THE MARCH

Battalion mission/objectives were to march to San Diego to: (1) build a wagon road from Santa Fe to the Pacific Ocean, (2) provide General Kearny with the necessary manpower to secure California under U.S. Constitution law.


Between Ft. Leavenworth and the Rio Grande River, 3 detachments of sick soldiers, the women and children, except 4 officer’s wives, were sent to a settlement at Pueblo, Colorado to be spared the rigors of the trek to San Diego.
 

In April 1847, this Pueblo Detachment of 280 gathered supplies, food stuffs (Taos wheat), tools, wagons and traveled over the Northern Emigrant Trail across Nebraska and Wyoming plains into the Salt Lake valley on July 29,
1847, 5 days after Brigham Young and his vanguard group of 114.

 

The Battalion marched about 2000 miles in 6 months over harsh mountainous and arid desert terrain of the Southwest, arriving at the Mission San Diego de Alcala on January 29, 1847.
 

They accomplished one of the longest and arduous continuous marches in U.S. military history.
 

They suffered hunger, thirst, exhaustion as they blazed a wagon trail across the Sonora and Anza-Borrego deserts.
 

They traversed over rocky ridges and boulders, plodded in thick sand, hacked through catclaw, cactus and cholla, and chiseled their route through sheer box canyons.
 

They were on constant alert for hostile Indians and Mexican patrols.
 

This march was a monumental achievement made possible by firm leadership of Lt Col Philip St. George Cooke, trail-blazing skills of Battalion Tasson scouts (LaRoux, Charbonneau) and the perseverance, sacrifice and stamina of stalwart Mormons to follow orders and endure hardships.

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