IIWILLIAM HYDE 1818-1874
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Member of the Mormon Battalion, Company B, 2nd Orderly Sergeant
"Brother William, I lay my hands upon thy head in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, and place upon thee all the blessings of the new and everlasting covenant. Thou art of the house of Jacob, and a lawful heir to the Holy Priesthood which shall be placed upon thee in fullness in due time, with all the mysteries and powers of the same, because thou hast obeyed the Gospel and thy heart is honest. Thy sins are forgiven, inasmuch as you continue faithful. Suffer not your mind to become corrupted by evil and designing persons, but follow the council of the Servants of the Lord. No mention shall be ever made of thy former transgressions. But thou shalt go forth as a mighty man and gather together the remnants of Jacob from the four quarters of the earth and no power on earth shall stay thine hand. Thou shalt be able to do any miracle that was ever done by man in the name of Jesus, when it is necessary for the salvation of men or building up the Kingdom of Israel in the last days. Thou shalt be blessed in thy house with a numerous family. They shall increase like Jacob and become a mighty people. Thou shalt have an inheritance in the land of Joseph with thy brethren the children of Ephraim. Thou shalt inherit every blessing which thy heart desires and live to see the winding up scene of this generation if you desire it, and enjoy all the blessings and glories of the Redeemers Kingdom, and in the end inherit eternal life. This is thy blessing, brother, which I seal upon thee, and inasmuch as thou art faithful it shall not fail, even so, Amen."
A Blessing given in Nauvoo, January 30th, 1846, by John Smith, Patriarch, upon the head of Elizabeth H. Hyde, daughter of Joel and Lucretia Bullard, born October 2nd, 1813, in the Town of Holliston, Middlesex County, Massachusetts: p15
Sister Elizabeth, I lay my hands upon thy head in the name of Jesus of Nazareth and place upon thee a blessing of a Father. Thou art a daughter of Ephraim, and an heir to all the blessings that Jacob sealed upon the sons of Joseph, even all the beauties and glories of Zion, all the powers and benefits of the Holy Priesthood which shall be conferred upon thee in due time in common with thy companion in fullness, for no good thing shall be withheld from thee. Thou shalt be blessed in thy family with health, peace, and plenty. Thy store house shall be well supplied with the best fruits of the earth, goodness and mercy shall follow thy steps continually, inasmuch as thou art faithful in thy calling, and inasmuch as thou art agreed with thy companion in all things, thy children shall live until they are old, shall grow up about thy table like olive plants, and become exceeding numerous, and rise up in thy old age and call the blessed. Thou shalt be blessed with every favour that is desirable; shalt live to see Israel gathered from every part of the land, Zion established in peace, and if your faith does not fail thou shalt enjoy all the blessings of the Redeemer's Kingdom even so, Amen."
In the month of February, 1846, President Young, Heber C. Kimball, in company with many of the first Elders of the Church, because of persecution, left Nauvoo and took their departure into the wilderness, for the purpose of searching out a resting place for the saints, that if possible, they might dwell in peace, and be remote, and free from the turmoil and perplexity, and the persecutions which they had suffered from the hands of the Gentiles.
This first company, which was composed of men, women and children, suffered much from the severe storms which they had to encounter. But the Lord was with them, and although seemingly in no wise fitted for the expedition, they succeeded in braving the storms and in building bridges, and in wheeling through mud and mire until they reached Council Bluffs in Iowa Territory.
I left Nauvoo with my family the 18th of May, 1846, in company with my father and mother, also my brother Charles, and Rosel with his family, and David Grant, who was the husband of my sister Mary Ann Hyde.
We reached Council Bluffs the 12th of July.
The Government of the United States were at this time at war with Mexico, and not being satisfied with either having assisted, or by their silence acquiesced in driving and plundering thousands of defenseless men, women and children, and driving them from their pleasant and lawful homes, and of actually murdering, or through suffering causing the death of hundreds, they must now send to our camps, (While we, like Abraham, by the commandment of Heaven were enroute for a home, we knew not where; and after having expelled us from their borders), and call upon us for five hundred young and middle aged men, the strength of our camp, to go and assist them in fighting their battles. When this news came I looked upon my family, and then upon my aged parents, and upon the situation of the camps in the midst of an uncultivated, wild Indian country, and my soul revolted. But when I came to learn the mind of the Lord, and on learning the offering had to be made, or the sequel was not yet opened between us and the Government; when our beloved President came to call upon the saints to know who among all the people were ready to be offered for the cause; I said, "Here am I, take me."
On the 16th of July I was mustered into service. Five companies were raised, consisting in all of about five hundred and twenty men. I enlisted in the second company. We had the privilege of electing our p16own officers up to the captains. Jesse D. Hunter was chosen Captain of the second company. I occupied the place of second sergeant. We were marched to the Missouri River the same day we were mustered into service, and commenced drawing our rations and to make preparations for our departure. On the 17th I returned to the camp where my family was situated, a distance of 8 miles. The thoughts of leaving my family at this critical time are indescribable. Far from the land which we had once called civilization, with no dwelling, save a wagon, with the scorching midsummer sun to beat upon them, with the prospect of the cold December blasts finding them in the same place.
My family at this time consisted of a wife and two children, the oldest of which was but three years and a half; and the situation of my wife was such as to cause her to require if ever, the assistance and watch care of her companion. Many of the brethren left families, some in the care of relatives and some in the care of the Church, and as all supposed their hands were full before the requisition was made, they now felt that there was placed upon them a three fold charge.
On the 18th I again returned to the River, and on Sunday, the 19th, I again returned to the camp of the saints and tarried with my family until 2 o'clock p.m. And after having given them my blessing, and resigning them into the hands of God, I left them and again returned to the camp of the soldiers.
On Saturday, before taking up the line of march, President Young, H. C. Kimball, Willard Richards, John Taylor, P. P. Pratt and Wilford Woodruff met in private with the commissioned and noncommissioned officers on the bank of the River, and there gave us their last charge and blessing, with a firm promise that on condition of faithfulness on our part, our lives should be spared and our expedition result in great good, and our names be handed down in honorable remembrance to all generations. The officers were instructed to prove themselves fathers to the privates, and to remember their prayers, and see that the name of the Deity was revered, and also to see that chastity and cleanliness was strictly observed. They also instructed us to treat all men with kindness, and never take that which did not belong to us, not even from our worst enemy in time of war, if we could possible avoid it. And if we should come into battle with the enemy, and be successful, we should treat prisoners with the greatest kindness, and never take life when it could be avoided. Many more instructions were given which I did not write, but all were calculated to encourage the officers to be faithful, and prove themselves true to their trust.
We were encamped on the Missouri River until Tuesday, July the 21st. At about 12 o'clock in the day the companies were formed and took up their line of march. Went 4 miles and camped. Elder J. C. Little stopped with us over night.
On the morning of the 22nd, the companies were formed into a hollow square, and Elder Little, on being solicited by the officers, gave a short address, after which the companies again pursued their course. Traveled 22 miles. This night a young man died, belonging to the 2nd company, by the name of Samuel Bailey. He was taken sick soon after he left the camp of the saints, and I tried to prevail upon him to abandon the idea of trying to perform the expedition, but his desires were so great to continue with the company that I submitted. He was buried Thursday, the 23rd at 10 minutes before 7 in the morning.
At 9 o'clock the Battalion again took up the line of march.
On the 29th we reached St. Joseph, at which place I saw Luke Johnson and had some conversation with him. He informed me that the people of Missouri were perfectly nonplussed at the course which the Mormons were taking. They had supposed when they heard of the requisition of the government that the Mormons, as they were pleased to call them, would only spurn at it. But when they came to see the Battalion march through their settlements with civility, and good order, they were perfectly unmanned.
On Saturday, August 1st, we reached Fort Leavenworth. On this day we received our tents in time to get them pitched for the night. Our tents numbered 100 and when properly arrayed, presented a beautiful appearance.
Sunday was spent very agreeable. All was quiet and in good order, save the humming and singing of the soldiers in their tents, which at times, would almost cause the listener to fancy himself in a Methodist camp meeting.
On Monday, the 3rd, muskets and ammunition were distributed to the companies, and on Tuesday and Wednesday the companies drew their first payment from the government, which enabled us to send back a small pittance for the assistance of our families.
On Tuesday Elders P. P. Pratt, John Taylor, O. Hyde, and J. C. Little arrived in camp from the Bluffs, or the camp of the saints, and their presence caused a general how-de-do and rejoicing in camp.
