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 Date Summary

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05/13/1847 - Crockett

Description: Two horses are grazing beside the wagons. The harnesses are draped over a wagon tongue.
Image courtesy of: Heritage Gateway Project Images, These images have been gathered to support the Sesquicentennial celebration of the immigration to Utah.

On the North Platte River, Nebraska:
Howard Egan was up early on this cold morning. He and many others went to see the abandoned Indian village. "There appeared to be two or three hundred wickiups and, from the appearance of things, I supposed that they had not been gone long from there." They brought back moccasins, parts of robes, leather, and other items.

A dispute had to be settled in the morning. During the night, Thomas Tanner took Aaron Farr prisoner and put him under guard because he was talking loud after the night horn blew for prayers.

At 9 a.m., the pioneers rolled out of camp. They stopped at 11 a.m. to feed the teams. At 12:30, they were on the move again. After almost eleven miles, they made camp on the west side of a large stream that was two feet deep, which Brigham Young named Junction Bluff Fork. [This is present-day Birdwood Creek.] The sand was soft and they had to cross if very quickly in order not to sink. Across the North Platte river were bluffs that ran between the north and south forks of the river. The grass for the animals was the best that it had been since they left Winter Quarters. It was very cold. Erastus Snow recorded, "We had a sudden change in weather, and we are now scarcely comfortable around the fires with top coats." They huddled around a roaring fire made from buffalo chips.

Wilford Woodruff wrote: "There is one thing concerning the Platte River which is worthy of note, which is not characteristic of any other river that I have knowledge of in the world. It is much of the way a mile in width & generally covered with water but very shallow. When a south wind blows hard the water all rushes to the north shore until one would suppose there was a great rise of water. Let the wind shift & blow hard from the North & the water immediately leaves the north shore until one can walk across two thirds of the river on bare ground & the river onstantly ebs & flows like the tide just according as the wind blows."

Wilford Woodruff dreamed during the night. "I dreamed last night we had arrived at our journeys end where we were to build up a stake of Zion. As we came onto the place there was an open vision of a temple presented before me. I asked some brethren that stood by me if they saw it. They said it appeared as though it was built of white & blue stone. The sight of it filled me with joy and I awoke & behold it was a dream." [More than forty-five years later, Wilford Woodruff would dedicate the Salt Lake Temple.]

Mormon Battalion, at Los Angeles, California:
General Stephen F. Kearney left Los Angeles for Fort Leavenworth, accompanied by about fifteen members of the Battalion. The general and four of the men went by water and the rest by land to Monterey. Lt. Samuel Thompson returned from the mountains where his party battled with Indians. Lt. James Pace was ordered to take twenty-six men to the Mountains to protect the Mexicans from the Indians.


  • Diary of Howard Egan, Pioneering the West, 37-8
  • Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:175
  • Erastus Snow Journal Excerpts, Improvement Era 14:1022
  • Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young, Utah Historical Quarterly, 14:158
  • William Clayton's Journal, p.145
  • Journal of Henry Standage in Frank Alfred Golder, The March of the Mormon Battalion, 222
Source: 150 Years Ago Today ©These materials have been created by David R. Crockett. Copies of these materials may be reproduced for teacher and classroom use. When distributing these materials, credit must be given to David R. Crockett. These materials may not be published, in whole or part, or in any other format, without the written permission of Mr. Crockett, Tucson Az, crockett@goodnet.com.