By Larry D. Christiansen
- Clifford, John Price [Wriston] – born 13 April 1823 in Kentucky. He was baptized into the LDS Church in February of 1845 in Illinois. He enlisted under the name of John P. Wriston as a Pvt. in Co. A of the Mormon Battalion on 16 July 1846 near Council Bluffs, Iowa. He marched with the battalion to Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas where the battalion received their military equipment. The battalion followed the Santa Fe Trail to the crossing of the Arkansas River, where they took the Cimarron Cutoff to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Here he was separated from the battalion on 15 October 1846 to go with Capt. James Brown’s sick detachment to Pueblo where the earlier family detachment has been sent to spend the winter. The sick detachment (91 soldiers, one doctor, 19 women and 10 children) left Santa Fe on October 18th, and they followed the mountain branch of the Santa Fe Trail to Bent’s Fort where army rations were obtained. They turned west and went up the Arkansas River and arrived at Pueblo on 17 November 1846. They constructed houses and a meeting house and spent the winter and early spring. Army leaders in Santa Fe ordered the sick detachment to go to California, and they started on 25 May 1847 after receiving their pay and two and a half months of army provisions. They moved north to Ft. Laramie on the North Platte River, encountering messengers from the Pioneer Company of Mormons led Brigham Young. At Ft. Laramie they followed the tracks of the Mormon pioneers westward with some of the advanced guard contacting the Pioneer Company. En route on 16 July 1847, the anniversary of their enlistment, they fired a salute of small arms fire to mark the occasion. Most of the sick detachment reached Salt Lake on 29 July 1847. They were released from their military service by Brigham Young, and Capt. Brown and an escort were sent to California to get their back pay. John Price married Mary Van Leuvan in 1853 at North Ogden using the surname of Wriston. In 1855 Brigham Young advised him to use the Clifford surname of his late father instead of the name of his step-father who helped rear him and his siblings. The family moved from North Ogden to Brigham City in 1853 or 1854 where two children were born and then relocated to Cache County, living in Providence by 1860, where his mother was living. In Providence, four children were added to the Clifford family between 1860 and 1869. The family moved to Clifton, Idaho where the last child was born in 1878. Thereafter he was in the further northern reaches of Cache Valley in Idaho at either Gentile Valley (he applied for his military pension from here) or in nearby Mound Valley where he died 4 March 1899 and was buried in the Mound Valley Cemetery. He was included on Daniel Tyler’s "Surviving Members of the Battalion" list published in 1881 under the name "Wriston[,] John P." with no location mentioned.
- Cummings, George W. – born 8 Oct. 1811 in New York State and married in 1833 in Michigan. He was baptized into the LDS Church in1841. He and his wife had a large family with two children born in Michigan, one in Indiana, one in Iowa and three in Illinois before his enlistment in the battalion. He was mustered into Co. E of the Mormon Battalion in July 1846 as a Pvt. and marched to Santa Fe. Here he was assigned to Capt. Brown’s sick detachment and marched to Pueblo in present day Colorado as described above. In May of 1847 the sick detachment marched by way of Ft. Laramie to Great Salt Lake arriving 29 July 1847; Church leaders decided since these soldiers’ year of service had expired so they were un-officially released. He returned to the Mormon camps on the Missouri River and learned that during his military absence two of his young children had died. He remained at the Missouri River three or four years, with a daughter born in December of 1848, a son in September of 1850 and another son in September 1851. Before leaving for the West two more children died in Iowa and Illinois. In 1853 he and his wife were living in Juab County at Nephi where children were born in 1853, 1854, 1856 and 1858. In 1860 he was among the first settlers of Millville in Cache County where he died 12 July 1887 and was buried at Millville, Utah. He was not included on Daniel Tyler’s "Surviving Members of the Battalion" list published in 1881.
- Curtis, Foster – born 8 May 1826 in Michigan to parents born in Massachusetts, who moved to Pennsylvania and then to Michigan by 1823. They joined the LDS Church and relocated to Missouri. At the age of eleven Foster was baptized in the LDS Church in September of 1837 in Caldwell County, Missouri. His mother died a year later at the same location. The family was forced out of Missouri and came to live in Nauvoo where the father died in March of 1846. Some of the Curtis family were in the exodus from Illinois and crossed Iowa to the Council Bluff area. Here twenty-year-old Foster was mustered in as a Pvt. in Co. D of the Mormon Battalion on 16 July 1846. He marched with the battalion to Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas where the battalion received their military equipment. The battalion followed the Santa Fe Trail to the crossing of the Arkansas River, where they took the Cimarron Cutoff to Santa Fe, New Mexico. They marched down the Rio Grande to where General Stephen W. Kearny’s force abandoned their wagons and used pack animals to travel to California. Lt. Colonel Phillip St. George Cooke of the U.S. Army led the Mormon Battalion in blazing Cooke’s Wagon Road to the Pacific. They traveled a short distance further down the river and then struck southwest and went through the Guadalupe Mountains and on to Tucson, the Pima Villages on the Gila River to the Colorado River. Crossing the river into California, they went on to Warner’s Ranch, San Luis Rey Mission and then to San Diego, arriving on January 29, 1847. They performed garrison duty and construct a fort at Los Angeles. Curtis and his comrades were mustered out of service on 16 July 1847. Levi Hancock organized the discharged soldiers into groups as the Mormons had in their exodus from Nauvoo into groups of hundreds, fifties and tens. Curtis was one of the captains of tens in Capt. Jefferson Hunt’s fifty and they left San Pedro July 22nd and traveled north along the coast to San Francisco and then to Sutter’s Fort. Capt. Hunt and a small "picked" party left Sutter’s on August 26thand headed for the Truckee route over the mountains with the remaining four tens that included Curtis’ ten, leaving the following day with Hunt’s entire group leaving in advance of the other companies under Hancock. They traveled 18 miles north and turned eastward and went over the crest of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and moved downward towards Truckee Lake when they encountered Samuel Brannan, returning to California. He was very disgruntled that he had been unable to persuade the Mormons to continue on to California. The following day they met Capt. James Brown, coming from Salt Lake and they gathered the various Mormon parties together to receive the Church’s counsel for the ex-soldiers. They were told that supplies were very short in the Salt Lake Valley and that those men without adequate provisions should remain in California to work until the following year. Upon hearing this, about half of the assembled company returned to California to find employment. Foster Curtis returned to Sutter’s Fort where he was listed as one of Sutter’s workmen. We don’t know which party he joined to travel to Utah but apparently arrived there in 1848. He lived and worked in Salt Lake City until about 1855 when he moved to the Mormon colony at San Bernardino in southern California. Here he met and married Clarissa Ann Bemis in April of 1857. The couple’s stay in San Bernardino was cut short when the Church ordered it abandoned due to the Utah War. They returned to Utah, living in the Salt Lake area until about 1871 when they moved to Cache County, settling at Newton. Foster died at Newton on 9 April 1880 and was buried in the Newton Cemetery. He was included on Daniel Tyler’s "Surviving Members of the Battalion" list published in 1881 and listed as a "farmer" in Newton. In reality he had died about a year previous to Tyler’s book being published.