During the time the companies were receiving their money the paymaster observed that it was different with our men from what it was with the companies from Missouri who had previously drawn their pay. When they were called upon to sign their names, there was only about one-third that could write, but when our men came up every one could write his own name. Colonel Allen was well pleased with his Battalion and was heard to say while in conversation with some of the chief officers in the garrison that he had never been under the necessity of giving the word of command the second time, that notwithstanding we were unacquainted with the military tactics. We were willing to obey orders.
We remained at Fort Leavenworth until the 13th inst., on which day, our baggage wagons, camp equipage, knapsacks and canteens, etc., having been arranged and adjusted, we took our departure for a long and dreary march. Time and bitter experience only to reveal and open to us the future. We left the fort at any time half past 3 in the afternoon, traveled 5 miles.
The 14th the weather was very hot and sultry, the thermometer at 101 in the shade and 130 in the sun. The camp was on the move this day only about 2 hours. This night I was sergeant of the guard, which station it fell to my lot to fill once in 5 or 6 days.
On the 15th traveled 14 miles, camped on Mill Creek. This day we received word from the Bluffs by Brother Mathews, who had been sent to Fort Leavenworth on business for a young gentleman from Washing City by the name of Kane, who was at this time with the camp of the saints, and very sick. Mr. Kane was a warm friend to the saints. We learned by this express that the main body of the saints had crossed the Missouri River and journeyed up the River some 15 or 20 miles and had taken p18up winter quarters on land owned by the Omaha Indians, and that all were in good spirits.
On Sunday the 16th marched 12 miles and came to the Kanza or Kaw River [or Kansas], which is quite a large stream. Were ferried across in flat boats. Some of the Delaware and Shawnee Indians were living near the ferry. After crossing the river we went 2 miles and camped near an Indian plantation.
The 17th laid by.
The 18th laid by as our Colonel, who was sick when the Battalion first left the fort, had not yet come up, and on that account we were making slow progress. While we were laying by the Sutler's wagons, 13 in number, came up, loaded with goods intended for the Battalion, so that when we received a penny from the pay master they might have the pleasure of pocketing it.
On the 19th we struck our tents late in the afternoon and traveled 4 miles. Before we had reached our place of encampment, we discovered a furious storm arising in the west, and we hastened to get all things in readiness. But this was hardly done when the storm reached us, and I may with propriety say, that another such a gale I ever witnessed. Out of upwards of one hundred tents there were only 5 or 6 that were not blown down, and they were only kept standing by the strong arms of those inside. Three wagons were blown over, 2 of them heavy loaded baggage wagons and one a two horse carriage, the boxes and covers of which were badly damaged. A light carriage belonging to the 1st sergeant of the 2d company was blown some 10 or 12 rods from where it stood when the storm commenced, himself and wife being in it at the time. The wagon covers were nearly all blown off and many of them torn to pieces. And thus were all exposed to the rain and hail which was blown with great fury. During the time that the storm lasted, which was about 20 minutes, it seemed that the very elements were at war, and from the fury of the wind, connected with rain and hail, and the lightning which streaked forth with all its forked fury, followed by loud peals of thunder, it appeared that the very prince and power of the air was coming out in all his fury against us. But all were cheerful, and with the flying of hats, caps, and handkerchiefs, and various other articles, together with the running of horses and mules, the scenery at the close was rendered quite novel.
On the 20th two pieces of artillery passed us, accompanied by 6 or 8 load of ammunition. Each piece was drawn by 6 horses and each wagon by 6 or 8 mules. The two pieces and ammunition were intended for General Kearney, who had marched for Santa Fe from Fort Leavenworth about two months in the advance of us. At 4 o'clock p.m. the Battalion was called together for the first time for the purpose of receiving words of instruction and comfort. There were five who took a part in speaking. I composed one of the numbers. We had an interesting time and the meeting brought to mind by gone days. After the close there were three baptized, two for the recovery of health and one for the remission of sins.
This day for the first time, the officers of the different companies were called together for the purpose of settling a serious difficulty between Captain Brown of the 3rd company, and the 1st and 3rd Lieutenants of the same company. After a painful and serious deliberation, and both parties had been severely reprimanded, as it appeared that both parties were more or less in fault, a settlement was effected.
The 21st we still remained at our place of encampment, which was on p19an eminent piece of ground near the forks of the road, the one leading to the Santa Fe road and the other called the Oregon road. This day three companies of horsemen passed us.
The 22d the morning was fine, and all hands were up early and making preparations for a march. At 8 o'clock were under way, traveled 9 miles, came to the Santa Fe road leading from Independence, Missouri. We here came to a halt and rested a half hour, then marched 6 miles to Elm Grove and pitched our tents.
The 26th were under way at half past seven. Traveled 13 miles and encamped on the bank of a large stream, the name of which I did not learn. Soon after our tents were pitched a messenger came with the news that Colonel Allen was dead. This information struck a damper to our feelings, as we considered him a worthy man, and from the kind treatment which the Battalion had received from him, we had begun to look upon him as our friend, and a person from whom we should receive kind treatment. The Colonel had been to the Bluffs, and had witnessed the situation of the camps of the saints, and well knew the situation in which we had left our families, which was enough to melt the heart of a strong man. He had also listened to the testimony of the servants of God, and had heard them bear record to the truth of the great work in which we were engaged, and from his appearance, his feelings were enlisted in our favor. But it appeared that it was not our lot to retain him as our commander.
The 27th marched to Council Grove, distance 8 miles, crossed the creek, and went up a half mile and encamped. This night at 15 minutes before 8, a woman died in camp by the name of [Jane] Bosco. The command of the Battalion now fell upon Captain Hunt, as he was the ranking officer, unless further arrangements should be made.
On the 28th camp laid by.
On the 29th, at half past 9 a.m., the Battalion marched into the grove near by our place of encampment, for the purpose of listening to a discourse from Lieutenant Dikes, and of paying our last respects to our late deceased Colonel. The scenery was in martial order and was truly solemn. Soon after the close of the services a Lieutenant by the name of Smith of the U. S. regular service, arrived in camp from Fort Leavenworth, accompanied by the pay-master and a surgeon for the Battalion. Lieutenant Smith's object in coming to us was if possible to get the command of the Battalion, and on being asked by Captain Hunt in what particular respect the Battalion would be advantaged by receiving him in preference to one of our own number, he replied that there were some 4 months provisions in the advance of us and that by his order there were 20 loaded wagons in the rear, all of which were intended for our benefit, and they were liable to fall into other hands; that in making requisitions for the benefit of the Battalion our officers would not be known in the war department, notwithstanding, the requisitions might be just, they not having received their commissions; but in case the charge was entrusted to him he could secure the provisions, and whatever requisition he should make would be forth coming, and that the returns to Washington would be in due form, etc. The Lieutenant further stated that all he wished was the privilege of conducting the Battalion to General Kearney, and then all would be made right. Captain p20Hunt mentioned to him that we had some 12 or 15 families along, and also certain promises which had been made by Col. Allen in reference to those families, that they should be protected and have the privilege of journeying with us to California. The Lieutenant replied that all the promises which Colonel Allen had made he would see faithfully carried out, and that he would do all in his power for our comfort. The result was that the Lieutenant was received on the strength of his genteel promises, and the command of the Battalion placed in his hands. As to the result of this operation, many fears were entertained, and with all, it was a solemn day. As for myself I felt to hope for the best. I considered that if the officers (who had rights to cede up), could submit, I could try.
The 30th was mostly spent in making preparations to renew our march. At 5 o'clock p.m. Mr. James Bosco died, his wife having died on the 27th as before stated. He was buried by her side. I think that neither of them belonged to the Church. They had friends in the Battalion, and on this account were along, but they were both too far advanced in years to stand the fatigues of the journey. At the time of the interment, as our last act of kindness, and to preserve the bodies of the deceased from the wolves, etc., each company marched to the bluffs near by and brought flat rocks, and under the superintendence of Elisha Everett, a wall was built around the graves 10 feet long and 7 wide, and 2 feet high, and the center filled with rock, and the whole overlaid with beautiful flat rock. As soon as the work was completed we returned to camp, and after prayers we again wrapped ourselves in our blankets for the night.
September the 1st.
The morn was clear, the sky was blue
Marched 15 miles and camped at Los Springs. At this place there is no timber. We had our eatables prepared the night previous. This night there was 3 companies of horsemen camped nearby. Colonel Price with his regiment has lately passed us, and is now a short distance in the advance of us.
The course to be pursued by our sick, as recommended by letter from President Brigham Young, was to let the surgeon and his medicine alone, and if we doctored at all, let it be in accordance with the course marked out to the saints. The position of our sick in their present situation was truly unpleasant.
