Home Button

Menu button

Page Top button

Page bottom button

Website Link Index

Orson Pratt Brown - Mormon Battalion Chronicler
Company B

section header - History

Mormon Battalion Trail marker in Arizona
Mormon Battalion Road

William Coray

Born: May 13, 1823 at Dansville, Steuben County, New York
Died: March 7, 1849 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah

Compiled by Lucy Brown Archer

1st Orderly Sergeant of the Mormon Battalion Company B
 From July 1846 to September 1847

[William Coray and Melissa Burton married on June 2, 1846.]

[July 1, 1847 Council Bluffs, Iowa, Brigham Young introduced Col. James Allen of the U. S. Army to the Mormon Saints gathered at Council Bluffs, Iowa. Enlistment of over 500 men begins.]

Fort Leavenworth Sunday Aug. 2d, 1846
The Orderly Sergeants of each company were required to make out a provision return for five days rations.  Some feelings against the Quarter Master Sergeant for not procuring provisions while in a plentiful country as the expense came out of Uncle Same as they said. [William Coray's wife, Melissa Burton Coray, is one of the wives accompanying the Mormon Battalion on their trek to California]

Fort Leavenworth Monday Aug. 3d, 1846
After the usual ceremonies of this war department or military post the Battalion of Mormons Officers & soldiers were ordered to stay on the ground more particularly Cos. A & B that they might receive their arms & equipage.  The Brethren were very obserful & happy all but those sick Brethren & they were convalescent.  The Ajt. ordered a shade to be created in front of our tents which order was strictly obeyed.  Companies A & B received their arms & accoutrement in the Pitt & Capts Jefferson Hunt & Jesse D. Hunter gave their receipt for the same.

Fort Leavenworth Tuesday Aug. 4th, 1846
The morning was pleasant. The sun shown hot during the afternoon. After Roll call the officers were busily engaged in giving receipts to the Quarter Master Sergeant for camp equipments received at Councill Bluffs, also making their requisitions for stationary & other things.  Other volunteers were receiving there clothing money from the paymaster & we were told that our turn would come in the morning.  In the evening at the usual hour drums were beat for silence & all was silent, good order is observed here the guard is strict.

Ft. Leavenworth Aug. 5th 1846
Cos. D & E were receiving their arms this morning.  A & B were making out their pay rolls in the Bachelor Block at which place the paymaster made his quarters in the P H Co. B was called upon to appear at the door of the Block. They marched up after they had elected their 3d Lieut, 4th Sgt & 4 Corpel.  The Cos. had elected the 2 last before we left the Bluff & it was supposed that they were not needed but better understanding showing to the contrary.  This afternoon Co. A & B received their pay for a years clothing.  This evening P. P. Pratt, John Taylor & Col. Little came into camp. Great joy was expressed on seeing them.  Col. Allen was equally as much pleased apparently.

Fort Leavenworth Aug. 6th, 1846
Captain James Brown's Co. or Co. C. were called to receive their money.  At the same time the Cos. that had received their money were found liberally donating for the benefit of the poor & for the England missionaries viz. P.P. [Parley Parker] Pratt, O. [Orson] Hyde & John Taylor who were then on their way to that place.  Though I asked them where they were going Bro. Taylor said that they did not tell everybody where they were going.  He said they did not know they were coming here 6 hours before they got here they wanted to go somewhere else but the spirit forbade them.  Elections were held in each Co. as in the first. The Ajt. instructed the sergeant Major to notify Orderly Sgts. of each Co. to form their Cos. on the right of Cos. Immediately after retreat about 6 o'clock P. M. his orders were executed & the companies were notified of the promotion of Samuel Gully from Orderly Sgt. to Quarter Assistant.  The Cos. were then dismissed into the hands of their respective commanders.  Nothing worth notice the remainder of this day other than the arrival of several families from the Bluffs to join us in our expedition.

Ft. Leavenworth Aug. 7th 1846
Preparations were making constantly for marching, breaking mules, buying wagons, dressing knapsacks & haversacks & etc which was the principle business of the Battalion this day.  About 2 o'clock P.H, P. P. Pratt, Orson Hyde, John Taylor & Robt. Pierce & Col. Little, left camp.  P. P. Pratt taking the money sent back to the families & poor accompanied by a guard of 2 of the old police namely Andrew Litle & Alonzo Clary, the other 4 taking a boat & going down stream (It was kept very still all the time for fear that evil designed persons may follow & rob them)  The 8th, 9th, 10th & 11th passed of as usual.  On the morning of the 10th we were ordered to hold ourselves in readiness to march the next morning but the Cos. not being ready delayed their march til the 13th when Cos. A, B & E took up the line of march in the P.M.  Co. E. started ahead, A. next & B. next.  The other companies remained behind to rig themselves for the journey a little better.  The 3 Cos. did not travel together as I had expected, but one each traveled to suit their own  convenience.  Company B. continuing in the rear of E. camped 5 miles from the Fort the 1st days travel, the other Cos. struck tents some 5 or 6 miles ahead.  One of our teams remained behind having broken a wagon.  The Co. missed supper.  The Col. & his staff remained behind giving the command to Capt. Hunt ordering him to mark on to Council Grove with ease.