- Dobson, Joseph – born 26 August 1804 in England, married Elizabeth Frain in 1836 with three children born in England. He was baptized in 1840 and emigrated to America by himself ahead of his family on the ship Alesto, arriving at New Orleans on 16 May 1841 and took a river steamer to Nauvoo. In November of 1841 his wife Elizabeth and three sons emigrated on the ship Chaos, arriving at New Orleans on 14 January 1842 and traveled by steamer to Nauvoo, arriving early in 1842. They had a daughter born at Nauvoo on 25 September of 1843, but mother and daughter died the same day and were buried on the "Temple Grounds" at Nauvoo. Forced to leave Nauvoo, the remaining family crossed Iowa in 1846. Near Council Bluffs, Iowa the forty-two-year-old Dobson was mustered as a Pvt. in Co. A on 16 July of 1846. He and fellow soldiers marched all the way to California where he was mustered out on 16 July 1847. His journey back to the Church in Utah was interrupted, and he worked at Sutter’s grist mill along with several others from the battalion. He traveled to Utah in the Holmes-Thompson Company, and they bought two brass cannon for the Utah settlement from Sutter, and Dobson contributed $20 to this cause. They started for Utah in July of 1848 and arrived in Salt Lake City in stages during September of 1848. Dobson returned to the Mormon camps on the Missouri River, probably to rejoin his children. He married Jannette Aitchison at St. Louis, Missouri in August of 1852. He moved to Utah and eventually moved to Richmond in Cache Valley where he died 24 February 1872 and was buried in the Richmond Cemetery.
- Durphy [Durphee or Durphey], Francillo – born 17 May 1812 in Vermont. He married Marion Jones in Vermont and to his union was born five children between 1831 and 1839 in Vermont and New York, and one born in March of 1845 in Nauvoo, Illinois. Six months later the mother died at Nauvoo. In the flight from Illinois, the family crossed Iowa where Durphee was mustered on 16 July 1846 as a Pvt. in Co. C at Council Bluffs, Iowa. He with his companions marched to Ft. Leavenworth and then on to Santa Fe. At this point on October 15, 1846, he was assigned to Capt. Brown’s sick detachment and went to Pueblo located on the Arkansas River in present day Colorado. In May of 1847 the sick detachments were ordered to march to California, and they traveled north to Ft. Laramie. Durphee and a dozen of the soldiers were chasing some horse thieves and learned that Brigham Young’s Pioneer Company was just ahead of them. They hurried to catch the Pioneer Company and caught up with them on July 4th at the junction of the Big Sandy and Green rivers. Durphee returned to the sick detachment and they arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on July 29th. Thomas Bullock, clerk of the Pioneer Company, recorded the names of those coming from Pueblo and on his list was the name of "Francilias Durfee." The soldiers were discharged from the service at Salt Lake City in late July of 1847. Little is known of his subsequent activities except he married Cynthia Harrington on May 4, 1849. He moved to Providence in Cache County in the early 1860s. In 1867 or 1868, he and some other Providence residents relocated to an area of Box Elder County just out of Cache County which came to be called “Beaver Dam” after the dams built by beavers in a nearby creek. Durphy became the presiding church leader in the small settlement established initially for stock raising. He died at Beaver Dam on 15 February 1871, and his body was buried in the Providence-River Heights Cemetery.
- Earl, Jacob S. – born 28 December 1821 in Canada. His parents had nine children all born in Canada, but after joining the LDS Church the family relocated to Nauvoo, Illinois where a son died in February of 1846. The family was involved in the exodus from Illinois and shortly after arriving as Council Bluffs, Jacob was mustered as a Pvt. in Co. E in July 1846. He marched all the way to California and was mustered out at Los Angeles on July 16, 1847. He re-enlisted along with some eighty men in the Mormon Volunteer company for an additional six months (extended to eight months), serving in the San Diego area. They were discharged 14 March 1848. After arriving in Utah, he married Fanny Cummings and resided in Farmington in Davis County and possibly in Ogden where they had children born between 1855 and 1866. By 1868 the family relocated to Cache County and children were born in Logan in 1868, 1870 and 1872. At Logan Jacob S. Earl died on 6 September 1910 with burial in the Logan Cemetery. He was included on Daniel Tyler’s "Surviving Members of the Battalion" list published in 1881 by name with no location noted.
- Hendricks, William D. – born 6 November 1829 in Kentucky to parents whose first four children were born in Kentucky and the last child born at Far West in Caldwell County, Missouri with the name of Joseph Smith Hendricks. The family continued with the Mormons to Illinois and in 1846 joined the exodus from Nauvoo and traveled across Iowa to Council Bluffs on the Missouri River. William D. Hendricks, a young lad four months from his seventeenth birthday, was at first forbidden by his mother from joining the Mormon Battalion, but the Church leaders’ strong appeals for more volunteers, and perhaps the lad’s will overcame the mother’s wishes. He was enlisted on 16 July 1846 as a Pvt. in Co. D in the battalion. He marched with the battalion all the way to California. After his year of service ended, he was mustered out 16 July 1847 at Los Angeles. He traveled with the Hancock company to Sutter Fort and continued on the Truckee route over the Sierra Nevada Mountains. After meeting Capt. Brown’s party near Truckee Lake, he continued on with half of the men headed for the Salt Lake Valley following the California Trail to its junction with the Oregon Trail and on to Ft. Hall, arriving in small groups around October 7th. They turned south and made it to the Salt Lake Valley with the first to arrive on October 16th. Thirty-two men, whose families were not there, continued on to the Mormon camps on the Missouri River. Apparently Hendricks’ family was at Salt Lake for he stayed there. He married his first wife in March of 1851 and a second wife in August 1851 and produced eight children born in Salt Lake City between 1852 and 1859. He relocated to Cache County in 1860 and settled at Richmond where his parents also resided. Eventually with five plural wives, he had many children and was engaged in many enterprises from farming, railroad contractor to a partnership in a flour mill. He died at Lewiston, Utah on 6 May 1909 and was buried in the Richmond Cemetery. He was listed in Daniel Tyler’s "Surviving Members of the Battalion" list published in 1881 as living in Richmond and was a railroad contractor.
