On this pleasant and clear morning, Brigham Young and others met in council at Albert P. Rockwood’s tent. They finally made a firm decision that an advance company would not be sent over the mountains this season.
A letter was composed to Bishop George Miller who was more than one hundred miles to the west at the Pawnee Mission on the Platte River. They informed him that members of the Twelve and about three hundred wagons were at Cold Spring, about four miles west of the Missouri. Many wagons were crossing each day to join them. “The health of the camp on this side of the river is generally good, on the other side considerable sickness prevails.” The Saints at the Missouri River would search for a winter settlement on the west side of the river, probably about forty files to the north. There, they would turn the cattle out on the range to fatten them up for beef. This would be a good location to spend the winter because they would still be near settlements to obtain provisions. They would be also sent to St. Louis to buy equipment needed for a mill, carding machine, and other necessities.
Bishop Miller was told not to cross over the mountains, but he was given an option to spent the winter at the Pawnee village or Grand Island. He could send a small company to Fort Laramie if he wished, but the preferred location seemed to be the Pawnee village which soon would be vacated. This might make another good location for a settlement. In the spring, Brigham Young would overtake them and they would all go over the mountains together. The letter was closed with the news that a man in Miller’s company had passed bogus gold. He was to return to make restitution and show repentance.
Early in the morning, Hosea Stout was considering how he was going to get his wagons the rest of the way up the bluffs. He had spent the night in a narrow ravine. Soon Reynolds Cahoon’s company came up from the river. Brother Stout was hopeful that they would help him up the hill because his teams had not eaten and had no strength. He was disappointed when William F. Cahoon just asked him to move his wagons out of the road so they could pass.
Brother Stout moved them to a narrow place in the road where no wagons could pass. Soon Reynolds Cahoon came to see what was the reason for the delay. Brother Stout explained that he could not take his wagons up and that help from Cold Spring would arrive by 9‑10 a.m. By this time the wagons were backed up clear to the river but still no one offered to help Brother Stout, so he said that he was going to take his cattle to the prairie to feed. This got Brother Cahoon’s attention and he helped move Brother Stout’s wagons up to a place halfway up the ravine where he wouldn’t be in the way. Soon John Tanner came from Cold Spring and helped Brother Stout take his wagons up the hill toward Cold Spring Camp.
Lorenzo Dow Young took Ezra T. Benson to the river. Elder Benson was on his way to Boston for his mission. Later that night he spent the night with Phinehas Richards’ family at the camp on Mosquito Creek. He offered the evening prayer. Mary Richards wrote, “After he rose from his knees, said the Spirit of the Lord was under our tent and he knew it, and what was that? The Spirit of peace and Love.”
In the afternoon, Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball took their wives to the Omaha village of Bellevue where they purchased some green corn. They passed Hosea Stout heading to camp and President Young told him to select a clean place near him by the spring.
After they returned from Bellevue, some Otoe Indians came into camp selling roasted ears of corn. However, President Young suspected that the corn had been stolen from the Omaha Indian’s corn fields, so he advised the brethren not to purchase any of the corn.
Hosea Stout described the Cold Spring Camp.
This was the most singular springs I ever saw. It came out of the ground in a place where there was no hills only on the side of a common declivity and affords water sufficient for the whole camp. In fact there was a continual dipping of water out of it which did not seem to lessen the stream. . . . There was numerous hosts of Indians strolling about camp all the time. They were the Otos and . . . Omahas and differed widely in appearance from the Pottawatomies on the other side of the river. They were not so well dressed. Instead of good blankets, they were at best dressed in old blankets & some entirely in dressed skins in their pure wild native dress, but they were uncommonly friendly.
On the east side of the river, William Clayton went down to the ferry to see when he would be able to take his wagons across. It looked like a spot would be available on a ferry on the next morning. He spent the day moving his company’s wagon to the ferry landing. He also made a trip to visit Robert Mitchell at Trader’s Point to try to trade his music box for a cow, but was not successful.
The advance company of 150 wagons sent by Brigham Young arrived at the Pawnee Village on the Loup Fork of the Platte River.1 They met in council with Bishop George Miller. It was proposed to send Bishop Miller to visit Brigham Young as soon as possible to ask what the companies should do next. George Miller wrote a letter to Brigham Young asking for a cannon, two coils of large rope, and he also mentioned that he had taken a load of gun powder by mistake.
Louisa Pratt’s group left Mount Pisgah. She had mixed feelings about moving on. “Left Mount Pisgah with an agitated mind, sorrowful for the afflicted ones and regretting that I must leave them.”
In the morning the battalion got an early start and marched toward the ferry crossing to Fort Leavenworth. At 8 a.m., the battalion arrived at the ferry across the river from Fort Leavenworth. By 2 p.m., all of the companies had crossed over the river and arrived at the fort. Many soldiers came out of the fort to greet Colonel Allen and his men. Some remarked that they thought the Mormons had previous training. Many of the troops had already left the fort, but there still were four hundred volunteers from Missouri and seventy regular soldiers to receive the troops.
Henry Bigler wrote, “The weather was hot and the roads very dusty and it was remarked by those who came out to see us that we were a noble looking lot of men. They were wonderfully taken up with our martial music and especially with our young drummer Jesse Earl, a youth scarcely 18.”2
The battalion camped on the west side of Fort Leavenworth in the public square. By evening, they received their tents, one for every six men. They were very thankful to have tents, because they had so far traveled about 180 miles without them, lying on the open ground. They pitched the tents in military order which Daniel Tyler described “presented a grand appearance, and the merry songs which resounded through the camp made all feel like ‘casting dull cares away.’” Another soldier wrote, “It looked well to see 100 tents all filled with the Elders of Israel.” A number of the men, including Henry W. Bigler were very ill, shaking with the ague.
Dr. George B. Sanderson, of Platte County Missouri was appointed by Colonel Allen as a surgeon for the camp.3
The anxious passengers on the Brooklyn remained on board, preparing to land and unload the ship.
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 290‑91, 294; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 141‑42; Tyler, a Concise History of the Mormon Battalion, 134; “Journal Extracts of Henry W. Bigler,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 5:2:37; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:146; Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout 1844‑1861, 182‑83; Rich, Ensign to the Nations, 84; “Louisa Pratt Autobiography,” Heart Throbs of the West 8:241; William Clayton’s Journal, 58; Kimball, Historic Sites and Markers along the Mormon and Other Great Western Trails, 185‑86; Yurtinus, a Ram in the Thicket, 74; Ward, ed., Winter Quarters, 87
In the morning, Brigham Young traveled to find a better location for a road up the west bank of the Missouri River. At about noon, Brother Matthews arrived with thirty letters from the Mormon Battalion that were given to him to bring back when he was about thirty miles north of Fort Leavenworth.
Joshua Holman arrived from the Elkhorn River. He reported that there were only about fifteen men at that camp. They continued to work on the bridge across the river. With the new plans to winter near the Missouri River, Brother Holman was instructed to see that the abutments of the bridge were finished, but save the rest of the work on the bridge for the winter.
The Council met together and heard Brother Matthews’ report that the Mormon Battalion was feeling well and in good spirits. Colonel Allen was treating them well. The Council wrote a letter to Thomas L. Kane, informing him of the plans to winter near the Missouri River, between fifteen and thirty miles to the north.
In the evening, Brigham Young and Willard Richards called at the tent of Wilford Woodruff and united in the bonds of marriage Wilford Woodruff and Mary Ann Jackson. President Brigham Young performed the sacred ordinance. In Wilford Woodruff’s journal for this day, he drew a large heart with four keys and wrote “President Brigham Young called at my tent and delivered an interesting lecture upon the priesthood and the principles of sealing. Present was Phoebe W. Woodruff, Mary Jackson, Caroline Barton and Sarah Brown.”
Elder Woodruff, who took great pride in his journal wrote, “I have been so busy in journeying taking care of cattle & heards and being so few men to assist . . . that I have not been able to do justice to my journals and keep an account of the travels of this great people to the wilderness and the mountains as I would like to have done.”
Herding cattle occupied an extraordinary amount of time. Thomas L. Kane later described,
The manliest as well as the most general daily labor was the herding of cattle; the only wealth of the Mormons and more and more cherished by them with the increasing pastoral character of their lives. A camp could not be pitched in any spot without soon exhausting the freshness of the pasture around it, and it became an ever‑recurring task to guide the cattle in unbroken droves to the nearest place where it was still fresh and fattening.
William Clayton had trouble with one of his teamsters, Pelatiah Brown. Brother Brown shirked his duty and went swimming in the river. When the other teamsters asked him for help he was said to have stated that he would not, even if Jesus Christ would ask him. Brother Clayton told him that if he did not feel like helping, he could go somewhere else, that he was not wanted. Brother Brown left. At noon, William Clayton started to cross his wagons over the river. By dusk, all the wagons had been ferried over. The road up the west bank was full of wagons, so he had to crowd his wagons together in the road just above the river and spent the night there.
On the Bluffs, a Sabbath meeting was held. Mary Richards wrote, “Bro G[eorge] A. Smith called to see us and informed us of the death of Hyrum Spencer, at meeting.4 Preached to us first & gave us some good instructions was followed by Bro [Ezra T.] Benson who did the same. Had a firstrate meeting.”
Luman Shurtliff felt it was best to start working on a house for the winter. He described what the house came to be: “I built my house of rough split logs. We had no lumber, glass, or nails. I had for my floor the earth, for carpet, hay and bark, for a door, split wood, for windows, holes between the logs, and for a partition, a wagon cover.”
The battalion remained in their tents for this Sabbath day. They were happy to have the new tents, but as Daniel Tyler put it, “every rose has its thorn, so with our movable houses; the hot sun beating upon them ‘made it warm for us’ in the middle of the day, though we were very comfortable compared with our previous condition.” Adjutant George P. Dykes ordered the men to place shady branches in front of their tents in order to cool the canvas of the tents.
William Hyde wrote: “All was quiet and in good order, save the humming and singing of the soldiers in their tents, which at times would almost cause the listener to fancy himself in a Methodist camp meeting.” The fort was relatively deserted, and John Tippets remarked that everything looked solitary and lonesome.
The military men on the Portsmouth, anchored near the Brooklyn, observed the Sabbath by holding a service. U.S. Captain Montgomery invited the Mormons to attend this service on the main deck of the Portsmouth. Many preparations were made, a canvas spread, and seating was made available for the women and children. The sailors were eager to get a glimpse of the Mormon woman. One was heard remarking, “I’ll be derned, they look like any other women!”
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 291‑93 William Clayton’s Journal, 58‑9; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 142; Tyler, A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion, 134 Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 10, p.233; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:64‑5; Whitney, History of Utah, 4:89, 321; Ward, ed., Winter Quarters, 87; “Pacific Pilgrims,” Our Pioneer Heritage 494‑95; Millennial Star 13:148‑49; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 219; Yurtinus, A Ram in the Thicket, 74; “William Hyde Journal”; “Luman Shurtliff Autobiography,” typescript, BYU, 67
Brigham Young was feeling ill during the morning. To make matters worse, one of his oxen fell in the creek and broke its neck. The meat was distributed to the camp.
Wilford Woodruff started on a journey to the north to find a location for Winter Quarters and Colonel Thomas L. Kane traveled with him. They went nine miles and then camped for the night. After they set up camp, Colonel Kane’s horse ran into Elder Woodruff’s tent and broke all the poles and tore the tent into pieces.
In the afternoon, a council meeting was held in the post office. A letter was written to Isaac Morley, the presiding member of the High Council at Council Bluffs. The letter discussed how to take care of the poor at the bluffs. The High Council had considered instituting the law of tithing to raise money for the poor, but in this letter it was suggested that instead they organize and distribute the destitute families equally within the camp to be taken care of by other families who had the means. They commended the High Council for their faithfulness and informed them about the intention to find an additional place to settle for the winter, west of the Missouri River. Those who desired to cross the river were welcome to go across.
William Clayton started in the morning to work at getting his wagons up the hill to the Cold Spring Camp. The road was very narrow and muddy. It took four yoke of oxen just to take up a very light load. Soon several yoke of oxen arrived from the camp to help. Brother Clayton arrived at the top by noon. After feeding his cattle on the prairie, he pushed on to the camp. He wrote: “When we got to camp, we were all completely tired. My feet were sore and my limbs ached and had to go to bed. We camped on the north end of Heber’s company.” Brother Clayton still had nine head of cattle lost somewhere over the river on the bluffs.
In the evening, the camp was called to a meeting in front of Heber C. Kimball’s tent. There were about seventy men present. A vote was taken to proceed up the river in search of a place for Winter Quarters.
Louisa Pratt, wife of missionary Addison Pratt, wrote,
Camped by a beautiful stream where we found a spring of clear, cold water, the first cold water I have tasted since my arrival in Mt. Pisgah. At that place the water was fearful. We met Brother [Clark] Hallet on the way returning from the Bluffs. Informed him of the sickness of his family [at Mount Pisgah]. He seemed much affected with the news, assured us he should lose no time. Neither did he, but was soon taken sick and the first news we heard he was dead, likewise a little girl twelve years old, and the babe.
John M. Bernhisel wrote a letter to Brigham Young, informing him that Emma Smith sold the lot where the Nauvoo House stands. “She informed me, to my great surprise and deep regret, that she had sold the lot for five thousand dollars to a speculator in real estate named Furness, from Quincy, who has since taken possession of one or two of the basement rooms of the building.”
Elders Orson Hyde, Parley P. Pratt, John Taylor, and Jesse C. Little arrived at St. Joseph. The Presbyterian missionaries who they had been traveling with, at that point sold them the flat boat.
News came to Fort Leavenworth that a steamboat sank in the river which was bringing ammunition and provisions for the army. But still, members of the Mormon Battalion (the first three companies) were issued their arms on this day. Quite a crowd gathered around the arsenal before it was opened up to distribute the guns. Colonel Allen, seeing the anxious men crowding around the door called out, “Stand back boys. Don’t be in a hurry to get your muskets. You will want to throw the damned things away before you get to California.” They were “flint‑lock muskets, with a few cap lock yaugers for sharpshooting and hunting purposes.” The muskets weighed about twelve to fifteen pounds and were said to be able to shoot a ball about one mile. They were instructed to clean the muskets often.
Along with the muskets, each man received a large cartridge box with a heavy white leather belt which they carried over their left shoulder. A similar belt with a bayonet and scabbard was issued to be carried over the right shoulder. A waist belt was also issued along with a knapsack for clothing and other items. Finally, they were issued a half quart canteen and a “haversack” which was used to carry dinner and a day or two of rations. Groups of six men were organized into messes and given cooking utensils and pots.
Abner Blackburn noted, “We had to be sworn into the service. The officer read the military law to us. It was death to desert and death for several other offences.”
Early in the morning, Captain Montgomery detailed men to help the Saints unload the Brooklyn. The cargo was a great wonder to the men. One man remarked that it “compared favorably with the ark of Noah.” The Saints were greeted at the little town of Yerba Buena by about a half dozen American settlers, several members of Spanish families and about one hundred Indians. The town was located on a cove at the base of Telegraph Hill. The Saints set foot on the rocks at what was later known as Clark’s Point.
That night, many of the Saints slept in tents pitched near what is now Washington and Montgomery Streets in San Francisco. Sixteen families found shelter in a small adobe house, on what is now Grant Avenue (between Clay and Washington), which they partitioned off with quilts. Others found shelter in the deserted Mission Dolores (on today’s Dolores Street near 16th Street) a few miles over the hills. The new sleeping quarters were a very welcome relief after spending almost six months on the Brooklyn. They were all very happy to stand once again on solid ground.
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 293-94; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:65; William Clayton’s Journal, 59; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 142; Talbot, A Historical Guide to the Mormon Battalion and Butterfield Trail, 22; “Norton Jacob Autobiography,” BYU, 33; Tullidge, Women of Mormondom, 447‑48; Bailey, Samuel Brannan, 44; Our Pioneer Heritage, 3:492, 532; “Diary of Daniel Stark.” Our Pioneer Heritage 3:498; Caroline A. Joyce, Our Pioneer Heritage 3:506; Bagley, ed., Frontiersman: Abner Blackburn’s Narrative, 39‑40; “Zadoc Judd Autobiography,” BYU, 24; “Louisa Pratt Autobiography,” Heart Throbs of the West 8:241; Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, 345; Newell and Avery, Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, 233
Heber C. Kimball and his company, headed up the river in the morning, to search for a suitable location for a winter quarters. They hoped to find a spot within thirty miles of Cold Spring Camp. Many teams went with him and were rolling out all day.
In the afternoon, John Kay and Newel K. Knight arrived from the Pawnee Village, about 110 miles to the west, with a letter from George Miller. (See August 1, 1846.) The Council wrote a letter in reply stating that they would send him what he requested. Again, they reiterated, “We are satisfied that it will be impolitic for any company to attempt to cross the mountains this fall” and they were encouraged to prepare for the winter. In language of a parable, they were instructed to do missionary work among the Indians. They were authorized to organize a High Council, to attend to the spiritual and temporal matters of the Saints. Bishop George Miller was appointed to preside in this Council. In closing, they rescinded their recommendation to maybe go to Fort Laramie or Grand Island for the winter. This would be too far away from the main camp and they would be in danger of having their supply line cut off.
At 4 p.m., Brigham Young and his company started up the river to find a winter quarters. He, along with Wilford Woodruff, travelled nine miles and camped on a prairie ridge near some timber.
A son, Castina Johnson, was born to Joseph and Elizabeth Johnson.5
Jeremiah Leavett, age fifty, died. He was the husband of Sarah Sturtevant Leavett and father of twelve children.
Hugh Moon had been living near Montrose, Iowa, because of the mob activities around Nauvoo. On this day he crossed back over the river, returning to Nauvoo, and was married to Maria E. Mott by Elder Thomas Cottom at the William Moses home.6
Orson Hyde, Parley P. Pratt, and John Taylor, on their way to England, and Jesse C. Little, on his way to the Eastern States, arrived at Fort Leavenworth and had a happy reunion with members of the battalion. There was a “general how‑de‑do and rejoicing in the camp.” The last two companies of the battalion received their muskets and other items.
News spread through camp that among the Missouri volunteers, a man struck another man with a hatchet and severely wounded him. Corporal Daniel Tyler, of the battalion wrote, “Volunteers from different parts of the country arrived at the garrison daily, to get their outfits. Many of them were rough, desperate‑looking characters. Quarreling and fighting were not unusual among those from Upper Missouri.” Captain James S. Brown noted, “Many of the new recruits were very rough indeed, and drinking and fighting seemed to be their pastime; myself and companions were amazed and shocked at the profane and vulgar language and vile actions that we were compelled to listen to and witness.”
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 294‑95; Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout 1844‑1861, 184; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 142; William Clayton’s Journal, 59; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:65; Tyler, A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion, 134 Brown, Life of a Pioneer, 29; “Hugh Moon, autobiography,” typescript, BYU, 5; “William Hyde Journal”; Yurtinus, A Ram in the Thicket, 76
Brigham Young rode out with other members of the Twelve to look at the woods and to find the next encampment. He also returned to Cold Spring Camp for a short visit. While there, he gave Hosea Stout the use of a span of horses and a wagon to move on with his family.
Brigham Young returned to the advance company, and the camp traveled a few miles. After the wagons had formed into a circle to make an enclosure for the horses, Sister Helen Mar Whitney met Colonel Thomas L. Kane for the first time. It had been a weary, hot day. She discussed with her sister‑in‑law, Sarah Ann Whitney, the unpleasant circumstances and trials which they were experiencing.
