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"Mormons - Mormon Battalion March"

The Battalion left the Grand Encampment area heading south along the Missouri River toward Fort Leavenworth where they would be equipped.  At Fort Leavenworth, the battalion added wagons to carry additional supplies.

Upon leaving Fort Leavenworth, the battalion headed towards Santa Fe.  On September 16th, 1846, the battalion was still in the area now known as Kansas, and this is where the families broke off and headed towards the Pueblo establishment founded by John Brown and the Mississippi Saints (in what was later to be Colorado).

As the battalion continued their March, fatigue and sickness set in.  Upon arrival at Santa Fe, some were so sick that it was pointless for them to continue on to San Diego.  Those members were also sent to Pueblo to spend the winter.

October 1846: At Santa Fe, Colonel Cooke took command.

The battalion left Santa Fe, heading south through the area now known as New Mexico.  As the battalion made its way south, it was clear that some of the members were having difficulties to the point that more were getting sick.  As a result, those that were too sick to continue on broke off and headed back along the same trail to Santa Fe, and then on to Pueblo.

Before leaving the area known as New Mexico now, the battalion turned west, heading towards Tucson.  Along the way to Tucson, the battalion had to fight wild bulls that blocked their path.  Tucson was inhabited by the southwest natives, not totally friendly to the Europeans.  Regardless, the Mormon battalion was able to pass through without firing a single shot.

Continuing on past Tucson, the battalion headed slightly northwest, where they met the Pima Indians, a friendly group that even fed the battalion.

The battalion continued westward, arriving in San Diego on January 29, 1847.  The Mexican war had ended, so the battalion was split up, some to do duty in San Diego, and the others were moved north to the Los Angeles area.

There was only a few months left to fulfill the year of duty.  On July 16th, 1847, the battalion was discharged.  82 decided to re-enlist immediately.  Some of the discharged headed north towards Sacramento, while others headed towards the Salt Lake area.  For the ones heading towards Sacramento, some traveled along the mission trail close to the coast and others traveled the old mission trail further inland.

In Sacramento, they met up with Sutter (of Sutter Fort fame) and worked for a time for Sutter.  When Gold was discovered in 1848, most of the men working for Sutter deserted, but the Mormons continued, fulfilling their obligation to Sutter.

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