- Huntsman, Isaiah – born 14 September 1826 in Ohio. His parents married in 1822 and had eight children born in Ohio. After they joined the LDS Church, they had son born in Jackson County, Missouri in February of 1839 and two daughters born in Nauvoo, Illinois in 1841 and 1843. His newspaper death notice (Deseret News, 6-19-1878) stated that Isaiah "In company with his father’s family passed through all the trials, mobings [sic], and final expulsions of the saints in and from Missouri and Illinois." At Council Bluffs, Iowa he was enlisted as a Pvt. in Co. B of the Mormon Battalion on 16 July 1847. He marched with the battalion to Ft. Leavenworth and then down the Santa Fe Trail to Santa Fe and then down the Rio Grande and across the deserts of New Mexico and Arizona to California. His company was assigned garrison duty in San Diego and then mustered out of service at Los Angeles on 16 July 1847. He was with the Hancock parties that traveled north to Sutter’s Fort and then crossed the mountains on the Truckee route and after meeting Brannan and Capt. Brown, he continued with Hancock to the Salt Lake Valley which was reached by most in mid-October of 1847. As many of these whose families were not in the Salt Lake Valley, they left a couple of days later bound for Winter Quarters; apparently at least thirty-two battalion veterans started eastward, but only twenty-six names have been found to this point. A newspaper notice of Huntsman’s death in 1878 had him returning to Winter Quarters "in the winter of 1848, where he remained until the spring of 1857"—the latter date probably in error. At Kanesville, Pottawattamie, Iowa he married Rebecca Carter Ames on January 16, 1848. They had a son born in March of 1849 at Kanesville. Then probably in the spring of 1852 (rather than in 1857 as reported in the newspaper), they crossed the plains to Utah and settled at Mill Creek in the Salt Lake area where a daughter was born in September of 1852. The family relocated to Fillmore in Millard County where children were born in 1854, 1856, 1858 and 1860. With the opening of Cache County blacksmiths were needed, and so in the early 1860s this blacksmith and his family moved to Wellsville where children were born in 1863, 1865, 1867, 1869 and 1870. In November of 1871 his father died and was buried in Fillmore, Utah and about this time or shortly thereafter, Isaiah moved to Sevier County, settling in the new community of Anabella where he was the first blacksmith. Here his and Rebecca’s twelfth and last child was born in November of 1873. He died at Anabella in Sevier County on 3 June 1878, and per his request, his body was taken to Fillmore where it was buried beside his father’s grave. He was listed in Daniel Tyler’s "Surviving Members of the Battalion" list published in 1881 as "Huntsman [,] Isaac, Wellsville, Cache Co., Utah; Blacksmith." Tyler was wrong on the name as it should have been Isaiah not Isaac, and he had both moved from Wellsville and died before Tyler’s book was published.
- Hyde, William – born 11 September 1818 in New York State. In 1833 a brother joined the LDS Church and was followed by William and his father in April of 1834 and the rest of the family soon thereafter. The family moved to Kirtland, Ohio in February of 1836. In the spring of 1838 William left his family and went to Missouri, but the stay was short as the Saints were driven out with William going to Quincy, Illinois where he found his parents. William went to Nauvoo in October of 1839 and went on a series of missions. Returning from a mission in April of 1841, he overtook a company of Saints from Massachusetts on their way to Nauvoo. In this group was Elizabeth Bullard to whom he was married on February 23, 1842. In October he was called on another mission and when he returned home in mid-June of 1843, he found a daughter had been born to his wife. While on another mission in the summer of 1844, he learned that Joseph and Hyrum Smith had been killed. While Brigham Young and some leading men of the Church left Nauvoo in February of 1846, the Hydes (parents, William and other family members) left three months later on May 18th. They were bound for the new Mormon gathering place somewhere in the West, but the first family member to reach it came via the back door from California. This was because William Hyde, who had a pregnant wife and two young daughters, joined the Mormon Battalion at Council Bluffs, Iowa and was enlisted in Co. B and selected as the 2nd Orderly Sgt. on 16 July 1846. He marched with the battalion all the way to California where his company was assigned to garrison San Diego from early March through early July of 1847. He was mustered out 16 July 1847 at Los Angeles and moved to Sutter Fort area as part of the Hancock party and went over the Sierra Nevada Mountains. He continued with Levi Hancock eastward after meeting Capt. Brown as they traveled the emigrant trail to the Snake River and to Ft. Hall where some, including Hyde, went south without a trail to Salt Lake City. They arrived in Salt Lake City 12 October 1847 where Hyde with fifteen others left three days later bound for the Mormon camps in the Winter Quarters area. They experienced a harrowing winter crossing of the plains and arrived at the Mormon camps on 11 December 1847. He found his family the following day at Council Bluffs and discovered his wife had delivered a son six months after he went with the battalion. He remained in the Councils Bluffs area with his family where a daughter was born in December of 1848. The family relocated to Utah in 1849. He married a plural wife in 1850. The two families lived in the Salt Lake Valley with children born at Big Cottonwood in 1851, 1852 and 1855. In 1857 he was in Salt Lake City and in 1859 a child was born in Lehi in Utah County. On the first of January 1860 he married two additional wives on the same day. In the spring of 1860 he moved his families to Cache County and on April 16th he selected his "farming location" about five miles north of Logan. Here at his home on Sunday, July 1st the Cache Valley Stake leaders organized a new settlement named Hyde Park with William Hyde "appointed to preside and act as Bishop." With multiple families he also secured lots in Logan and through the rest of his life had strong connections to both Hyde Park and Logan. Hyde died at Hyde Park on 2 March 1874 and was buried in the Hyde Park Cemetery.
- Lake, Barnabas – born 3 June 1827 in Canada. His father was from New York state and his mother from Vermont and they were married in Canada where six children were born. The family moved to Kirtland, Ohio where two more children were born in 1834 and 1835. They relocated into Illinois where the last two children were born in 1838 and 1841. Barnabas was baptized into the LDS Church in 1837. They were in the exodus from Illinois and moved across Iowa. Barnabas was enlisted as a Pvt. in Co. A at Council Bluffs, Iowa on 16 July 1846. He marched to Santa Fe, New Mexico with the battalion, where, according to his health, he was placed on the sick detachment led by Capt. Brown to Pueblo. They left Santa Fe on October 18th and reached the Arkansas River on November 9th and were re-supplied from military stores from Bent’s Fort. They moved up the river and reached Pueblo on November 17th. The able men constructed houses and a meeting house and spent the winter here. In late May of 1847 they were ordered by the military leaders at Santa Fe "to go to California" and received two and a half months of provisions and their pay. They marched north to Ft. Laramie and some encountered elements of the Mormon Pioneer Company while most of the sick detachment reached Salt Lake on 29 July 1847. They were almost two weeks beyond the one-year enlistment and Brigham Young released them from military service and Capt. Brown went to California to get their back pay and official discharges. Lake apparently returned to the Mormon camps on the Missouri River and on 31 March 1850 married Flecta Electa Snyder who died en route to Utah at Devil’s Gate in Wyoming on 9 August 1850. He married Lucy Jane Herrick in July of 1851 at Ogden and the family resided in Weber County at Ogden, Huntsville and Harrisville through 1862. In 1863 they apparently moved to Cache County where a son was born at Hyrum in June of that year. Then they went back to Huntsville and then Ogden where the last two children were born in 1865 and 1867. Sometime later the family moved back to northern Cache Valley, settling at Fairview immediately north of Cache County in Idaho Territory in Oneida County (later Franklin Co.). While living here Barnabas died at Logan, Utah on 18 June 1893 and was buried in the Fairview Cemetery. He was included on Daniel Tyler’s "Surviving Members of the Battalion" list published in 1881 as follows: "Lake [,] Barnabas, Franklin, Oneida Co. Idaho." [Franklin was the more noted Mormon settlement nearby.]