Aug. 14th the sick list was enlarged to near 15 this morning, missed breakfast, in Co. B alone, other Cos. in proportion. We marched only 6 miles this day being hindered in consequence of the broken wagon til the Col. could forward another.  Haden W. Church being on furlough returned to camp with brother Mathews had been sent on an express for a Dr. from Ft. Leavenworth to witness Col. Cain's death that he was not poisoned.
[this sentence is finished in different wording from original, seems to be missing something here]  letters which had been sent from the Bluffs to different persons in the Battalion bearing date of the 10th inst. All peace.

Aug. 15th
Started very early this morning.  Our march was slow, the heat intense and the suffering of the sick was intolerable being huddled up together in the baggage wagons with camp kettles, mess pans, & etc. over the worst of roads.  The cause of sickness I attributed mostly to the plums & green corn which we used so freely at the Fort.  This day we heard that Col. Allen was very sick, unable to come up with us.  The command of the Bat. however devolved upon Capt. Hunt he being the first Capt. in the Battalion.  We marched 15 miles this day in S.W. course taking the old Santa Fe Trail.

Aug. 16th we traveled 14 miles. Came to the Kansas or Caw River. We traveled up one Branch called by the Indians Wakaroosce 3 miles where Capts. Hunt, Davis & their Cos were encamped.  We struck tents a little before sundown.  There were 17 sick in our company at this time, five in Co. B.  Co. A. had left their sick back at the Ft. to be brought on in hospital wagons.

17th & 18th  Remained at Wakaroosce Creek.  Burned a coal pit, set our blacksmiths in the 2 Cos. at work in setting wagon tires, etc.  The Sutlers wagons came up in the meantime to trade with us if we wished.  There were about 10 wagons belonging to them loaded with goods for this Mormon Battalion to other Cos. in proportion. 

Aug. 19th  This morning we had orders to be ready to march. We heard that the other Cos. D & C were close at hand.  Before noon they were seen to pass us.  About 1 P.M. Co. A & E. left the Wakaroosce Encampment followed by B in 2 hours.  3 1/2 miles farther on the road the Mormon Battalion camped together for the first time since it left the Fort.  The Evil one expressed his madness at this happy meeting in such a manner as to make us all sensible of it by kicking up such a storm as I never witnessed before.  Co. B. to which I belonged had just arrived when it commence & were in the act of pitching their tents & staking out their teams.  The other Cos. had been on the ground long enough to have all their tents up when the fury of the storms came upon us, nearly every tent (and there were over a hundred, was blown flat to the ground.  Several wagons were upset.  The wind blew my small wagon about 10 rods.  I attempted to hold it as it started but finding that my attempt was in vain, I reached for my wife, closed her by the arms & brought her to the ground on her hands and knees.  As we recovered I took as I supposed the last look of my old wagon whole & sound.  We scampered to a wagon that stood near and clung to the wheels till it commenced hailing tremendously.  My wife & I sprang into the wagon after she had been thumped by the hail awhile.  It was with great difficulty that we kept the cover on.  We were both as wet as we could be.  Hats, capes, handkerchiefs, fragments of tents & wagons covers could be seen flying in every direction, while the horses & mules in the fright had broken loose could be seen scampering over the prairies & instead of the groans of the dying & wounded could be heard the shouts & laughter of men & women throughout the camp.  So much for the storm.  My wagon as I said before as soon as the storm was hushed was found right side up with care 10 rods from where it stared.  It continued cloudy with occasional slight showers.  During the night the guard had considerable difficulty in guarding the cattle this nigh. (P.B.) the sick though exposed to the storm by the wagon covers blowing off seemed recovering faster since the exposure then before.

Aug. 20th The sky was clouded over the most of the day.  In the A.M. Capt. Brown's case was acted upon (at this time the spirit of mutiny raged very high. Secret conferences, conspiracies, Toast meetings, etc. were cherished by many). About the 14th it being the day after the 3 Cos. had left the Fort, orders were given to have men detailed from Co. C & D to burn the brush that remained on the ground vacated by A., B., & E.  Objections were offered by Lieut. Rosecranse who then had command of Capt. Brown's Co. the Capt. being sick & liberated from duty by the Col.  It was laid before the Capt. & he told them to do as they were told by the Ajt. 3d Lieut. Cliff previous to this had been trying to influence Sister {Mary McRee Black] Brown against her husband and the Capt. overheard Cliff breathing out some threatenings & forming rash conclusions concerning him, was exasperated to such a degree that ceased his pistol (a six shooter) and declared he would shoot Cliff, but fortunately he could not be found til the Capt's anger was appeased.  Cliff preferred a charge against the capt. immediately who finding himself about to be court marshaled was very willing to make restitution & sought an opportunity to do so but Cliff was very indifferent & exclaimed with an air of importance, "My character as an officer in army of the U.S. has been disgraced and this Co. must be satisfied before I will settle", but finally the Ajt. prevailed upon him to drop it if the Capt. would make acknowledgements to him and the Co. and he proceeded to do so & spoke a little to long to suit the 2 officious lieuto. & they put him under guard & Cliff renewed his charge against him.  The secret of the matter appeared to be this:  Brown had done wrong & Rosecrance & Cliff wanted to supplant him which was evident from the toast meeting held on evening of the 19th inst. in Co. C.  Rosecranse & Cliff being at the head enjoined it upon everyone to


Aug. 21st 1846 About 10 A.M.  Ajt. Dykes arrived in camp, enquired for the provisions of the Batt.  Capt. Hunt could give him no information having forgotten the orders of the Col. which was to continue a rapid march to Council Grove where they would all meet again.  Here we were in a bad fix, our provisions 30 miles ahead & we almost out, the Ajt. dispatched the Sergeant Major with a letter to the Col. immediately to inform him in relation to the matter.  About 1 P.M. our guide Mr. Thompson came up.  The Ajt. and the Capts particularly Capt. Hunter were seen to contend sharply about reports & the order of encampment & the sick etc.  In the evening the Ajt. called the commissioned officers together.  Capt. Hunter would not go.