We were going on in this strain while washing the dust from our hands and faces preparatory to getting dinner. But our conversation came to a sudden stop, for as I went to the tent door to dash out some water, who should I see but a young stranger in a listening attitude, which stood hardly a yard away from our tent. He looked up as I threw out the water and I felt my cheeks crimson as our eyes met, and I made a hasty retreat, wondering who he was and what we had said, that he could take advantage of if so disposed . . . we soon learned who he was. He came, as it were like an angel of mercy and one whom the Lord, no doubt, raised up to act as a mediator in behalf of a homeless and afflicted people.
William Clayton moved to one of the recently vacated camping spots, closer to the spring. He spent the day fixing a wagon and sent one of his men back over the Missouri River to search for his lost oxen. The man returned in the evening with one yoke.
Brother Stout crossed back over the Missouri, did some trading, and returned to prepare to break camp.
Mary Richards recorded her activities of the day in your journal, “In the morn baked 3 loafs of bread for Uncle Levis folks, & one for our selfs. Helped mother do the work, & assisted Uncle Levis folks to prepare for their departure to the other side of the River. The weather was very hot. Myself rather unwell.”
A daughter, Hannah Marian McEwen, was born to Matthew and Mary McEwen.7
Severe sickness of chills and fevers continued to plague the settlement. Elder Ezra T. Benson and Brother Sidwell arrived at Mount Pisgah in the evening. Elder Benson was on his way to a mission in the States. He had counted one hundred wagons between Mount Pisgah and Council Bluffs. The arrival of these two men turned out to be a great blessing for the Charles C. Rich family.
Sarah Rich related:
A poor woman, one of the wives of one of the men that had gone with the Mormon Battalion to Mexico, came to my husband who was still sick in bed, and told him that she had no bread for her children to eat. I, by this time was able to be up and see to my little babe. This sister was crying and told us how destitute she was. My husband turned to me and said, “Let this sister have some flour.” This was a puzzle to me knowing that we did not have twenty pounds of flour in the house, and none in the place to get. He looked at me and smiled, and said, “Sarah, let her have all that there is in the house, and trust in the Lord to provide for us.” I arose, and did as I was bid, but we did not know how our children were to get bread.
When the sister was gone, Mr. Rich said, “I know the Lord will open the way for us to live; so do not feel uneasy, for there will be a way opened for us having a loaf of bread in the house.” I too began to ask the Lord to open the way for us to live, and along towards evening we saw some covered wagons coming down the hill towards the house; so the man in front drove up and came into the house; it proved to be Brother Sidwell that was with Brother Benson that had called on us as they went East. Brother Sidwell said he wished to stop overnight with us. My husband told him he could do so. He then turned to Mr. Rich and said to him, “The Spirit tells me you are out of money and told me to help thee” (he used thee as [if] he had been a Quaker). He then handed Mr. Rich fifty dollars. Mr. Rich turned to me, handed me the money saying, “Now, you see, the Lord has opened a way for us to get flour.” He was quite overcome with thanks in his heart.
Brother Sidwell, after understanding the situation, said, “we have bread in our wagons enough for tonight and in the morning, and we passed a wagon load of flour a little way back that was heading this way and will reach here either tonight or in the morning, so you can be supplied with bread stuff.” We both burst into tears to think the Lord had so blessed us for blessing the poor sister and her little children.
William Casper, age sixty‑two, died. He was the husband of Avarilla Durbin Casper.
The battalion started to receive their clothing money from the paymaster. They each received $42 for the clothing. They had decided to use their current clothing and send back much of the pay to help their families and the Church. Many also donated several hundred dollars to Elders Hyde, Pratt, Taylor and Little, who were on their way to their mission fields of labor.
When the battalion received their pay, the paymaster was very surprised to see that every man was able to sign his own name to the pay roll, while only about one in three of the Missouri volunteers could do likewise.
Daniel Tyler wrote that Colonel Allen was overheard talking to an important officer of Fort Leavenworth. He told him that he never had to issue a command a second time to the Mormon Battalion. While the men were unacquainted to military tactics, they understood very well the importance of obeying orders from their officers.
Samuel W. Richards and Franklin D. Richards arrived in Columbia, near Philadelphia and spent the night with Brother John P. Smith. They were on the way to England for a mission. It had been a very long journey from St. Louis, where they had been twenty days earlier. During the journey, Franklin had been ill with a fever.
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 295‑96; William Clayton’s Journal, 59‑60; Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, 345; “Journal Extracts of Henry W. Bigler,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 5:2:37; Tyler, A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion, 136‑37; Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout 1844‑1861, 184; “Sarah Rich Autobiography,” typescript, BYU, 58‑63; Woman’s Exponent, 13:50; Ward, ed., Winter Quarters, 87, 301‑02
Brigham Young met in council with members of the Twelve and afterwards rode out to continue his search for a site for Winter Quarters. His brother, Lorenzo Dow Young, caught up with the lead camp and went with Heber C. Kimball in his carriage to examine a location. They also visited a mound where a Brother Allen had some men digging up some bones which were supposed to have been buried by the Indians.
Hosea Stout broke camp and started moving to catch up with Brigham Young and the advance group. The weather was very hot and muggy which made traveling difficult for the teams that needed to be rested often. He traveled about six miles and camped for the night on top of the river bluff, about six miles to the west of the river. He wrote, “It was a beautiful camping place and all those who had gone before, had stopped here by the appearance of the ground. There was a good spring near by.”
Mary Richards bid good‑bye to the family of Levi Richards who were crossing over the river to Cold Spring. In the evening she took a walk with Melinda Wood. She wrote, “Came home & went to bed but the misskateos haveing taken possesion of our tent we was [not] permited to sleep all night.”
Elder Ezra T. Benson discovered that William Huntington, the president of Mount Pisgah settlement was very ill with a fever. Elder Benson and Charles C. Rich met in council, prayed, and administered to President Huntington. Elder Benson wrote in a letter to Brigham Young,
There has been much sickness here and some bad cases, but many are recovering, although some are still feeble. The Saints here are enjoying peace and plenty; the crops are growing very fast and likely to produce abundantly. . . . The field is well fenced and the saints will no doubt have good times here. I took a ride round the field and find the corn silked out and some of the Buckwheat in flower.
While traveling on their journey west, Alfred and Margaret Merrill had a baby who they named Alfred Merrill. The baby was born in their wagon. At Farmington, Iowa, there was another birth, Solomon Avery Wixom to Solomon and Sarah Wixom.8
The paymaster continued to issue pay to battalion members. Company elections were held to choose 3rd and 4th Lieutenants and one 4th Corporal for each company. The troops purchased goods from the post trader, traveling merchants, and stores in Weston, Missouri. Many men also contracted laundresses to wash their clothes. Samuel Gully was appointed as Assistant Quartermaster because there had been complaints about Quartermaster Sebert Shelton. A few additional families arrived from Council Bluffs to join the battalion and some new recruits enlisted. John R. Murdock was seriously hurt after begin run over by a wagon while trying to train a six‑mule team. J.D. Chase was very sick.
The Mississippi Saints ran into quite a scare. Two of their men were chasing a wounded deer in the brush, when they were attacked by a grizzly bear. It knocked them both down. One of the men was bitten on the head, cutting him in three places. Others came running and were able to kill the bear.
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 296; “Sarah Rich Autobiography, typescript,” BYU, 58‑9; Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout 1844‑1861, 184; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:146; Tyler, A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion, 137; “Albert Merrill, autobiography,” typescript, BYU, 4; “ John Brown Journal,” Our Pioneer Heritage, 2:428; Yurtinus, A Ram in the Thicket, 76, 79‑80; “Private Journal of Thomas Dunn,” 3; Ward, ed., Winter Quarters, 87
At 8:30 a.m., Brigham Young met with Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards, and Wilford Woodruff in a public meeting with the camp to consult about a location for Winter Quarters. Luman H. Clakins reported that he had followed an Indian trail up the river for twelve miles but there was not enough timber to build a settlement. Brigham Young asked the brethren if they would like to stop at their current location. Many were in favor of this proposal.
Brigham Young proposed that a city be built at this location. Houses, a council house, and a schoolhouse would be built. The camp would be organized as a family. Pens would be built for the cattle. Heber C. Kimball endorsed President Young’s proposals. He suggested that twelve men be called to oversee the settling of the town. Alpheus Cutler, the person who had discovered this site, was appointed to be the presiding member of the High Council.
The council voted that the camp would be located on the top of a bluff, near a spring. Before any houses were to be built, hay must be cut for the winter. The brethren were instructed not to disturb any Indian graves nearby.
The meeting adjourned and the leaders next met with Colonel Thomas L. Kane at George D. Grant’s tent. They told Colonel Kane that they intended to settle in the Great Basin or Bear River Valley. Those who sailed on the Brooklyn would settle at San Francisco. President Young pledged their continued loyalty to the United States as long as they were treated well. Colonel Kane mentioned that former governor of Missouri, Lilburn Boggs, had been working against the Mormons in Washington. His friends were seeking to have him be appointed governor of California. The Council also discussed with Colonel Kane about settling on Vancouver Island. It was decided to draft a letter to President Polk to solicit his continued support.
President Young took this opportunity to preach the Gospel to Colonel Kane. He expressed his warm feelings toward him. Colonel Kane asked several searching questions. He asked if “we believed in conversing with the Lord bodily.” President Young replied, “No, but in vision, by the Spirit.” He mentioned that Joseph Smith was engaged in the work of the Lord for ten years before he openly professed that he was a prophet.
Next, Brigham Young and others met with the new High Council. Ezra Chase reported that the country six miles to the northeast had been explored and that it had many ravines which would make it not suitable for an encampment. He mentioned that within three miles of the current camp was a good trail to the river and a good place to establish a ferry.
President Alpheus Cutler reported that after all the searching, the grove to the northeast, near the spring would be the best place to settle. The Council agreed with him. Brigham Young authorized the Council to deal with those who fell into transgression.
William Clayton was still several miles to the south. About noon, some teams arrived from Heber C. Kimball to help William Clayton come forward to the main camp. As Brother Clayton was fixing a chicken coop on a wagon, he struck himself in the forehead with a hammer which stopped him from working for the rest of the day.
Hosea Stout arrived at the main camp. He wrote, “I found the camp situated on the prairie in two divisions and located on two ridges forming a beautiful sight. I encamped below Brigham’s division and out side the spring. Each Division formed a hallow square. There was plenty of good water near by.”
A daughter, Sarah Cahoon, was born to Daniel and Jane Spencer Cahoon.9
Mary Richards went to see Daniel Spencer’s family, who was very sick. She later came back home and wrote in her journal. The weather was very hot. That night she was again kept awake most of the night because of mosquitoes.
Joel Campbell, age fifty-one, died. He was the husband of Miranda Hill Campbell and the father of ten children.
A sum of $5,860 was put into a purse to be taken to the families near Council Bluffs. Parley P. Pratt was chosen to separate with his other brethren of the Twelve, to ride back to Council Bluffs, and deliver the money. Henry Standage put $50 in the purse for his family, $4 for the Church and also included a letter to his family. He gave one dollar to Elder Jesse C. Little for his mission. Azariah Smith sent $20 of his $42 to his mother and gave one dollar to the Twelve. He also bought some clothing and a canteen.
The company of forty‑seven Saints from Mississippi, traveling with nineteen wagons, arrived at the location which later became known as Fort Pueblo, Colorado. They reached their winter destination after traveling about 1,600 miles.
John Brown wrote in his journal: “We found some six or eight mountaineers in the fort with their families. They had Indian and Spanish [Mexican] women for wives. We were received very kindly and they seemed pleased to see us. We had now performed a journey of about 800 miles since leaving Independence.” William Kartchner added: “When we arrived at Pueblo on the Arkansas River, we found small farms of corn cultivated by Indians mostly and traders, who had Indian squaws for wives, of whom we bought corn and prepared for winter quarters, building a row of log houses on the opposite bank of the river from Fort Pueblo.”
News was soon received that the main Camp of Israel was staying for the winter at the Missouri River. John Brown recorded: “They were much disappointed as they expected to get with the main body of the Church. We comforted them all we could.” They also learned about the Mormon Battalion’s march to New Mexico.10 The Mississippi Company of Saints went to work building cabins in the form of a fort and organizing their company into a branch.
Heinrich Lienhard was part of an emigrant company that arrived into the valley after traveling down the Weber River. He recorded:
On the 7th we reached the flat shore of the magni_cent Salt Lake, the waters of which were clear as crystal, but as salty as the strongest salt brine. It is an immense expanse of water and presents to the eye in a northeasterly [northwesterly] direction nothing but sky and water. In it there are a few barren islands which have the appearance of having been wholly burnt over. The land extends from the mountains down to the lake in a splendid inclined plane broken only by the fresh water running down from ever-_owing springs above. The soil is a rich, deep black sand composition [loam] doubtless capable of producing good crops. The clear, sky-blue surface of the lake, the warm sunny air, the nearby high mountains, with the beautiful country at their foot through which we on a _ne road were passing, made on my spirits an extraordinarily charming impression. The whole day long I felt like singing and whistling; had there been a single family of white men to be found living here, I believe that I would have remained. Oh, how unfortunate that this beautiful country was uninhabited!
The company made their camp on the Jordon River in present-day North Salt Lake.
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 296‑300; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 65; William Clayton’s Journal, 60; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 142; Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout 1844‑1861, 184; “Journal of John Brown”; Nibley, Exodus To Greatness, 214; Our Pioneer Heritage, 2:440; Roberts, Comprehensive History of the Church, 3:226; “John Brown Journal,” Our Pioneer Heritage, 2:428; Ward, ed., Winter Quarters, 88; Bigler, The Gold Discovery Journal of Azariah Smith, 18; “The Journal of Heinrich Lienhard”
Brigham Young and other members of the twelve formally selected the location for what soon was called “Cutler’s Park.” Several brethren helped to stake out the new encampment.11
At noon, Elijah Averett, with John Pack and Henry Harriman, came into camp from the Elkhorn River, where they had completed the piers for the bridge.
Hosea Stout briefly talked with Brigham Young on the subject of organizing the Nauvoo Legion again. President Young was very anxious to see it organized. Brother Stout later saw John D. Lee who agreed to take his place as Major of the fifty regiment.
At 3 p.m., Brigham Young and Willard Richards rode to Heber C. Kimball’s camp to visit Colonel Thomas L. Kane. They gave him a ride in the carriage out to the prairie, to get some fresh air for his health.
The camp at Cutler’s Park was currently organized into two large groups. One was Brigham Young’s group, the other, Heber C. Kimball’s group. Elder Kimball’s camp was formed in a rectangle with each wagon camped in a perfect line with the others. The square in the center of the wagons was about 400 feet by 240 feet.
Several brethren worked to prepare 300 seats for a public meeting to be held the next day.
Wilford Woodruff and Willard Richards were rebaptized during the evening. Elder Woodruff also rebaptized his wife Phoebe for her health.12
William Clayton arose very early, at 3 a.m., loading up wagons, and prepared to move on. His camp moved out at sunrise, with Brother Clayton riding a mule, driving the cows. They could not find any water for the animals until they had traveled nine miles. The cattle were very tired, but the teamsters wanted to press on, claiming that it was only three more miles to the main camp. They pressed on without feeding the animals, which turned out to be a big mistake. It was a very hot day and soon some of the cattle gave out and one of them died. Two or three others were not expected to live. But they did arrive at Cutler’s Park and Heber C. Kimball instructed them where to set up their camp.
Elder Ezra T. Benson, visiting the Mount Pisgah Saints on the way to his mission in the east, stopped by the house of Eliza R. Snow to administer to several sisters who were very ill. Eliza R. Snow wrote: “It is a growling grumbling, devilish, sickly time with us now. I hope never to see another week like the past one‑‑yet I have great reason to be thankful that it is as well with me‑‑my health is good for this hot weather.” Her brother, future president of the Church, Lorenzo Snow, painted an even bleaker picture during these months. “A great number of deaths occurred and it was often very difficult to get their bodies decently intered. In one or two instances, bodies were put into the ground without any coffin or box. Scarcely a family escaped sickness and very few where death did not make an inroad. A general spirit of lamentation and sorrow prevaded Pisgah.”
More than one hundred miles to the west, a courier arrived with a letter to George Miller from Brigham Young. (See August 4, 1846.) They were encouraged to spend the winter at the Pawnee Village. However, when the Ponca Indians, who were at the village learned about the orders, they stated the Mormon “big captain” knew nothing about Indian customs. They warned them that the Pawnee Village was not safe because it was in the war zone involving the Poncas, Sioux, and the Pawnees. The Ponca chief offered to let George Miller’s camp spend the winter at his village located where the Niobrara River empties into the Missouri River.
Members of the battalion, including Henry Standage were permitted to travel to Weston, Missouri, to do some trading. They returned down‑river on a flat boat. Other members of the battalion spent the day resting, drilling, learning how to use their guns, and preparing their baggage and wagons for the march ahead. Thomas Williams agreed to haul baggage for every man that paid him four dollars for the year. Ninety-four men contracted with Sergeant Williams. The missionaries, Orson Hyde, John Taylor, and Jesse C. Little bid good‑bye to the battalion and continued on their journey to their missions.
With the idle time, Walter L. Davis had been drinking and got into a dispute with a young member of his company and struck him in the face. One of the officers tried to break it up, but this enraged Davis. While in this rage, the company commander came up and ordered Davis to be taken to the guardhouse. He calmed down and went as ordered. David Pettigrew went to each tent to counsel against swearing and drinking. Thomas Dunn wrote in his journal: “These I endeavored to shun and avoid as much as possible. I have kept myself from them thus far and my prayer to God is that I may ever be kept from them and be counted worthy to receive glory, honor, immortality and eternal life.”
Heinrich Lienhard continued to journey through the valley with his emigrant company. They traveled southwest, to work their way around the Great Salt Lake. They rested at a spring at the foot of the Oquirrh Mountains, northeast of present-day Magna, Utah. Lienhard wrote:
Where the spring broke out of the ground, it formed a beautiful basin, in which, not even taking off our clothes, several of us bathed. In the vicinity of this spring stood an immense, isolated, rounded rock under which was a cave, and those going into it found a human skeleton.13 . . . During the forenoon’s travel we had again caught up with the advance division of our company, and the reunited train continued their journey together. We passed along the occasionally marshy shore at the south end of the Salt Lake and camped _nally at a large spring at the foot of the mountains, the water of which was slightly brackish. An expanse of swampy meadowland here separated us from the lake.14
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 301; Bennett, Mormons at the Missouri 1846‑1852, 263; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 215; Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout 1844‑1861, 184; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 146; “Zadoc Judd Autobiography,” BYU, 24‑5; Tyler, A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion, 137; William Clayton’s Journal, 60‑61; “Iowa Journal of Lorenzo Snow,” BYU Studies 24:3:269‑70; Beecher, ed., The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 139; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:66; “Private Journal of Thomas Dunn,” Typescript, 3; “The Journal of Heinrich Lienhard”
At 10 a.m., about three hundred Saints gathered for a Sabbath meeting which was held in a grove north of the camp. The meeting was opened with singing and a prayer. Elder Wilford Woodruff spoke for about an hour, followed by Lorenzo Dow Young, Benjamin Clapp and Lorin Farr. Brigham Young next took the stand and announced that he did not expect to see the Rocky Mountains this year. He testified that the Lord did want him to take the people with him to build a temple.
In an afternoon meeting, Brigham Young proposed that the new settlement be named “Cutler’s Park” after sixty-two-year-old Alpheus Cutler, who discovered the location and was selected to be the presiding member of the “Municipal High Council.” The new twelve High Councilors were sustained, Samuel Russell was appointed secretary, and Horace S. Eldredge was elected the City Marshal. President Young gave instruction about camp cleanliness, and warned against trespassing on Indian cornfields.
