Heritage Gateways

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Pioneer Date Summary

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07/29/1847 - Crockett

Date: July 29, 1847

Salt Lake Valley, Utah:
After a windy night, the morning was refreshingly cool. Thomas Bullock got up early to bath in the warm springs. He cleared the pool of its scum.

Brigham Young and the Twelve mounted horses and went to Emigration Canyon to greet the Pueblo company of Mormon Battalion soldiers and Mississippi Saints. They met them at the mouth of the canyon. Wilford Woodruff wrote: "We were truly glad to meet with them." They continued on up the canyon and met with the officers, James Brown, Nelson Higgins, and Wesley Willis. They determined that there were about 140 members of the battalion and families, and about 100 Mississippi Saints. [They lumped in the wives and children of the battalion members in with the totals of the Mississippi Saints. There were probably 190 members of the battalion including wives and children, and 50 Mississippi Saints.] They had with them 60 wagons, 100 horses and mules, and 300 head of cattle.

At 10 a.m. a heavy shower of rain fell. Water came roaring down the canyon like a flood gate had been opened. Elder Woodruff wrote: "The first rush of the water came down with a front 3 feet high. Some of the waggons had to stop untill it fell which was but a short time."

At noon, a few soldiers came into camp and announced that the company would soon be arriving. They were delayed by a broken lead wagon.

A 3 p.m., the Pueblo company of about 240 men, women and children came within sight of the camp. The soldiers were in military order and many of them were mounted. They arrived at 3:30, marching to the fife and drum. They were led by the Twelve and officers of the battalion. The newcomers established their camp between the two established camps by City Creek. William Clayton wrote: "The brethren are represented as feeling well and cheerful." Thomas Bullock recorded: "The brethren were very much rejoiced at getting once more among their friends & a general congratulation took place." [The number of Saints now in the Valley was about 400. The battalion still planned to head for San Francisco to be discharged and to receive their pay, but their wagons were broken and their animals were failing, so it was time to rest.]

Battalion member John Hess wrote: "I had only the outfit of a discharged soldier which consisted of a small tent, a sheet iron kettle, a mess pan, two tin plates, two spoons, two knives and forks and a pair of blankets badly worn, two old quilts, ten pounds of flour and my dear, precious wife Emeline who had been with me through all the trials and the hardships, and had endured them all without a murmur."

[These new arrivals included a very welcome number of women. Included were these women of the battalion: Ruth Markham Abbott, Susan Smith Adams, Elizabeth Manwaring Allred, Ezadie Ford Allred, Harriet St. John Brown, Agnes Brown, Mary McCree Brown, Eunice Reasor Brown, Mary Bittels Button, Almira Higgins Chase, Jane Wells Cooper Hanks, Emeline Bigler Hess, Sarah Blackman Higgins, Mary Ann Hirons, Celia Mounts Hunt, Matilda Nease Hunt, Fanny Maria Allen Huntington, Sarah Kelley, Martha Jane Sargent, Mary Emeline Sessions, Elizabeth Trains Shelton, Sarah Shupe, Catherine Campbell Steele, Sophia Tubbs, and Isabella McNair Wilkin, and Albina M. Williams.]