Aug. 22d  We were ordered to march at 8 o'clock this morning.  Traveled 13 miles, camped at Elm Grove.  Elam Luddington lost his horses this morning & was left behind.

Aug. 23d  Traveled 25 miles this day.  Camped at 40 Creek, water had become very scarce.  It was from 6 to 15 miles between watering places.  The above named creek to all appearance would be a handsome stream in a wet time but the weather had been dry so long that there was a scum over most of the water which made it almost unfit for use.  The face of the country is beautiful, all prairie for hundreds of miles.  This morning Elam Luddington came up.  Wm. Hyde lost his pony this morning.  Our guide was taken very ill this day.

Beaver Creek Encampment
Aug. 25th Monday  The weather pleasant since the 19th the air changed a considerable color.  Our pace was quickened & our march more speedy though this day we only traveled about 15 miles & camped on Beaver Creek.  The health of the Battalion was very poor.  There were from 70 to 80 on the sick and convalescent.  It was suggested to the Cos. to have a prayer together for the sick. Hitherto members prayed by themselves separate except Capt. Hunt's Co.  They had convened together for a long time.  Our guide very sick yet. This evening some traders passed us who were only 22 days from Santa Fee. They also informed us that Col. Kearny & Co. left Bent's Fort for Santa Fee the same day they left Santa Fee.  No prospects for fighting in Mexico.  It was supposed also that he would arrive at the place of destination on the 23d inst.  One of the traders were killed a few nights ago while looking for his horse about 60 yds from their camp by an Indian, which traders in turn killed an Indian for revenge 2 nights after.

Aug. 25th  Encamped on the same creek which runs parallel with the road varying from a mile to 3 from it.  The creeks in this region abound with grapes & plums.  The country is beautiful beyond description.  We were at this time coming near savage tribes of Indians who would kill a man for his horse or cloak.

Big John Creek Wednesday Aug. 26th Marched 16 miles this day.  Encamped on the above mentioned creek.  Capt. Hunt remained behind yesterday to hunt his [illegible].  While traveling this P.M. to overhaul the command was overtaken by Shelton the Q.M. Sergeant who informed him of the death of Capt. Allen which shocked him (Capt. Hunt) very much knowing the responsibility that would rest upon him that he would have to take command, inexperienced as he was.  Soon he came to the camp, told the sad tidings.  Suffice it to say it caused more lamentations from us than the loss of a Gentile ever did before.  Capt. J. Allen was a good man.  He stood up for our rights better than many of our brethren, obtained us a good fitout with a plenty provisions, was kind to the families journeying with us, fed private teams at publick expense, was never abusive or tyrannical which is the case with nearly all the regulars in shore he was an exception among officers of the U.S.A. (Army)

Thursday Aug. 27th  The Batt. marched 7 miles.  Camped at Council Grove.  Soon after we had stopped Sister [Jane] Bosco died.  The minds of the brethren were much engaged meditating upon their conditions after the death of Col. Allen.  To this end the council met & decided that Capt. Hunt should lead the Battalion.  There was however 2 contrary minds as usual, viz. Lt. Dykes & Shelton.

Nothing of importance happened the 28h so I pass to 29 Aug. Saturday
This day the Adjt. gave a flaming discourse on the resurrection of the dead.  It melted the old guide into tears, caused groanings among the Missourians, there being a number of them present on this occasion.  The battalion under arms marched to the stand & paid their last respects to their departed Col.  At a meeting of the officers except J. D. Hunter this P.M.  Lt. [Andrew Jackson] Smith offered himself as our Cold. & was accepted.

Sunday Aug. 20th 1846
Bro. [John] Bosco died this morning at 6 o'clock this morning.  Lt. Smith gave the 1st command to the Batt to prepare with all possible diligence for an early start in the morning.  This evening we built a wall around Br. & Sister Bosco's grave.

Monday Aug. 31st  We marched 15 miles.  Camped at Demond [Diamond] Spring.

Tuesday Sept. 1st  Marched 16 miles. Camped at Cottonwood Fork.

Wednesday Sept. 2d.  Marched 26 miles.  The sickness increased.  The diseases were principly  ague & fever & fevers Billious & conjestion.  I was taken with the ague & fever this day but fortunately better provided for then many others having a wagon to ride in and a man to drive it.  The Col. turned the sick all out of the wagons this day because they were not under the doctor's care.  He said they might stay on the Prairies if they would not submit to the order.  Such indeed was the straits we were in & a narrower place no people was ever placed in the council of the church one way and the breaking of the commander's orders would be mutiny on the other hand, the church saying if you want to live, don't take medicine & if they didn't take medicine they could not ride.