A letter drafted to President James K. Polk was read by Willard Richards and sanctioned by the camp. The letter informed the president that the Saints were on the western shore of the Missouri. It stated that their intended destination would be within the basin of the Great Salt Lake or in the Bear River valley. The Mormon Battalion had been raised promptly, leaving five hundred teams standing on the prairies with nearly destitute families. Colonel Kane’s words had brought them hope that the country might be able to treat the Saints well. Colonel Allen (of the battalion) promised that the Saints would be safe and allowed to stop on the Indian lands for a time.
In the letter, six resolutions were presented. 1‑ The Saints, as citizens of the United States, were hoping for a brighter day under the administration of President Polk. 2‑ That President Polk be thanked for raising the Mormon Battalion. 3‑ That the Saints should locate within U.S. territory, but they should retreat to the deserts or mountain caves rather than ruled by governors (such as Lilburn Boggs) whose “hands are drenched in the blood of innocence.” 4‑ The Saints have heard that friends of ex‑governor Boggs were trying to have him appointed as governor of California. The Saints could not dwell with Boggs in peace. 5‑ That as soon as they settled in the Great Basin, that they would petition the president for a territorial government. 6‑ The Saints had confidence that President Polk would provide protection. The prayers of the Saints were with him.
President Young closed the meeting by announcing that a council house would be built where the Saints could enjoy themselves, sing, and pray. Afterwards, Brigham Young and Willard Richards went to visit Thomas L. Kane, who was still very sick, but doing better. Later in the evening, several leaders in the camp met with President Young to draw up a plan for the settlement.
Mary Richards wrote: “Morn got breakfast, did up the work, washed & drest myself, then took a walk down between 2 bluffs. Found a shade and kneelt down and oferd up a prayer to the Lord. . . . The weather was hotter today than I have ever felt it before this season. The eve was plesent night was kept awake again by the miskateos.”
Eliza Partridge Lyman wrote in her journal:
Since last I wrote, I have been sick with childbed fever. For many days, my life seemed near the end, and I am now like a skeleton, so much so that those who used to know me do not know me now till I tell them. It is a fearful place to be sick with fever in a wagon with no shade but the cover, and the July sun shining on it every day. All the comfort I had was with the pure cold water from the spring near by. But the Lord preserved my life for some purpose for which I thank Him. My baby, in consequence of my sickness, is very poor, but as I get better, I hope to see him improve.
A daughter, Elvira Augusta Egbert, was born to Joseph and Mary Egbert.15 Also born was a daughter, Eliza Ann Moses, to James and Eliza Moses.
The company that Louisa Pratt was traveling with, camped on a broad prairie near William Felshaw16 and Edwin D. Woolley.17 She wrote, “Not a tree to shelter us from the scorching sun; it seemed that we must dissolve with the heat. Our cattle left us and we were obliged to remain through the day.”
Members of the new High Council presided by George Miller met together and Newel Knight wrote that “a general union seemed to prevail.” Anson Call and some scouts searched for a location for a winter settlement but found only “impractical” campsites. The Council finally decided to accept the Ponca Indian’s offer to spend the winter near their village. The Council heard the Ponca chiefs describe their lands and considered their report “favorable as far as we could ascertain.” Brother Knight wrote: “We can in all probability winter our stock there better than at any other point we can attain to this winter.”
One of Brigham Young’s wives, Mary Ann Clark Powers wrote to Brigham Young from Nauvoo. She had started to journey into Iowa but because of difficult conditions returned to the city. She wrote: “You don’t know how much I want to see you and I hope I shall see you before long. I cannot think of staying here this Winter. It does not seem to me like Nauvoo. It is so gloomy.”
A Sunday service was held by the battalion at Fort Leavenworth. George P. Dykes preached a military/gospel sermon. He told the brethren that they were not “at liberty to practice in the evil practices that are commonly practiced when in such circumstances.”
The weather was very hot, 101 degrees in the shade. Some of the men started to become ill from ague and fever. Among them was Colonel James Allen, their leader. Jonathan Pugmire also became ill. He had been working hard doing blacksmithing. He wrote: “Having no conveniences of a shop, I had to work out of doors, under the scorching heat of an August sun, the rays of which, reflected from a bed of limestone, made the heat almost unbearable. Just as I finished the last wheel and gave the last stroke of the hammer, I fell to the ground in a raging fever, and had to be carried to my tent.”
As he traveled near the south end of the Great Salt Lake, Heinrich Lienhard and others decided to take a swim in the salt water. He wrote:
The beach glistened with the whitish-gray sand which covered it, and on the shore we could see the still-fresh tracks of a bear, notwithstanding which we soon had undressed and were going down into the salty water. We had, however, to go out not less than a half mile before the water reached our hips. . . . I con_dently believe that one who understood only a little of swimming could swim the entire length of the 70-mile-long lake without the slightest danger of drowning . . .for I could assume every conceivable position, without the least danger. I could in a sitting position swim on my side, swim on my back, and I believe one could make a competent somersault without special effort, for by giving only a slight push with the foot against the bottom, one could leap high up. . . . I swam nearly the whole distance back, yes, one could easily swim in water which was hardly more than 1 1/2 feet deep. Only a single feature had the swimming in this lake that was not conducive to pleasure; this consisted in the fact that when one got a little water in one’s eye, it occasioned a severe burning pain; and after we reached the shore and dressed ourselves without first washing in unsalted water, being desirous of hastening on, we soon experienced an almost unbearable smarting or itching over the whole body where the salt water had _lled up all the crevices of the skin with an all-enveloping deposit of salt.
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 301‑05; Tyler, A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion, 137‑38; Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout 1844‑1861, 184‑85; “Journal of John D. Lee”; Bennett, Mormons at the Missouri, 1846‑1852, 69; Jesse, BYU Studies, 19:4:486; Whitney, History of Utah, Vol. 4, p.176; “Louisa Pratt Autobiography,” Heart Throbs of the West 8:241; “Newel Knight Journal”; “Anson Call Journal”; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 216; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:66; Yurtinus, A Ram in the Thicket, 79; “John H. Tippets Journal”; Ward, ed., Winter Quarters, 88; Amasa Mason Lyman, Pioneer, 156; “The Journal of Heinrich Lienhard”
It was another hot day at Cutler’s Park. Wilford Woodruff’s thermometer had hit one hundred degrees for several days in a row. Elder Amasa Lyman and his company arrived into the settlement and established their camp between Brigham Young’s and Heber C. Kimball’s camps. Members of the Twelve met with the Municipal High Council. President Alpheus Cutler discussed the heavy burden of work that needed attention, including making yards for the cattle, fixing the springs and muddy places, building cabins, and cutting hay.
Brigham Young said that because of the scarcity of tools, many would become idle. The camp needed to be “united in all things so that each will seek the interest and welfare of his brother.” Twenty‑four policemen were selected to be supervised by the marshal, Horace Eldredge. Jedediah M. Grant and Albert P. Rockwood would be empowered to select the police.
The company from the Elkhorn River arrived back into camp. Most of the men in the camp were busy cutting and making poles to fence in the settlement. Brigham Young’s company was planning to move to the next ridge to the west because they outgrew their current location. Twenty‑four men were appointed to watch over the cattle to keep them out of the timber. Hosea Stout was appointed to be on the police force. He was assigned to be on duty for a six-hour shift each day.
Brigham Young wrote a letter to General Stephen Kearny and others in command at Fort Leavenworth. He was writing the letter at the request of Colonel Thomas L. Kane, “now lying dangerously ill at our camp.” Colonel Kane was requesting that Doctor Sanderson be sent with medicines to help him. He would cover all expenses. Brother Joseph Matthews was dispatched immediately to Fort Leavenworth with an additional letter requesting all brethren who he might meet, to furnish him horses “without stopping to ask a question.”
Colonel Kane later stated that about this time 37 percent of the Saints at Cutler’s Park came was down with the fever or the black canker.
The fever prevailed to such an extent that hardly any escaped it. They let their cows go unmilked. They wanted for voices to raise the psalm of Sundays. The few who were able to keep their feet, went about among the tents and wagons with food and water, like nurses through the wards of an infirmary. Here at one time the digging got behind hand; burials were slow; and you might see women sit in the open tents keeping the flies off their dead children, some time after decomposition had set in.
Helen Mar Whitney wrote about this mission to obtain a doctor:
The only cause of his [Col. Kane] sending to Fort Leavenworth for a physician was his anxiety for his Mormon friends, fearing that a relapse might take him off, and his death might be laid to their charge. He came among us with the intention of learning the facts concerning the strange people who had been so terribly persecuted, and were now exiles from their homes and the spots doubly sacred‑‑the resting place of their dear ones.
Louisa Pratt’s company arrived at Mosquito Creek. “For the first time my cows were missing. I found them lying down in the bushes after going over a great portion of range. Camped on ‘Musketoe Creek,’ nearly eaten alive with insects. The creek is miry; cattle drink with great difficulty; here and there we find a little spring.”
Mary Richards, in the same camp, was pleased to see Edwin D. Woolly’s company arrive. She went to see her friend, Ellen Woolly, a wife of Edwin Woolly. She had a very nice chat with her.
Orrin Porter Rockwell arrived at Mount Pisgah after his acquittal from murder charges and his freedom from three months in prison. (See May 2, 1846 in volume one.)
Robert Stone Duke was baptized by Hyrum Buys.18
Two companies of horses attached to the Missouri Volunteers left for Santa Fe. It was another hot day, “hot enough to melt cheeze.”
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 305‑07; Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout 1844‑1861, 185; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 146; Woman’s Exponent, 13:58; “Louisa Pratt Autobiography,” Heart Throbs of the West 8:241; Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, 3:65; Beecher, ed., The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 140; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 67; “Azariah Smith Journal”; Yurtinus, A Ram in the Thicket, 80; Ward, ed., Winter Quarters, 88; Mulder & Mortensen, Among the Mormons, 208
Brigham Young moved his family to their new camping spot in the morning. His company was on a new ridge, separated from Elder Kimball’s company by a valley about eight hundred feet across. They were expected to stay there until the haying was completed on the Cutler’s Park site.
At 9 a.m., a council meeting was held. During the meeting, Parley P. Pratt arrived from Fort Leavenworth with a purse of $5,860. Elder Pratt reported that the battalion was doing well. He mentioned that it was reported in Missouri that President Polk had issued a proclamation “that the Mormons had better not be in haste in going to California, that they should be protected, and paid for all their losses in Missouri and Illinois.”
In Elder Pratt’s autobiography is written:
I rode with all speed, and in less then three days reached home‑‑distance one hundred and seventy miles. Unexpected as this visit was, a member of my family had been warned in a dream, and had predicted my arrival and the day, and my family were actually looking for me all that day. I delivered the money to President Young and Council, with the list of subscribers, and of the persons for whome it was sent, and again prepared for my departure.
Brigham Young worked to settle his camp into the new location. They formed an oblong, hollow square with pens for cattle and horses on the outside. There were about 350 wagons in his camp. Wilford Woodruff wrote: “The waggons were placed mouth fronting the square and made a splendid appearance.” After they established camp, they then started putting up fencing to the south of Heber C. Kimball’s camp.
In the evening, a council meeting was held with the Municipal High Council. They voted to sow turnips as soon as the fences were up. Brigham Young proposed that the camp be organized into hundreds and tens to have an equal distribution of men in the companies. They also discussed ways to organize the herding within the camp.
Colonel Thomas L. Kane still had a fever but was doing better than the day before. Colonel Kane later described the activity going on while he was recovering:
The chief labor became the making of hay; and with every day‑dawn brigades of mowers would take up positions in the chosen meadows ‑‑ a prettier sight than a charge of cavalry ‑‑ whole companies of scythes abreast. . . .
Inside the camp, the chief labors were assigned to the women. From the moment when, after the halt, the lines had been laid, the spring‑wells dug out and the ovens and fireplaces built, though the men still assumed to set the guards and enforce the regulations of police, the empire of the tented town was with the better sex. . . .
Every day closed as every day began, with an invocation of divine favor, without which, indeed, no Mormon seemed dare to lay him down to rest. With the first shining of the stars, laughter and loud talking ceased, the neighbor went his way, you heard the last hymn sung, and then the thousand voiced murmur of prayer was heard, like babbling water falling down hills.
A son, Don Carlos Smith, was born to George A. and Lucy Smith.
Mary Richards wrote: “Went with Melinda Wood into the woods to get some grapes. Went by way of the cold spring about 2 miles east to get a young girl to go with us. Spend some time in the woods, found the grapes very scarce. Got about 3 quarts.”
More of the Missouri Volunteers left the Fort for Santa Fe. The Mormon battalion continued to make preparations to proceed on their march. John Spindle was bit on the hand by a rattlesnake.
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 307‑09 Millennial Star 13:148‑49; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 219‑20; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 146; Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout 1844‑1861, 185; Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, 345‑46; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:67; Ward, ed., Winter Quarters, 88
An early morning meeting was held, at which Brigham Young asked for a census to be taken regarding the number of men, wagons, cattle, sheep, etc. in his camp. This information was needed for an evening meeting to organize the camp into subdivisions.
A letter from Daniel Spencer was brought into camp relaying the sad news that his brother, Hyrum Spencer, had died near Mount Pisgah. (See August 2, 1846). A reply was sent to Brother Spencer expressing sorrow for his loss and invited him to move over the river. He was also appointed to disburse funds for the Mormon Battalion.
Colonel Thomas L. Kane was worse. He had his head shaved and asked Willard Richards to get a “dover powder” and bathing tub. Elder Richards was also very busy getting mail pouches ready to be sent out. One hundred and eleven letters were prepared to be sent back to Council Bluffs.
At 7:30 p.m., Brigham Young’s company was assembled in the square. The census report was received. They had 324 men, 800 women and children, 359 wagons, 1,264 oxen, 146 horses, 828 cows, 49 mules, and 416 sheep. Heber C. Kimball also took a census of his company which consisted of 228 men, 230 wagons, 83 horses, 741 oxen, 105 young cattle, 340 cows, and, 244 sheep. Brigham Young organized his group into twelve sub‑companies and Heber C. Kimball organized his group into five. Instructions were given to the companies to prepare yards for the cattle, to burn wood in chimneys, and make a road outside of the encampment. Hay should be kept in the cattle yards and a guard should be posted each night.
In the evening, Brigham Young, Willard Richards, and John D. Lee walked to the south, to a green where they watched young people dancing for a half hour.
Mary Lightner described Cutler’s Park about this time. “When the camp fires are lit at night it is a beautiful sight. It makes me think how the children of Israel’s camp must have looked in the days of Moses when journeying the wilderness.”
It became clear to Colonel Allen that his illness would not permit him to leave with the battalion right away. He instructed Captain Jefferson Hunt to take temporary command and move out with the battalion. He was instructed to take an easy pace to Council Grove, Kansas, where Colonel Allen expected to catch up with the battalion.
About this time, a supply wagon with provisions to last the battalion a year was sent out. Unfortunately it was sent on the wrong road.19
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 309‑11 Bennett, Mormons at the Missouri, 1846‑1852, 69‑70; Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout 1844‑1861, 186; “Zadoc Judd Autobiography,” BYU, 24‑25; Tyler, A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion, 138; Yurtinus, A Ram in the Thicket, 80; Arrington, From Quaker to Latter-day Saint, 162
The morning was cloudy, with some rain. Brigham Young spent the morning visiting different areas of the camp, giving advise and counsel.
At 6 p.m., members of the Twelve met with the High Council at Willard Richards’ tent to discuss the progress of establishing the Cutler’s Park settlement. President Young suggested that all of the cattle be gathered together and herded carefully. So much effort was being expended hunting for lost cattle. With some degree of organization and care, this problem could be decreased. He also proposed that Bishop Newel K. Whitney be sent to St. Louis to purchase supplies for the camp, where goods were cheaper. Things would also be purchased for the families of battalion members. It would also make sense for the camp to set up a mill to do their own grinding for the winter. This would result in a great savings. Later the mill stones and other fixtures could be taken over the mountains.
In the evening, Brigham Young took a walk with Parley P. Pratt and Willard Richards. They spoke about the state of the English Mission and the problems with its current leaders. Elder Pratt was about to begin his journey again for England.
John Coltrin, age seventy, died. He was the father of Zebedee Coltrin.
George Miller’s large company of one hundred and sixty wagons started their long journey towards the Ponca Indian Village, where they planned to spend the winter. Before they left, they loaded their wagons with all the grain and potatoes that they could take with them from the Pawnee Mission. Fourteen families with thirty wagons were assigned to stay at the Pawnee Mission under the leadership of Jacob Gates. Before leaving, George Miller wrote a letter to Brigham Young. Burrier Griffin was assigned to deliver the letter. He told President Young about his plans to move to the Ponca Village. His reasons were, 1‑ They were invited by the Poncas, 2‑ There were plenty of rushes for the cattle there, 3‑ The Poncas promised protection, 4‑ The village was on a direct route to Fort Laramie, 5‑ The Poncas wished the help of a blacksmith and help to plant corn.
A son, Charles Edward Smith, was born to Charles and Sarah Smith.20
Companies A, B, and E of the Mormon Battalion received orders in the morning to prepare to leave on their march to Santa Fe.21 Colonel Allen had to remain behind because of his serious illness. The battalion moved out in the afternoon. The road was about a foot deep in sand and dust and the weather was very warm. Water was scarce and the men became very thirsty. Robert Whitworth wrote, “I for the first time found out what it was to carry the heavy musket and accoutrements of a foot soldier on a hot, melting day with the dust flying to clouds.” It was especially hard on the sick who still had high fevers.
Company B’s baggage wagon had broken down, leaving many in the company without their tents and food for the night. They traveled about five miles and camped at Five Mile Creek.22
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 311‑13, 342; William Clayton’s Journal, 61; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 146; “Journal Extracts of Henry W. Bigler,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 37; William Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 216; “Norton Jacob Autobiography,” BYU, 33; Yurtinus, A Ram in the Thicket, 81
The weather was cool with a light fog in the morning. Brigham Young was very busy preparing wagons and implements for making and hauling hay. Parley P. Pratt obtained a buggy, harnessed his horse to it, and started off towards Chicago Illinois, to catch up with his missionary companions destined for England.
At noon, President Young went to the post office with Heber C. Kimball and wrote a letter to the High Council on the east side of the river, at Council Bluffs. He informed the Council that money arrived from the Mormon Battalion that was greatly needed for their destitute families. He proposed that Bishop Newel K. Whitney be sent to St. Louis “for such dry goods and groceries, hardware and provisions, as they most need and can be most advantageously procured at wholesale.” He would also purchase items needed to construct a mill.
President Young made it very clear that he wanted the people to decide for themselves if this was a good plan and a wise use of the Battalion money. “We call upon you, as watchmen and counsellors in Israel, to consider well the foregoing propositions, and decide thereon as the Spirit shall direct.” If they agreed with the proposal, it should be presented to the Saints on the east side of the river in a public meeting. “Let it be distinctly understood, that it is our wish that the brethren and sisters should act freely, voluntarily and without any compulsion whatever upon the subject matter of this letter. . . . Our business and our whole business is to establish and to build up the kingdom of God on the earth.”
President Young further expressed in this letter the sacred obligation felt to honor the pledge to take care of the Battalion families. He stated the reasons for raising the battalion, to “prove our loyalty to the government of the United States and for the present and temporal salvation of Israel.” Receiving this money from the battalion was part of this temporal salvation for the Camp of Israel.
President Young gave the families and friends the option to receive the money into their own hands, but he stated, “such a course of conduct will release us from all the obligations that we are under, to see that they are provided for and taken care of agreeably to our pledges with the soldiers.”
William Clayton was very sick and could hardly get out of bed. During the next few days, Heber C. Kimball would be called upon twice to administer to Brother Clayton. He also received some medicine from Dr. Sprague, but it did not seem to help. Dr. Sprague visited a total of thirty patients in the camp and still had fifteen or twenty more to visit. Most of the sick had fevers and were among those who had recently arrived into Cutler’s Park. Hosea Stout and Lorenzo Dow Young’s wife were also sick.