Our Doc., the wicked swearing fellow
The 3rd marched 26 miles. In the course of the day Lieutenant Smith discovered some two or three sick in a wagon, who had not reported themselves to the surgeon, and he hauled them out very abruptly. The surgeon stood by hollering, "Damn them, pull them out." The Lieutenant asked Brother Dunham, one of the sick, if he had taken any medicine. He answered that he had. The Lieutenant then asked who administered it, and on learning that it had been administered without the surgeon's orders, he swore by, that in case any man in the Battalion done the like again, he would cut his damned throat, and then turning to Brother Dunham, said that if he took medicine in the like manner again, he would tie a rope to his neck and haul him one day behind a wagon. This night the orderly sergeants were called for at the Lieutenant's markee and received orders to have the sick all report themselves next morning to the surgeon, or he would leave them on the prairie. This course of procedure looked to us to be rather tough. As the surgeon had been heard to say, while in conversation with the Lieutenant, and while pouring his wicked anathemas upon our heads, that he would send as many of us to hell as he could, thus virtually threatening the lives of all under his charge. Such language as this we had not been accustomed to, and we began to conclude that our surgeon was a correct sample of the people he had just left in Missouri who were murderers and whore mongers, and who love and make a lie, and who had stained their hands in the blood of the saints. And as to our Lieutenant in command, his course began to look very much unlike the one pursued by our late deceased Colonel Allen.
On the morning of the 4th, the sick, who were unable to travel, reported themselves to the surgeon, not only to receive his calomel, but his bitter cursings, which, however, did not amount to much. Marched 18 miles, camped on the little Kansas.
The 5th marched 20 miles. Were now in a buffalo country. The orderly sergeant in company B was sick, and his duties devolved upon me. At 8 o'clock I met, in company with Brother Levi Hancock and Father Pettigrew and others for prayer, as usual. The sick were remembered and especially the monster who supposed the sick were in his power.
The 7th were under way at half past five, and at 11 a.m. camped at Walnut Creek. Distance 12 miles. At 5 o'clock p.m. the Battalion was mustered, and had certain points of the military law read to the soldiers. Met in council with some of my brethren at 9 a.m.
Friday, September the 11th was my birthday. Marched 12 miles and camped on the bank of the Arkansas River, and had the pleasure of doing up my little chores and of washing my clothes, which was my birthday recreation.
The 12th marched 20 miles. In the evening met with several of the brethren for the purpose of praying and counseling together. The captains of the several companies were present, also Brs. Hancock and Pettigrew.
The 15th marched 12 miles. Came to the last crossing of the Arkansas. At this place the road forks, the one leading to Santa Fe, and the other to Bents Fort. At this place we came up with five companies of Col. Price's regiment.
On the morning of the 16th, the families that were in company with the Battalion took their leave of us to go to Purbelo, a bit of a trading post about 70 miles from Bents Fort, at which place our new commander thought it best for them to seek winter quarters. Ten men were detailed to guard them. This day the Battalion laid by. At 6 o'clock p.m. Brother Alva Phelps died, and was buried at 6 o'clock on the morning of the 17th. Brother Phelps suffered much from the salivating and poisonous effects of calomel, which, without doubt, was the cause of his death.
At 7 a.m. Lieutenant Pace arrived in camp direct from the camp of the saints at the Bluffs, to which place he had been sent with an express after the death of Colonel Allen. Brother Pace was accompanied by Brothers John D. Lee and Howard Egan, who brought a large number of letters to the Battalion from our families and friends. They bore with them three letters from the Presidency of the church, which were intended for the benefit of the Battalion, which contained much information in reference to the Battalion, and also our families, and the distribution of the means which we had sent back, and also the purpose to which our moneys would be applied which we were expecting to send back, which was quite satisfactory. But in reference to the officer in command, all is not in accordance with the spirit of the letters referred to above, and the prospect seems to be that the Battalion will of necessity have to taste the bitter effects of an unwise course. The Battalion marched this day, 17th, 25 miles.
The 2oth marched 12 miles. At 7 p.m. met in council with the captains of companies, Brothers Pace, Lee and Egan, also Brothers Pettigrew and Hancock and others. In reference to this meeting I only have to say that I witnessed a strange sort of a time, some of our officers appear to have strange feeling in reference to their own course, etc., but as far as I am concerned I trust to be able to do right, and if our sufferings are greater than they would have been if the command of the Battalion had been retained, if the officers whose right it was to retain it, but have submitted to others, can endure, I can try.
p. 23 From the last date to the 30th, the Battalion marched 190 miles. On the 30th, after marching 18 miles, came to good water, as was usually the case at our places of encampment, but at this place there is no feed for animals, and consequently after resting a short time we again started and traveled 8 miles and camped for the night. Many a soldiers coat is now worn through on the shoulder by the constant rubbing of his musket, and many are now troubled with scaled or blistered shoulders, which makes it quite inconvenient to carry our muskets and cartridge boxes. But perhaps we may get annured [inured] to it after a while.
The 3rd marched 6 miles and came to a spring at which place we again encamped. As soon as the companies had come to a halt, were informed that Lieutenant Smith had received word from General Kearney that we had to be at Santa Fe by the 10th, or we would not be permitted to continue our route to California, and the Lieutenant thought it best to take the 50 well and strong men from each company and strike out under a force march, and thus save the time, there being 6 days yet allotted and 140 miles to go. To this our captains assented, and at 5 p.m. the 250 men were under way with the best teams that could be picked, leaving the sick and way worn in charge of enough who were well to keep up our guard if we posted the same men every night.
The 4th those that were left in the rear rigged up the odd portions of teams that were allotted us, and under the charge of Lieutenant Omen of Company A, and started on the track, but not without many curious reflections. We now felt lonely and gloomy in our spirits.
On the 6th we came to Spanish settlements, and on the 12th at 5 a.m. reached Santa Fe, having passed several small towns and over quite a rough, mountainous country.
Santa Fe is situated on the Rio del Norte (River of the North), and between two spurs of the Rocky Mountains. The Valley is extensive and productive. The town forms a hollow square, is built of adobes, and is of itself, a fortification against Indians, etc. There are in the place some 30 American Traders whose goods are wagoned from the Missouri River. Santa Fe is the rallying point for trade for a large scope of country.
On our reaching the place we learned that Captain Cook of the U. S. Army was to take command of the Battalion, by order of General Kearney, who had gone in the advance of us to California. On receiving this information we had hoped that at least we should get rid of Lieutenant Smith, but in this we were disappointed. On the 13th there was an order read announcing, not only that Captain Cook was to take the command, and on account was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, but that Lieutenant Smith had received the appointment as quartermaster for the Battalion. Thus Lieutenant Gully, who had received his appointment as quartermaster from Colonel Allen, had been supplanted, and as any other man of feeling would have done, Brother Gully resigned his commission as Lieutenant and began to make preparations to return to the camp of the saints, in company with Brothers Lee and Egan.
The 16th received 1 1/2 month's pay, a good portion of which was sent back for the benefit of our families, etc.
p. 24 The 17th was mostly spent in making preparations for resuming our march.
Sunday, October the 18th 1846, received rations for our journey. In the afternoon Captain Brown of Company C started for Purbelo, in charge of some 70 persons who were considered unable to endure the fatigues of the journey to California. This company was to join those that left us at the last crossing of the Arkansas, and with them spend the winter and pursue their journey in the spring via Fort Laramie.
On Monday, the 19th, the Battalion again took up the line of march. At the same time Brothers Lee and Egan started on their return to the Bluffs, accompanied by Lieutenant Gully and Roswell Stevens. The Battalion marched 5 miles and camped for the night. My feelings on leaving Santa Fe were of no ordinary kind. The Battalion had been divided, and thus I had been called to part with many of my brethren whose health was feeble, and also with those who had been the bearers of letters from my families and the families of my brethren, and who, in turn were to carry news to our families, which was probably the last opportunity of the kind with which we would be favoured, for at least one year. Besides I had, in company with my brethren of the Battalion, in the advance of me, a long and dreary march before we could reach the shores of the Pacific, and time only was to reveal its fatigues and hardships.
The 20th marched 15 miles. In the evening the companies were called together, and were informed that by order of Lieutenant Colonel Cook, the companies were to be reduced to 2/3 rations of flour, and 3/4 of sugar and coffee and 1/4 of pork.
The 28th traveled 10. This night I was Sergeant of the guard and suffered much from a severe rain storm. In this country there is but little rain except in the winter season. Crops are raised by irrigating. The inhabitants are generally of the lower class, and have but little respect for chastity or anything else that is decent.
The 30th marched 10 miles. Road bad; were under the necessity of leaving the River and climbing the bluffs, and of returning to the River bottoms again. Camped near a grist mill, the first I have seen in the country, but this is built on so small a scale that it is hardly worthy the name.
