah.
2The Shupe family, including little Elizabeth, would arrive in Salt Lake Valley on July 29, 1847, shortly after the original pioneer company. The family would later settle in Riverdale, Utah.
3John D. Lee remarked in his journal that John Neff had been approached to lend a few hundred dollars to assist in building the mill, but had refused and made some unkind remarks against the Twelve. Brigham Young had warned Brother Neff that “he should feel the hand of the Lord upon him and his family.” Soon sickness came upon the family and Brother Neff sent for the Twelve and their blessings. On March 24, 1847, Brigham Young would sell the mill to John Neff for $2,500.
4Thomas Ward had served as a counselor in the presidency of the mission after Wilford Woodruff left for the states. He and Reuben Hedlock, the president, had been disfellowshipped for mismanagement of Church funds. Brother Ward had confessed his wrongs when John Taylor, Parley P. Pratt, and Orson Hyde arrived to put the mission back in order.
5Theodore Turley is the author’s 3rd-great grandfather.
6Rodney DeGrass Swasey did not go with the pioneers, but later arrived in Utah. He later settled in California and then spent the rest of his days raising a large family in Mona, Utah. He fought in the Walker and Black Hawk wars and a peak in Millard County was named after him, Swasey Peak.
7This location would be known as Summer Quarters.
8The Tanner family later settled in South Cottonwood, Utah.
9Willard Richards’ unusual shaped home.
10The Whipple family later settled in Salt Lake City where Nelson Whipple made the first shingles for the old Salt Lake Tabernacle.
11Eventually, sixty-six oxen were taken with the lead pioneer company.
12San Diego at that time included a few dozen adobe houses and a population of several hundred Mexicans and Americans.
13They camped near present-day San Onofre, California.
14There were at least twenty‑five deaths in Winter Quarters during March.
15This church had been completed in 1806 and was known as the largest and most beautiful church in California at that time. In 1812 the church was destroyed by an earth quake.
16Those present were Solomon Angell, Truman O. Angell, Millen Atwood, Benjamin Brown, James Busby, Daniel Carns, Isaac Chase, Phinehas Cook, David Davis, Hyrum Dayton, Charles Decker, Simeon A. Dunn, Edward P. Duzette, Sylvester H. Earl, Edmund Ellsworth, William Empery, Addison Everett, Absalom P. Free, George D. Grant, Thomas Grover, Samuel Gully, Sidney A. Hanks, Jacob F. Hutchinson, Frederick Kesler, John D. Lee, John Lytle, William Major, Isaac Morley, Robert Peirce, Albert P. Rockwood, Moses M. Sanders. Joseph S. Schofield, Charles Shumway, Samuel L. Sprague, William Weeks, Jacob Wilder, and Edwin D. Woolley.
17Los Angeles was founded in 1781 and in 1839 it became the capital of Southern California. On August 13, 1846, the United States flag was raised over Pueblo de Los Angeles when Commodore Stockton took possession of the city. When the battalion arrived, there were about five thousand residents, mostly Mexicans and Indians, living in one thousand adobe houses.
18In 1858, President Young praised Brother Neff’s generosity: “I went to brother Neff, who had just come in the place and asked him for and received 2,600 dollars, though he did not know where the money was going. He kept the mill another year, and it died on his hands. I say, God bless him for ever! for it was the money he brought from Pennsylvania that preserved thousands of men, women, and children from starving. I handled and dictated it, and everything went off smoothly and prosperously.” Later, in 1848, John Neff built a mill on Mill Creek, in the Salt Lake Valley, about two miles below the mouth of mill creek canyon.
19At St. Joseph, Missouri, John Taylor would leave the steamer and board a carriage. He desired to reach Winter Quarters before the pioneer company left for the west.
20Parley P. Pratt would visit the Saints at Garden Grove and Mount Pisgah on his way to Winter Quarters.
21Charles Young Webb was away in the Mormon Battalion.
22Levi Jackman was born in 1797, in Vermont. He later served in the bishopric of the Sixteenth Ward. In 1870, he moved to Salem, Utah, where he died in 1876.