Sept. 3d.  Marched 18 miles.  Camped on the little Kansas.  We were now drawing near the Buffalow range.

Sept. 4th  Marched 19 miles.  I continued very sick of the ague [Any intermittent fever characterized by periods of chills, fevers and sweats. Most commonly identified as malaria.].  We  overtook the provision train this day.  Nothing of importance turned up save the difficulty between the sick & the Dr. [George B. (Blackheart) Sanderson]   The old tyrant required the sick to come to him.  If they were not able, we had to carry them to his quarters which caused us to hate him very much but the Adjt. [an adjutant is a staff officer assisting the commander; serving as an assistant] would heartily endure all that he could say against the church & saints.  We thought to ourselves hard times: now tyrants are over us.

Sept. 5th  Marched over 20 miles  Camped within 4 of Plumb Butte on a bare prairie 6 miles from timber.  Here we saw buffalow for the first time.  The Missourians killed one & I got a piece.

Sept. 6th  Marched 8 miles to Walnut Creek by 10 o'clock, where we camped for the day.  We saw many buffalo.  Lt. Merrill killed a young cow & I must say it was the tenderest meat I ever ate.  Then we met a family here from Santa Fee, reported Kearny in peaceful possession of it.  The citizens had sworn allegiance to the govt. and all this done without the first fire.

Sept. 7th Walnutt Creek March 25 miles  Camped on the Pawnee [sp?] Fork. passed the best tract of county to look at I had seen since I I left the Ft. Numerous herds of buffalow made the plains look quite black, so the caravan passed many of our boys gave them chase and succeeded in killing a number.  They were principly bulls.  The Indians had selected the cows and because of their being better meat these animals had grazed the grass off short to the ground.  Before we camped, it commenced raining & continued 4 or 5 hours very severe, the creek so high we could not cross.

Sept. 8th  Marched 6 miles.  Camped for this day.  It continued lowsy.  I had succeeded the ague by this time by means of quinine & held myself present for duty, as we had leasure.  The capts. & ordly overhalled the master rolls at the Col's tent.  Antelope were seen this day.

Sept. 9th  Marched 12 miles.  Camped on open prairie.  Cooked out supper with Buffalow dunge.  This morning I went to the surgeon to the surgeon to report the sick that were unable to walk.  He said, "By God, you may bring them here.  I know my duty."  I went direct to the Col. to see if he upheld him in such conduct to which he replied he may send the Asst. Surgeon to see them.  But frequently we carried the sick away to his quarters which was generally come ways for he was afraid to camp near us for fear of his life. 

…..(apparently a page is missing from Coray's journal here)……..

This would have been mutiny up to the hub but fortunately he did not do it.  The wisdom of the Captains overruled the matter & it all went off right & marched off of the ground.  [John D.] Lee overtook the Col. & commenced at him rough shod, charged him with tyranny & oppression etc & said if they undertook cramming medicine down him contrary to his will he would cut their cursed throats for them & said he told Smith in 2 minutes the Battalion would have rebelled & taken your sweet life.  When I came into camp this morning this people have feelings they won't bear such things.  We marched 25 miles, camped without water, wood, or grass of the teams.  The mules got out & did not come up in one of our trains.

Sept. 18th 1846 Moved off before it was fairly light & marched 26 miles this day.  The teams that remained behind yesterday did not come up today & there were some sick in them who were without water 48 hours almost burning up with the fever.

On the 19th of Sept. marched 10 miles & came to Diamond Spring where there was water & grass.  Bro. Lee read the letters from the church or council in evidence of his mission in co. with Egan which was to get a liberal remittance from the Battalion.  Capt. Hunt demanded our pay as fast as it was due but we could not get it because he had no small change so they concluded to go on to Santa Fee though Lee was much in favour of going back.. This afternoon Smith called up the 1st sergts of Cos. to bring them to an account for screening men from duty when they were not on the sick report.  He enquired into the matter & I frankly told him the reason & so did the others likewise (liquise).  The reason was like this, that when we went to the Doctor, with the sick, he abused & cursed them, in fact he never failed to insult them, when they went to him, & the very name of Dr. had become a dread to them, & their messmates chose to stand their guard rather than have them go to the Dr., for he had been heard to say that he did not care a damn!! whether it killed or cured them.  At this the Col. replied that he did not blame the Dr. for saying so; & declared if we made false reports any more he would have us in irons.  Those were trying times to us, the orderlies had favoured the brethren hitherto but the thing was now brought to a close.  So many men has stood guard when he was scarcely able to stand alone determined if possible to adhere to the council of the Twelve and not take medicine.

Sept. 20 1846.  Marched 10 miles.  Camped on the Semiron (Cimmaron) River.  

21st.  Marched 15 miles.  We had not see any timber since we left the Arkansas River. 

22nd.  March 16 miles & yet without timber.  Rained this evening.  The wind blew very hard & to keep my wagon from blowing off I tied it between the Capt's & the baggage wagon.  Reported all the sick the first time to the Dr. this morning.