- McBride, Harlem – born 8 December 1824 in New York State. His parents were James and Elizabeth McBride and seven of their eight children were born in New York State. After they joined the LDS Church they relocated to Pike County, Illinois where their last child was born in 1840. The father died in Pike County, Illinois in August of 1839. Harlem was baptized in 1846, and sometime later that year while at Council Bluffs, Iowa joined the Mormon Battalion. He was one of the last few volunteers enrolled in Co. E, the last company a day or two after 16 July 1846 initial enrollment. With the battalion he marched all the way to California. He was mustered out 16 July 1847 at Los Angeles. He was among some eighty men to re-enlisted in the Mormon Volunteer company for an additional six months (extended to eight months), serving in the San Diego area. They were discharged 14 March 1848. No information has been found on his travels to reach Utah or where he lived before 1864. He had an eighteen-year-old brother die in Springville in Utah County in November of 1858. Earlier the same year another brother died while on a Mormon mission to the Indians at Fort Lemhi in present-day Idaho. He married Jensine Andreason Gyldenlove at Hyrum, Utah on 25 December 1864, and they had three children born at Hyrum in 1855, 1869 and 1872. His widowed mother died in Cache County at Hyrum in 1881. He continued to live in Hyrum, where he died on 21 November 1901 and was buried in the Hyrum Cemetery. He was not included on Daniel Tyler’s "Surviving Members of the Battalion" list published in 1881.
- Porter, Sanford, Jr. – born 25 June 1823 in Ohio, the son of Sanford Porter, Sr. and Nancy Warriner. The Vermont born parents and their growing family moved to New York, then to Ohio and into Illinois. The parents and a daughter were baptized in either 1830 or 1831, and by December of 1831 decided to go to Missouri to be at the new gathering place. Within a year they there among the Saints forced to relocate and fled southward into Missouri and remained there for four years, before moving to Montrose, Iowa just five miles from Nauvoo in 1839. When the Saints left Nauvoo the Porter family sold their farm and moved across Iowa to the Council Bluffs area. Here son, Sanford Porter, Jr., was enlisted as a Pvt. in Co. E of the Mormon Battalion in mid-July 1846. He marched with the battalion to Ft. Leavenworth and then moved out to follow the Santa Fe Trail to Santa Fe. Nine days from the fort he experienced a bout of sickness. They went to Santa Fe, then down the Rio Grande and then southwest across the desert to the present day border between New Mexico and Arizona. They traveled westward and came to the San Pedro River and turned northward to follow its course. Discovering fish in the river, on December 11 (the third day on the steam) Porter and a companion did not march with the battalion from their camp but stayed behind to fish. Thus they missed participating in the battalion’s most exciting day and only battle—the engagement with the wild bulls on the San Pedro. The battalion continued on through Tucson, the Pima Villages on the Gila and on to California. His one year’s enlistment ended at Los Angeles and he was mustered out on 16 July 1847. He moved north in the Hancock party to Sutter’s Fort and started over the mountains until they met Samuel Brannan and then Capt. Brown with the latest news of the Mormons near Truckee Lake. Here the counsel from the Church was that supplies were very short in the Salt Lake Valley and that those men without adequate provisions should remain in California to work until the following year. Later Porter stated he had accumulated a "fairly large sum of money" and so he continued the journey eastward and arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on 16 October 1847. He found that his father and family had arrived in the valley two weeks earlier. For a period of time his life was closely connected with his father, residing at Mill Creek and then in 1850 to Centerville. In July of 1852 he married two wives on the same day by which he reared large families. He moved to Porterville in 1861 and remained there until 1868. He took a mission to the "Muddy" in southeastern Nevada and then returned to Porterville and remained from 1869 until 1877. In response to a call from the Church, he went to Arizona seeking a place to make a home and open up an area for Mormon settlement in 1877 and returned in 1878. In the fall of 1880 he and some of his family returned to Arizona at the Sunset settlement and remained a few years. Then Porter returned to northern Utah and settled in Cache County at Logan. He died at Logan on 12 December 1913 and was buried in the Logan Cemetery. He was not included on Daniel Tyler’s "Surviving Members of the Battalion" list published in 1881.
- Rainey, David P. – born 1 February 1817 in Tennessee. He was mustered into Co. B of the Mormon Battalion and selected as 1st corporal on 16 July 1846 at Council Bluffs, Iowa. He marched with the battalion to Ft. Leavenworth and on to Santa Fe. While here on October 15th Lt. Col. Cooke, their new commander, requested the battalion to participate with the New Mexicans in a fandango to show respect for the residents and interest in their culture. It was thought that about three-fourths of the battalion attended the dance, paying a fee of $2 per person. John D. Lee, who had been dispatched from the Mormon camps on the Missouri River to get more of the battalion’s pay, thought the whole thing was foolish and a waste of money that he could have carried back to the Mormon camps. But Lee couldn’t resist a chance to see what was going on, so after dark he along with Sgt. William Hyde and Corporal David R. Rainey went to look on privately but found such a "throng of ruffians" about the entrance that they decided against it. Rainey and the battalion continued on to California. Here Company B was assigned to garrison duty at San Diego and in early March of 1847 Rainey was promoted to sergeant. In early July of 1847 his company was ordered to Los Angeles and en route as they were marching along the ocean, Rainey and Robert Bliss noticed something large and white in the distance. When they went to check it out, they found it to be about one hundred acres of salt about half an inch in depth and brought a pint of the salt back to the company. They continued on to Los Angeles where the Mormon Battalion was mustered out on 16 July 1847. Rainey and a large party moved north toward Sutter’s Fort in the Hancock Company. From this advance party on August 21, 1847, former officers Andrew Lytle and George Rosecrans along with David Rainey went to the American settlement at San Francisco to see if they could learn any news from the Church. They continued on to Sutter’s Fort and then north and east to cross the Sierra Nevada Mountains on the Truckee route. On September 6th the advance party met Samuel Brannan east of Donner Lake early in the morning and learned some news from the Mormon’s new settlement on Great Salt Lake, plus word that Capt. James Brown was only a short distance behind him, bringing letters and counsel from the Church. Rainey was in this advance party and an hour after meeting Brannan, he accompanied Brannan west to the main party under Hancock. The various parties of the battalion men came together near present-day Truckee. After getting the counsel from the Mormon leaders in Salt Lake that provisions were scarce there and they should come on to Salt Lake only if they had sufficient means. While half of the company returned to California, Rainey continued with Hancock on to Salt Lake, arriving on October 16th. Two days later between two and three dozen men whose families were not at this Mormon settlement, which included Rainey, left for a winter crossing of the plains to find their families. They separated into smaller groups, one of which had some ten or twelve men that ran out of food and traveled a few days without eating and had no idea where they could obtain food. Well east of Grand Island on the Platte River, according to William Pace’s journal, "one of D. P. Rainy’s Animals gave out (I think it was a Jack Ass) and we called a halt but finally drove on and encamped near Wood River. When after considerable consultations we agreed to pay a supper out of the old Jack" a few men went back to where the mule died and returned with part of the animal for "a repast for some ten or twelve half starved Mormon Soldiers." They arrived in the Winter Quarters-Council Bluffs area in mid-December of 1847. The story of his returned to Utah is not known. Apparently he had been married earlier. On 9 February 1857, the forty-year-old Rainey married Dorithy Jane Dennis, a seventeen-year-old in Salt Lake City. The lived at Provo for a short time where their first child was born in 1958 and then at Salem were a daughter joined the family in 1859. He probably became the acting bishop when the regular ward was created in 1859 at Payson. The family relocated to Cache County settling at Richmond in 1860. They had a very large family. He died at Richmond on 6 November 1888 and was buried in the Richmond Cemetery. He was included on Daniel Tyler’s "Surviving Members of the Battalion" list published in 1881 as follows: "Rainey [,] David P., (Sergt., not Corp. as erroneously appears on the roll), Richmond, Cache Co., Utah; Farmer."
