Heritage Gateways

Official Sesquicentennial K-12 Education Project
sponsored by the Utah State Board of Education, the BYU-Public School Partnership and the Utah Education Network

Pioneer 1847 Companies

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1847: April 10-16 Ferrying Elkhorn River a Difficult Project

Description: Colored marker picture by Anthony, a 4th grader.
Image courtesy of: Heritage Gateway Project Images, These images have been gathered to support the Sesquicentennial celebration of the immigration to Utah.

Date: April 10, 1847

One of the first obstacles facing the Mormon pioneers was the Elkhorn River and it proved a difficult crossing, all the wagons being ferried over on a raft.

From the Elkhorn they made their way to the north bank of the Platte River, which would be their guide and companion for the next 600 miles. Water had to be close at all times for the animals. This forced the pioneers to follow the river -- but that was the best route anyway.

The company remained camped on the banks of the Platte for several days, awaiting the return of Brigham Young and other leaders who had made a final visit to Winter Quarters on some last minute business.

After his return, Brigham laid down rules for the conduct of the march, divided the pioneers into a quasi-military organization of divisions and companies of 10, and set their faces to the west.

Source: 111 Days to Zion © Copyright 1997 Big Moon Traders and Hal Knight. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. This includes educational uses.