The 31st marched 15 miles. At 5 p.m. the Battalion was mustered, and by order of Colonel Cook, Adjutant Dikes took the command of Company D, as Captain Higgins had not returned from Purbelo, he having left the Battalion at the crossing of the Arkansas in charge of the p25families which I have before mentioned, and Lieutenant Merrill was appointed Adjutant of the Battalion in place of Lieutenant Dikes.
The 3rd Nov 1846 traveled 12 miles. At 5 p.m. Brother James Hampton died. Brother Hampton was sick but a short time, and his death was quite unexpected. This day the Battalion received orders that they were to use only 1/2 rations of flour. As the roads are bad our march is rendered slow, but as yet we are hardly out of the Spanish settlements, and it appears that the reducing of our rations, as it commenced almost from the time of our leaving Santa Fe is altogether needless.
The 4th traveled 13 miles. Road very rough. Soon after we were encamped Brother Thomas Wolsey came up with us direct from Purbelo. Brother Wolsey brought word that Captain Higgins accompanied him as far as Santa Fe, but had concluded, as the privilege was granted him, to return to Purbelo [Pueblo], as his family was at that place. Many were sorry that Captain Higgins did not come on and take charge of his company, and felt that his place was far from being filled. This day two men were tied behind a wagon where they were forced to travel all day with heavy packs on their backs. Their offence was for not waking to receive the officer of the day when he approached the guard quarters to be on parade at the time said officer approached. The officer of the day on the present occasion was Lieutenant Dykes, now in command of Company D, and in this instance he had an opportunity for showing how much pains he would take to please Colonel Cooke. The appearance was that he regarded not the lives of his brethren, as he was willing to report against them for the most trifling offence, with a view, as it appeared, of trying to please those in charge. The present prospect seems to be that indignant feelings are arising in the bosoms of many in the Battalion in reference to the course that Lieutenant Dykes is pursuing, which will hardly erase.
This night a report came to the camp that the Mexicans were preparing to hinder our passing the mountain in the advance of us, but to this the Colonel appeared to give no credit, but it was thought by the pilots that there was a greater prospect of our suffering for provisions before we reached the sea coast, as we had now before us a journey of several hundred miles uninhabited and unexplored, with deserts and mountains to pass and our road to search out and make as we passed along. And our teams are now getting reduced in flesh, and some of the cattle are giving out.
The 5th laid by, and the Colonel sent back 2 or 3 miles and had an ox driven up that gave out the day before. The ox had been sprained in his shoulder and was very poor, but notwithstanding this, his bones would make soup, though it make well men sick, and he was ordered to be butchered and divided out.
p26 The 8th advanced only 6 miles. Late in the afternoon four pilots returned to camp. They had been in the advance several days looking out the route. They reported that they considered the route almost impassable.
The 9th traveled 11 miles. Road bad. Pioneers are kept ahead as usual to clear the way. We are now in the midst of mountains, the whole face of which at present are covered with shrubby locust, which are filled with thorns and well calculated for tearing clothes. This night we were informed that there was to be another separation in the Battalion. It was already fully demonstrated that our journey was going to be tedious in the extreme, and that the number of mules was not sufficient for the baggage wagons.
The Nov 10th 1846 we laid by, and all the sick and feeble looking were selected out of each company, who were to go back with the view of joining Captain Brown and those that had already returned, to winter in Purbelo. The number selected out of Company B was 10, the number in all was 50, or thereabouts. Lieutenant Willis of Company A was selected to return in charge of the company. This day was truly a solemn one to me, as well as to many of my brethren. It appeared to me that different arrangements should have been made before leaving the settlements, in reference to teams and provisions, but perhaps all may work out right. At 3 p.m. those selected to return were under way. The parting scenery was like cutting the threads of life. But may the God of the saints preserve my brethren that we may again meet in the flesh and notwithstanding, the prospects to us, look dark and dreary, both in the front and in the rear of us. Yet, O God, wilt thou sustain us, and may no power beneath the Heavens prevail against us.
The 13th traveled 3 miles and came to the place where we were to leave the Rio del Norte. The distance which we have now made since leaving Santa Fe as near as I am able to judge is 300 miles. After leaving the river we traveled 15 miles in a western direction and camped for the night. Water was obtained at this place from a very deep, rocky gulf. Pilots are now kept ahead to look out places of encampment, and a route through the mountains.
The 14th took up the line of march at 11:30 a.m., traveled 15 miles across a beautiful level plain, camped at a spring discovered by our guides. Near this place of encampment there is the foundation of a very ancient building, built of rock. The foundation is 36 feet square and is divided into five rooms or apartments. The country around is beautiful and has the appearance of having been settled by a people that understood the use of tools prior to the discovery of America by Columbus.
The 15th laid by in order to give the pilots an opportunity to look out the route.
The 16th traveled 15 miles. Country beautiful and in many places pieces of earthenware are to be seen, and my feelings were that I was traveling over a country which had once been inhabited, and a land that had once brought forth in its strength, but now uninhabited and desolate. At this place of encampment we were supplied with water from a spring near the foot of a mountain.
The 17th traveled 5 miles. Crossed a range of mountains called p27the Sonora mountains. Camped one mile from water, as it was impossible to get nearer. Near this place of encampment there is a large number of mortars molten in solid rocks, which form the appearance of having been used for pulverizing gold mineral. There are those in the Battalion that have been accustomed to gold mining, who say that this country has every appearance of being full of the mineral.
The 18th traveled 20 miles. Crossed a beautiful plain. There were mountains or spurs of mountains on all sides in the distance. At this place of encampment we were favoured with excellent water from a large running stream, and a plenty of timber. The valley is large and land rich. This stream, I think, is called the Members.
The 19th traveled 23 miles. Camped near the road that leads from the Sonora settlements to certain copper mines, and is called the Copper Mine road. Soon after we had pitched our tents, our pilots returned, bringing the word that the country continued level as far as they had traveled, and had the appearance of continuing so to the Gila, or Heli, River, but they appeared to entertain fears in reference to water.
Early on the morning of the 20th our pilots went to the top of a small mountain near by, and raised a smoke, and in a short time two Indians or Creoles came riding to camp. The object in raising this smoke was to call Indians to the camp if there were any in sight, and from the best information which the Colonel could gain, he came to the conclusion to turn his course more to the south and pass through the Sonora settlements.
On the morning of the 21st we struck our tents and took up the line of march directly south, and continued this course nearly two miles, when the Colonel became dissatisfied with the course and swore he would continue it no further. We then left the Copper mine road and took up a line of march directly west, and traveled 12 miles. Camped between two small mountains. All were well pleased with the final conclusion of our Colonel in the morning and felt that a providential hand was in the move. The night of the 20th David Pettigrew, Levi Hancock, myself, and others had met in prayer for the purpose of asking the Lord that all might work out for our good, and in the night Father Pettigrew dreamed that he saw a person coming from the course which we had been traveling, riding on horseback in the air, saw him pass over our camp and continue on the same course. After he had passed a short distance, he turned his body upon his horse and placing a trumpet to his mouth, sounded the advance, after which he resumed his seat in his saddle and continued his course to the westward. This dream was related on the morning of the 21st before we had taken up the line of march, and when we came to start to the south there was a strong drawback to my feelings, but after marching the 2 miles as before stated, and our bugler came to sound the halt, the first thought that struck me, which I spoke aloud to Brother Hancock who was walking by my side, was that the Angel of the Lord had met the Colonel and when the advance was sounded, and the course of the Battalion turned square to the right, the idea with me, was fully ratified, that the hand of God was in the move.
The 23rd struck our tents at sunrise, crossed a valley and came to the foot of a mountain where we found a small quantity of water, but not sufficient for half the men, and we were obliged to cross the mountain p28and another valley before we could find water. Teams were from 7 o'clock the 23rd till late in the afternoon the 24th getting to water. At this place of encampment we met with a company of Spaniards from whom the Colonel obtained some 12 or 15 fresh mules. This place is called the dry pond, and will by us be long remembered. On the day we reached it the Colonel remarked to some of the privates that he had marched with his knapsack on his back, but said that his sufferings would never compare with ours.
The 27th marched 15 miles. After we were encamped I had a tooth extracted. Had suffered much with it for several days. This night I dreamed of seeing a Temple completed and filled with the Glory of the Lord.
The 28th traveled only 5 miles. Were now on the range of mountains called by the pilots the backbone of North America. At 11 o'clock we came to a precipice, and consequently were obliged to come to a halt and camp for the day. Men are now suffering by reason of scanty rations. At this place of encampment pieces of dry hide were cut fine and boiled for soup.
The 29th the mules were packed and sent down the mountain with what they could carry.