- Raymond, Alonzo P. – born 14 February 1821 in Vermont. He was the first in his family to join the LDS Church and they tried to persuade him not to do so. After his baptism he was determined to join the Saints in Illinois, and he arrived before Joseph and Hyrum Smith were killed. Here his father and rest of the family joined him. In 1843 the Church sent a petition to Congress seeking redress for their injuries to person and properties in being driven from Missouri. Both Alonzo and his father Pearis Raymond signed this petition. Before being driven from Nauvoo, Alonzo married Clarinda Cutler, the step-granddaughter of David Pettegrew, who would also be in the Mormon Battalion. They left Nauvoo and moved across Iowa and arrived at Council Bluffs on 14 June 1846. While here Alonzo became afflicted, according his family, with an incurable disease which caused him to become despondent over the diagnosis. One day after walking but a short distance he sat down to rest on the side of the road when Heber C. Kimball came by. Kimball inquired as to what was troubling the young man. He related to Kimball his illness and the diagnosis. The Mormon leader responded with a pointed question as to why Alonzo did not join the Mormon Battalion being recruited primarily by the Church leaders. Kimball continued by promising him if he did enlist he would recover and be able to serve his term of service. Accordingly he enlisted as a Pvt. in Co. D of the Mormon Battalion at Council Bluffs, Iowa, on 16 July 1846. He marched with the battalion down the Missouri River to Ft. Leavenworth where they arrived August 1st. Alonzo had to ride in a wagon for a few days but thereafter took his place in the infantry and marched with his comrades. At the fort the Mormon soldiers received their clothing allowance of $42 because they chose to wear their personal clothing rather than government issued uniforms. Representatives from the Church were present to take whatever money they received back to the Mormon camps; most was designated for family members, some for the poor and other for Church leaders. Private Raymond sent $20 back for his wife. When this money arrived, the Church leaders tried to over-rule the wishes of the soldiers and have the families leave all the money with them to use as they best saw fit and used much pressure to this end. Alonzo’s wife, Clarinda Cutler Raymond, insisted on getting all of her money as she was capable of taking care of herself. Alonzo with the battalion marched all the way to California. After arrival in California he was a strong and healthy man and thought Kimball’s promise had been fulfilled. He was mustered out of the service at Los Angeles on 16 July 1847. He traveled with the Hancock party to Sutter Fort and then over the Sierra Nevada Mountains and across the deserts of present-day Nevada on the California trail to Ft. Hall, then south to Salt Lake City, arriving mid-October of 1847. A couple of days later he ventured forth with others to cross the plains to his family at Winter Quarters where they arrived on December 18th. He and his family emigrated to Utah in 1848. They lived in Salt Lake, then Midvale, and then Lehi. In 1860 several Lehi families moved to Cache County and Alonzo and his family were among them. After a short stay at Wellsville he moved to the new community of Smithfield in late 1860. In 1862 his wife Clarinda died, leaving him with five children. He remarried in 1863 to Zilpha Noble and they had twelve children. He took a plural wife, Elizabeth Hillyard Thompson Raymond, 3 May 1868 in the Salt Lake City Endowment House, they had two children, daughter Zilphia Amelia Raymond and son Alma Raymond. Alonzo P. Raymond died at Smithfield on 14 August 1904 and was buried in the Smithfield Cemetery. He was not included on Daniel Tyler’s "Surviving Members of the Battalion" list published in 1881.
- Richardson, Thomas – born 13 February 1804 in England; baptized in LDS Church in 1837 and emigrated to America in 1841, lived in Chicago then in 1842 moved to Nauvoo. He was in the exodus from Nauvoo and after reaching Council Bluffs, Iowa, he was mustered as a forty-two-year-old Pvt. in Co. E of the Mormon Battalion in mid-July 1846. With the battalion he marched to Ft. Leavenworth and then on to Santa Fe. By this time the battalion was reduced by the family and sick detachments, and the battalion started down the Rio Grande and on November 10th near the Elephant Butte area, another sick detachment of over fifty men was sent back to Santa Fe. Richardson was in this sick detachment led by Lt. William W. Willis from this date until his discharge. This detachment arrived back at Santa Fe on 1 December 1846, and was ordered on to Pueblo where the other Mormon detachments had assembled. They traveled the 300 miles to Pueblo during the winter with sick men and arrived 20 December 1846. In May of 1847 the Pueblo detachments were ordered to proceed to California by military leaders in Santa Fe. They moved northward to Ft. Laramie and continue westward on the emigrant trail. Richardson was with an advance party that caught up with Brigham Young’s Pioneer Company on July 4th at the junction of the Big Sandy and Green rivers and a few accompanied the Pioneer Company to Salt Lake. Most of the sick detachment followed a few days behind. According to John Steel’s journal, as the Pueblo detachment came down into the Salt Lake Valley, President Young and the Twelve came out to meet them when an extremely heavy rain produced a flash flood in the canyon as "big as a wagon box," mostly likely as deep and/or wide as a wagon box. It engulfed Richardson and his mount as he crossed Red Butte Creek and carried them several rods down the stream. Shortly after arriving in Salt Lake the battalion members were released from military service. Captain James Brown and few soldiers made a trip to California to obtain the soldiers’ severance pay and official release from service. His obituary in the Deseret News (Nov. 11, 1886) mistakenly had him going with the battalion to California. After arriving in Salt Lake City, he remained ten days and then crossed the plains to Pottawattamie where he remained for four years. He returned to Utah and served as the presiding authority or bishop of Slaterville in Weber County for a number of years. Eventually Richardson moved to Cache County where he was a partner in the first store established at Smithfield. He was forced out of merchandizing twice, first by a mission call to Great Britain and later by a boycott of his store imposed by local Church leaders favoring the co-op store. He moved to Richmond about 1876 and on the 1880 census, he was listed as a laborer in Richmond. He died on 3 November 1886 and was buried in the Richmond Cemetery. He was not included on Daniel Tyler’s "Surviving Members of the Battalion" list published in 1881.
