Council Bluffs Reached
Location: Winter Quarters - 1014 miles left, Nebraska - Location: 41:21:41N 95:56:45W Currently the site of Florence, Nebraska, Winter Quarters was settled in September, 1846 as a temporary resting place for the pioneers. It is located just west of the Missouri river in Nebraska.
Late on June 2nd, the camp moved on toward Council Bluffs, some 90 miles to the west, leaving behind enough people to improve and maintain Mount Pisgah for the benefit of future Saints going west. This last section of the 1846 journey was relatively pleasant: the sun dried the roads, grass grew, and wild strawberries flourished. On June 13th, the camp reached the Council Bluffs area at the Missouri River, and the first portion of the march was nearly over. The vanguard had taken a full four months, 120 days, to cross some 265 miles of southern Iowa, averaging only about 2.25 miles per day.
Despite the troubles experienced while crossing Iowa, the Mormons survived as a community, a community that grew stronger on the Missouri River, across the trans-Missouri west, and in the Valley of the Great Salt Lake.
Source: Historic Resource Study - Mormon Pioneer National By Stanley B. Kimball, Ph.D., May 1991. (The study focuses on the history of the trail from its official beginning in Nauvoo, Illinois, to its terminus in Salt Lake City, Utah, during the period 1846-1869. During that time, thousands of Mormon emigrants used many trails and trail variants to reach Utah. This study emphasizes the "Pioneer Route" or "Brigham Young Route" of 1846-1847. The sections on Mormon beliefs and motivations for going west have been omitted. Interested persons can find ample sources for that information. The footnotes, bibliography, maps, pictures, pioneer companies by name and dates for the 22-year period, and historic sites - about 2/3 of the book - have also been left out for space considerations. Thanks to Dr. Kimball and the National Park Service for the availability of this information.)