23d   Orders were that no teams or men should leave without orders.  Marched near 15 miles.  This was very sandy all the way.  Several teams gave out.   A storm this evening.  Every appearance of the equinox.  Sickness raged high, 10 in our Co. & 35 or 40 in the Batt & some of them are very sick.  Wm. Hyde refused to parade the company.

24th  Marched 13 miles.  Came up with a company of traders from Independence going 1600 miles Santa Fe.  We passed the place of bone (sp?) yard 556 miles from Ft. Leavenworth & saw the bones of 90 mules in a heap which froze to death 3 years ago in the equinoxial (sic) storm.  Lt. Smith was heard to say he had not five friends in the Battalion.

Sept. 25th .  Marched 18 miles.  Left the Simeron [Cimarron] Creek.  The name of this river is Semiron because it means lost river [wild or untamed] in Spanish, the reason of the Spaniards calling it so is because of its having no rise or outlet.  It frequently rises 18 inches within a few minutes & without any prospect of rain but the water sinks away in the sand, as we ascended the bluffs we came in sight of high craggy peaks, rugged rocks & high precipices.  We met traders bound for the states.  I had the pleasure of seeing a Spaniard in his native dress & cavalry mounting with his long spurs.  As usual we cooked our supper with buffalow dung.

26th  Camped near a small stream after marching 23 miles.  The water scant.  Lt. Luddington lost one of his horses.  It was with great difficulty that he got his wagon along after some parlaying however he obtained permission of the Col. to get a yoke of cattle.  Several antelope brought into camp.

27th.  Marched 13 miles.  Camped on a creek.  No timber yet of any size though we were in sight of pine & cedar on the mountains. The food for teams was scant.  Also the country very irregular.  This evening I was informed that a secret influence was used against Capt. Hunt at the same time holding up S. E. Gully as the only fit man to lead this Battalion & that Lee was at the head assisted by Pace, Hancock, Litle & Wm. Hyde, that they had many dreams which gave them evidence of the justice of their position in the mean time I heard them relate several dreams & I must say that I could not suppress thoughts running through my mind but I can keep from writing them.

Sept. 29th.  Marched 10 miles.  Camped on a creek. No water. 

30th.  Marched 25 miles.  This morning the Col. threatened to reduce me to the ranks for not communicating his orders to the Capt.

Oct. 1st, 1846  Marched 3 miles to water. Took breakfast & dinner & started about noon & traveled about 12 miles farther.  We overtook Col. Mitchel's command this morning though they passed on as soon as we came up to them.  Lt. Col. Smith cursed the Orderlies & the Q. M. Samuel S. Gully accusing them of neglect of duty.

Oct 2d.  Marched 24 miles camped on Red River.  We met some messengers from Santa Fe.  They brought an express from Kearny stating that the Mormon Battalion if they were not there within 8 days could not be fitted out for California.

Oct. 3d.  Marched 7 miles & Lt. Smith came to a halt, ordered the teams unhitched but not unharnessed, invited the comd officers to his tent, told them that he thought it best to take 50 men or each co. the capts & 2 lts, 2 sergts, & 2 corpls & take a forced march to Santa Fe that they might claim the right to fit out for California.  To this proposition they agreed unanimously, accordingly we made ready & marched 22 miles this P.M. & left Lt. Oman in command of the detachment.  We camped on a creek near a high rock.

Oct 4th  Marched 22 miles.  Camped on a creek.  The road was very rocky in places.  A large train of mountains in sight of us to the S.W.  Game is plenty here. Antelope & deer particularly. 

5th   Marched 30 miles to a Spanish village called Bocas (sp?)  5 miles from where we camped there in a Missourian living in good stile.  The Spaniards are industrious in this place (Bocas)  However not very wealthy.  They came out by the wholesale to see us & traid with us.  They seem to have plenty of mules, goats, sheep, & cattle.  They mild the goats as much as they do the cows & more.

Oct 6th  Marched 12 miles to Burnett Springs.  This day's march was mostly through yellow pine, cedar & spruce. Our course was S.W. mostly as we went winding through the mountains taking up some creeks and down others, it put me in mind of the Pa. Mountains as I drove along.

Oct. 7th  Marched 18 miles passed a town of San Migile (San Miguel) which contains a cathedral church & about 150 houses which were built of brick unburnt 4 times as large as U.S. brick.  For the last 135 miles we were short of rations and marched at a very quick rate.

Oct. 8th  Marched 24 miles all the way between mountains.  Some were very high.

Oct 9th  Marched 20 miles to Santa Fe which I beheld for the first time, noted as it has the resemblance of a large brick yard.  On entering the city their houses bears the resemblance of kilns of unburnt bricks.  We marched in with fixed beyonetts & drawn swords, came to the publick square & halted 15 minutes.  Col. Doniphan's men gave us a salute & several guns from the infantry.  After learning the place of our encampment, we marched to it, which was a little East of the cathedral church.  There were at this time stationed at this place near 1600 men 2 Regiments commanded by Cols. Doniphan & price, Capt. Cook 1st Draggons was also here awaiting our arrival to take command of us being so ordered by Gen. Kearny.  Santa Fee is 860 miles from Ft. Leavenworth.