The 30th as many mules as could be spared were again packed, and one span being hitched to each to each empty wagon, the whole camp again started. In passing down the mountain ropes were fastened to the hind end of each wagon by which the men were enabled to keep them from ending over onto the mules. We reached our place of encampment a little before sunset, having traveled about 8 miles. We had not as yet reached the foot of the mountains. This was the most rugged mountain we had passed, and my reflections were that it was with propriety called the backbone of North America. It seemed that mountains were piled on the tops of mountains, and that each peak was trying to see which would outvie in towering in its majesty towards the heavens.
The 2d traveled 10 miles. Camped at a place where there had once been a Spanish settlement, but as I was informed, had been destroyed by the Indians. At this place some 25 or 30 Indians of the Apache tribe came to trade with us. They had for sale some meat and some bread fruit, a sort of root with which this part of the country abounds. This is a beautiful country, and in this valley there are wild cattled in abundance.
The 3rd laid by and had a spree hunting wild cattle. Several were killed, and several wild horses were seen.
The 4th. At 12 o'clock we again struck our tents and traveled 8 miles. This is the 46th day since we left Santa Fe, and from the best information that can be obtained we are only about half way to the sea coast living on half rations and making roads, and lifting at wagons comes very tough on the men, and many are growing faint and weary under it. This night orders were given that both the advance and rear guard should pack their knapsacks and blankets in addition to their muskets and cartridge boxes. The Colonel was notified that Company B had a
p. 29 span of mules and wagon which was private property that they had along for the purpose of conveying their blankets, etc. He replied that he didn't care a dam for that, his orders must be obeyed. This I considered a small streak in the Colonel, proportioned somewhat after the shape of his body, which was about 6 feet in length and about the size of a mud wasp around the waist.
The 7th laid by. Did up our washing, mending, etc.
The 9th traveled 10 miles, came to the San Pedro River. This is a beautiful stream and runs through a beautiful valley of rich land. During the day several droves of wild cattle and horses were to be seen in the distance. This stream empties into the Heli River. We crossed it and continued down the stream about 8 miles and camped for the night.
The 11th marched 12 miles. Had a severe time with wild bulls. There were not less than 15 killed. They pitched in among the men and mules and such a scattering is seldom seen. Sergeant Smith of Company B was thrown some 10 or 15 feet and badly bruised, and a young man by the name of Cox was very badly gored under the thigh, and two mules were gored to death. Lieutenant Stoneman, assistant quartermaster, had his thumb blown nearly off by the bursting of a pistol, and with all, we had for a few minutes, quite a lively time.
The 12th marched 15 miles. Our course for the three last days has been nearly North. We are still on the San Pedro River. This stream abounds with fish, and the few hooks that can be raised are well employed.
The 13th marched 7 miles and encamped. Our pilots had been in advance from the time we came to this stream. Their object was to look out the best route and to visit Fort Tucson which was situated about 50 miles from this stream. Some of the pilots had now returned with the word that the soldiers at the fort were not willing to have us pass that way. In the afternoon the Battalion was mustered, drilled about one hour, afterwards orders No. 19 was published, which read as follows:
"Camp on the River San Pedro. December 13, 1846. Orders No. 19. Thus far on our course to California we have followed the guides furnished us by the general. These guides now point to Tucson, a garrison town, as our road, and they assert that any other course is a hundred miles out of the way and over trackless mountains, rivers and hills. We will march then to Tucson. We came not to make war on Sonora and less still to destroy an important outpost of defense against Indians, but we will take the straight road before us, and overcome all resistance. But shall I remind you the American soldier ever shows justice and kindness to the unarmed and unresisting, and the property of individuals you will hold sacred. The inhabitants of Sonora are not our enemies.
By order of Lieut. Col. Cook,
The 14th marched 19 miles. At this place of encampment we were p30met by three soldiers from the fort. They stated, as I was informed, that according to the orders which they had received from the Governor of Sonora, they could not let us pass the garrison.
The 15th traveled 12 miles. Passed a distillery, a temporary fix-up for the purpose of manufacturing Augadent, out of a mescal, a kind of plant that grows plentifully in the country. At our place of encampment we had no water.
The 16th, which was 5 months from the day we were mustered into service, we again took up the line of march with the Battalion in front of the wagons, and a small guard in advance of the command. Marched 16 miles and came to the fort. On our arrival we found that the soldiery had fled and that they had taken with them many of the citizens of the town. We marched through town, and went a short distance and camped. The countenances of the females showed very plain that fear had rested upon them, which reminded me of the situation in which I had seen the saints, when surrounded by the enemy and no kindness shown them. But how vastly different with the inhabitants of Tucson. Our kindness soon showed to them that they need not entertain any fears. Soon after we were encamped, the Colonel with a few others, returned to the fort and on searching, found that there was some two or three thousand bushels of wheat on hand belonging to the soldiery, and as feed was scarce for animals, a small quantity was taken to feed the mules. But there was no provisions to be obtained for the battalion.
The 17th, some 50 or 60 volunteered to go with the Colonel on the track which the soldiers had taken. They were gone most of the day, but made no discoveries. At night picket guards were stationed on the opposite side of town from camp, and at midnight the sentinels thought they saw the advance guard of an enemy approaching, and alarm guns were fired and the Battalion was formed in quick time, and in good order, and for about one hour calmly waited for an opposing front, but no enemy appeared, and we again retired for the night.
The 18th at 10 o'clock took up the line of march. Traveled 5 miles and stopped and watered our mules. This distance was over a beautiful bottom which I should judge was 30 miles in width. After leaving this water we marched 20 miles and camped for the night, at least, that portion that was remaining, had no water.
The 19th started at sunrise, traveled 35 miles, camped at 10 o'clock p.m. Had no water at this place of encampment, and we had none through the day except a little that was fortified in two or three small mud holes. This was sipped down by the men as readily as if it had been the choicest of wine. This night the camp was scattered 4 or 5 miles, and men and beasts were suffering in the extreme. Men could be found by the way side camped two or three in a place with neither blanket nor tent, and without anything to eat or drink. My mess had nothing for supper but a little parched wheat. This day I was sergeant of the guard.
The 20th, which was Sunday, my mess with some others, succeeded in getting a little water out of a mud hole by going 3 miles, but it was filthy in the extreme. We however mixed a little flour in some but the water was too thick with mud that it would admit of but a small portion of flour being added. We cooked some and ate it, but it was like eating clay. As soon as we were done with this clay repast, the music sounded the advance. D. P. Rainey and myself started in the advance, bound for water, as this privilege was given the men to make the best p31of their way to a place where they might quench their thirst. We traveled 8 miles and to our great joy we came up with the pilots, who were seated by a small pond of water. Here we laid ourselves upon the ground by the waters edge, and after drinking and resting and again drinking and resting and continuing this operation for a time we succeeded in quenching our thirst. But on arising from the ground we felt that we were not much less than ninety and nine years old, but we succeeded in waddling along about 2 miles, where we reached running water, which place our guides had selected for our encampment. The men were stringing into camp for several hours. The distance that we traveled without water was not less than 70 miles across a barren desert. After we were encamped the Colonel said that he believed that any other company under like circumstances would have mutinied. But in reference to us, he said that notwithstanding we were worn down, we were ready to obey any orders that might be given. He further stated that had he known the situation of the desert we had just crossed he would not have come onto it as he did on any account, from which it appeared that he had not been apprised that there was no water, otherwise we might have been better prepared.
The 21st we traveled 12 miles and came to the Heli river, a stream which we had long been anxious to sell. At this place we were met by about 100 Pemaw [Puma?] Indians. They had with them beans, corn and various other articles to see. At this place we struck the trail of General Kearney, his route had been to the north of us.
The 22nd marched 10 miles, camped in the village of the Pemaw Indians. This town contains about 4000 warriors. They are peaceable and inoffensive. They raise considerable grain. They raise cotton and manufacture blankets.
The 23rd marched 12 miles. This night the Colonel gave orders to have all the provisions which had been purchased by different individuals in camp left on the ground or be conveyed by the owners, as the roads were bad and he wished to preserve the strength of the mules. This night had a large watermelon. Several were brought into camp by the Indians.
The 25th. Took up the line of march at 10 a.m. Traveled 20 miles, camped without water. This day I was sergeant of the guard, and with all it was rather a strange Christmas to me. My situation with my family in days gone by was called to mind and contrasted with my present situation, at present, on the sandy deserts through which pass the Heli and Colorado rivers growing faint and weary for want of those comforts which nature requires to give strength and vigor to the body, and also suffering much at time for water. But still pressing forward with parched lips and scalled shoulders, with weary limbs and blistered feet, with worn out shoes and tattered clothes. But with me, the prospect of the result of my present toils cheers me on.
p32 The 29th traveled 12 miles. Crossed a rise of ground a short distance from the River. Near the summit is a quantity of rock that are covered with characters and hyroglyphics. They are cut in the rocks, and appear to be of long standing.