[The soldiers of the battalion who arrived in the valley this day included: Joshua Abbott, Orson B. Adams, Franklin Allen, James T. Allred, Reuben W. Allred, Jeduthan Averett, Lorenzo Babcock, Samuel Badham, William E. Beckstead, James Bevan, Erastus Bingham Jr. Thomas Bingham Sr., William Bird, Abner Blackburn, Richard Brazier, John Brimhall, Alexander Brown, Daniel Brown, James Brown, James P. Brown, Jesse S. Brown, John Buchannan, Thomas R. Burns, William Burt, Montgomery Button, John M. Bybee, Alva C. Calkins, James W. Calkins, John H. Calvert, James G. Camp, Isaac Carpenter, William H. Carpenter, William W. Casto, James Cazier, John D. Chase, Haden W. Church, Albert Clark, George S. Clark, Allen Compton, George W. Cummings, Josiah Curtis, Edward Dalton, Harry Dalton, James Davis, Ralph Douglas, James Dunn, Francillo Durphee, James C. Earl, Marcus N. Eastman, David I. Frederick, David Garner, Philip Garner, William W. Gifford, Luther W. Glazier, James H. Glines, John C. Gould, Samuel J. Gould, William Gribble, Ebenezer Hanks, James Hendrickson, John W. Hess, Eli B. Hewitt, Alfred Higgins, Nelson Higgins, Azra E. Hinckley, James P. Hirons, Lucas Hoagland, Elijah E. Holden, Charles A. Hopkins, Henry Hoskins, Schuyler Hulet, Gilbert Hunt, Dimick B. Huntington, Charles A. Jackson, Henry B. Jacobs, Jarvis Johnson, Jesse W. Johnstun, Thomas Karren III, Nicholas Kelley, Loren E. Kenney, Barnabas Lake, Lisbon Lamb, Thurston Larson, David S. Laughlin, Elam Luddington, Maxie Maxwell, Erastus D. Mecham, Peter I. Mesick Daniel M. Miller, Harley W. Mowrey, William C. McClelland, Jabez T. Nowlin, James E. Oakley, William A. Park, David M. Perkins, Harmon D. Pierson, Judson A. Pierson, Thomas L. Richardson, Benjamin B. Richmond, Benjamin M. Roberts, Caratat C. Rowe, William Rowe, William W. Rust, Henry W. Sanderson, Abel M. Sargent, John Sessions, Albert Sharp, Sebert C. Shelton, Joseph Shipley, Andrew J. Shupe, James W. Shupe, Joseph Skeen, John G. Smith, Richard D. Smith, William Squires, John Steele, Lyman Stevens, Benjamin F. Stewart, James Stewart, Clark Stillman, Dexter Stillman, Myron Tanner, Joel J. Terrell, Hayward Thomas, Nathan T. Thomas, Solomon Tindell, William Tubbs, Madison J. Welch, Almon Whiting, Edmond W. Whiting, Francis T. Whiney, David Wilkin, Thomas S. Williams, William Wesley Willis, George D. Wilson, Lysander Woodworth, Charles Wright, Isaac N. Wriston, and John P. Wriston.]

[Let us not forget the battalion children who arrived, including: Mary Ann Brown (five years), David Black Brown, John Taylor Brown (one month), Sarah Jane Brown (thirteen years), John Reed Hancock (five years) Nathan Hart, Louisa Button, Almira Higgins Drusilla Higgins (fourteen years), Wealthy Matilda Higgins, (two months), Mary Hunt (two years), Martha Zina Huntington (three years), Parley Kelly, Sarah Mayfield, Jackson Mayfield, John Mayfield, Andrew Duncan Park (two years), Caroline Sargent (eleven years), Sarah Ellen Sharp (eight months), Carolyne Shelton, Mariah Shelton, Elizabeth Margaret Shupe (four months), Mary Steele (six years), Caroline Marian Williams (four years), and Ephraim Thomas Williams (two years)]

[The Mississippi company of Saints coming into the valley this day, usually forgotten in history, included this partial list: Absalom Porter Dowdle, Sarah Robinson Dowdle, Sarah Catherine Dowdle (age two months), George Washington Gibson, Mark Sparks Gibson, Robert M. Gibson, Mary D. Gibson, William Gibson (twelve years), Moses Gibson (seven years), Frances A. Gibson (fifteen years), Laura A. Gibson (thirteen years), Manomas L. Gibson (five years), Joseph Smith Gibson, James Harmon, Mary Blanks Harmon Josephine Harmon (two years), James B. Harmon, Paralee A. Harmon, Sarah E. Harmon, John T. Harmon (three months), (two years), John Holladay, Catherine Higgins Holladay, John Daniel Holladay, Karen H. Holladay (seventeen years), Kezia D Holladay (fifteen years), David H. Holladay (Thirteen years), Thomas M. Holladay (eleven years), Leonora Holladay (eight years), Lydia Gibson Hunt, William Decatur Kartchner, Margaret Casteel Kartchner, Allen Freeman Smithson, Letitia Holladay Smithson, John Bartley Smithson (five years), Sarah Catherine Smithson (four years), James David Smithson (two years), Mary Emma SMithson (one year), William Cox Smithson, George W. Sparks, Lorena Roberds Sparks, Benjamin F. Mathews, Temperance Weeks Matthews, and Mary E. Matthews].