Oct. 10th  I marched round the city to see the peculiarities of a new place also to make myself acquainted with the customs & manners of the people.  The Spaniards have been represented to me from my infancy up as a very savage unprincipled people.  My mother even cautioned me when I enlisted to be careful how I fell into their hands for they would show no quarters whatever.  Withall I was somewhat prejudiced against them, 3 or 4 days passed off very well amusing myself with the oddities peculiar to the Mexicans & learning the signs of the times, the particulars concerning the war, etc., etc.

The 13th Oct. Oman's command came up all safe & right, though some of the enthusiasts prophecied that all would be gone when they came up & that our separation was of the devil & murmured considerably because the Capts considered to have the command divided, but, if we had not yielded to Lt. Smith, we could not have gained a fit out for California this season & would have been ordered down into Chiwawaw [Chihuahua] or old Mexico or been stationed at Santa Fe & either would have been very unpleasant indeed.

The Spaniards - Their Character in New Mexico
The Spaniards in Santa Fe are miserly in the extreme & appear much like the lower class of Germans.  They consider themselves in good business peddling 12½ cents worth of corn.  They will carry it around all day on their backs & contend 2 hours for a single cent.  Though there are some well informed genteel Spaniards in Santa Fe who treat strangers with civility yet the great means of borus [burros] or Boors (Jacks or Jennies) though when they travel off a distance they take pack mules but all their home transportation is done upon borus.  I have seen one small jack pack ½ a cord of wood frequently, 2 laplety (sic) Spaniards will mount a jackass & jag him off at a fast rate til they make quite a respectable appearance in their view.  The farmers use oxen to plow with, also before their clumsy truck carts.  Their yokes are tied before their horns so that what they pull they pus in a fighting mood with a stiff neck as it takes generally 2 of them to drive one yoke of cattle & they use a spear at that.  They are also sluggish meaning the lower class of them.  They mix a good deal with the Indians & some of them are nearly as black.  Their houses are built of clay or unburnt bricks & manifest but very little architecture.  The walls are generally very irregular.  They are joined together the length of a street running back in every shape mostly in an oblong square.  One dwelling generally contains several rooms & the center one uncovered.  There is no such thing as upstairs among the Mexicans only as they go to Church which is a 2 story building.  They are very tenatious  for the Cathalick faith.  I dare say there is enough holy water administered in Santa Fe every morning to swim an eliphant, but I cannot dwell upon the peculiarities of the Santa Feans as my time is mostly taken up in the duties of the office I am called upon to magnify.

About the 13th Lt. Col. Cook began to show himself & make arrangements for the Battalion to march.  He was about on the point of giving an order that all the laundresses should go back to Puebolos {Pueblo, CO.] with the sick & invalids of the Batt but Capt. Hunter chanced to hear of the calcution, informed Capt. Davis, Sgrgt. Brown & myself of it & we concluded to go over & make a contract with the Col. to let our wives go with us.  To this he consented after some parlaying but said we must take them on our own expenses, that they must be no detriment to the comd.  In the meantime the women were moaning & crying about the camp thinking perhaps they would in a few days be separated from their husbands & left in the care of sick men among savage tribes of Indians but many of our brethren sore in their rath they would not leave their wives Order! or no Order!  I thought so myself, but finally the Col. for some purpose gave the men the privilege of going with their wives.  The only cause of this tyrannical move was that Cooks was striving for military glory & depended on the coming expedition to raise him up thinking that the laundresses would be some little encumbrance to him, he thought it best to banish them to Puebolos.  By this time we began to find him out a little as you might suppose.  Dr. Sanderson was ordered to select from the command such as he considered unfit to perform the expedition to California at present & give a list of their names to the Co. comdg. & he was to order them on detached service under Capt. Brown, but this would not do.  The next day he ordered the Dr. to discharge as many as he thought proper so they arraigned before the Dr. for examination.  “Now,” said he, “you are your own man.  By God, take care of yourselves.”  The boys did not know what it meant at first but being told that they were actually discharged they began to feel quite sorrowful.  The Capts. sooner heard this then they went to Col. Doniphan & got him to order it otherwise & instead of being discharge they were put on detached service with the laundresses to march back to Puebolos, to winter.

On the evening of the 14th the Capts were requested to attend a party & bring their ladies with them.  I as against the opparation but I was finally persuaded to go for curiosity.  Our accommodation was poor & the whole affair sickened me.  I saw them dance their walts or what they called Rovenas (sic). Their music was tolerable but the il manners of the females disgusted me.  Whether it be true or false I was told that nearly all present were prostitutes.  I thought I would stick it out til supper but had I know before what I knew afterwards the supper would have been no object as it proved to be a gab game all around & the men that waited for manners lost his supper.

On the 19th we drew 60 days rations, that is 60 lbs of flour to each man and a proportional amount of other articles.  Capt. Brown was ordered to march in the morning for Puebulo with his detachment and the other companies were to start on the day following for California so we made all diligence to get ready for the move.  As to my own circumstances they were rather sorrowful.  I had only 2 poor mules to start across the great deserts with and no money to get more with.  I had laid near 60 lbs of flour extra [for his wife Melissa who accompanied him], some pork etc.