The 31st. The Battalion was mustered at sunrise, it being customary to muster on the last day of each month. At 9 a.m. took up the line of march, traveled 10 miles, camped one mile and a half from water.
The 2nd. Traveled 12 miles. This day two water tight wagon boxes were taken off and put into the River, and loaded with flour. It was thought that the boxes could be floated with the flour and meet with the wagons at the crossing of the Colorado, but this proved a failure as the sand bars would not admit of the boxes floating, and the flour was mostly lost.
The 5th. Traveled 14 miles. This night orders were given that our rations should be reduced one ounce. This was occasioned by the loss on the River. Orders had previously been given that there should be no corn used by the men, and very small losses were by us, painfully realized.
The 10th. Men were detailed to gather muskeet to take along for the mules. This is a kind of bud that grows on small trees or bushes which resemble the Locust tree. Some of the messes ground some of the buds to mix with their flour in order to enlarge their rations as we were allotted only eight ounces per day, but the flour of the muskeet bud was a very poor substitute. At 4 p.m. Company B commenced crossing the river. Ferry Boats were rigged out of wagon boxes which answered a very good purpose on the present occasion. The River at this place, as near as we could judge, is about one mile wide. The boats were kept running all night by the different companies.
The 11th. In the morning the mules were driven across. At 10 a.m. left the River and traveled 15 miles across a deep sandy bottom. Three wagons were left by the way, also several mules gave out and were left. At this place of encampment we got water from a well dug by General Kearney.
The 12th. Took up a line of march at a quarter before 12. Traveled 10 miles. This night we had no water, only what we had taken with us from the well. My health had now been very poor for several days, but still I performed my daily task without complaining. The idea of p33my coming under the care of our surgeon was out of the question. Consequently I toiled on, sick or well.
The 15th. Traveled 10 miles. Came to another well which afforded a little water, but not half enough for some of the men, to say nothing about the teams. At this place we were met by one of the guides. He had with him a small supply of fresh mules and 10 head of beef cattle from the settlements. The guide brought us the news that General Kearney had had an engagement with the Californians, and that he had lost 18 privates and one captain. The enemy had decidedly the advantage and numbered 500, whereas the Generals men only numbered 130. The battle took place in the midst of a rain storm, and as the General was on the march the guns were wet, and consequently did not perform well. His mules were also worn down and refused to act. The General with his men fled a short distance and got upon the top of a small hill, which was afterwards known by the name of mule hill, as the General was here hemmed in by the enemy for three days, during which time himself and men lived upon mule flesh. After the elapse of three days Commodore Stockton with some 250 or 300 marines hove in sight from San Diego, a person having been sent in the night time through the ranks of the enemy, for the Commodore's assistance. Just before the Commodore came in sight, the General having come to the conclusion that his runner had been killed in attempting to pass the guards of the army, as the time had been delayed by the Commodore in getting his artillery from the ship, had ordered his men to burn their saddles, bridles, and blankets, etc., that nothing might fall into the hands of the enemy. This was done, and their swords were girdled on and every possible preparation made for a desperate struggle for their lives just as the Commodore appeared in view. At whose appearance the enemy fled. But I will now leave this subject and return to the Battalion on the deserts of the Colorado. After resting a while at the place where we were met by the guide, we started on. Traveled 12 miles and encamped. Had no water.
The 16th were up and off at 1 in the morning. Traveled 20 miles and came to running water. The men were from 11 a.m. till 10 p.m. getting to camp, and many of them were entirely done out. Several mules gave out and were left by the way. We had now marched about 100 miles from the Colorado, across a barren desert, about one-half the distance deep sand, a portion of the distance had the appearance of good soil, but the want of rain rendered it useless.
The 17th. Traveled 18 miles. Camped in a pass between the mountains. This night we learned that General Kearney had had another battle with the Spaniards of California, and that he had gained a decided victory, also the Spaniards had left their forts and fled, and it was some expected that we should meet them as it was anticipated that they would flee to Sonora.
The 18th. Laid by and cleaned up our arms. At sunset the Battalion was paraded and inspected.
The 19th. Traveled 13 miles. Crossed a very steep, high mountain. At sunset passed through a narrow rocky canyon, too narrow for our wagons. Were obliged to cut away the rock with our axes and to take off the mules and lift the wagons through by hand. Camp this p34night without water.
The 20th. Traveled 7 miles and came to water. Here we met Mr. Shabinaw, one of our guides, and others from San Diego. We stopped at this place and rested three hours, and then traveled 8 miles and camped near a beautiful grove of live oak.
The 21st. Traveled 12 miles and came to Hormer's Ranch. The sight of the cabins and the herds of cattle scattered over this large and commodious ranch with the beautiful stream rippling its way through the valley, was cheering beyond description to the weary and fainting soldiers.
The 22nd laid by. At 3 p.m. the battalion was paraded for inspection of arms and drill. For the last 3 or 4 days the men have had nothing to eat but beef, and not half rations of that, and several of the men parted with many of their clothes to get a small pittance of corn from the Indians on the ranch. And one man in Company B even sold his last shirt to get a small trifle of flour from the Indians. Two orderly sergeants, Brothers and , and myself bought a pig of Mr. Horner, which we cooked and in company with others had a feast that revived our spirits.
The 25th. Traveled 12 miles, camped in a beautiful valley. Just before we reached our place of encampment, we discovered a large company of Indians paraded in battle line ahead of us. At first we supposed them to be an enemy and prepared ourselves accordingly, but on our arrival we found them to be a company of friendly Indians that had paraded to salute us, and were ready to assist us if further trouble with the Spaniards should require. But their assistance was not required as on our arrival the trouble was over. President Young stated at the time of our enlistment that the fighting would all be done up just ahead of us. This we found to be the case both in Santa Fe and throughout New Mexico, as well as in California. At sunset a messenger came into camp from San Diego with orders from General Kearny to Colonel Cooke for the battalion to be marched directly to San Diego, and also bringing the news that a treaty of peace had been ratified between the General and California. The Battalion was at this time enroute for Pueblo de los Angelos, which was at present the capital of California, and not knowing that the war was at an end, and supposing that General Kearney was at, or near that place, the object was to assist him. But on receiving the information that the war was over, and that the General was at San Diego, quite a pleasant sensation ran through the camp.
The 26th. Traveled 16 miles, and as our course was now turned to the south, we were obliged to cross a low range of mountains, after which we descended into a beautiful valley with beautiful feed. This night we camped on a large stream called the San Luis.
p35 The 29th. Traveled 20 miles. Camped at a Catholic Mission, built by St. Diego, situated 9 miles from the sea coast, and 5 miles from the village of San Diego. At this place we took up our quarters for a short time, and were glad, truly glad, to find any kind of a place where the half clad, and barefooted soldiers could rest themselves from the fatigues of a long and dreary march. Connected with this mission is a large olive grove and a grape vineyard.
Mormon Battalion Arrives at the Pacific Ocean,
Painting by William Maughn
The 30th. General Kearney sailed for San Francisco.
The 31st. I went, in company with others, to the village of San Diego and thence to the coast. At this place there is a tolerable good harbour. There were four vessels laying at anchor.
February the 1st. We took up a line of march to return to the San Luis Mission, accompanied by the regulars that had been with General Kearney.
The 2nd. Passed Mule Hill, the place where the General had his first battle with the Spaniards.
And on the 3rd at 12, reached the mission, having traveled a different route from the one we took on our route to San Diego.
The mission of San Luis is beautifully situated. The chapel and all the buildings connected with it enclose, I should judge, five or six acres of land. The buildings form a square in the center of which are orange trees. Connected with this mission is a beautiful grape vineyard and an orange orchard, also pepper and cocoa trees. This place is situated in plain view of the ocean, the shore of which is some five or six miles in the distance. The mission of San Luis had been built and occupied by the Catholics, but at the commencement of the war, this, with many others in California, had been vacated, and had fallen into the hands of the United States government, as public property.