Wilford Woodruff spent part of the hot day in the dreaded activity of cattle chasing. “My oxen ran away from me. I chased them about 2 miles in the hot sun and came near melting myself.”
The three companies of the battalion resumed their march in 101 degree temperatures. Company B’s baggage wagon finally caught up with them. Henry Standage traveled ahead of his company in the afternoon and As evening approached, he waited for his company to catch up, but they had decided to camp earlier than he thought. He had to camp alone without a blanket or supper. The battalion was scattered in the vicinity of Little Stranger Creek. Company B had fifteen men on the sick list and camped a few miles behind the other two companies.
Back at Fort Leavenworth, companies C and D started their march. Before they left, they received news from Joseph Matthews, who had just arrived from Council Bluffs (See August 10, 1846) that Thomas L. Kane was “lying at the point of death.” They also learned that the main Camp of Israel had crossed the Missouri River and traveled to the north about fifteen miles.
A serious incident occurred in Company C. Orders were given to burn the ground vacated by the lead three companies. Captain James Brown was sick and had been relieved by Colonel Allen before the company left Fort Leavenworth. Acting commander Lieutenant Rosencrans objected to these orders to burn the ground. Lieutenant Robert Clift got involved by trying to influence Sister Brown against her husband. Captain Brown finally got so mad that he seized his six‑shooter and declared that he would shoot Clift, but was soon convinced to put down the gun. Lt. Clift would report the incident.
Some in the government apparently were considering to drive the Saints off of the Indian lands. A letter was written by the Superintendent of Indian Affairs to Washington, “If the Government decided to drive them from the Indian Country, it has not the physical force at this time on the border, but I cannot believe that it is willing to force these poor, deluded people into the wild prairie to die of starvation.”
Commodore Robert F. Stockton formally annexed California to the United States and appointed John C. Fremont as the governor.
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 313‑16; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:147; Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout 1844‑1861, 186; Tyler, A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion, 138‑39; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 147; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 224; Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, 346; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:68; Yurtinus, A Ram in the Thicket, 82, 89, 493-94; Kimball, Heber C. Kimball Mormon Patriarch and Pioneer, 142
Early in the morning, John D. Lee’s wife, Agatha Ann, gave birth to a son who they named Heber John Lee.
At 8 a.m., a group of men joined together on horses, mules, and on foot to gather all of the stray cattle. Regarding this effort, Hosea Stout wrote:
The cattle had wandered until they were scattered through all the woods, creeks, and ravines for miles around. So this hunt was ordered by the council & to be under the direction of President Cutler. All hands were to turn out and did. . . . The men were thus scattered for miles each way and receded North some miles and at a given signal the sound of a bugle all hands were to shout and then march abreast, driving all before them, cattle, horses & sheep into the camp. Thus clearing the country at one sweep.
They were able to gather them into the yards by noon. Brigham Young also helped with this effort. In the afternoon they sorted and identified the strays and put freshly cut hay in the yards for the cattle.
Willard Richards visited Thomas L. Kane and found him better, that his fever seemed to be breaking.
In the evening, at 7:30, members of the Twelve met with the High Council. Brigham Young nominated Albert P. Rockwood, Jedediah M. Grant, and Charles R. Bird to act as a committee to visit the Omaha Indians who had recently returned from their buffalo hunt. The committee was instructed not to enter into any specific agreement, but to create good feelings and set a time for a future meeting. The Indians should not be invited back to the camp. The end goal would be to get their permission to stay on their lands for the winter, to cut timber, build houses, and plant crops. In return, the brethren could repair guns, teach them things, and possibly pay them.
Wilford Woodruff reported that someone had thrown down his fence and let his cattle out, just to take a shortcut. This man would have to appear before the Council. Brigham Young stated: “Were I going to rule a kingdom, I would have judges who would decide according to righteousness, and let righteousness be the law.”
The Council approved a plan to have Albert P. Rockwood and Hosea Stout be appointed to make a roll of all the officers of the Nauvoo Legion that were in the camp, and also a roll of all able‑bodied men from 18‑45 years of age.
Reynolds Cahoon, leader of a committee to sow turnips, asked for twenty‑five men and boys to start plowing a field to get it ready for planting turnips. The Council also decided to gather the sheep together in a common yard.
George A. Smith reported that several boys were preparing to leave the camp and return to Nauvoo. Lorenzo Dow Young was assigned to investigate the matter.
In the morning, Henry Standage’s company (Company E) caught up with him and they marched another ten miles (fifteen total) and arrived at Mill Creek.23 William Coray wrote: “Our march was slow, the heat intense, the suffering of the sick intolerable, being huddled up together in the baggage-wagon with camp-kettles, mess-cans, etc., over the worst roads. The cause of sickness I attributed mostly to the plums and great corn which we used so freely at the Fort.”
In the evening, Brother Joseph Matthews arrived from Council Bluffs via Fort Leavenworth to relay the news that he had shared with companies C and D the previous day regarding the location of the Camp of Israel and the sickness of Thomas L. Kane. He also told them the distressing news that Colonel Allen was still very sick and could not rejoin his command.
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 316‑19; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 147; Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout 1844‑1861, 186; Yurtinus, A Ram in the Thicket, 82; Ricketts, Melissa’s Journey with the Mormon Battalion, 22
In the morning, at 11 a.m., between four and five hundred Saints assembled for a Sabbath meeting near the newly constructed stand. Elder Orson Pratt first addressed the congregation. He explained the reason why it appeared to some that the Twelve had been changing their minds so many times. It was because the people had not followed the best counsel which was given by the Spirit of God. “The best counsel was for the Church to fit out a company to go with the Twelve over the mountains, but as they were dilatory and failed to do this, the Twelve would not forsake them, but gave the next best advice so that no one has a right to find fault with the council for changing their advice from time to time. It is unbelief that causes all our whining.” He said that the camp was only being given a law which they were able to live.
Elder Pratt stated that the Twelve was determined to carry out those things manifest to them by the Holy Spirit. Some of the recent arrivals were complaining because they could not cut their own hay and put in their own turnips. It was important for the camp to be one, and work together for the interest of the whole Camp of Israel.
John Smith, the uncle of the prophet, next spoke. The official meeting minutes recorded that he “urged the people to do as they would be done unto, and not cut their neighbors ox with an ax because it came round their wagon in the night.” He counseled parents to teach their children not to take the Lord’s name in vain and not to treat old people disrespectfully. The children needed to be trained to prepare them to one day lead the Church.
Brigham Young addressed his words to those who had sent their husbands, brothers, and fathers off in the Mormon Battalion. He said, “I wished every family left here to feel their dependence on their brethren who have looked to them and took care of their cattle, etc.” He mentioned that there had been whining and crying when some heard that Bishop Whitney was assigned to take charge of the money sent back from the Battalion. Even before the money was counted, some sisters had written letters to their husbands asking them not to send any more money. This made him deeply sad. “The sisters can have their money if they wish and do what they please with it; but such a course will release us from all the obligations we are under by our pledge to look to them.”
John Smith proposed that the camp unite with the plan to send brethren to St. Louis to buy provisions at lower prices. All those in favor were asked to show by uplifted hands. Most of the congregation raised their hands. Any opposing votes were asked for, but no hands were raised. Brigham Young again stated that any sister who wanted her money could apply for it.
Brigham Young left this profound message: “In the last days the Saints must be worn out, and I want to wear out.” He emphasized that the Twelve have dealt honestly with the people. He told a story about Heber C. Kimball which illustrated false accusations of dishonesty. Elder Kimball had asked a man to haul two bushels of beans for him out of Nauvoo. Later, Elder Kimball distributed these beans to the poor. This man then claimed that Elder Kimball stole his beans. He apostatized and went back to Nauvoo. The meeting concluded at 1 p.m.
In the late afternoon, another meeting was held. It was proposed that a company be organized to purchase the materials needed to construct a gristmill. The camp sustained this decision.
At 7:45 p.m., Brigham Young was delighted to see Orrin Porter Rockwell, recently freed from prison. He arrived into the camp with mail and newspapers.
Brigham Young and other members of the Twelve went to see William Clayton who was still very sick. Earlier, Brother Clayton’s family took him out of the wagon, into a tent where a bed was prepared for him. After the brethren had talked with William Clayton for a few minutes, Brigham Young shared with him a surprise.
In a few moments, President Young called O.P. Rockwell into the tent and the feelings we had on seeing him cannot be described. He has been in prison some time but when his trial came on there was no one to accuse him and the judge discharged him. The brethren all laid hands on me and rebuked my disease in the name of the Lord, President Young being mouth. I immediately felt easier and slept well all night being the first sleep I had of any account for three days and nights.
The Council read a letter from John M. Bernhisel informing them that Emma Smith had sold the lot on which the Nauvoo house stands. (See August 3, 1846).
John Farnham, age fifty-one, died in the camp. Norton Jacob made his coffin out of rough boards and they buried him near an Indian mound.
Silas Richards’ sixteen-year-old daughter died. He wrote that she fell as “a martyr to the fatigue and exposure incident to the move.” Brother Richards had just moved his family into a new home the day before. He had purchased a Catholic missionary station from Chief Leframbolis. It had been abandoned for several years and he traded a wagon, a yoke of oxen and one horse for it. The building also included about fifty or sixty bushels of corn.24
Mary Richards was invited by Sister Elizabeth Bentley25 to take a ride with her to Council Point. Brother William Price26 took them in a carriage. “It was a beautifull morn. We had a pleasent ride. The distance was about 5 miles. We went into the woods & got quite a number of grapes.” She then went to visit her sister‑in‑law, Jane Richards, wife of Franklin D. Richards. Jane and her daughter Wealthy Richards were very sick. Mary made dinner for them and took care of them. She wrote, “Never was I more rejoiced to meet with a friend than I was to meet with Sister Jane, although it grieved me to the heart to see her & her child so much afflicted. I told her if it was her wish, it was my intention to take care of her til she got better. . . . She seemed very gratefull and willing to accept my offer.”
The president of the Garden Grove Settlement, Samuel Bent, died at the age of sixty‑eight. His counselors David Fullmer and Aaron Johnson wrote to the Council of the Twelve:
Garden Grove is left without a president, and a large circle of relatives and friends are bereft of an affectionate companion and friend, and the Church has sustained the loss of an undeviating friend to truth and righteousness. The glory of his death is, that he died in the full triumphs of faith and knowledge of the truth of our holy religion, exhorting his friends to be faithful; having three days previous received intimations of his approaching end by three holy messengers from on high.
A son, Isaac Freeman Phippen, was born to Joseph and Ann Phippen.27
The battalion marched on. Henry B. Standage’s “mess” (eating company) had to leave behind two men who were very sick. They left their tent with them, and others to take care of them. Later they would send for them. The battalion crossed over the Kaw (Kansas) river on this day.28 The width of the river was about three hundred yards and they were ferried over on flat boats that were owned by Delaware and Shawnee Indians. They traveled four more miles and in the evening camped at Spring Creek, which was on Delaware Indian land. There, they found a dozen springs within twenty yards of each other. Companies A and E reached Spring Creek while company B camped behind at Little Wakarusa Creek. There were now seventeen sick in Company B and five sick in Company E. Company A was doing better because their sick had been ordered to stay at Fort Leavenworth until the hospital wagons could bring them forward.
The first Latter‑day Saint Sabbath service was held in California. A number of non‑Mormons attended and heard Samuel Brannan preach. The crowd spilled out the front door of Casa Grande, across the porch, and into the street. John H. Brown, an English sailor commented that Brannan’s sermon was the first given at Yerba Buena in English and that it was “as good a sermon as anyone would wish to hear.”
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 319‑24; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:68; Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout 1844‑1861, 186; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 147; Tyler, A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion, 139; “Journal Extracts of Henry W. Bigler,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 37; William Clayton’s Journal, 61‑62; “Norton Jacob Autobiography,” BYU, 33‑4; Our Pioneer Heritage, 15:112; Yurtinus, A Ram in the Thicket, 83; Cowan and Homer, California Saints, 48‑9; Ward, ed., Winter Quarters, 89
Brigham Young spent the morning reading the many newspapers that Orrin Porter Rockwell had recently brought back with him from Nauvoo. These papers (about a month old) reported on the mob activities back in Hancock County, Illinois. They also reported that the Saints were leaving as fast as possible and that there was war between the mob and the new non-Mormon citizens of Nauvoo.
At 11 a.m., Brigham Young went along with others to visit William Clayton and was delighted to see that he was doing much better.
In the afternoon, a meeting with the High Council was held. They discussed how to raise the money to buy the mills stones. Donations would be asked for which would be paid back. Bishop Newel K. Whitney, Jonathan C. Wright,29 and John Van Cott30 would go to St. Louis. Not only would they purchase provisions with the battalion money, but they would also buy items for members of the camp. Albert P. Rockwood was assigned to collect these orders and money.
Brigham Young proposed that the purchase of wheat in the camp should be coordinated with the camp on the east side of the river. Albert P. Rockwood and Jedediah M. Grant were assigned to help the newcomers to the Cutler’s Park become settled. A campground needed to be found to form a third main company, in addition to Brigham Young’s and Heber C. Kimball’s companies. The cattle that belonged to the Church needed to be gathered together. Cornelius P. Lott was assigned to take charge of them. Doctor Sprague reported that there were one hundred people sick in the camp, mostly from fever.
Doctor H.I.W. Edes of Weston, Missouri, arrived to treat Colonel Kane. He came in response to the urgent letter sent to Fort Leavenworth on August 10.
John Somers Higbee was married to Judith Hughes.31
The Stephen Markham family, with Eliza R. Snow, left Mount Pisgah to start the journey towards Council Bluffs. Sister Snow bid good‑bye to her brother Lorenzo Snow in the morning. The company was delayed because Brother Markham’s oxen had strayed. Finally they were off, but only traveled three miles after crossing the river. Eliza R. Snow wrote: “It is indeed a time of trial‑‑most of the people at Mt. Pisgah are sick‑‑heard of the death of father Bent‑‑he was a good man‑‑his loss will be felt in Zion.”
Parley P. Pratt arrived at Mount Pisgah in the evening, on the way to his mission in England.
Companies A, B, and E camped at Spring Creek, four miles west of Kansas River. Teams were sent back to bring on a few or the sick men who had to be left behind at the last camp. Companies C and D continued their march to catch up with the lead groups. They camped at Nine Mile Creek.
One morning, while at this camp, between forty to fifty head of cattle were discovered missing. Most of them were later brought into camp by some Indians who wanted a reward for finding them.
While at this camp, it rained for the first time while using their new tents. Daniel Tyler recorded in his history, “A heavy shower of rain fell and we learned that although our tents did us considerable good, they were not as substantial as shingle‑roofed houses. The rain spattered through and ran under them, and we were pretty thoroughly drenched.” Another one of the causes of discomfort in the camp was lice. Samuel Hollister Rogers complained that a mess mate combed his lice‑filled hair in the doorway of the tent, covering his blankets with lice.
The Mississippi Saints were trying to get settled into their new home for the coming winter. William Kartchner set up camp under a large cottonwood tree. Their leader, John Brown, had left them to travel south for provisions. On this day, a daughter was born under that cottonwood tree to the Kartchners, “under these destitute circumstances, not knowing where succor was to come from.”
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 326‑28; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 225; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 147; Tyler, A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion, 139; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:68‑9; Beecher, ed., The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 140; Our Pioneer Heritage, 2:441; Yurtinus, A Ram in the Thicket, 83; “Samuel Hollister Rogers Diary”
Brigham Young was not feeling well and stayed in bed most of the day. Rain started to fall at noon and continued on into the evening. The poor weather put a halt to most of the work for the day. The showers caused the Woodruff’s beds to become soaked. Colonel Kane had a fever during the morning but was doing better the rest of the day. Dr. Edes continued to treat him.
Hosea Stout received an authorization from the High Council to make out a roll of all the commissioned officers of the Nauvoo Legion who were at Cutler’s Park. He was also to make a roll of all the able‑bodied men between ages 18 and 45. Brother Stout tried to get to work on this assignment but was still so weak that he was not able to accomplish much. He described, “About two o’clock I had another chill which was harder than the former & was followed by a higher fever and consequently more pain and was out of my senses again. This reduced me very fast & I had no reason to expect any thing but a hard spell of sickness.”
Jacob G. Bigler was one of those who arrived at Cutler’s Park this day. He had left Nauvoo on June 10 ‑‑ a journey across Iowa of more than two months.32
A daughter, Sarah Ann Laney, was born to William and Elizabeth Laney.33
Because of the lack of teamsters, Hannah Markham suggested that she and Eliza R. Snow drive their wagon. This was agreed to and because Sister Markham was still quite sick and unable to sit up, Eliza R. Snow drove the wagon. She wrote, “I drive of course the boys assisting over bad places . . . I am so nearly tired out by exerting myself to assist the sick, particularly Sis M[arkham] that I can do little but sit in the wagon & driver; but withal we get along first rate travelling about 18 ms. on a good road.”
Fereba Barger wrote a letter to her husband William Barger who was serving in the Mormon Battalion. She had recently received $40 from him, no doubt delivered by Parley P. Pratt, who spent the night in Mount Pisgah. She wrote:
Brother [Charles C.] Rich pays all the attention to me that he can. I believe him to be a good man and true to his trust as the president [William Huntington] is sick. Brother Rich has a great task resting upon his hands as there is a great deal of sickness in this place . . . the saints are comeing in from Nauvoo very fast but few stop here. . . . Bro Rich has tried to get a house for me but he has not succeeded in getting one yet.
Albert Merrill’s wife, Margaret, had recently given birth to a son in their wagon.34 They tried to keep traveling with their company, but after just four miles, Brother Merrill realized that his wife could not put up with the jolts from the wagons. Their company went on ahead and the Merrill family camped on the prairie. To make matters worse, Brother Merrill became sick with the fever and couldn’t help himself or his family. His wife, in an attempt to take care of him, caught a cold and now was not able to take care of her baby. Things could not have looked bleaker. Brother Merrill writes, “At this time, Parley P. Pratt was traveling towards Europe on a mission. He came to our camp and seeing our condition, he sent some men he met on road to drive our team into Garden Grove, but instead of that they took us to a place called Lost Camp where they had built some log cabins and were living.”35
An Extra was printed for the Nauvoo Eagle, a newspaper published by the new non‑Mormon citizens in Nauvoo. It reported further hostilities with the mob. When John McAuley, a leader in the mob was arrested on July 12, several people recognized the gun he had in his possession as belonging to William Pickett. It was one of the guns taken from the harvesters by the mob on July 11. William Pickett, a non‑Mormon “new citizen” of Nauvoo took his gun back from McAuley. When McAuley was finally released, he worked to arranged to have warrants issued for the arrest of Pickett. The mob probably also hated Pickett because he was the leader of the infantry that was raised to stand up to the mob which was amassed at Golden Point. (See June 13, 1846 in volume one).
This newspaper article condemned the illegal writs being issued and condemned the used of a pretended constable named John Carlin, who was illegally sworn into duty to make the arrests of William Pickett, William Clifford, and J.E. Furness. The article exposed the mob’s intentions. Carlin was to arrest the men and take them to Green Plains. McAuley and his gang were waiting on the road to murder these non‑Mormon citizens of Nauvoo. However, it turned out that Furness was taken on a different road, Clifford became so ill at Warsaw that he couldn’t continue, and Pickett refused to go. Furness and Clifford were later acquitted by the magistrate because there was no record of the arrest warrants.
With the murderous intentions of the mob frustrated, it was rumored that Carlin was raising a posse (mob) to go to Nauvoo to make the arrests. The news article stated, “This Carlin has no authority whatever, for calling an armed posse to collect to execute process; and we saw to all fellow citizens, ponder well, before you obey this lawless man. He is no officer.”