- Rowe, William – born 20 February 1826 in Indiana and baptized into the LDS Church on 3 July 1844 to which his parents belonged. His parents died in Salt Lake in 1852 and 1855 with their four adult children living and dying in Utah or Wyoming. The family was at the Council Bluffs, Iowa area when the call for volunteers was made in the Mormon camps. Among those responding was twenty-year-old William Rowe, who enlisted as a Pvt. in Co. D of the Mormon Battalion on 16 July 1846. He marched with the battalion to Ft. Leavenworth and then on to Santa Fe where he was separated on 15 October 1846 to go with Capt. James Brown’s sick detachment to Pueblo where the earlier family detachment has been sent to spend the winter. The sick detachment (91 soldiers, one doctor, 19 women and 10 children) left Santa Fe on October 18th and followed the mountain branch of the Santa Fe Trail to Bent’s Fort where army rations were obtained. They turned west and followed the Arkansas River and arrived at Pueblo on 17 November 1846. They constructed houses and a meeting house and spent the winter and early spring there. Army leaders in Santa Fe ordered the sick detachment to go to California and they started on 25 May 1847 after receiving their pay and two and a half months of army provisions. They moved north to the Ft. Laramie on the North Platte River, and they followed the tracks of the Mormon pioneers westward with some of the advanced guard contacting the Pioneer Company. En route on 16 July 1847 the anniversary of their enlistment, they fired a small arms salute to mark the occasion. Most of the sick detachment reached Salt Lake on 29 July 1847. They were released from their military service by Brigham Young, and Capt. Brown and an escort traveled to California to get their back pay and discharges. Young Rowe married in 1853 and settled in Parowan in southern Utah at least through 1861 and then relocated to West Weber through at least 1868. He then relocated to Cache Valley and settled in Mendon where children were born to the family in 1872 and 1877. The 1880 census had him as a farmer in Mendon, and in 1881 Tyler’s book on the Mormon Battalion published in 1881 had him at Mendon, and the pension application of Gordon Beckstead had Rowe still living in Mendon in 1887. Sometime thereafter he relocated to the Star Valley in Wyoming where his wife died in 1902, and on 24 July 1906 Rowe died at Thayne, Wyoming and was buried in the local cemetery.
- Weir, Thomas – born 26 July 1809 in Kentucky and married Elizabeth Caroline Clark in 1845 in Adams County, Illinois. He was mustered into Co. A and selected as 3rd Corporal in that company in the Mormon Battalion on 16 July 1846 at Council Bluffs, Iowa and while he was away his first child was born at Mosquito Creek in Pottawattamie County, Iowa on December 20th. He marched with the battalion all the way to California, and here he was reduced to private on 9 March 1847 along with three other non-commissioned officers for not properly learning the drill exercises. He mustered out on 16 July 1847, and probably went in the company led by Capt. Jefferson Hunt who left Los Angeles area July 22nd and moved north along the coast to San Francisco and then to Sutter’s Fort. Leaving the fort on August 26th and 27th the various sub groups headed for the crossing of the mountains en route to Salt Lake City; near Truckee Lake they met Capt. James Brown with advice from Brigham Young that the Saints at Salt Lake were in destitute circumstances and the influx of others would strain the situation, so only those with adequate provisions should proceed to Salt Lake and the remainder asked to remain in California to work until the following year and then bring their provisions and earnings with them. Thomas Weir was among the large number who returned to Sutter’s Fort where he found employment as a tanner and currier (one who curries and dresses leather after it is tanned) at Sutter’s. Weir was a member of the Holmes-Thompson company that left Pleasant Valley, California on 3 July 1848 on a summer journey that took the first wagons over Carson Pass and built a new road that became an important entryway to California for thousands of gold seekers. Later they took the first wagons over the Salt Lake Cutoff and arrived at Brown’s Fort (Ogden) on Sept. 27th and the Salt Lake Valley a few days later. He did not find his family in the Salt Lake Valley, so he continued to the Mormon camps on the Missouri River where he located his family. He remained at this location for a period of time and in October of 1850 his wife delivered their second daughter at Council Bluffs, Iowa. The family moved to Utah and he took plural wives in 1853, 1856, and 1861. He eventually moved to Cache County where at Logan another daughter was born in March of 1860. Here, he joined Joel Ricks in erecting the first large tannery, producing much needed leather in Cache County. He died on 18 July 1875 and was buried in the Logan Cemetery.
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In the northern reaches of Cache Valley which eventually became part of Idaho Territory after 1864:
- Beckstead, Gordon Silas – born 25 November 1825 in Canada. His parents were married in 1823 in Canada and began an extremely large family that grew to include eighteen children. The first eight children were born in Canada. After joining the LDS Church the family moved to Far West, Missouri where a child was born in 1838. They were with the Saints forced out of Missouri and relocated to Nauvoo, Illinois where children were born in 1840 and 1843 with another child born at Goldens Point in Hancock County, Illinois. They joined in the exodus from Illinois and at Council Bluffs, Iowa, Gordon was enlisted at a Pvt. in Co. A of the Mormon Battalion of 16 July 1846. He marched with the battalion to Ft. Leavenworth, Santa Fe and on to California. His one-year term of service ended by being mustered out on 16 July 1847 at Los Angeles. Four days later he was among some eighty men enlisted into a military company which became known as the Mormon Volunteers, and they were issue army uniforms for the first time. They had signed on for six months but were not mustered out until March 14, 1848 at San Diego. The majority of the discharged Mormon Volunteers divided into two groups: some thirty-five men led by Henry G. Boyle traveled to Salt Lake Valley by the southern route and arrived in Salt Lake in early June of 1848, and a second party of about forty-two men went north to Sutter’s Fort, San Francisco and the gold fields and then in smaller groups some went to Salt Lake. It is not known which group Gordon Beckstead was in or where and when he caught up with his parents. His parents remained in Kanesville where twins were born in August of 1848, and moved to Utah where their next child was born at West Jordon in December of 1850 with additional children born at West Jordon (1858), South Jordon (1860) and American Fork (1861).
Gordon Beckstead married Barbara Parks in either 1851 or 1852 at Salt Lake and apparently no children came from this union. He married Elizabeth Hunsaker in 1856 with eight children born between 1857 and 1873 all at Brigham City, Utah. He married another plural wife, Susannah Luckham, in 1867 and produced nine children born at Brigham City between 1869 and 1890. He was in a partnership in herding in Box Elder County by at least 1865. He was included on Daniel Tyler’s "Surviving Members of the Battalion" list published in 1881 as follows: "Beckstead [,] Gordon S., South Jordon, Salt Lake Co., Utah." He filed for a pension from Brigham City in Box Elder County in 1882. His first wife, Barbara, died near Brigham City in early January of 1872. Apparently when the federal pressure on the polygamists increased, he placed his two families in different locations. In 1884 the newspaper had him with a home at Swan Lake, Idaho, and apparently he retained a home in Brigham City and probably his time in South Jordon was at his mother’ place until her death in 1889 In 1886 Gordon S. Beckstead became involved in a strange affair after being called in January as a prospective juror wherein he cited living at South Jordon. When questioned by the district attorney and the judge over his beliefs in regard to Mormonism and plural marriage, he stated that all the revelations were a "humbug" and he did not believe in plural marriage and had "only one wife, and had only lived with one woman as his wife." He concluded by saying he believed those "in authority were teaching false doctrine," and if placed on the jury, he would be as willing to "indict the President of the Church as any other person." In May of the following year he was arraigned in district court on the charge of unlawful cohabitation. Gordon Silas Beckstead died at Preston, Idaho on 31 January 1891 and was buried at Preston. His second wife, Elizabeth, died in 1894 and was buried at Oxford, Idaho. This suggests that he had established a home at Preston and possibly Oxford prior to his death. In 1913 his third wife, Susannah, died at Preston and was buried there.