The 4th. Men were detailed to slick up the square and repair and cleanse our quarters. At 5 p.m. the Battalion was formed and the following orders read by the adjutant:
The Lieutenant Colonel commanding, congratulates the Battalion on their safe arrival on the shore of the Pacific Ocean, and the conclusion of its march of over two thousand miles. History may be searched in vain for an equal march of infantry. Nine-tenths of it has been through a wilderness where nothing but Indians and wild beasts are found; or deserts, where for want of water, there is no living creature; there with almost hopeless labor, we have dug deep wells, which the future traveler will enjoy. Without a guide who had traversed them, we have ventured into trackless prairies, where water was not found for several marches: with crowbar, and pick, and axe in hand we have worked our way over mountains which seemed to defy ought save the wild goat, and hewed a passage through a chasm of living rocks more narrow than our wagons, to bring these first wagons to the Pacific. We have preserved the strength of our mules by herding them over even large tracts, which you have laboriously guarded without loss. The garrison of four presidios of Sonora, concentrated within the walls of Tucson, gave us no pause. We drove them out with their artillery, but our intercourse with the citizens was unmarked by a single act of injustice. Thus marching, half naked and half fed, and living upon wild p36animals, we have discovered and made a road of great value for our country. Arrived at the first settlements of California, after a single days rest, you cheerfully turned off from the route to this point of promised repose to winter upon a campaign, and meet, as we believed, the approach of the enemy, and this too, without even salt to season our sole subsistence of fresh meat. Lieutenants A. J. Smith and George Stoneman of the 1st dragoons have shared and given valuable aid in all these labours. Thus, Volunteers, you have exhibited some high and essential qualities of veterans. But much remains undone. Soon you will turn your strict attention to the drill, to system and order, to forms also, which are all necessary to the soldier.
The Colonel in the above orders, has given the Battalion, in part, that praise which was their just due, and his acknowledgements are correct, which we were glad to hear from him.
The 5th. An order was read touching upon the course to pursue by soldiers when stationed at any post, the times of parade, the slicking up of arms and clothes, and the cutting of hair, etc., which was very good.
The 6th. General health in camp. All was quiet. Plenty of beef allotted the men but no flour or groceries, as none has, as yet, been obtained.
The 7th. Had drill and general inspection.
The 8th. Commenced to learn the drill. The colonel and Lieutenant Stoneman commenced at 9 a.m. drilling the commissioned and non-commissioned officers. The drill was kept up one hour after which the different companies were divided into squads and drilled one hour in the forenoon and one hour in the afternoon, by their respective officers. I had a company of 10 allotted to me. This drill was kept up from day to day during our stay at the mission.
The 20th. Ten ounces of flour and two gills of beans were dealt to each man per day. This day news came that Major Sword, had returned from the Sandwich Islands with a shipload of flour and provisions.
And on the 21st teams were sent to San Diego to bring up loads.
The 26th. The teams returned with flour, sugar and coffee.
Sunday, the 28th, was general muster and inspection, which is the case every Sabbath with the United States soldiery when stationed at any post.
March the 1st. Weather warm. Oats are heading out. Some 10 or 12 men were sent back to get the wagons that were left on the desert this side of the Colorado River.
The 13th. Weather warm. The time is spent as agreeably as possible, drilling days, and debating schools nights.
The 14th. Captain Turner came to camp from Mont Era. He is of General Kearney's aid. The General tarried at Mont Era contrary to our expectations. Captain Turner brought orders for the disposition of the Battalion, which were far from meeting our expectations, as we were looking very anxiously for orders for us to be shipped to Mont Era. But instead of this, orders were read in the evening, notifying Company B that they were to be ready the next morning to take up a line of march for San Diego to take charge of that place. Companies C, D and E were p37soon after notified that they were to go to Pueblo de Los Angeles, leaving Company A at San Luis.
Monday, the 15th. We took up the line of march, and at 8 on Wednesday arrived in San Diego.
The 18th I was appointed to take charge of the fort which is situated on a hill, between a quarter and a half mile from the town. Accordingly, I took with me 18 men and proceeded to the garrison, where we took up our quarters and made ourselves as comfortable as circumstances would admit. The remaining portion of the Company took up their quarters in town. Soon after, Company A left San Luis Reye for Pueblo. Thus, Company B was separated from the other companies a distance of 150 miles. Company B remained in San Diego for three months, during which time we busied ourselves as best we could. Several jobs were taken, such as finishing houses, building picket fences, and digging wells, etc., which were finished in such a manner as to meet the full satisfaction of the people. Brother Philander Coltron and others built a large brick kiln, which was said to be the first kiln burnt in Upper California, and out of a portion of the brick burnt in this kiln, Brother Jacob Houghines built a court house in San Diego, which was said to be the first house built of burnt brick in Upper California. On the day that the walls of the house was completed, a feast was prepared by the citizens. The house was named and withall, a very great parade made over it. The course pursued by Company B in San Diego met with the general approbation of the people, and when we came to leave the place they seemed to cling to us, as though they had been parting with their own children.
The 22nd of June. Colonel Stevenson arrived in San Diego from Pueblo. General Kearney and Colonel Cook having left for the states, Colonel Stevenson came in command throughout this section of the country. Soon after his arrival in San Diego, we found that it was his intention, if possible, to get the Battalion to reenlist for another year, and that favourable inducements were offered to Captain Hunt, who was the ranking officer in the Battalion, and also to others. The Colonel also used much flattery to the Battalion. Said that by our wise and judicious course of conduct we had gained, and justly, an excellent name in California, and thought that it would result in a great good if we would reenlist.
On the 24th I started, in company with Colonel Stevenson, Captain Hunter and Brother Alexander, for Pueblo. Reached the city the 28th.
The 29th. The Battalion was called together and a speech was made by the Colonel, and every possible argument used to induce us to again place ourselves under the control of the wicked. But with me, his arguments had no effect further than it grieved me to see some of our officers seeking after power and filthy lucre at the bitter expense of their brethren. My conclusions were if Captain Hunt and others wanted power, they should have claimed it at the death of Colonel Allen at which time it was their right to claim it, and would have been in accordance with the expectations of the Battalion. But now, for us to enter service for another year for the purpose of gratifying the selfish feelings of any man or set of men, was entirely repugnant to my feelings. We had already served our enemies one year and offered our lives as a sacrifice to save the people of God, according to the council which we had received from those that had a right to council, and we had faithfully fulfilled the requirement. And seeing the cake was p38well baked, it was my mind that the lid be taken off and let it come to the air. Several speeches were made by Captain Hunt and others in favour of our reenlistment, and after considering that everything was arranged to their liking, liberty was given for remarks. It fell to my lot to be the first to break the silence. I remarked that from the best information which we could gain, the government, in whose service we had been, was satisfied with our service, and the Presidency under whose council we had entered service was satisfied, and every feeling of my heart said that all Heaven was satisfied, and as for me, let others do as they may, God being my helper, I shall return to my family and to headquarters. I was followed by Father Pettigrew and Brother Daniel Tyler and others, and in their remarks the Spirit of God was manifest, and the eyes of those that wished to see were opened, and their situation plainly manifest. And the musical instruments of those that were in favour of reenlisting were entirely unstrung.
July 1st. Captain Hunter, Corporal Alexander and myself started on our return to San Diego. Reached the place on the 4th. On our arrival we found that the company had been celebrating the day by firing cannon, etc. On our arrival we were saluted by firing guns, and three cheers for each of us, and to cheer the hearts of the company still further, we brought forward as much of the juice of the grape as the company could wish.
July the 16th. The Battalion was mustered out of service. Soon after, we commenced making arrangements to start on our return to Council Bluffs, at least, as many as chose to go. We chose for our place of encampment a beautiful place for water and feed for animals, three miles from Pueblo.
Utah and Winter Quarters
On the 20th we were organized into companies of hundreds and fifties. Lieutenants Lyttle and Pace were chosen Captains of hundreds. I was chosen the Captain of the 1st fifty, Brother Tyler of the 2nd, and Brother Reddick Allred of the 3rd.
On the 30th we laid by and killed our cattle, and dried the meat and prepared it for packing.
The 31st. Brother Elisha Averett started ahead with a few men to look out the route and camping places, etc.
August the 1st. We again started on our course, passed through small valleys and over small ranges of mountains, and after a few days travel, we came to the extensive valley lying between the Sierra Nevada and the coast range of the mountains called the Tuele, or Tularry Valley. We continued our course between these two ranges of mountains, nearly Northwest, until the 20th, on which day we came to settlements on the River Sacramento.
On the night of the 24th we camped near Sutter's Fort. At this p39place some of the brethren concluded to stop, as it was now getting late in the season, and after a mature consideration, it was thought best that a portion of the company tarry, as the wages were good, and labor until spring. Included in the company that tarried was Brothers Wilford Hudson and Sidney Willis, who, in the course of the winter, were the first to discover gold in Upper California.
The 26th. Started on our route.
The 28th. Traveled to Bear River.
The 29th. Left the Valley and started on our route over the Sierra Nevada mountains, and on the 5th of September reached the Valley on the east side of the mountains. This day we passed where several emigrants from Missouri had perished the previous winter. Their carcasses and bones were bleaching upon the ground, not having received a burial.