The article further stated that there were five to six hundred wagons on the way to Nauvoo to help the poor leave the city. It stated that the mob intended to
carry out this cruel and cowardly design, before the means that their friends in the West have prepared for them, can arrive to their relief. The new citizens are as anxious for the removal of the Mormons as the worst anti can be; but they will not see cruelty practiced upon the helpless families of those who are now absent in the armies of our country, no matter how much they differ with them in creed.
The three companies of the battalion remained at Spring Creek, waiting for Companies C and D to join them. Companies C and D reached the Kansas River. Thirteen wagons arrived into the lead camp with provisions. Henry Standage’s brother‑in‑law, Leonard M. Scott, was baptized into the Church by Levi Hancock. A temporary blacksmith shop was set up to repair wagon tires. At this camp, Robert Bliss found a bee‑tree containing more than twenty pounds of honey which was a welcome treat to the soldiers.
Judge John K. Kane wrote a letter to his son Thomas L. Kane. His son had requested him to appeal to President Polk, to grant permission for the Mormons to stay on Indian lands. Judge Kane wrote back,
I shall see him and take care that the thing is done. . . . You say right, that you have not lived in vain, if you can guard one individual from outrage or one heart from anxiety. It is worth the hazard and the suffering; for it will make your pillow smoother at last, even though it be the rough grass of the wilderness without a mother’s blessing, or the pressure of a father’s hand.
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 330‑33, 364; Rich, Ensign to the Nations, 39; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:69; Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout 1844‑1861, 187; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 147; Tyler, A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion, 139; Charles C. Rich, 105; “Albert Merrill, autobiography,” typescript, BYU, 4; Kimball, Historic Sites and Markers along the Mormon and other Great Western Trails, 39; Beecher, ed., The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 140 Yurtinus, A Ram in the Thicket, 84
In the morning, Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball met at Albert P. Rockwood’s tent to hear Orrin Porter Rockwell tell his tale of being arrested, his imprisonment, and later liberation.
Willard Richards wrote a letter, on behalf of the Twelve, to Captain Jefferson Hunt and the rest of the Mormon Battalion, counseling them to live by faith, using herbs and foods for their health, and to leave medicine alone. Elder Richards informed them of plans to buy provisions in St. Louis for their families. They were encouraged to be thrifty, that more funds were in their control than in the hands of all of the rest of the Saints.
Dr. Edes, after treating Thomas L. Kane for two days wrote a certificate of diagnosis:
My opinion is that the disease of Colonel Thomas L. Kane has been the violent bilious fever of this region connecting itself seriously with the nervous system. It is after the disappearance of this malady, that an intermittent fever has supervened. . . . I have no hesitation in testifying to the devoted care and kindness with which he has been treated by his friends the Mormon people. Throughout this camp, where I observe a spirit of harmony and a habit of good order wonderful in so large an assemblage of people. I find that there prevails towards him the warmest and most cordial benevolence of feeling.
Dr. Edes charged Colonel Kane $200 for his “house call.” Colonel Kane asked for the certificate because he was worried that if he died, the Saints would be wrongfully blamed for his death.
At 11 a.m., Barnet Manzer came for counsel on behalf of a company of poor Saints led by David Evans who were back on the prairie near Farmington. They only had enough teams to pull half of their wagons at one time. Brigham Young counseled them to try to reach Mount Pisgah “and proceed to open farms, and prepare to live till a way shall open for you to prosecute your journey.” At Mount Pisgah they would receive help and would be able to work. They should not be too anxious to leave that place, but should be diligent and faithful.
Mail was received, including news about Colonel Allen’s sickness. Isaac Morley brought a letter from the High Council at Council Point (across the river) informing the Twelve that the plan to buy goods for battalion families was presented to the families at Council Point. Fifty‑seven voted to have part or all of their money used in this way. Some had already bought things and needed part of them money.
A son, Joseph Hyrum Riser, was born to George and Christiana Riser.36
The Stephen Markham company of three wagons with Eliza R. Snow continued their journey towards Council Bluffs. Sister Snow drove her wagon all day without any trouble. They were forty miles from Mount Pisgah.
It was a very sad day for the Saints at Mount Pisgah. Their president, William Huntington, died of his illness. Included in the official history of the Church is this tribute, “In life he was beloved by all saints. His love and zeal for the cause of God were unsurpassed by any. His judgement was respected and his conduct never questioned; He never had a trial or difficulty with any person in the Church.”
His daughter, Zina Huntington Jacobs, later wrote about this day:
Just before he left us for his better home he raised himself upon his elbow, and said: "Man is like the flower or the grass—cut down in an hour! Father, unto thee do I commend my spirit!" This said, he sweetly went to rest with the just, a martyr for the truth; for, like my dear mother, who died in the expulsion from Missouri, he died in the expulsion from Nauvoo. Sad was my heart. I alone of all his children was there to mourn.
It was a sad day at Mount Pisgah, when my father was buried. The poor and needy had lost a friend—the kingdom of God a faithful servant. There upon the hillside was his resting place. The graveyard was so near that I could hear the wolves howling as they visited the spot; those hungry monsters, who fain would have unsepulchred those sacred bones!
Sarah Rich, the wife of President Huntington’s counselor, Charles C. Rich, wrote,
Great was the sorrow of the camp at the loss of so good and kind a president. All was done to save him that was in our power, but he was called for and had to obey the call. Thus passed away one of our most useful and noble men. Many were the aching hearts left to mourn his loss after he was laid to rest in that lonely spot.
On this day, more sadness reached out to the people at Mount Pisgah. Lorenzo Snow received word that Samuel Bent, the President of the Garden Grove Settlement, also had died.
Daniel H. Wells, a future member of the First Presidency, was baptized. He had been a longtime friend of the Church and a friend of the Prophet, Joseph Smith.
It had been planned to stay at Spring Creek until some hospital wagons arrived to carry the sick, but the plans changed because the cattle kept getting into the Delaware Indians’ corn. The battalion companies broke camp at 2 p.m., moved on two miles further, and camped at Stone Coal Creek.37
They joined Colonel Sterling Price and his Missouri cavalry, who had left Fort Leavenworth two days before the battalion. During the afternoon, companies C and D caught up with the other three companies and joined them at Stone Coal Creek.
Andrew J. Shupe described the camp: They “came to a creek and camped on a very high bluff close to the creek. It was a beautiful view over the prairie all around, and we pitched our tents.”
The evening was very warm and they heard thunder off in the distance. A cloud soon appeared and they could see rain falling far off as the sun set on the prairie. Then, the wind started to blow very hard with large drops of rain, hail and “vivid lightning and peals of thunder, like the constant roar of heavy artillery, met us from the west.” Daniel Tyler continued:
Before it reached us we beheld in the distance a heavy dark cloud illumined only by the vivid lightning, while our ears were saluted with continuous rolling thunder and the sweeping of the wind. When the storm reached us, only five or six out of over one hundred tents were left standing, and it took six men to each tent to hold it.
The cooking utensils were scattered all over the prairie and some of the wagons were moved, tearing off their covers. Hats flew in all directions. One tent was blown thirty‑three yards.
Sergeant William Coray’s carriage was blown about 300 feet into the brush. He wrote: “I attempted to hold it as it started but finding that my attempt was in vain, I reached for my wife, seized her by the arms and brought her to the ground on her hands and knees. . . . We scampered to a wagon that stood near and clung to the wheels.”
Three wagons were tipped over. Two of them were heavy government baggage wagons. Just as the rain began to come, James Shupe and his wife went to a wagon for shelter, but the wind blew it over with them in it. Rain and hail continued to “descend in torrents.” William Coray recorded: “My wife sprang into the wagon after she had been thumped by the hail awhile. It was with great difficulty that we kept the cover on the wagon.”
Daniel Tyler wrote that he, “being unable to stand and brace against the strength of the gale, was driven some twelve or fifteen rods to a patch of willows flattened by the wind, like lodge grain, nearly to the ground.” John Steele wrote that the rain “filled my boots and the hailstones came so hard that I was almost ready to give up.” Others threw themselves to the ground, grabbing tent stakes or anything else to help them from being blown away.
William Hyde wrote, “It seemed that the very elements were at war, and from the fury of the wind, connected with rain and hail, and the lightning which streaked forth with all its forked fury, followed by loud peals of thunder, it appeared that the very prince and power of the air was coming out in all his fury against us.”
Andrew J. Shupe wrote,
Henry B. Miller, Shadrach Holdaway and myself were in the tent. I was in the back end of the tent and the rain came through the tent as if the tent was not there. And the tent blew down in spite of all of us, and the boys got out and left the tent, but it got around me, so that I could not get out for some time, and the wind carried me about two or three yards, and I got my head out and looked up and saw that all the tents were blown down and left all the men in the rain. A young man by the name of Jefferson Bailey saw that I had the tent over my head and he came to me and got under the tent with me. All the hailstones began to beat upon us so that we could scarcely stand to hold the tent over us.
Captain Jefferson Hunt’s family was sick with fever, including his little children. Sister Celia Hunt was in the wagon when the storm came in. Captain Hunt was in their tent, holding their little children when their tent blew down. “With much difficulty, the Captain kept the little ones from drowning and suffocating.”38
The Missouri Cavalry’s animals bolted when the hail arrived and took cover several miles away in some timber. It would take several days for all of them to be found. The terrible wind only lasted five minutes, but the storm went on for about twenty. When it finally ceased, the battered battalion surveyed the damage. Henry Standage wrote that they “all seemed to rejoice at our preservation, none being hurt.” The Hunt’s little children were fine and many were amazed to see that their fevers left them after the storm. William Coray explained: “Instead of the groans of they dying and wounded, could be heard the shouts and laughter of men and women throughout the camp.” Standage continued: “After some time spent in gathering up our things and pitching tents, we laid down for the night though very uncomfortable, our blankets being all wet. I look upon this storm as a judgment from the Almighty on the Battalion for their imprudence.”
The battalion decided to name that place, “Hurricane Point.”
On about this day, in what later would be called Parley’s Canyon, the Donner Party entered the canyon. They received a report that the canyon ahead was nearly impassible, so they decided to pass over a low range of hills [Little Mountain] into the next canyon [Emigration Canyon]. They would work for the next several days cutting through timber.
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 291‑93; William Clayton’s Journal, 58‑9; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 142; Tyler, A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion, 134; Our Pioneer Heritage, 10:233; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:64‑5; Ward, ed., Winter Quarters, 87; Whitney, History of Utah, 4:89, 321; Millennial Star 13:148‑49; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 219; Beecher, ed., The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 140; Kimball, Historic Sites and Markers along the Mormon and Other Great Western Trails, 187; Yurtinus, A Ram in the Thicket, 86‑87; “William Hyde Journal”; “John Steele Diary”; “Iowa Journal of Lorenzo Snow,” BYU Studies 24:3:270; Ricketts, Melissa’s Journey with the Mormon Battalion. 24; J. Quinn Thornton, in Johnson, ed., “Unfortunate Emigrants,” 27; “Zina Huntington Young, autobiography” in Women of Mormondom, 329
In the morning, the Twelve met with members of both the Cutler’s Park High Council and the Council Point High Council from across the river. There were many items that needed attention in this joint council meeting.
The battalion families were discussed. The brethren were counseled to not be expected to act as servants to these families but to treat them like their own. President Young remarked, “If a man was willing that his property should be disposed of in any way as the Lord directed, the Lord was willing he should be made a bishop.” There were many individuals who needed attention, but the priority must be first with those who needed immediate help. Because so many of the battalion families at Council Point had asked for their money, it was decided to send members of the Twelve there to use their influence to have the families consent to let the Church manage the funds.
Brigham Young proposed that they hire some Omaha Indians to watch over the camp’s cattle during the winter. If they would agree, in exchange, they could teach them to work and make them a cornfield. Also, it would be wise to send some boys to the Pottawatomie Indian Village during the winter to learn their language. Willard Richards suggested that the council write to President Polk to ask his view about educating and employing the Indians. It was felt that in doing so, this would generate a positive influence between the United States and the Indian nations. The council decided to sow wheat on the east side of the river on the Pottawatomie lands.
In the afternoon, Burrier Griffin, formerly of George Miller’s company, arrived from the Pawnee village. (See August 13, 1846.) The Council learned that George Miller had taken most of the company to the Ponca’s village. They felt that he was mistaken as to the location of this village. They felt “that he was running wild through the Council of [James] Emmett.”39 While they felt critical of this move, Wilford Woodruff commented in his journal: “The Poncas are a part of the Sioux Nation, a strong powerful people. The signs of the times indicate the fulfilment of the Book of Mormon.”
Joseph Matthews returned from Fort Leavenworth. He had been sent there to ask for the doctor to treat Thomas L. Kane. Brother Matthews reported that a portion of the battalion had left Fort Leavenworth. They asked for the Church to send agents to follow the battalion, to take back their pay to their families. Many still had families that were at Mount Pisgah or other locations on the Iowa prairie. They desired that their families be brought to the winter quarters camp at the Missouri River. Joseph Matthews also reported that flour was cheap in Missouri. Willard Richards was assigned to write a letter to the battalion. The letter told the battalion that their families would be brought forward to the Missouri River. They were counseled to hold on to their money for the time being, but that a Church agent may be sent a some future time to collect the money.
The officers of the battalion were counseled to be:
as fathers to their soldiers and counseling them in righteousness in all things, that they remember their prayers continually and that they be kind and courteous in all their deportment, showing all due deference and respect to their officers and all in authority over them, using no profane or vain language or doing anything that tends to debase them in the eyes of beholders; remembering the ordinances in cases of sickness, and keeping themselves pure and unspotted from surrounding elements and combinations.
Finally, the battalion was requested to send a copy of the muster roll for two of the companies. For some reason a copy was not made before two of the companies left, so the brethren had no idea who were in these companies.
The long council meeting lasted all day and into the night. They discussed setting up a mail route between the camp and Fort Leavenworth. The final action in the evening was to make plans for cutting hay and sewing turnips.
Hosea Stout was still very sick, at times “out of his senses.” He wrote, perhaps with a smile, “or as my wife said [I] just come to [my senses] for she said that [during this spell] I could speak better than ever I could. I was talking all the while.” He further wrote, “Towards evening and before I had farly come to myself, President Young came in & laid hands on me and said that I should get well & that he would let me have any thing which I needed either in food or clothing and that he was my friend and would be to all eternity.”
Jeremiah Leavitt had left his wife at Mount Pisgah while he went back to Bonaparte for provisions and work. On this day, sadly, he died. His wife, Sarah described her feelings when the sad new arrived to Mount Pisgah.
But the time had come for us to look for my husband. With the greatest anxiety we watched and looked day and night until at last there came a man just before daylight with a letter containing the news of his death. It would be impossible for anyone to imagine my feelings after being confined to my bed more than two weeks and expecting him to come. All things would be all right when he came and it never entered my heart that he could die. When the news came that he was dead, my feelings were too intense to weep. My situation all rushed upon my mind with such force that all I could do or say was to cry to the Lord to sustain me under such untold trials and blessed be the name of Jesus.
During the morning, the battalion rested and dried out their wet clothes. Grass and bushes were gathered and taken into the tents to help cover the muddy ground. In the afternoon, they were called together for a meeting with their priesthood leader officers. Levi W. Hancock had received reports that some of the brethren had behaved poorly during the past few days. Brother Hancock visited with Captain Jefferson Hunt and they agreed that a meeting should be held. Levi Hancock was appointed to preside over the meeting. Brother Hancock wrote, “I told them that they must not sware and take the name of the Lord in vane, and told them that he who had sinned to do it no more for a long time.” He further promised that the sick would recover if they put away those things that were displeasing to God.
Daniel Tyler, David Pettigrew, and William Hyde also spoke on the importance of obeying counsel. Captain Jefferson Hunt gave some counsel and the entire battalion seemed willing to follow the counsel of their leaders. William Coray wrote that Captain Hunt
told his feelings at considerable length and with great animation. He fairly laid the ax at the root of the tree and discountenanced vice in the strongest terms; which imported a good spirit to the battalion and checked insubordination materially. Captain Hunt advised the Captains of companies to get their men together frequently and pray for them and teach them the principles of virtue and be united with each other.
Henry W. Bigler added that they were “reminded . . . of our duty to God, the mission we were on, and the sacrifice we had made to go at the call of our country and the goodness of God manifested towards us and the hand of the Lord was in this very move and to remember that we were Elders of Israel.”
After the meeting, the brethren met to pray for the sick and for the blessing of the Lord to be upon the battalion and their families. Three of the sick were rebaptized for their health.
Also during the day, the officers had to deal with the charges brought forth against Captain James Brown by Robert Clift. (See August 14, 1846). Adjutant George P. Dykes had persuaded Clift to drop the charge against Captain Brown if Brown would publicly apologize. Brown wouldn’t and Clift renewed the charges. After listening to the evidence, Captain Jefferson Hunt gave Captain Brown a “complete dressing out.”40
George Miller and his company of about one hundred and sixty wagons pressed on to reach the Ponca Indian Village. They crossed the upper Elkhorn river and traveled this day for twenty miles without water. They came across a huge buffalo herd. James Emmett and others killed a few with the permission of the Ponca.
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 340‑44, 594; Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout 1844‑1861, 187; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:69‑70; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 148; Tyler, A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion, 140; “Journal Extracts of Henry W. Bigler,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 5:2:37; “Sarah Leavitt History,” 33‑4; Campbell, BYU Studies, 8:2:130; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 216; Yurtinus, A Ram in the Thicket, 89‑90; “Private Journal of Thomas Dunn,” typescript, 4
During the morning, Willard Richards went to visit Thomas L. Kane, who was feeling better. They discussed the proposal of hiring the Indians to herd cattle and writing to President Polk on the subject. Kane agreed and desired to write to the president.
In the evening, members of the Twelve met at the post office. They wrote to the two High Councils, requesting them to set rules to not hold too many evening parties and dances. They felt these would disturb the many sick in camp and would cause others to become sick.
Patty Sessions was one of those who was very sick. About this time, she became so ill that here family thought she was about to die. She later wrote,
When they told me I was almost gone, I felt calm and composed, told them where my garments were and all the things necessary for my burial, and requested to have the latitude and longitude taken where I was lain and also to have cedar posts put down to my grave with my name cut on them, so that I could be found when called for. Many thought I was dying, and the news went out that I was dead.
Eliza R. Snow recorded:
About 5 in the eve, we came in sight of an Indian Settlement of about 100 wigwams of the Pottawattamie tribe. When in about a mile of the first huts, we were amus’d to see them riding at full speed to meet us‑‑bringing sacks of corn & beans which they were very anxious to sell for money or “swap” for meat baskets &c. They were all pretty well coth’d & well decorated‑‑talk english some‑‑appear happy & very friendly. Their improvements are small but neatly cultivated‑‑being done by the females‑‑the business of the men being hunting.
The wagon train crossed the two branches of the Nishnabotna River and then camped on a bluff of the west branch, still near the Indian Village. “They were about our wagons till after dark, and we were fearful of their thievish skill being exhibited at our expense during the night, but suffer’d no annoyance.”
Illinois Governor Thomas Ford ordered Major James R. Parker of Fulton County, a member of the Illinois Militia, to go to Nauvoo with ten men “to take command of such forces as might volunteer to defend the city.” Major Parker was also empowered “to pursue, and in aid of any peace officer with a proper warrant, arrest the rioters who may threaten or attempt such an attack, and bring them to trial.”