At 5 p.m. the Twelve returned and then went north to the warm springs and bathed. They returned for supper. After he ate, Heber C. Kimball asked Howard Egan to come into his wagon and read the minutes of the last Sunday's meeting. After that, Heber C. Kimball, Edson Whipple, and Howard Egan took a walk. Brother Egan recorded: "We had a very pleasant evening's conversation, then joined in prayer and returned to camp about 11 p.m. The evening was pleasant."

Mormon Ferry, Wyoming:
As Luke Johnson was out looking for a loft knife and gun strap, he heard a gun shot toward the camp. He thought to himself that Indians might be attacking and road with great speed to the camp. He arrived back and camp and told the others about what he had heard. They quickly loaded their guns and pistols, hid their purses and best goods, and made a protective breast work from some chest and boxes. They made ammunition ready and waited.

Soon, they saw two men on the other side of the river. One of them crossed and came to the camp. Then they saw 40 men and about 140 head of animals appear over the head. It was General Kearny, of the U.S. Army! The man who approached the came was Brother John W. Binley of the Mormon Battalion. Soon they were delighted to be greeted by other members of the Battalion. John C. Fremont soon came in site with about 200 more animals. It was an impressive sight.

Brother Binley shared the news about the fate of the Donner-Reed party in the Sierra Nevadas. He said that he helped bury many of them, including a woman whose body had been eaten. They reflected on the terrible, tragic conditions experienced by that emigration party.

Private Nathaniel V. Jones wrote: "Here we found some brethren, that were camped and waiting for their families which were behind, and expected them every hour. [They were actually 200 miles down the trail]. This was the first news that I have had correct sine I left. They [the pioneers] left there [Winter Quarters] in March. Here we left one party that was unwell, by the name of John Binley."

On the North Platte River, Nebraska:
The first of the pioneer companies arrived across the river from Chimney Rock. They met a party of men on horseback returning from Oregon. Other companies were traveling as many as twenty miles to the rear. Eliza R. Snow wrote: "The bluffs on both sides of the river are very picturesque -- As we commence rising the hills, which are said to be the last between this & the Fort [Laramie], we can see a singular appearing bluff which in an inhabited country might be mistaken for a large building [Courthouse Rock].

Garden Grove, Iowa:
David Fullmer, Luman Shurliff, Duncan McArthur, and Brother Hunt left for Winter Quarters to meet with the Church leaders about the problems in Garden Grove. [On the way they would learn that the entire settlement, including themselves, had been cut off from the Church. Misunderstanding would later be resolved and these brethren would return, put the affairs in order at Garden Grove, and re-baptize all the worthy Saints.]

As Levi Hancock's company traveled through steep mountain ridges and passes, they kept losing their cattle as they would slip and fall down the slopes. It was finally decided that all the cattle should be killed and the meet be dried for the trip over the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Azariah Smith wrote: "We came through and over mountains, and in some places the pass would be so narrow that our pack horses could hardly get through, and on either side some hundreds of feet nearly perpendicular." Robert Bliss added: "Passed up the mountain through the most difficult pass I every beheld in all my travels." Levi Hancock recorded: "We have traveled over the worst kind of road between the Mts and over rocks and between them they would tear our horses hoofs to pieces the worst going I ever saw we have now camped and have good feed & water this day made 12 miles and the council is to kill all the cattle tomorrow and dry [the meat]."


  • William Clayton's Journal, p.326
  • Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:242-43
  • Watson, ed., The Orson Pratt Journals, 460
  • Howard Egan Diary, Pioneering the West, 112
  • Bagley, ed., The Pioneer Camp of the Saints, 244-45
  • Our Pioneer Heritage, Vol. 1, p.493
  • Journal of William Empey, Annals of Wyoming, 21:143
  • The Journal of Nathaniel V. Jones, Utah Historical Quarterly, 4:22
  • Jesse W. Crosby Journal, typescript, BYU, 38
  • Beecher, ed., The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow, 187-88
  • Bigler, The Gold Discovery Journal of Azariah Smith, 96
  • The Journal of Robert S. Bliss, Utah Historical Quarterly, 4:112
  • Hoshide & Bagley, eds., The 1847 Donner Camp Diary of Levi Hancock
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.