On the morning of Sep 6th 1846, soon after starting, we met Samuel Brannan, who had been through from San Francisco to Salt Lake Valley, where he had met the Presidency of the Church, together with the pioneers and the first companies of the Saints to that place. Brother Brannan was now on his return to San Francisco. On meeting him we learned that Captain James Brown would be along in a day or so on his way to California, and that from him we would get more information. On receiving this news we concluded to return to our place of encampment and wait his arrival.
On the 7th Captain Brown came up with a small escort, direct from Salt Lake, where he had left that portion of the Battalion that had left us at Santa Fe. From the Captain we nearly all received letters from our families, and also a letter of council from the heads of the Church. From the information which we here received it was thought best that the greater portion of the company return to the settlements in California and labour till spring. I received letters at this place from my family, which brought me the sad news of the death of my only sister. She died at Council Bluffs, after a lingering sickness which was caused by exposure. At this place of encampment, I also received the news of the birth of my son William.
On the 8th of September those of the company that had fully made up their minds to see their families the ensuing winter, again started on our route.
On the 4th we resumed our journey and without as much as an Indian trail to guide us.
Reached the camp of the Saints in Salt Lake Valley on the 12th of October. The reception with which we met gladdened our hearts and revived our spirits. A small portion of the company found their families here, and consequently had got home. The Presidency and some of the pioneers had returned to Winter Quarters. The saints that were remaining in the Valley had built a fort and were preparing for farming, etc. I felt very well pleased with the situation of the Valley, and my conclusions were that it was a place of retreat, or a hiding place which God had, in his wisdom, prepared for his people.
On the 15th of October I left Salt Lake, with 16 in company, for Winter Quarters.
The 21st. Continued our journey, and on the 25th camped on Sweetwater.
The 29th. Camped at Independence Rock.
On the morning of the 31st found that one of my mules was missing, and after hunting for some time was obliged to pursue my journey without it. This day the weather was extremely cold. Traveled 15 miles.
November 1st. Reached Platte River. Two buffalo were killed.
The 2nd. The weather continued cold and disagreeable. Made a short drive.
The 3rd. Camped on Deer Creek.
On the morning of 4th snow fell 1 inch. At 10 o'clock a.m. clouds broke away and we again picked up our traps and rode 10 miles. At this place of encampment I killed a buffalo, some of the meat of which was partly dried and taken along with us, and was truly a help to us as we had started from Salt Lake with a very small quantity of flour.
The 5th, 6th and 7th. The weather about as cold as I ever witnessed. Had to run behind our mules with robes wrapped around us to keep from freezing.
The 8th. Reached Fort Laramie. At this place we were very hospitably received and entertained. A substantial supper and breakfast, with mule feed, was furnished us free of charge.
The 19th came to timber.
The 23rd. Two of the best horses in camp were stolen by the Indians.
The 24th. Had a snowstorm. Weather very cold and disagreeable. The wind blows hard and the air is full of snow, and the roads are also being drifted full.
The 28th. Reached Loup Fork. We were detained here 6 days as the stream was swollen and so much ice running that it was impossible to get across. After finding it impossible to cross at or near the ford, we concluded to go up to the forks of the River, which was some 12 or 15 miles distance through brush and over broken ridges without any road or trail. After reaching the forks we were two days before we succeeded in getting all things across. I was the first person that crossed each fork. I crossed on foot to try the depth of the water. The last stream I had to swim part of the distance. The water was extremely cold with much ice running. In crossing the animals, one of the poorest of the horses mired in the quicksand, and as our provisions had entirely failed, and as it was impossible to get the animal out alive, we concluded to cut its jugular vein and save the meat, which was done.
The 5th. Passed some cornfields belonging to the Pawnee Nation. We went into one of the fields and by kicking up the stocks that lay under the snow we succeeded in finding a few nubs of corn. This we ate
p. 41 raw, but it had become sour by laying under the snow, and it did us much more harm than good.
On the 9th we camped within about 15 miles of the horn, which place is 30 miles from the general camp of the Saints, or Winter Quarters. But as we were strangers to the route, we were not aware that we were so near our place of destination, and as the snow was deep, and our meat which we had saved from the horse entirely exhausted, we seated ourselves upon the snow around our camp fire and entered into council as to the wisest course to be pursued. Some thought best to send two men on two of the best mules in camp, for Winter Quarters. To this I replied that we had now traveled near five thousand miles, and that we had suffered much with hunger, cold, thirst and fatigue, and now to give out on the last hundred miles I didn't like the idea. I then said that in case we could not get through without, I would make a free will offering of my riding mule and we would eat her, as she was in as good order as any in camp. To this proposition all readily agreed.
On the morning of the 10th, we all were united in calling on the Lord to regard our situation in mercy and send us food from an unexpected quarter that we might have wherewith to subsist upon. And here the Lord heard our prayer. Soon after reaching the Horn, wild turkeys began to pass our camp in droves, and such a sight I never before witnessed. Drove after drove continued to pass through the woods until night set in. We succeeded in getting four, which was one to every four persons, and after this we could not get any more although our shots might be considered ever so fair, and we concluded to be satisfied. Probably it would have been a damage to us if we had got all we wanted as we were then suffering in the extreme with hunger.
The 11th. Went to the camps of the Saints at Winter Quarters. The day was bitter cold and the company was well nigh used up. Our clothing being in no wise calculated for winter, we had suffered much with cold, as well as with hunger. Brother Ira Miles, from poor health and extreme suffering, had become as helpless as a child. But the reception with which we met, and the blessings that were poured upon our heads on our arrival, seemed to cause new life to spring up and to compensate us for all our toils. This company, numbering 16 souls, were the first to return from the Battalion after our discharge in California.
December 12th. I crossed the Missouri River and rode to Council Point, a distance of 12 miles, where I found my family and father's house. All were well, and I am pretty certain we were glad to meet again. I reached home on Sunday, and as it was dusk when I arrived, the people of the little burgh had gathered for worship. The news of my arrival soon reached their place of gathering, which proved the breaking up of their meeting. All were so anxious to see me that without ceremony they flocked out of the meeting house and gathered into my humble but happy cot which had been built by my father and brother for the benefit of my family in my absence. This was a joyful meeting, but as the evening began to wear away my appetite began most keenly to return, and I was induced to say to the people, that inasmuch as they felt a kind regard for me, they would manifest it by withdrawing that my wife might have the privilege of preparing me a morsel to eat. Their love was readily manifest, and a warm supper was soon ready. But as to satisfying my appetite, this was out of the question, as I had suffered p42too long to have my appetite become natural by eating one meal or in one week.
I spent the winter with my family and friends. In the spring my brother Rosel and I did what we could to assist father and he took his departure for Salt Lake Valley. I spent the summer on the farm which my father and brother had opened, and my brother hired to drive team for the government, with an agreement between us that our income for the season should be for our mutual interest, that if possible both might be prepared the ensuing season to take our departure for Salt Lake.
In the spring of 1849 I started with my family, in company with my brother Rosel and his family, for Salt Lake City. The Lord had blessed our labours so much that we were comfortably fitted for the journey. I was appointed to the charge of 63 wagons, under the presidency of Brother Samuel Gully, who had the charge of the hundred. We had in the company some 40 or 50 tons of merchandise for Livingston and Kinkead from St. Louis. Soon after reaching the Platte River, Brother Gully died with the cholera.
July 5, 1849, some 4 or 5 died with the same disease, and before leaving the Platte I came very near falling with the others, but through the mercy of God I was restored.
We reached the Valley the 22nd day of September. The remainder of the year, together with the most of the years 50 and 51, I spent in clerking for the firm of Livingston and Kinkead at $600 per year. During this time I purchased a small farm 10 miles south of the City, on which I situated my family.
William Hyde married Elizabeth Howe Bullard on January 19, 1846 at Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois. They had five children.
William Hyde married Sally Allred on September 1, 1850 at Salt Lake City, Utah. They had eight children.
William Hyde married Sarah Hamilton Pratt on January 1, 1860 at Salt Lake City, Utah, They had two children.
William Hyde married Abigail Gloyd on January 1, 1860 at Salt Lake City, Utah. There are no known children.
William Hyde married Phebe Ann Griffith on August 31, 1867 at Salt Lake City, Utah. They had four children.
William Hyde died on March 2, 1874 at Hyde Park, Cache County, Utah, eighteen days after the birth of his youngest child, John Alma Hyde, b. February 12, 1874 at Hyde Park, Cache, Utah.
Find more of this Journal at http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Gazetteer/People/William_Hyde/Journal/4*.html
PAF - Archer files = Captain James Brown + (7) Phebe Abbott > Orson Pratt BrownI
Information from Bill Thayer http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/home.html
Additions, bold, [bracketed], some photos, etc., added by Lucy Brown Archer
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