The battalion hospital wagons arrived at Stone Coal Creek with many of the sick who had been left at Fort Leavenworth. Adjutant George P. Dykes also arrived with the news of Colonel Allen’s continued sickness which brought great sadness to battalion members who missed the commanding officer. Many prayers were offered for his recovery. The battalion was almost out of provisions, so Dykes immediately dispatched Sergeant Major James Pace of Company E, Quartermaster Samuel Gully, and a detail of ten men to return to Fort Leavenworth for some staff wagons and provisions. Two companies of horsemen and six or eight wagons loaded with ammunition later passed by the camp.
Some of the men spent the day “pitching dollars” and other amusements. Robert Bliss climbed to the top of Hurricane Point and wrote,
I seated myself on a rock to view the scenery below, for 20 miles to the Northwest I viewed the course of the Kansas River, on the south lay an extensive prairie with high bluffs & mounds in the distance . . . to west & south some 50 ft. below saw a beautiful mound in form of a piramid with a pile of stones on top; a little farther lay our Battalion encamped further still lay encamped a company of horsemen.
As Thomas Dunn went to also ascend this hill, he met Robert Bliss who brought news that he found a bee‑tree near the mound. Six other men were called for to help cut down the tree. They were disappointed to only find a little honey, but there was enough for the eight of them. Afterwards, Thomas Dunn climbed the hill. He wrote, “As I cast my eyes to the North, I beheld gentle, rising hills and groves of timber. . . . When I cast my eyes to the West, I beheld the King of day retiring from sight of the natural eye. I must now close my writing and descend the bluff.”
In the evening, George P. Dykes called the officers together to criticize them for the battalion’s slow progress and the lack of order in the camp. Tensions were very high and Captain Jesse Hunter refused to attend the meeting.
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 344‑45; Tyler, A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion, 140, 150; Beecher, ed., The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 141; Rich, Ensign to the Nation, 40; Yurtinus, A Ram in the Thicket, 91‑92; “Journal of Robert Bliss”, Utah Historical Quarterly, Vol 4; “Private Journal of Thomas Dunn,” typescript, 5; “Patty Session Diary”; Bigler, The Gold Discovery Journal of Azariah Smith, 20
Lorenzo Dow Young took his family for a ride out on the prairie.
In the afternoon, about 1 p.m., Brigham Young and many of the other leaders started on a journey of thirty miles to Council Point. They passed through Cold Spring at 4 p.m., crossed the river two hours later and arrived at Father Isaac Morley’s camp at 8 p.m. There were about forty or fifty wagons in the camp.
A son, William King Follett, was born to William and Nancy Follett.41
Stephen Markham became sick in the morning, but his company moved on twelve miles past the Pottawatomie Indian Village.
A son, George Richard Hill, was born to George W. and Cynthia Hill.42
Allen Stout (Hosea’s brother) suffered from “sore eyes.” He was well enough to start cutting and hauling logs to build a house for his family.
Major James Parker, called to Nauvoo by Governor Ford, issued a proclamation. The conflict was no longer just hostilities of a mob against the Mormons, but it was between the mob and the recognized authority of the state. Major Parker announced that he was prepared to assist proper officers to serve arrest warrants.
Constable Carlin, in defiance, issued his own proclamation stating that if he was resisted, he would consider Major Parker and his force a mob.
A daughter, Catherine Jane Jenkins, was born to Thomas and Joanna Jenkins.43
The battalion left Hurricane Point, traveled over rich bottoms and a by a vast prairie. They crossed Coal Creek and followed a level road for one and one half miles up stream, ascended a gentle hill before climbing a hundred-foot bluff covered with stone. The teams had a difficult time with all the rocks. From the summit they saw a large prairie covered with grass and scattered timber. After another four miles, they reached what they called the “Old Santa Fe Trail.”44
After traveling a short distance, they came to a small stream that was difficult to cross. Daniel Tyler wrote, “Long ropes were fastened to the wagons on each side, with ten to fifteen men to each rope, to aid the teams in crossing.” All were across by about noon. There were nice cool breezes as they marched and the sick were recovering fast. They camped at Elm Grove after traveling twelve miles. The camp was about one‑half mile south of the Santa Fe Trail near a pond “covered with green scum and filled with tadpoles.”
James Pace and Samuel Gully arrived back at Fort Leavenworth. Colonel James Allen, the commanding officer of the Mormon Battalion, who was very sick, asked to meet with Quartermaster Samuel Gully in the afternoon about some private business. James Pace was assigned to watch over Colonel Allen while he sleeping. Towards the evening, Colonel Allen was moved to his old quarters. James Pace and Samuel Gully went along. The weather became cooler and Colonel Allen took a turn for the worse. He could not speak. His niece attended to him during the night while Brothers Pace and Gully sat up with him. At one point Colonel Allen called Samuel Gully by name. Those were the last words that Colonel Allen would speak.
On this day, the Donner Party traveled down Emigration Canyon to its mouth which was blocked with timber where it curves around Donner Hill. Instead of spending a long time chopping through the timber, they decided to double the teams and pull the wagons up the hill.45 John Breen wrote: “We at last came within one mile of Salt Lake Valley, when we were compelled to pass over a hill so steep that from ten to twelve yoke of oxen were necessary to draw each wagon to the summit. From this height we beheld the Great Salt Lake, and the extensive plains by which it is surrounded. It gave us great courage.” They continued their journey and camped in the Great Salt Lake Valley.46
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 345; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 147; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:70; Tyler, A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion, 141, 151; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 149; Beecher, ed., The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 141; “Allen Stout Journal,” typescript, BYU, 26; Rich, Ensign to the Nation, 40‑1; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 227; Yurtinus, A Ram in the Thicket, 92‑93; “Private Journal of Thomas Dunn,” typescript, 5; Kimball, Historic Sites and Markers along the Mormon and Other Great Western Trail, 190; Johnson, ed., “Unfortunate Emigrants,” 27, 143
The Saints on the east bank of the Missouri River began to gather together in the morning at 11 a.m., under a bowery twenty feet by forty feet behind Isaac Morley’s wagons. Elder Orson Pratt opened the meeting with prayer.
President Brigham Young arose and explained the reasons for this special meeting. He first informed the Saints where the camp on the other side of the river was located. “We are in two companies, about six hundred wagons.” He explained that those who wanted to live by themselves and tend their own herds had that privilege. However, if this is their choice, they shouldn’t come running to the church when they get into times of difficulty. “The principal object of our coming over, is to induce the people here to unite with us in the principles of self preservation. . . . I will tell the people here what to do with the means received [from the battalion], and if they fail to do it, we shall be released from our obligation to look after them.” He promised them that the leaders would be able to buy “twice as much goods with the funds than the people could by themselves.”
Heber C. Kimball next spoke about the importance of following counsel and advised the people to deliver the funds as counseled. Other speakers included George A. Smith, Orson Pratt, Amasa M. Lyman, and Wilford Woodruff. A vote was taken and it was unanimously agreed that the funds on the east side of the river would be used to buy goods through Bishop Newel K. Whitney. After this lengthy meeting, the brethren laid hands upon the sick in the camp.
In the afternoon, The brethren rode up onto the bluff, near Mosquito Creek. They gave money to fifteen people, mostly sisters, who needed immediate relief.
Across the river at Cutler’s Park, William Clayton started to regain his strength. He wrote, “During the past week I have gained slowly and have been able to walk about some. I, however, feel very weak and broken down.”
The company that Eliza R. Snow was traveling with came upon a branch of the Nishnabotna River. She wrote, “Here we found the bridge in a dilapidated state in consequence of the flood‑woods having been wash’d away; but we cross’d without any accident & encamped in the shade of a fine grove of timber which skirts this stream on both sides.”
Charles C. Rich had become quite sick, just a few days since President William Huntington died. Sarah Rich wrote in her history, “My dear readers, you can give a little guess how his family felt at that time, to see our leading brother laid away, and then his counselor, on whom rested all the burden of that place stricken down, and others of his family sick, and us in a far off land.”
In the morning, at 6 a.m., Lieutenant Colonel James Allen, the commanding officer of the Mormon Battalion, died at Fort Leavenworth. Immediately, men in the army started to jockey for position to take over the command of the battalion. Lieutenant Andrew Jackson Smith and Doctor George B. Sanderson were pushing Quartermaster Samuel Gully to leave, to rejoin the battalion. Brother Gully resisted this request, stating that he was not under their command and he would not leave until he was ready.
At this point, the Fort commander, Major Clifton Whorton, requested to meet with James Pace and Samuel Gully of the Mormon Battalion. Lieutenant Smith and Dr. Sanderson followed along. He wanted to know where the battalion was located and to see if the requisitions were filled and complete. Major Whorton told the men that the battalion had a perfect right to elect their own Colonel, that no one had a right to assume command. Major Whorton said he had written a letter to Captain Jefferson Hunt, temporary leader of the battalion, and to General Kearny, informing them of the sad news. He suggested that one of the men return to Council Bluffs to inform Brigham Young of the situation and then return as soon as possible. It was decided to send James Pace.
On hearing of these orders, Lt. Smith and Dr. Sanderson changed their tunes and “in very smooth language, and with much sophistry” asked James Pace to take a letter from each of them to Brigham Young. James Pace also took a letter from Samuel Gully. James Pace left the Fort at about noon.
Brother Gully’s letter spoke of sadness of the death of this highly respected man, Colonel Allen. “He was a good friend to us as well as to our people. . . . The Colonel has many warm friends here and many more in the army.” He warned President Young that Lieutenant Smith seemed to be inclined to assume authority over the battalion.
Dr. Sanderson’s letter was indeed smooth.
I am in hopes, in fact I have no fears, nor you need not entertain any, your people will be taken care of. Them most perfect harmony has prevailed among themselves since their arrival at this post, and every one speaks to their praise. Lt. Smith, of U.S.A. will go out with them until they overtake Gen. Kearney, who will take them under his special care. I am going out myself as Surgeon to the Battalion. I was appointed by Colonel Allen on the 1st.
He mentioned that he had wanted to come to treat Colonel Kane, but was unable to leave.
Finally, the letter of Lt. Andrew J. Smith was sent. He came right out and stated, “if it is the wish of you people that I should take charge of the Battalion, and conduct it to General Kearny, I will do it with pleasure and feel proud of the command.” He mentioned that he had all of the papers relating to the Battalion.
About forty‑five miles to the southwest, the Mormon Battalion traveled through the prairie, seeing very little timber. They passed by a stone wall which was about five feet thick and other embankments. Of these, Daniel Tyler wrote, “Ruins of an ancient city were also plainly visible, showing that the country must have been inhabited sometime long ages past by a civilized people.”
While traveling, Sanford Porter of company E, became sick and fell behind the rest of the men. Corporal Tyler wrote: “He suffered so intensely that he thought he must die: but while alone, he summoned all his faith and called upon the Lord in fervent prayer, asking that his life might be spared if there was any further work for him to do. In an instant all pain left him and he was as vigorous and healthful as he ever had been in his life.” On this branch of the Santa Fe Trail, the roads were good. They passed over prairies and could see small groves and skirts of timber in the distance. They traveled a total of twenty miles and reached 110 Mile Creek. William Coray wrote: “The . . . creek to all appearances would be a handsome stream in a wet time but the weather had been dry so long there was a scum over most of the water, which made it almost unfit for use.”
George Miller and his company of one hundred and sixty wagons arrived at the Ponca Village located where the Niobrara flows into the Missouri River. This had been much further away than originally anticipated.47 The encampment was the headquarters for about two thousand Ponca Indians. Newel Knight described the Niobrara River as a swift flowing, muddy, shallow, river. It was located only eighty miles west of Camp Vermillion, Iowa, where many of the companies members had spent the previous winter.
Many excited Ponca Indians came out to greet the newcomers, amazed at the size of the caravan. “Many of them had never seen an ox before, and but few had seen many white men.” That evening, some of the curious Indians peeked inside the wagons. Suddenly, a group of mounted Indians rode in, firing guns, whooping and yelling, which frightened many in the camp. But this was their way to welcome the newcomers. They smoked the peace pipe and had a feast.
The Donner-Reed Party crossed the Jordan River, probably near present-day 2700 South, and camped on the east bank of the Jordan, a little south of present 27th South Street.
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 346‑47; Tyler, A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion, 141, 150‑55; Nibley, Exodus to Greatness, 227‑28; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 149; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal 3:70; William Clayton’s Journal, 62; :Sarah Rich Autobiography,” typescript, BYU‑S, p.59; Beecher, ed., The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 141; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 216‑17; Yurtinus, A Ram in the Thicket, 93; “Private Journal of Thomas Dunn,” 5; Ricketts, Melissa’s Journey with the Mormon Battalion, 24; J. Quinn Thornton, in Johnson, ed., “Unfortunate Emigrants,” 29, 188
In the morning, several people came to Elder Willard Richards to claim their battalion money, despite the counsel from the brethren the previous day. Also in the morning, Brigham Young and other members of the Twelve visited Henry W. Miller’s property. He had purchased several buildings from an Indian Chief.48 There, they enjoyed a dinner of green corn, cucumbers, succotash, and watermelons. They took the remainder of the melons to the sick.
In the afternoon, the members of the Twelve visited many of the sick at Redemption Hill,49 including Sister Jane Richards, wife of Franklin D. Richards, who was away on a mission. Mary Richards wrote: “Brother Brigham & Heber called to see her [Jane] and administered to her . . . promissing that [she] should recover. Spoke many comforting words to us both.”
Colonel Thomas L. Kane and others felt that the river was to blame for many of these illnesses which in reality was probably malaria, spread by the mosquitos. He later wrote:
The river diminished one‑half, threaded feebly southward through the center of the valley, and the mud of its channel, baked and creased, made a wide tile pavement between the choking crowd of weeds and sedgy grasses, and wet stalked weeds and growth of marsh meadow flowers, the garden homes at this tainted season of venom‑crazy snakes, and the fresher ooze by the water’s edge which stank in the sun like a naked muscle shoal.
At 4:30 p.m., the leaders crossed over the Mosquito Creek to find Daniel Spencer’s company, but they could not find it. They did find Andrew H. Perkins’ camp near a beautiful cold spring and they decided to camp there for the night. At this camp was found many Saints who had left the town of Macedonia, Illinois. In the evening, a thunder storm rolled through.
At 7 a.m, the battalion marched on. They traveled about fourteen miles, crossing Schwitzer’s Creek about noon and camped in the evening on Beaver Creek. Henry Standage wrote: “This country has much the appearance of a Mineral country, some good clay seen, yellow and black ochre, also some iron rust. I think there is lead in this part of out country.”50
There were still about seventy to eighty men on the sick list. Group prayers were held for the sick. In the evening some traders from Bent’s Fort (in today’s Colorado) came into the camp. They reported that General Kearny had left the fort and expected to take Santa Fe without a fight. The traders warned the battalion that one of their men had been killed by Indians a few nights earlier, just sixty yards from their camp. Two or three Indians were shot in revenge. That night, Robert Bliss, one of the guards kept a loaded gun with him for the first time.
Constable John Carlin assembled a posse at Carthage. He said its purpose was to arrest William Pickett, but in reality its purpose was to drive the remaining Saints out of Nauvoo. Governor Ford would later state, “It was freely admitted by John Carlin, the constable sent in with the writs, that the prisoners would be murdered if arrested and carried out of the city . . . now having failed to make the arrests, the constable began to call out ‘posse comitatus.’”
The Saints again made a feast for the many Indians who came to see them. They gave the Indians corn, lead, gun powder, tobacco, and the peace pipe was passed around. The Saints promised to plant corn and perform blacksmithing for the Indians.
The Donnor-Reed party traveled on and camped at a spring at the base of the Oquirrh Mountains.
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 347‑48; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:70; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 149; Tyler, A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion, 141; Roberts, Comprehensive History of the Church, 3:8; Rich, Ensign to the Nations, 40; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 217; Yurtinus, A Ram in the Thicket, 94‑5; “Private Journal of Thomas Dunn,” typescript, 5; Ward, ed., Winter Quarters, 90
After breakfast, the brethren laid hands on Andrew H. Perkins and others, including several children. They blessed over twenty people and many felt better afterwards.
By 5 p.m., the leaders left for Council Point and arrived there at 6 p.m. Charles Kennedy was on the way to Nauvoo and they gave him a letter to deliver to the Nauvoo Trustees. In the letter, the Trustees were counseled not to sell the temple for less than two hundred thousand dollars. They were told to consider Orrin Porter Rockwell’s legal fees paid in full. Almon Babbitt was instructed to return Brother Rockwell’s watch that had been given as payment for getting him out of prison.
They also mentioned the sickness in the camp, but that it still was not as severe as the usual sickness at Nauvoo. They again made a plea to send Thomas Bullock and his family on. “We want him here.” Sufficient teams had not been sent back yet for the poor because they were needed to do the haying, but they would be sent as soon as possible. They instructed the Trustees to send money to the camp. Many camp members were trying to claim the funds which they had lent to the Church, and there was not enough money in the camp. They asked for $50,000 to be sent. They suggested that many of the poor be sent on the steamer down the Mississippi and up the Missouri to Council Bluffs.
Charles Kennedy reported that the Omaha Indians had returned from their buffalo hunt. Brothers Albert P. Rockwood, Jedediah M. Grant, and Charles Bird had met with them. They were friendly and wanted a council meeting later in the week.
Mary Richards continued to care for her sick sister‑in‑law, Jane. She wrote, “Uncle W[illard Richards] called again was very kind and consoling. With him we feasted on water & musk mellons, a very unexpected treat in the Wilderness. He laid hands on Jane and W[ealthy]. Blest us all and departed.”
The chief of the Otoe nation came into camp with his son and some other braves. They were hoping to meet with Brigham Young, who was still over on the east side of the river. Hosea Stout, feeling a little bit better started to make out a report of the Nauvoo Legion. William Clayton was still very sick, but he was able to take a walk into the woods.
Patty Sessions’ company arrived into camp. She wrote: “ I have been very sick. Did not have my clothes on for 20 days. I vomited 4 days and nights all the time.”
Sister Eliza R. Snow continued to travel west with her small company of three wagons. She wrote, “About noon we came to where a settlement was commenc’d on a considerable prairie stream. I cannot describe the feelings which occupied me while passing this place; it seem’d like a desolation & the wasting of the house of Israel; yet I almost doubted if any real Israelite would stop in such a place.” They caught up with two companies of Saints and watched a grave being dug and “a rudely constructed coffin the sides of plank & covered with bark.” They camped on Keg Creek that evening.
Allen Stout had been trying to build a home for his family, but his wife came down with the fever, and needed to take care of her. On this day, his youngest son Allen had very bad diarrhea and almost died.
The battalion set out on their march early, traveling over prairies and small creeks. John G. Smith and others remained behind to search for three yoke of lost oxen, but they could not find them. While resting at noon, they were visited by some Kaw Indians. They had laid down their guns and blankets in a token of friendship. The officers gave them bread and the Indians expressed thanks. They followed the battalion for some time during the afternoon.
Eight wagons, traveling east, met the battalion, returning from Bent’s Fort. Brother McKenzie was with this group. He had been sent to Bent’s Fort as an Indian interpreter. He told them that General Kearny was waiting for them to join up with him before he crossed over the mountains. Several letters were given to Brother McKenzie to take back with him. The battalion traveled about fourteen miles this day, and camped at 140 mile Creek.
Constable John Carlin placed Colonel John B. Chittendon of Adams county in temporary charge of his “posse” (more correctly ‑‑ a mob). Colonel James W. Singleton of Brown County was to take over the command when he arrived. Major James R. Parker, the governor’s authority in the county, issued a proclamation calling upon all the citizens of Hancock County to return to their homes.
Ruth Bishop Williams, age fifty‑nine years, died. She was the wife of Samuel Williams.
