07/09/1847 - Crockett
Date: July 9, 1847
Fort Bridger, Wyoming:
Samuel Brannan and Thomas Williams, and possibly a few others returned toward South Pass to meet the detachment of the Mormon Battalion. Most of the advance party of the battalion remained with the pioneer company, again increasing its numbers.
At 8 a.m., the rest of the pioneers left their camp near Fort Bridger and traveled on rough roads. Erastus Snow wrote: "We took a blind trail, the general course of which is a little south of west, leading in the direction of the southern extremity of the Salt Lake which is the region we wish to explore." They were able to discern the trail left the previous year by the Donner-Reed party and others. After six and a half miles, they arrived at Cottonwood Creek and rested their teams.
During the warm afternoon, they ascended a long, steep, hill eight miles from Fort Bridger. [This was Bigelow Bench.] The descent on the other side was the steepest and most difficult they had yet come across. They passed some large drifts of snow. Thomas Bullock wrote: "Made two Snow balls, a refreshing bite at this time of year."
At 3 p.m., they crossed Muddy Fork, a steam about twelve feet wide, and camped on its banks. Tall grass the resembled wheat was plentiful. The mountain fever continued to afflict the camp. As some of the members got better, others took ill. Wilford Woodruff came down with it and also William Carter. Many of the other brethren spent the evening singing hymns for Brigham Young.
Mormon Ferry, Wyoming:
Thomas Grover, William Empey, John Higbee, and Jonathan Pugmire (of the battalion) did about $30.00 worth of blacksmithing. Appleton Harmon helped repair Edmond Ellsworth's wagon. Luke Johnson performed dentistry. Benjamin F. Stewart herded cattle. Francis M. Pomeroy searched for his horse. Edmond Ellsworth and James Davenport were sick.
On the Platte River, Nebraska:
The Jedediah M. Grant hundred was delayed because of a broken wagon. They watched the other companies disappear out of sight. They later caught up and camped on the banks of the Platte. Some of the men went to hunt buffalo during the day, but returned to the wagon without spotting any. The camp had to take a slightly different route than Brigham Young's pioneer camp, because the waters were higher and more mud slues had to be avoided. Jesse W. Crosby waded across the Platte. He wrote: "Found it one mile wide, three feet deep, one foot on an average, current three miles an hour." Several of the sisters washed in the warm water and noticed a large pine tree floating down the river.
Winter Quarters, Nebraska:
Mary Richards and Amelia Peirson Richards (wife of Willard Richards) took a walk on the bluffs above Winter Quarters. She wrote: "We gazed with delight upon our city of 8 months growth its beauty full gardins and extensive fields clothed with the fast growing corn and vegetables of every description above all things pleasing to the eyes of an Exile in the Wilderness of our afflictions."
Kearny detachment of battalion in Nevada:
The detachment crossed into present-day Idaho. They traveled thirty miles and camped at Big Spring.
Mormon Battalion, at Los Angeles, California:
The natives were very busy preparing the town for another Catholic celebration. The battalion received rumors that the Mexicans might try to use the festival to recapture the city by drawing the battalion out of their fort. Several brass cannons were brought in from San Pedro.
Company B, Mormon Battalion, at San Diego, California:
Company B took up their march for Los Angeles, departing their home in San Diego for almost four months. Then natives hated to see them leave and clung to them like children. The company traveled twelve miles and camped.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Journal of Nathaniel V. Jones, Utah Historical Quarterly, 4:21
- Howard Egan Diary, Pioneering the West, 93-4
- Appleton Milo Harmon Goes West, 40
- Erastus Snow Journal Excerpts, Improvement Era 15:249
- Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:226
- Watson, ed., The Orson Pratt Journals, 440-41
- Bagley, ed., The Pioneer Camp of the Saints, 222
- Ward, ed., Winter Quarters, The 1846-1848 Life Writings of Mary Haskin Parker Richards, 151
- Beecher, ed., The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow, 183
- Jesse W. Crosby Journal, typescript, BYU, 35
- Smart, ed., Mormon Midwife, The 1846-1888 Diaries of Patty Bartlett Sessions, 90
- The Journal of Robert S. Bliss, Utah Historical Quarterly, 4:110
- Ricketts, The Mormon Battalion, 158
- Tyler, A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion, 297