18th Oct. Capt. Brown marched out of Santa Fee.  The remainder were busily engaged in fitting themselves out.  On the 19th we commenced our march to California.  Marched 60 [unreadable number in typewritten transcript] miles south & camped under the command of Lt. Col. Cooks.  This evening he learned by some means that 5 women were in his command, forthwith ordered the adjutant to have them cast lots which should go back & if they would not the adjt must do it for them.  As soon as the husbands of the women heard this, they told the adjt. their women should do no such thing for they had made a contract with him to have them go & if he broke his so quick they would obey no more of his orders.  I was one of those gentlemen.  Sgt. [Ebenezer or Samuel L.] Brown went to the Lt. Col. & reminded him of his contract & settled the coffee [trouble].

Oct. 20th  Marched 15 miles.  The Col. was closely watched.  From the very onset we had formed a dislike to him.  He ordered the baggage in advance of each Co. on the march.  A circumstance occurred this morning that showed how particular the Col. was with us.  Capt. Hunter, having lost one of his mules, left camp to hunt it without permission from his eccelency for which cause he ordered him under arrest as soon as he arrived & made him march in rear of his Co. a day without his saber; but, the Capt. being a humorous fellow, cared very little about it & appeared as well contented in rear of his Co. as in front.  The weather was very pleasant during the day but uncomfortably cold during the night.

Oct. 21st  Marched 24 miles directing to the S.W. with the Rio Delnort.  The road very sandy indeed.

Oct. 22d.  Marched 15 miles through thick settlements & towns. (Sandy roads).

23d.  Marched 12 miles.  Passed more Spanish towns.  The Col. by this time became very severe & strict. The buglers would blow the assembly & the drummers would set in immediately & play of Reveille not to exceed 2 minutes in all and if the men were not in the ranks to answer to their names, they were ordered on an extra tour of guard.  Every man was to be in the ranks before the drum ceased.  The teamsters would scamper for their mules & have scarce time to hitch up before the advance signal would be given when every man must quit all even his breakfast & come into ranks.

Oct. 24th  Marched 15 miles.  Passed a town where the old governor of N.M. lived.  Crossed the Rio Grand.  Encamped 4 miles from the crossing.  A little rain this evening.

25th  This was Sunday but we continued our march stopping for nothing.  March 15 miles.  Camped on the Rio Delnort.  The Spaniards brought to us apples, grapes, corn & wine for sale, though at an exorbitant price.  They seemed much delited at the sight of our women & would crowd before us in such multitudes that I could hardly press my way through.  They would cry out Mericarry Mohair Cairy Munsina [“Marcase mujer quiere manzana”] & give them apples.

Monday Oct. 26th 1846.  Marched 18 miles down the river.  The roads continue bad.  We had not come to timber of any size yet.  There was spruce, cedar & scattering cottonwoods.  I perceive a striking difference between the climate here & Ills. State.  This is much the healthiest.  The inhabitants are robust & strong & could doubtless endure more hardships than we could, the most of them live on scrimpt allowance of food & clothing & see nothing but hardships from the beginning.

Tuesday Oct. 27th  Marched 12 miles. Stormy.

Oct. 28th  Rainy & windy.  Started at 9.  Marched til 4 o’clock & marched 10 miles.  Very cool & cloudy this evening.

29th  Pleasant & fair.  Marched 12 miles.  Wood became more plentu & the Qr. Master furnished a load for several successive evenings which he paid the Spaniards for.

30th  Cool & cloudy.  Marcher 12 miles, saw a plenty of snow on the tops of mts.

Oct. 31st  Left the settlements this day & road to accept Gen. Kearny’s trail.  Marched 9 miles & musstered.

Nov. 1st Came out on parade.  Heard an order read excepting the resignation of Adjutant [1st Lt. George P.] Dykes & appointing P. C. Merrill in his stead.  The object of Dikes in resigning was no doubt to supplant Capt. Higgins & take the command of D Co. supposing that Capt. Higgins would be court marshaled for not coming back before his furlough ran out.  In this, however, he was disappointed as in many other calculations.  Marched 10 miles. Camped near timber.

Nov. 2d  Marched 10 miles.  Plenty of timber.

Nov. 3d – 15 miles following Kearny’s trail.  James Hampton died this day of Capt. Hunt’s Co.  Our rations were reduced from 12 to 9 os. of flour per day and the reason assigned this from the report of our principle guide we are yet 90 days from settlements with less than 50 days’ rations at less than ¼ the no. of mules necessary to such a trip.  I considered this open abuse. We were only 3 days from settlements where there was a plenty of mules & provisions for sale.  Why did he not quis the guide before it was too late?  Because he wanted to disencumber himself of baggage train & he wanted make California as soon as possible in order to raise his name in the world by performing a trip with less means and less humanity than any other man.  It was well for the old cipher that he had mormons to deal with.  No body else would have bourn what we did.  At this time the Cos. were divided up and detailed to push wagons all day through sand up hill & down hill for the wheels would out in from 3 to 12 inches.  It was the sandiest country I ever saw & such were the hardships of the soldiers that they became very dissatisfied with their commander.

Wednesday Nov. 4th  Rio Del Nort.  Marched 18 miles.  Camped on the Rio Grand near a clay rock.  This eveing Thos. Woolsey overtook the command.  He gave us the desired information concerning the Puebolos Capt. Higgin Co. & etc.  They arrived at Santa Fe a short time after we left & got on detached service to go back again to their families by order of Col. Price.  He stated that there were 17 families from Mississippi at Puebolos.  Bro. Woolsey showed no small degree of courage to undertake a journey lone handed in an enemy’s land at that.  P.S.  Lt. Dikes caused 2 of the brethren to march tied crop handed behind Co. B’s ox wagon all day & stand extra tours for not going through with the usual ceremonies of respect while performing guard rounds last night as officer of the day.