Parley P. Pratt arrived in Chicago in the late afternoon. He had traveled an average of fifty miles per day. He immediately sold his horse and buggy and then took a steamer in the evening across Lake Michigan.51
The Donner-Reed party continued its journey west and spent all day passing around a point of a mountain that runs down to the beach, on the south end of Great Salt Lake. Mr. Reed broke an axletree on his wagon and they had to travel fifteen miles to find timber to repair the wagon. In the afternoon, Mr. Hallerin, from St. Joseph, Missouri, died of consumption.
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 348‑50, 354; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 149; Tyler, A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion, 141; “Journal Extracts of Henry W. Bigler,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 5:2:39; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 71; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:147; Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout 1844‑1861, 187; William Clayton’s Journal, 62; Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, 346; Beecher, ed., The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 142 “Allen Stout Journal,” typescript, BYU, 26; Yurtinus, A Ram in the Thicket, 95; Rich, Ensign to the Nations, 41; “Private Journal of Thomas Dunn,” typescript, 5; Ward, ed., Winter Quarters, 90; J. Quinn Thornton, in Johnson, ed., “Unfortunate Emigrants,” 29-30; Patty Sessions diary in Our Pioneer Heritage, 2:62
A messenger arrived in the morning from Daniel Spencer’s camp reporting that he wished to see the brethren. Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and Porter Rockwell traveled to his camp, finding it this time. Brother Spencer was sick, but doing better.
Mary Richards continued to take care of her sister‑in‑law and close friend, Jane Richards. Mary told her father‑in‑law, Phinehas Richards, that her husband, Samuel, had told her to take care of Jane if she needed her help. So it was decided that Phinehas would move his camp down to Council Point, to be closer to Jane’s camp. They made the move in the afternoon.
Stephen Markham’s company arrived at Council Bluffs with Eliza R. Snow. She wrote in her journal, “About noon we arrived at the celebrated ‘Council Bluffs’ presenting a scene that is truly wildly beautiful.” She was visited by Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Isaac Morley and others who drove up in a carriage. Brigham Young found a boy to drive Sister Snow’s wagon and invited her to ride down to Council Point with the brethren. On the way down, the brethren decided that Isaac Morley should move to Cutler’s Park. The brethren parted with Sister Snow and crossed over the river at about sunset, arriving at Cold Spring at 8 p.m.
Wilford Woodruff crossed the river earlier in the day. Two Omaha Indians traveled with him on the way to Cold Spring. He ate dinner at noon with Peter Haws and visited with Erastus Snow. From there, he rode toward Cutler’s Park and later wrote: “On the way we were in sight of the Omahas village or lodges which was quite a pleasant sight.” When he arrived, he was pleased to see that the physical health of the camp had improved. However, there had been problems with their spiritual health. A nonmember by the name of Barnum had been in the camp spending the nights fiddling, dancing, and afterwards leading away young women to spend time with him late into the night. Elder Woodruff did his best to try to put a stop to this activity.
Noah Hubbard, age sixty‑seven, died. He was the husband of Cynthia Clark Hubbard.
The Otoe Indian chief remained in camp, waiting for Brigham Young to return. The High Council met and discussed the treatment of the Indians. They also appointed two of their members to draft resolutions concerning burying the dead. James Pace from the Mormon Battalion arrived into camp at 10 a.m. with the news of Colonel Allen’s death. He sat in the council meeting and answered questions about the state of the Mormon Battalion. Hosea Stout continued to work on his report on the Nauvoo Legion. He found enough members in the camp to fill the first division.
Sister Young gave Patty Sessions some tonic which seemed to help her sickness. She later wrote: “The doctor said I had inflammation in my stomach and it would be a miracle if I got well.”
The battalion broke camp at 7 a.m. and marched over hills covered with beds of limestone. John Steele wrote: “The eye can wander for miles upon the vast extent of country uninhabited, save by the red man of the western wilds.”
While crossing Bluff Creek, one of Company C’s wagons, carrying a number of sick and women, tipped over. The water was several feet deep and the banks were high. Rescuers quickly jumped into the creek and pulled the passengers from the water. Some were struggling to get their heads above the water. Luckily, no one ended up hurt. Daniel Tyler helped to turn the wagon right side up and later caught a severe cold which he blamed on the incident. The soldiers continued their march and camped along Little John Creek after a journey of about thirteen miles.
At 5 p.m., Quartermaster Samuel Gully arrived from Fort Leavenworth with the sad, shocking news regarding the death of their leader, Colonel James Allen. His loss was deeply felt by all the members of the battalion. William Hyde wrote: “This information struck a damper to our feelings as we considered him a worthy man, and from the kind treatment which the battalion had received from him, we had begun to look upon him as our friend.” Colonel Allen had “listened to the testimony of the servants of God, and had heard them bear record to the truth of the great work in which we were engaged, and from his appearance, his feelings were enlisted in our favor.”
William Coray commented, “Suffice it to say, that it caused more lamentation from us than the loss of a Gentile ever did before. . . . Capt. J. Allen was a good man, he stood up for our rights better than many of our brethren . . . was kind to the families journeying with us, fed private teams at public expense . . . In short, he was an exception among officers of the U.S. army.”
The question naturally arose in the minds of the soldiers: Who should now lead the battalion? Some of the men did not feel that Captain Jefferson Hunt should assume command. They wanted a man with more military experience. As William Hyde put it, they “were left in very peculiar circumstances.” Adjutant George P. Dykes was of the opinion that since they were enlisted by a U.S. officer, the right of command belonged to an officer of the regular army. Captain Jesse Hunter and Adjutant Dykes were instructed to examine the law on the subject and to report back to the officers.
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 350‑51; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 149, 155; Tyler, A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion, 141, 143, 152; “Journal Extracts of Henry W. Bigler,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 5:2:38; Yurtinus, A Ram in the Thicket, 96‑7; “William Hyde Journal”; “William Coray Journal”; Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout 1844‑1861, 187; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:147 Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:71; Beecher, ed., The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 142 Ward, ed., Winter Quarters, 90; “Private Journal of Thomas Dunn,” typescript, 5; Patty Sessions diary in Our Pioneer Heritage, 2:62
At 9 a.m., Brigham Young left Cold Spring with other members of the Twelve to return to Cutler’s Park. On the way, they met James Pace of the Mormon Battalion who informed them of the death of Colonel James Allen. James Pace also delivered the letters. (See August 23, 1846.) The leaders arrived at Cutler’s Park at noon.
Meanwhile, Wilford Woodruff met with the High Council and six of the Otoe chiefs. He asked the chief for the privilege of staying on their land during the winter and to use wood, grass, and water for two or three years while they gathered to the mountains.
A council meeting was held at 1 p.m. at Samuel Russell’s tent. There had been problems with the dogs during the night. A rule was passed to tie up all dogs outside the yard from sunset to sunrise. It was also proposed that the old oxen in the camp be fattened up and butchered. The Church would purchase the oxen from the owners and then have Bishop Newel K. Whitney figure out where the hides could be sold. Lorenzo Dow Young, Alpheus Cutler, and Cornelius P. Lott were appointed to the beef committee to buy the cattle.
At 5:30 p.m., the Omaha chiefs arrived and the Council adjourned their meeting. Orson Pratt was asked to compose a list of requests which they would present to the Omahas in the morning. The Omahas were asked to camp for the night on the ridge to the east. The Otoes were much fewer, and because of their dispute with the Omahas, were afraid to camp outside the camp square. Hosea Stout explained, “It appeared that both these tribes claim the land which we are on and are now almost ready to go to war about it. Both claim the right to treat with us in relation to the terms of our staying here.”
Brigham Young notified John D. Lee that he was being called to go to the battalion to deliver mail and to bring back the pay for their families.
President Young wrote letters in reply to those received this day from Fort Leavenworth. (See August 23, 1846.) In his reply to Dr. Sanderson he wrote high praise for Colonel Allen and expressed appreciation for his services to the Battalion. In reply to Lt. A.J. Smith he wrote: “You kindly offered to take the charge of the Battalion and conduct it safely to Gen. Kearney. We have not the pleasure of a personal acquaintance, and consequently can have no personal objections to you; but sir, on the subject of command we can only say, Col. Allen settled that matter at the organization of the Battalion; therefore, we must leave that point to the proper authorities, be the result what it may.”
Finally, President Young wrote a letter in reply to Brother Samuel Gully. This letter was full of warmth and encouragement. He explained clearly the view of the brethren about the succession of command issue. Colonel Allen had said “that if he fell in battle, or was sick, or disabled by any means, the command would devolve on the ranking officer, which would be the Capt of Company A, and B, and so one, according to letter. Consequently the command must devolve on Captain Jefferson Hunt, whose duty we suppose to be to take the Battalion to Bent’s Fort, or wherever he has received marching order for, and there wait further orders from General Kearney.” Unfortunately, this letter would not reach Brother Gully in time.
Eliza R. Snow rode on horseback from Council Point toward Brother Markham’s camp which was a few miles down the river. She wrote, “Had an opportunity of viewing the bank of the stream which in many places was wash’d out to considerable depth leaving only the turf which seem’d ready to break off & precipitate in the river whatever should be so unfortunate as to venture upon it. The opposite bluffs, rudely scallop’d with shrubbery presented a scene that might well be call’d wildly beautiful.” Later she headed for the ferry and traveled through Trader’s Point which consisted of about fifty huts or houses. Sister Snow crossed over the river and reached Cold Spring camp.
At Council Point, Mary Richards continued to care for Jane Richards. At night, Jane told Mary that she should go back to Phinehas Richards’ camp for a good night’s rest. Mary returned to her camp but found the family already asleep in the wagon. She wrote, “I made my bed on a cupple of quilts in the Tent and had a sweet sleep.”
At about this time, Louisa Pratt crossed over the river to join the Saints at Cutler’s Park. She wrote:
We started to go to the main camp 18 miles on the west of the Missouri. There were so many teams ahead of us we had to wait nearly the whole day for our turn. There was great confusion on the boat, the cattle were frightened, I was terrified, and it caused my fever to return. There was a dreadful hill to climb as we drove off the boat, deep mud, and at the top, thick woods. It was dark and we dared not drive on. We had no place to pitch the tent, so there we must remain till morning, mosquitos beyond endurance.
A daughter, Clarissa Martha Hale, was born to Jonathan and Olive Hale.52 Edmond Zebulon Carbine died.
The battalion marched to music for about five miles and arrived at Council Grove, which had been the destination where they had planned to wait for Colonel Allen. The camp was established at noon about a half mile north of Council Grove on the Neosho River. They saw several companies of the Missouri Cavalry already camping nearby.53
The Donner-Reed Party camped at a place they called Twenty Wells.54 Virginia Reed Murphy wrote: “The water in these wells was pure and cold, welcome enough after the alkaline pools from which we had been forced to drink. We prepared for the long drive across the desert . . . it was a dreary, desolate alkali waste; not a living thing could be seen; it seemed as though the hand of death had been laid upon the country.”
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 351‑53; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:71‑2; Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout 1844‑1861, 187‑88; Tyler, A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion, 141‑143, 154‑56; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 151‑52, 155‑56; Yurtinus, A Ram in the Thicket, 98‑9; “William Hyde Journal”; Beecher, ed., The Personal Writings of Eliza R. Snow, 142; Ward, ed., Winter Quarters, 90; Kimball, Historic Sites and Markers along the Mormon and Other Great Western Trails, 191‑92; Johnson, ed., “Unfortunate Emigrants,” 30, 273; “Louisa Pratt autobiography,” in Heart Throbs of the West, 8:242
Early in the morning, Hosea Stout went to visit the Omaha Indian camp on the ridge, east of the camp. He wrote that he saw them eating breakfast:
They were seated about in squads near the tent and the chiefs would divide out the food and sent it to them. There was not the least noise or confusion among them, but all seemed patient and satisfied with what was given him. The provision had been furnished by the brethren and consisted of almost every variety.
Hosea Stout finished his report on the Nauvoo Legion. He found 332 privates and 70 officers at Cutler’s Park. He submitted the report to Albert P. Rockwood.
At 9 a.m., members of the Twelve and the High Council met with the Omaha chief, Big Elk, and about sixty of his men and braves to discuss staying for a time on the ground which was disputed between the Otoes and the Omahas. The large double tent was so crowded that the camp historian, Willard Richards, had to listen and take notes from outside the tent wall. The brethren and the Indians shook hands and smoked the traditional peace pipe. Brigham Young presented the request and explained that they had been left without teamsters because of the Mormon Battalion. He asked to use their land and offered to help the Omahas plant crops and learn trades such as blacksmithing.
President Young said, “We can do you good. We will repair your guns, make a farm for you, and aid you in any other way that our talents and circumstances will permit us. . . . Can you furnish some one who will watch our cattle and keep them safe? Have you any objections to our getting timber, building houses, and staying here until Spring or longer?”
Through the Indian interpreter, Big Elk responded:
I am an old man and will have to call you all sons. I am willing you should stop in my country, but I am afraid of my great father at Washington. . . . I am willing you should stay. . . . I hope you will not kill our game. I will notify my young men not to trouble your cattle. If you cut down all our trees I will be the only tree left. . . . We heard you were good people; we are glad to have you come and keep a store where we can buy things cheap. You can stay with us while we hold these lands, but we expect to sell as our Grandfather [President Polk] will buy: we will likely remove northward. While you are among us as brethren, we will be brethren to you.
He further asked that the Mormons move their camp several miles to the north where it would be on undisputed Omaha land. He promised that they would warn the Saints of danger from other Indians.
President Young said that they would call upon them again in four days and commit all these words to a written agreement. Big Elk stated that there was some stone three miles below the old Garrison (Old Council Bluffs) and some brick on the spot, the ruins of some old buildings. He thought these stones would be useful to the Saints in making buildings. Big Elk also requested that the Saints take their corn and to keep it from other tribes. Brigham Young made it clear that the Saints would have nothing to do with any difficulty between the Omahas and other tribes. In conclusion, a supper was provided for the Indians.
George Miller’s company of Saints chose a site for a settlement about five miles down the Missouri River from the Indian village. They marked out a fort to the north of White Creek and began to build it. There had been a deadly raid by the Sioux at the Indian village and the Ponca asked the Mormons to settle closer to their village. The Saints debated whether they should settle closer to the Indian village.
Major James R. Parker issued a proclamation to all citizens of Hancock and surrounding counties. He called for order in the county. He had been ordered to keep the peace and had been authorized to raise volunteers. “Upon my arrival at this place, and on my way here, I learned that a body of armed men were assembling at Carthage under the pretense of acting as a Constable’s posse, with the avowed intention of invading this city and setting the Mormons and certain new citizens over the river; and otherwise regulate matters in Nauvoo.” He called for the citizens to return to their homes and to keep the peace. He had sent a similar proclamation to Carthage and his men were assaulted by a mob posing as the Constable’s posse. They were given a message from John Carlin that defiantly rejected Parker’s authority. Parker replied with a private letter to Carlin stating his authority and duty to keep the peace. He ordered the mob disperse. Carlin detained the men delivering the letter and sent a reply denying Parker’s authority. For this reason, Parker issued this additional proclamation. The mob would not be permitted to enter Nauvoo. He condemned their intentions to drive the Mormons across the river.
So far as the Mormons are concerned, I would here state that such an act would not only be an outrage but barbarous in the extreme. They seem to be leaving as fast as they can get ready; I have seen several teams leave and have visited the shops, and find that every possible preparation is being made to prepare wagons and remove as soon as possible.
Colonel James W. Singleton arrived and took command of the “posse.” Their camp was about five miles from Carthage on Nauvoo Road. Major Parker wrote to Colonel Singleton expressing a hope that things could be settled without shedding blood. Also, a committee of one hundred citizens from Quincy asked for a peaceful settlement.
Quartermaster Sebert Shelton was arrested for talking disrespectfully to the officers. Henry Standage was detailed as a guard over him. Some traders from Santa Fe brought Sergeant William Hyde’s pony back to the camp. It had been lost for several days. A number of men were rebaptized this day for their health or to remit sins in the Neosho River.
Jane Bosco, an elderly lady, died. She had been sick since they had passed over the Kansas River. Her husband John was also very ill. They had been traveling with the battalion, hoping to settle in California.
The officers met together and Captain Jesse D. Hunter, who had examined the law, reported that it was Jefferson Hunt’s right to lead the battalion. No other person could lawfully do so, unless the officers agreed and then the appointment was made by the war department. The officers therefore agreed that Captain Hunt should lead the battalion. Lieutenant William Wesley Willis wrote, “The officers held a council, and agreed that Captain Hunt should assume the command of the Battalion, which decision was unanimously sustained by the men.” He recorded that the officers wrote a letter to President Polk asking that he appoint Captain Hunt to the command. Ebenezer Brown left to take this letter to Independence, Missouri.
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 353‑56; Bennett, Mormons at the Missouri, 1846‑1852, 71‑2 Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout 1844‑1861, 188‑89; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:72; Rich, Ensign to the Nations, 41; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 152; Tyler, A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion, 141, 154‑56; Yurtinus, A Ram in the Thicket, 99‑100; Hartley, My Best for the Kingdom, 217
In the morning, Brigham Young and Willard Richards met with Wilford Woodruff and members of his camp at his tent. They dealt with the conduct of two sisters who had been spending late nights with a non‑Mormon man who had come into the camp while the brethren were away. The sisters were not repentant and stated that they wanted to live elsewhere. Elder Willard Richards prophesied to them that “they would see the day that they would be willing to have their right arm severed from their body if that would restore them to the place and station that they were now losing.” The two sisters were sent away from Wilford Woodruff’s camp. One went back to her parents. The other went to stay with a friend.
In the afternoon, Elder Willard Richards paid a visit to Thomas L. Kane and found him feeling much better. Lorenzo Dow Young started in his duties to butcher some old cattle.
Brigham Young wrote a letter to Captain Jefferson Hunt, of the Mormon Battalion and the other officers. The letter informed them of the plan to use battalion funds to purchase goods in St. Louis in a united effort to sustain the battalion families. He also related news about the negotiations with the Indians. A private letter was also written to Captain Hunt, telling him of the missions of John D. Lee and Howard Egan, who were being sent to receive the battalion pay. This mission was to be kept secret from the camp as a whole to prevent the word from spreading and endangering the lives of Brothers Lee and Egan. Men might try to rob or kill them. The officers of the battalion were asked to use their influence with the men to persuade them to turn the money over to the Church.
Quartermaster Sebert Shelton’s trial was held in the morning and he was acquitted of the charges.
The battalion was called out by Captain Jefferson Hunt at the sound of drums, to bear their arms and march to a memorial service for Colonel James Allen. They were assembled in a hollow square with the officers in the center. The service was opened with singing. Adjutant George P. Dykes delivered the eulogy, read from Romans 5:18 and spoke on the resurrection. William Coray commented: “The Adjutant gave a flaming discourse on the resurrection of the dead. It melted the old guide [Philip Thompson] into tears, caused groanings among the Missourians.”
Next, Levi Hancock sang a solo. Captain Hunt then spoke about the raising of the battalion and their duty to the government. He reproved the men for disorderly conduct, drunkenness, and profanity. They were to conduct themselves in a manner that would be approved by heaven. David Pettigrew closed with prayer.
At 2 p.m., Lieutenant Andrew Jackson Smith arrived from Fort Leavenworth. His intention was to take over command of the battalion. He met with Captain Jefferson Hunt to tell him of his desire to take over the command. He explained the benefits of having a U.S. officer at its head. Captain Hunt replied that he was willing to risk marching the Mormon Battalion to General Kearny with himself at command. However, he was willing to call the officers together and lay the matter before them. If a majority of them wanted Lt. Smith to lead, he would step aside.
Dr. George B. Sanderson and Samuel Gully also arrived. A letter was delivered to Captain Hunt from Major Whorton of Fort Leavenworth, informing him that receipts had not been made out for the government property in possession of the battalion. These receipts should be given to Lt. Smith.