- Cox, John – born in England where prior to his conversion to Mormonism he was possibly a parson in the Church of England and then became a member of the United Brethren. He married Eliza Roberts in 1836 and had at least two children in England. He was baptized into the LDS Church in June of 1839 in England and the family emigrated to America, arriving at New Orleans 16 April 1841, and on the immigration documents he was listed as a "farmer." They traveled up the Mississippi River to Nauvoo where more children were added to the family with the records confused as to the number. They were in the exodus from Nauvoo and frequently traveled with friends from their days in England and first heard the news of recruitment of Mormons for the war with Mexico at Mt. Pisgah. They received this news with great reluctance since many of them were not American citizens, having emigrated from England many on the same ship Echo, and most of them had families. In addition, they were fully aware of the lack of protection for the Mormons by the government in the troubles as experienced at Nauvoo and Missouri. Furthermore, they couldn’t understand why Church leaders were now so adamant and forceful in the recruiting of Mormon soldiers. The Church leaders’ heavy recruitment by emphasizing this military service as being a religious duty rather than a patriotic one caused many in the traveling group to give their names as volunteers. They were John Cox and his brother-in-law Levi Roberts, as well as Daniel Browett, Robert Harris, Richard Slater and Robert Pixton. At Council Bluffs they were enrolled between July 16 and July 21st in Co. E, the last company formed and the smallest. Cox and his five cited friends made the march all the way to California. At the end of their one-year enlistment they were mustered out at Los Angeles on 16 July 1847. Some 223 men formed under Levi Hancock and subdivided into four groups with intentions to go to the new home of the Mormons. The six friends (Cox, Roberts, Browett, Harris, Slater and Pixton) camped and ate together. They moved north some five hundred miles and failing to find Walker’s Pass, they settled on the Truckee route over the mountains at Donner Pass. When they encountered Capt. Brown from Utah with counsel from Brigham Young, only Harris continued eastward to Utah with Hancock’s party to arrive at Salt Lake in early September of 1847. A large number of the Mormons returned to California were Cox and his friends found employment with Captain John A. Sutter in various places and positions. Most finished their work with Sutter even after the word spread about the discovery of gold. Some, perhaps most, did some searching for gold. By June of 1848 a group determined to go to Salt Lake selected a rendezvous point some forty to fifty miles east of Sutter’s Fort in a small valley they named "Pleasant Valley." Cox was here with at least three of his long-termed friends and the group brought supplies, wagons and animals along with two small brass cannon purchased from Sutter. Cox contributed $20 and Browett $10 for these cannon out of a total subscription of $512. Three men went ahead to scout the best way but never returned; later their bodies were found. Finally by 3 July 1848 they decided the mountain snow had melted sufficiently to allow crossing of the mountain. This party known as the Holmes-Thompson company blazed a new road over Carson Pass and then across the desert and took the first wagons over the Salt Lake Cutoff and arrived at Salt Lake the first week of October of 1848. The details of the coming together of Cox and his family are not known. The family settled in Weber County where additional children were born into the family. They remained in Weber County until 1867 when they moved to Oxford, part of Cache Valley in Idaho. John Cox died at Oxford sometime around 1868 and was buried in the Oxford, Idaho Cemetery.
- Howell, Thomas Charles Davis – born 22 February 1814 in North Carolina. He married Sarah Stuart in 1835 in Tennessee and they had three children in Tennessee. He mustered as a Pvt. in Co. E of the Mormon Battalion in the area south of Council Bluffs, Iowa in mid-July of 1846. The battalion marched to Ft. Leavenworth and received their military equipment and then started on the Santa Fe Trail across Kansas. On September 4th, three or four days after a change of command placed Lt. Andrew J. Smith, a gentile officer in the regular army, over the battalion, Pvt. Howell had the assignment of guard duty when Lt. Smith was checking on the sentinels, Howell halted the Lieutenant who mistakenly gave the wrong password. Howell held the battalion’s commander as a prisoner until the relief guard arrived and the problem was resolved. Howell marched all the way to California. He was mustered out at Los Angeles on 16 July 1847 by Lt. Smith who he had held as a prisoner about ten months earlier. He went with the Hancock party north to Sutter’s Fort and then crossed the mountains by the Truckee route. He continued to Salt Lake with Hancock. The details of getting back with his family are not known. Howell and his family were in Payson, Utah where additional children were born in 1853 and 1855. Before 1880 the Howells were living in Clifton in Oneida (later Franklin) County, Idaho as a son born in Tennessee died there. Wife Sarah died at Clifton in 1886 and on 3 September of 1902 Thomas Howell also died at Clifton and was buried in the Clifton Cemetery. He was included on Daniel Tyler’s "Surviving Members of the Battalion" list published in 1881 as follows: "Howell [,] T.C. D., Clifton, Oneida Co., Idaho; Farmer."
- Lemmon, James William - born 16 May 1827 in Indiana. His parents, after the birth of two children in Indiana, moved to Adams County, Illinois where an additional ten children were born at or near Quincy. The family joined the LDS Church and James was baptized 15 May 1842. Some of the family were involved in the 1846 exodus of the Mormons from Illinois, but the parents had their last son born near Quincy in November of 1849. Both the parents and most of their children moved to Utah. Nineteen-year-old James was enlisted as a Pvt. in Co. A of the Mormon Battalion near Council Bluffs, Iowa on 16 July 1846. He marched with the battalion to California. At the end of his one year enlistment he was mustered out at Los Angeles on 16 July 1847. He re-enlisted in the Mormon Volunteer company for an additional six months (extended to eight months), serving in the San Diego area and discharged 14 March 1848 at San Diego. Just over forty of the "Mormon Volunteers" went north to Sutter’s Fort, but from twenty five to thirty five men formed a company led by Henry G. Boyle which started for Utah by the southern route. Lemmon was in this company. They moved to the Williams Ranch and obtained their supplies and animals for their trip, and they met Mormons Porter Rockwell and James Snow, who the previous winter had traveled from Salt Lake to southern California, and secured their services as guides. The company consisted primarily of packers with only one wagon with 135 horses and mules. They started their desert crossing on April 12th and went through Tejon Pass to San Bernardino and basically followed the Old Spanish Trail to the spring where Las Vegas would later be built and then to Antelope Springs, near where Cedar City, Utah would be developed, where they left the old trail and struck north to the Salt Lake Valley. They arrived at Salt Lake on 5 June 1848. Lemmon married Rosanna Avery in 1851 and they resided for a time at Parowan where a daughter was born. In 1853 the family was in Ogden Valley in Weber County where a son was born. Apparently they divorced and Lemmon later married Elizabeth Ramsey. They had children born in Sanpete County in 1857, 1860 and 1863. They eventually moved to Weston, Idaho where the 1880 census had Lemmon as a farmer. Here wife Elizabeth died in 1897, and James William Lemmon died on 14 April 1908 and was buried in the Weston Cemetery. He was included on Daniel Tyler’s "Surviving Members of the Battalion" list published in 1881 as follows: "Lemmon [,] James W., Weston, Cache Co., Utah; Farmer."
- Hunt, Jefferson – born 20 January 1804 in Kentucky. He married Celia Mount in December of 1823 in Illinois and began a family and eventually took a second wife. The Hunt family was taught the gospel by Levi Hancock and baptized into the LDS Church on 7 March 1835 by Charles Patten. In the spring of 1837 they moved to Missouri and settled just outside Far West. They missed out on most of the mobbing in Missouri, and Hunt was appointed by Brigham Young to help move the families from Missouri into Illinois. In 1840 the Hunts moved to Illinois, settling on a farm some twenty-five miles south of Commerce (renamed Nauvoo). The troubles in Nauvoo caused the Mormons to leave, and the Hunt family left with two wagons carrying their goods during the second week of February of 1846. They arrived at the Missouri River at Council Bluffs, Iowa June 14th. Two weeks later Captain James Allen of the U.S. Army came to the Mormon camps recruiting volunteers for the Mexican War. Before the enlistment of the first Mormon Company, Church leaders selected Jefferson Hunt to be its captain, and Co. A was formed on 16 July 1846. In his company were two sons, Gilbert and Marshall, serving as privates. Hunt chose to take his two families with him on the battalion’s march as well as an elderly couple. The 500-man Mormon Battalion were accompanied by a large contingent of family members that included at least 31 wives of the soldiers, three other women and 43 children reached Ft. Leavenworth on August 1st. On August 13th three of the five companies left the fort with Capt. Hunt in charge with the other two companied coming later and catching up with the advance companies on August 19th. At Council Grove in late August the battalion learned of the death at the fort of their commander Colonel Allen. Although Capt. Hunt was selected by a council of Mormon officers to lead the battalion, this was soon changed and a regular officer of the U.S. Army, Lt. Andrew J. Smith, took command.
The battalion traveled along the Santa Fe Trail, and for a variety of reasons, their movement was very slow. En route they received orders from General Kearney to not follow his tracks to Bent’s Fort but to take the Cimarron Cutoff which would be the toughest travel thus experienced. The battalion reached the Arkansas River on September 11th, and the following day they met three Mormons traveling eastward down this river after leaving fourteen Mormon families from Mississippi in Pueblo for the winter. Three days later on September 15th, acting Lt. Col A. J. Smith, commanding the Mormon Battalion, decided that the large family contingent was greatly slowing the progress of the battalion’s movement, and with the harder travel ahead, the situation would get worse. Thus at the crossing of the Arkansas River where the Cimarron Cutoff intersected the main road to Bent’s Fort, he detached Capt. Nelson Higgins with a guard of ten men (including Corporal Gilbert Hunt) to take the battalion families to Pueblo where they could winter with the Mormons already there. From this division Capt Hunt and son Pvt. Marshall Hunt continued on to Santa Fe, Tucson, the Pima Villages and into California. During the last two or three months in California, Hunt served as the commander of the Mormon Battalion. The battalion was mustered out of service on 16 July 1847, and the military authorities in California requested Hunt to go to the Mormon settlement and recruit another body of Mormon troops which he would command. Other than the eighty Mormon Volunteers who re-enlisted, the discharged soldiers were determined to reach the place where their Church had settled. Under Levi Hancock they organized into four parties. Three of these struck northward in the interior of California doing some exploring hoping to find a reported mountain pass through the Sierra Nevada Mountains which they failed to find. Hunt led the fourth party (that included his son Marshall) up the coast to Monterey and then to San Jose with a quick side trip to the San Francisco Bay area to see the Mormon colony that came by sea. The various parties were to rendezvous at Sutter’s Fort. In this area Hunt’s party learned that Samuel Brannan had left California in the early spring bound for the westward migrating Mormons. Furthermore they learned from a returned member of Brannan’s party for the first time the exact location of the new Mormon settlement being established in the Great Salt Lake Valley. At Sutter’s Fort Hunt and his group grew impatient with the waiting and left the fort on August 26th and started eastward by way of the Truckee route. In the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Donner Lake they encountered Samuel Brannan returning to California very discouraged that he had been unable to persuade the Mormons to continue on to California. Brannan provide Hunt with the news about his families’ welfare—a son had died at Pueblo, his soldier son had married and Capt. Hunt’s two wives and the rest of the family were well. The party with Hunt learned that Capt. Brown was a short distance behind Brannan and carried the Church’s counsel for the ex-soldiers. The various eastbound parties assembled near Truckee Lake on September 8th. Capt. Brown carried both written and oral instructions which recommended that those men without adequate provisions should remain in California until the following year as supplies were very short in Salt Lake Valley. Upon hearing this about half of the assembled company returned to California to find employment and according to David Pettegrew "about one hundred" continued on bound for Salt Lake. Hunt with some of his party continued their travels following the California Trail and reached the Salt Lake Valley in mid-October. He found his family here but not Brigham Young, who was en route back to Winter Quarters on the Missouri River so he could not get any decision on raising another battalion of Mormons until the following year. With other men Hunt made a trip back to southern California for food and supplies between mid-November of 1847 and May of 1848, bringing back seed grain, sacks of potatoes for seed and 200 cows, forty bulls and a few horses. Half of the cows and all but one of the bulls perished on the trip. But he brought back an enthusiastic report of the San Bernardino country which led Church leaders to establish a colony there three years later. He later guided parties of gold seekers from Utah to California. In 1849 he was among the settlers sent to the Provo River to establish Fort Utah (later Provo). In 1851 he and his family left Utah to settle at San Bernardino among the 347 making that journey. He and his family remained there until 1857 when the colony was abandoned due to the Utah War. The Hunts left in 1858 and were among the last to leave. They moved to Parowan and stayed a short time. They brought a home in Ogden in 1859 and in 1860 he established "Hunt’s Fort" in Ogden Valley which was renamed Huntsville. In the spring of 1865 Hunt went to the upper portion of Cache Valley to the new settlement of Oxford to check out the possibilities and decided to relocate his expanded family there. Son Hyrum and his family moved to Oxford, and Jefferson Hunt soon came with seven of his younger children and placed them in Hyrum’s home. In the process of moving he took his pregnant wife Matilda to Millville, Utah and placed her in the care of son Joseph’s wife. Matilda had twins on 22 October 1865. and she and one of the twins died the next day and were buried in Millville. By 1866 Jefferson Hunt and children’s families settled in Oxford, bringing with them many animals and wagons to engage in freighting operations and other enterprises in addition to farming. The family patriarch needed more land for his multi-family operation, and they eventually established a Hunt settlement at Red Rock Pass some nine miles north of Oxford on the freight road. Jefferson Hunt built a fine new home in Oxford where he died on 11 May 1879. He was buried at Red Rock Pass in a small family cemetery.
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NOTE: If anyone has further information they think needs to be included in the brief sketches of the above veterans or know of other Mormon Battalion soldiers that need to be included please contact us.
Updated: 14 Jul 2007
Copyright 2007 by Larry D. Christiansen
Produced for Cache Co. UTGenWeb