In the evening, the officers met together and heard Lt. Smith reason with them about the benefits of having himself lead the battalion. In order to receive pay and provisions without trouble, it was important to have a recognized U.S. officer at the head. One man warned them that if they did not accept Lt. Smith’s leadership, Colonel Stearling Price (in charge of the Missouri Cavalry) would attach them to his company and the officers felt Colonel Price was an enemy. Adjutant Dykes spoke in favor of Lt. Smith. Captain Hunt questioned Lt. Smith very carefully to see if he was willing to carry out Colonel Allen’s original wishes. He promised that he would. Captain Hunt then asked that the Mormon officers be left alone to vote.
Captain Nelson Higgins proposed that Lt. Smith should take over command. The motion was carried. Those who opposed it were Lorenzo Clark, Samuel Gully, and William Wesley Willis. In giving the command to Lt. Smith, the officers never consulted with the enlisted men. Daniel Tyler wrote, “This caused an ill‑feeling between them and the officers that many hold to this day (1881). The appointment of Smith, even before his character was known, caused a greater gloom throughout the command than the death of Colonel Allen had.”
A daughter, Leah Neibaur, was born to Alexander and Ellen Breakell Neibaur.55
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 357; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 152, 156‑57; Tyler, A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion, 143‑44; Yurtinus, A Ram in the Thicket, 100‑01; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:147; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:72‑3
In the morning, funds were collected that would enable Bishop Newel K. Whitney to purchase the stones and machinery to build a flouring mill in the winter quarters.
A Sabbath meeting was held at which Heber C. Kimball and Wilford Woodruff preached. Brigham Young concluded the meeting by mentioning that if the brethren would have been faithful and would have magnified their priesthood, they would not have been driven from Jackson County, Missouri, but those experiences would prepare them to govern the Kingdom of God.
Brigham Young and several other leaders rode a few miles with John D. Lee and Howard Egan, who were leaving on an important mission to overtake the Mormon Battalion. Once there, they were to collect the new pay from the soldiers which would be used to support the battalion families back at the Missouri River. Brother Lee was concerned about leaving behind his sick wife with a two‑month‑old baby. President Young promised to see that his family was cared for. Before they parted, Brigham Young blessed these dedicated men in the name of the Lord and promised that they would have a safe and prosperous journey.
Mary and Jane Richards were traveling with their camp from Council Bluffs to Cutler’s Park. As they were nearing the camp, Jane’s extremely sick daughter, Wealthy Lovisa Richards, wished aloud that she could have some potato soup. As they passed a cabin, beside it they saw a thriving potato patch, Jane’s mother, Sister Snyder went to the door and begged for a few potatoes for the dying child. The woman at the door snarled, “I wouldn’t give or sell a thing to one of you damned Mormons.”
In the evening, members of the Twelve met with the High Council at Albert P. Rockwood’s tent. Another meeting was appointed to be held with the Omahas and the Otoes. The Council decided that several of the leaders would travel to the north, to visit the “Old Council Bluffs.” They hoped to find a place to establish a settlement in that location. Francis Pullen was appointed to make a brick kiln.
Second, it was decided to make further explorations to the north for perhaps a better location for a winter quarters. The Omaha Indians had mentioned that an old abandoned fort had plenty of brick and stones that could be used for houses. These ruins were located at "Old Council Bluffs." The brethren decided to send an exploration company led by Brigham Young to find Old Council Bluffs and determine if it may be a possible site for a winter settlement.56
Brigham Young instructed the leaders. Wilford Woodruff wrote that he said “that it was an Eternal Principle that before God would choose a man to rule any part of his kingdom, he must first learn to be ruled and that the Lord was preparing a people for that purpose & fifty years would not pass away before many who are now present will each rule over many more than what I do this day.”
Little ten-month-old Julia Pack died. She was buried in a mound near the camp. She was the daughter of John and Julia Pack.
Charles C. Rich was providing leadership over the Mount Pisgah Settlement after the death of President William Huntington. His wife, Sarah Rich wrote, “About this time, nearly all of our family were taken down sick, so much so that there was scarcely enough of well ones in our family to see to the sick. Mr. Rich did all he could for the sick; they were calling on my husband for help; he called on those that had means to donate and assist him in this the hour of affliction to help the sick and poor that were in this place.”
A daughter, Sally Ann Owens, was born to Horace and Sally Owens.57
Orders were received by the men for an inspection followed by the commencement of marching. These orders were later rescinded, and the battalion rested for the day. There were many grapes in the area and some of the men spent time gathering them.
Azariah Smith wrote: “There have been, and is still a great many sick, but we pray to the Lord to raise them up. As for me I am well for which I feel greatefull to him who grants me this blessing. It is a beautiful evening.”
John Bosco had died during the night. His wife had died two days earlier. Daniel Tyler wrote:
Thus they gained an oft‑repeated wish, that neither should be left to mourn the loss of the other. They were very highly respected. They were buried in one grave, and a dry substantial stone wall was build around and over the tomb, under the supervision of Elisha Averett, to mark their last resting place and to shield their bodies from the wolves. The covering was a good but unpolished flat rock.
The wall was ten by seven feet and the center was filled with two feet of rocks.
Word came to England about this time that members of the Twelve were on the way to deal with the mismanagement in the mission. Mission President Reuben Hedlock, fearing this arrival, deserted his post. Counselor Thomas Ward stated on this day at a conference held in Clithero, that Hedlock had left.
Missionary Addison Pratt spent the Sabbath on the Island of Otepipi. He preached twice, administered the sacrament to the members, and had to deal with some “haautis” (rowdy youth). He baptized one person that day. On this island the work had gone slowly because of some Protestant missionaries. However, they had left several months earlier, promising to return with bibles, but they had not returned. So the people were again becoming receptive to the gospel message.
Elder Pratt wrote in his journal:
It will take much teaching before these people can receive strength to stand alone. Well has Peter compared these church members to newborn babes, but they desire anything else but the sincere milk of the word that they may grow thereby. Their ignorance is surprising. I hardly know what to say or to do with them, they will believe anything sooner than they will the truth of Christ.
James J. Strang wrote a letter to Orson Hyde and John Taylor in New York. He challenged the apostles to a public debate about authority. He stated that because they weren’t being directed by a first presidency, they had no authority. Elder Pratt’s reply was direct, “Sir, Lucifer was cut off and thrust down to hell, we have no knowledge that God ever condescended to investigate the subject or right of authority with him. Your case has been disposed of by the authorities of the church, and being satisfied with our own power and calling, we have no disposition to ask from whence yours came.”
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 357; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 152, 156‑57; Tyler, A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion, 143‑44; Yurtinus, A Ram in the Thicket, 100‑01; “Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young,” Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:147; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:72‑3; Ellsworth, The Journals of Addison Pratt, 286; Stegner, The Gathering of Zion, 88; Barron, Orson Hyde, Missionary, Apostle, Colonizer, 169; Bigler, The Gold Discovery Journal of Azariah Smith, 23
Brigham Young rode to the tent of Jedediah M. Grant, where he visited with Thomas L. Kane. He discussed with him the recent meetings held by the church leaders with the Omaha Indians. They also discussed the attitude and actions of the U.S. government towards the Church. President Young vowed that he would never again consent to be governed by unjust leaders again. The church now had established significant influence with the Indian tribe and certainly would use that influence for the good of the Church. But if the government allowed, this influence could also be used towards the good of the nation.
At 10 a.m., many of the leaders started off to find “Old Council Bluffs.”58 They climbed hills, passed by springs and lakes, and then descended down toward the river. Somehow they had missed the Indian trail which would have taken them to their goal, and they ended up traveling about twenty‑five miles, further upriver than was needed. The brethren decided to stop, make their camp by a spring and ended their day with song and prayers.
During the day, Elder Orson Pratt, who did not travel with the brethren to the north, went to meet with the Otoes on the north bank of the Platte River. He asked for formal permission to stay on their lands for at least two years as the Saints would be pushing their way to the west. The Otoes were evasive and said they would return in three days after they had talked to another chief. They claimed to own the land one mile above Old Council Bluffs.
Elder Pratt returned to Cutler’s Park and met with the Omaha Indians, where progress was much better. The chiefs signed an agreement granting permission for the Saints to tarry on their lands. They were concerned about the lost of timber, but Elder Pratt promised that they would burn little wood. In addition they would build houses, fences, and make other improvements that would be left behind for the Indians.
The written document summarized the agreements made at the meeting held three days earlier.
We, the undersigned chiefs and braves, representatives of the Omaha nation of Indians, do hereby grant to the Mormon people the privilege of tarrying upon our lands for two years or more, or as long as may suit their convenience, for the purpose of making the necessary preparations to prosecute their journey west of the Rocky Mountains, provided that our great father, the president of the United States, shall not counsel us to the contrary. And we also do grant unto them the privilege of using all the wood and timber that they shall require. And furthermore agree that we will not molest or take from them their cattle, horses, sheep or any other property.
Elder Pratt then told the Indian leaders about the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. Hosea Stout recorded that Elder Pratt told them how "our Great Chief [Joseph Smith] found a book," that was about their people. He explained that the Mormons were driven and persecuted because they believed in this book. The Indians "listened with breathless silence."
The Omahas soon needed to leave to prepare to send a party of their young men against the Sioux in revenge for the killing of one of their chiefs. They promised to return in few days to do a war dance for the camp.
The battalion broke camp at 7 a.m. and marched for the first time under the command of Lieutenant Andrew Jackson Smith. The men were confused about this leadership. Henry Standage wrote: “The reason why he takes the command from Cap Hunt I do no know, the matter is not understood by the Battalion.”
The companies marched for fifteen miles at a fast pace alongside some horsemen from Missouri. They camped about a mile from Diamond Spring in the southwestern portion of Morris County. It was a beautiful spot with a “crystal fountain discharging itself into a small brook.”59
After making their camp, the men were called together and inspected by their new commander. They were numbered: 21 officers and 475 enlisted men. He issued orders to have each company provide six men to serve as guards. They were to take turns, but to make sure there was a guard on duty twenty‑four hours per day. Their pilot, Phillip Thompson, informed them that there would not be timber for the next two days’ march. Therefore, the men spent the evening baking bread.
About thirty members of company D were baptized for their health or recommitment to the gospel. John Steele wrote: “Truly there was a great reformation in our company.”
The St. Louis Morning Missouri Republican contained an article about the death of Colonel James Allen. It reported that he was the first officer to die since the establishment of Fort Leavenworth nineteen years earlier. “He was much attached to the soldiers in his command, had brought them under very superior discipline, and said before his death, that he had never commanded a finer, or more orderly company. Indeed everyone here (ladies too) speak highly of this battalion.”
Watson, ed., Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 358‑9; Our Pioneer Heritage, 18:312; Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 73; Journal of Henry Standage in Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 158; Tyler, A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion, 144; Roberts, Comprehensive History of the Church, 3:146; Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout 1844‑1861, 190; Kimball, Historic Sites and Markers along the Mormon and Other Great Western Trails, 193; Yurtinus, A Ram in the Thicket, 118‑19; “Diary of John Steele,” typescript, BYU
1This was near modern day Fullerton, Nebraska.
2Fort Leavenworth was founded in 1827 to protect the Santa Fe Trail. Trail ruts may be seen leading up from the Missouri River to the fort grounds, located east from the General Grant statue. There is a Mormon Battalion marker located on Kearny Avenue, just west of the Grant statue.
3This appointment would later be viewed by the men as among the darkest hours of the battalion’s history.
4Hyrum Spencer was the brother of Daniel and Orson Spencer. After he arrived at Garden Grove, he was sent back to Nauvoo in an attempt to sell some of the farms owned by the brothers. He sold some of the property and helped some poor families leave Nauvoo. The mob tried to stop him from leaving. His brother Daniel wrote: “By almost superhuman exertions he escaped with the cattle and means--crossing the Mississippi sixty miles above Nauvoo, while the sheriff and posse were waiting to intercept him forty miles below the city and all but reached the camp of the Saints at Mount Pisgah; though he did so as a martyr, his exposures, anxieties and labors having killed him. He died some miles east of the settlement, and the body was brought there for burial.”
5The Johnson family would later settle in Salt Lake City, Utah.
6The Moon family would later live in Salt Lake City, St. George, and Farmington, Utah.
7The McEwen family would later settle in Fillmore and Beaver, Utah
8The Wixom family would settle in Paris, Bear Lake, Idaho.
9The Cahoon family would settle in Murray and Cottonwood, Utah.
10Later on, many of the Mormon Battalion’s families and sick would join them at Fort Pueblo.
11It is not certain exactly where this site was located. It was probably located where the Springville school now stands at the corner of 60th and Girard Streets in Omaha. Historian, Richard E. Bennett feels the camp was situated on either side of Mormon Bridge Road, west of Forest Lawn Cemetery and included Potter Field which is now an old cemetery lot.
12This practice was common in the early days of the church for reasons such recommitment, when arriving to a new location, or for health reasons.
13The cave Lienhard refers to was either Deadman’s Cave near Magna, or Black Rock Cave which is now smelter tailings.
14The camp was in Tooele Valley just beyond Adobe Rock, at the spring later use by the Benson Mill.
15Joseph Egbert helped build the Nauvoo Temple. He was one of the original pioneers of 1847. The Egbert family later settled in Kaysville, Utah, where Joseph was the proprietor of a hotel.
16William Felshaw joined the Church in 1832. He was a contractor and builder, and helped to build the Kirtland and Nauvoo temples. In 1856 he helped rescue the handcart companies. He settled in Fillmore, Utah.
17About this time, Edwin Woolley’s company had a confrontation with Indians. Historian Leonard J. Arrington explained: “Somewhere between Mt. Pisgah and Council Bluffs Edwin noticed a mule at the side of the road with a long rope about its neck. No one was in sight. But as the wagons approached, several Indians rose up from the grass and made a barrier across the trail. Gesturing, Edwin made it known that he wanted to pass on peaceably. The Indians still manifested hostility and Edwin Parlayed while the excited children peeked out from the wagons. Finally Edwin lost his patience and reached for his gun, thinking to bluff the stubborn Indians, but [wife] Mary persuaded him to negotiate with goods instead. For a few pounds of flour and a couple blankets, the rope dropped and the Woolleys continued on their way.” (Arrington, From Quaker to Latter-day Saint, Bishop Edwin D. Woolley, 161
18Robert Duke later settle in Heber City, Utah where he served as bishop from 1884‑1903. He was then ordained a Patriarch.
19Daniel Tyler’s history states that the battalion left Fort Leavenworth on this day. This appears to be an error in his history. Many first-hand battalion journals state that the battalion moved out on August 13.
20Little Charles was the grandson of Patriarch John Smith. The Smith family settled in Salt Lake City, Utah.
21Daniel Tyler’s history erroneously states that companies A, B, and C left first. Battalion journals show that the companies were A, B, and E.
22The battalion traveled on a 50‑mile long “military branch” of the Santa Fe Trail. Stanley B. Kimball documents this little known trail well in Historic Sites and Markers along the Mormon and Other Great Western Trail, pages 187‑88.
23This was probably present‑day Nine Mile Creek.
24Silas Richards joined the Church in 1840. He would later serve as a Bishop in Iowa, in 1848. He settle on Little Cottonwood Creek and was called to serve as bishop of his ward.
25Elizabeth Price Bently was the daughter of William and Mary Ann Price. She joined the Church in 1840 and later married Richard Bentley. She was also the sister-in-law of Orson Hyde. In 1847, the reorganization of the First Presidency was done at the Bentley home.
26William Price joined the Church in 1841. He later served as the bishop of the Goshen Ward in Juab County, Utah.
27The Phippen family later lived in Grantsville, Cottonwood Canyon, Coalville, Ceder Fort and Heber City, Utah.
28This crossing occurred near present‑day Eudora, Kansas.
29Jonathan Calkins Wright was baptized in 1843 by Hyrum Smith. He would later serve as a councilor to Lorenzo Snow in the stake at Brigham City, Utah.
30John Van Cott was baptized in 1843 by Parley P. Pratt in Nauvoo, Illinois. He would later serve as the president of the Scandinavia mission twice. He settled in Salt Lake City, Utah.
31John Higbee joined the Church in 1832. He served as a member of the police guard. He later was in the pioneer company of 1847 and stopped at the Platte River to operate a ferry. He later arrived in Utah in September 1847. He served a mission to England and settled his family in Weber County, Utah.
32Jacob G. Bigler joined the Church in 1838. He later served as the first president of the Juab Stake. He also was in charge of the European mission from 1862-63. He was ordained a Patriarch in 1878.
33The Laney family would later settle in Parowan, Utah.
34Alfred Merrill was born on August 6, 1846. His father, Albert Merrill was the president of the 16th Quorum of Seventies. The family would settle in Salt Lake City, Utah.
35Lost Camp was located northwest of Garden Grove, six miles south of present‑day Osceola. The Merrills would bury three of their children in Lost Camp during the winter of 1846-47.
36George Riser would later preside over the German Mission and he settle with his family in Salt Lake City, Utah.
37This is near the spot where the Oregon Trail intersected this branch of the Santa Fe Trail, west of Blue Mound.
38These little ones included two one-year-old twins, Parley and Mary Hunt.
39James Emmett had in the past consistently taken it upon himself to move his companies around as he wished. They felt that James Emmett was exerting his influence on Bishop Miller to cloud his judgement.
40Captain James Brown would later be sent with the sick to Pueblo, Colorado.
41William King Follett was the grandson of King Follett. Joseph Smith gave a very famous sermon at King Follett’s funeral. The William Follett family later settled in Provo, Utah.
42The Hill family settled in Ogden, Utah. George Washington Hill joined in the Church in 1847. He later served missions to the Indians and was an Indian interpreter.
43Catherine would later marry Robert M. Burch, and raise a family in Ogden, Utah
44Up to this point, the battalion had been traveling on the Military Branch of the Santa Fe Trail. This intersection was about two miles east of Worden, at Willow Springs.
45In July 1847, the Mormon pioneers would clear this timber in four hours.
46It is believed that they camped on Parleys Creek near present-day 11th East and 21st South.
47The village was located southwest of present‑day Niobrara, Nebraska.
48This site was later named Kanesville.
49This was the camp on the bluffs in Iowa, on Mosquito Creek, that today is referred to as “the Grand Encampment.”
50On this day the battalion left Osage County and entered Lyon County.
51Elder Pratt would continue on by railroad to Boston and then to New York, arriving there a couple days before the agreed upon rendezvous day with his missionary companions, Elders Orson Hyde and John Taylor.
52Clarissa would die on September 18, 1846 at Winter Quarters.
53Council Grove consisted of a government blacksmith shop used by traders and soldiers as they traveled the Santa Fe Trail. The town of Council Grove was founded in 1847 and served as an important way‑station on the Santa Fe Trail. There is a marker honoring the Mormon Battalion at the Old Kaw Mission. It is south of the main building.
54These wells were located in present-day Grantsville, Utah. Grantsville is the home of the Donner-Reed Memorial Museum.
55Alexander Neibaur knew seven languages. He taught Joseph Smith German and Hebrew. He was the first match maker in Utah. He settled his family in Salt Lake City.
56In 1804, explorers Lewis and Clark met in council with several Indians. Afterwards they named the location in honor of this historic council meeting. In 1819, the site was chosen for the first military post in the Nebraska Territory, which later became known as Fort Atkinson. By 1846, the post had been abandoned for many years.
57The Owens family later settled in Fillmore, Utah.
58In 1804, After Lewis and Clark met in council with several Indians, this location was named in honor of this council, Council Bluff (with no s). In 1819, the site was chosen for a the first military post in the Nebraska Territory. By 1846, the Fort had been abandoned for many years and was called the “old garrison” or “old barracks.”
59The site for this camp is located eleven miles west of Council Grove, on U.S. 56, or exactly four miles west of the exit to Wilsey.