Nov. 5th 1846 Rio Grand.  We made ready for a march but orders came to delay by this day.  It was a joyful salutation notwithstanding we were shortening our rations, yet rest seemed more preferable at this time than rations.  The men were nearly exhausted.

6th Friday the weather pleasant & warm.  The health of the camp is reasonably good.  Our course has been very irregular.  Sometimes we have marched 10 miles to gain 5.  Such is the case today.  The Rio Delnort proceeds its way through mountains of sand running to the S.W. & how the Col. expects to get to California coursing this river through the sand I cannot imagine but he is our leader & follow him we will life or death.  11 miles march.  Camped where Kearny left his wagons.

7th Nov. This day nearly all the mules gave out & the men nearly worn out pushing on half rations.  Every man was willing to take 10 days rations on his back if the Col. would leave the wagons though he said if the roads did not get better within several days he would leave them for he knew if they did not gain ground faster they would perish in plains of Sonora or Chihuahua.

8th Sunday Rio Delnort.  The morning was cold & rainy.  The poor sentinels suffered more than would in a cold country because they weather was so changeable.  The days are warm & the nights are cold.  We became quite uneasy about our rations giving out.  This evening the pilots returned & reported the roads impassable for wagons.  The sand very deep.  Still the old Col. refused to leave the wagons.  We marched only 8 miles this day.

9th  The morning was pleasant.  We marched early & gained 9 miles.  Camped at 3 o’clock.  Orders came that the 3 ox wagons must not be taken any farther, 2 left & one taken back & that 54 men of the several companies were to be selected by the captains as unfit to perform the present trip over the mountains & if no officer volunteered, there should be one appointed to take charge of the detachment.  Further, the end poles of tents & a part of the tents only leaving a tent to every 10 men, that we must pack all the extra mules & put not to exceed 100 lbs on each mule.

Nov. 10th Tuesday Rio Delnort.  The camp is in a great hurry to get ready to march, some trying experiments in mule packing & ox packing.  The detachment marched about 3 o’clock P.M. under command of [3rd] Lt.[William W.] Willis who volunteered to take command.  There were about 55 in number that made up the detachment.  I [and wife Melissa] continued with the go ahead party determined to press through in spite of opposing barriers.

Wednesday Nov. 11th. We marched about 15 miles.  I did not like another separation but we could do no better.  We durst not rebel for fear of after claps coming on the church.  I do not know but it is for the best for they were mostly invalids who went back.  I was obliged to have Mrs. Coray ride on a mule.  The captain’s team was giving out & he wanted his load lited up.  She rode all this day & was very much fatigued at night.

Thursday, Nov. 12th 1846.  Marched 16 miles.  Camped on the Rio Delnort.  The face of the country had not changed neither the timber or anything else.  I discovered as I was riding along that the face of the ground was covered with broken pieces of earthenware & by inquiry found it had been so for miles back.  Quite singular evidence.  Nothing of importance transpired this day other than this.  All things go on in the battalion in good order although our hardships are great, such as any other people would not stand, half-fed, pushing wagons through deep sand. Lt. Dikes of D. Co. has settled down quietly in his office and contents himself with being the object of odium & disgust in the Batt.

Nov. 13th Friday – Perhaps it would be well for me to record the history of every day occurrences.  Our march was attended with great fatigue.  We had to be up generally 2 hours before day-light to get breakfast.  The trumpet would be blown at the first appearance of the day. This is called the assembly but the drummers & fifers would set in immediately & play reveille, not at full length, & the men must all be in ranks before it ceased or receive an extra tour of guard.  The first sergeants called the rolls of the Cos. & detailed the guard under the inspection of an officer.  Within 15 minutes the sick call was made.  5 minutes before this the morning reports must be handed in to the adjt.  30 minutes after sick call guard mounting must be attended to.  Immediately after guard mounting the signal was to the teamsters to get up the teams.  All hands laid to & helped them til we were ready to start.  Then the cos. were divided into equal parts under the superintendence of officers or M.C. officers to boost at wagons all day.  These were every day occurrences.  We marched 4 miles down the river, met the pilots who directed us to leave the Delnort at this point.  We marched due west towards a high mountain 16 miles distant at which place we arrived just as the sun was setting.  We found a rock spring or a spring in the rocks which had been discovered by our guides.  We camped here this night.  There was poor feed for mules but we thought ourselves quite comfortable if we could find water even.  There was a beautiful pool or reservoir of water at this place down in the rocks near six feet in diameter and to some considerable depth not ascertained.  The day was pleasant & warm.

Nov. 14th  Marched 18 miles. Found wood and water in abundance at this encampment.  The guides had not returned this morning.  When we left, we met them on the way.  They reported the place where we encamped this night, also found water 20 miles ahead or south.  Here we were approaching the rugged mountains searching out a rout for wagons in an unknown region, a trackless desert, no one present having ever been here before.  The pilots were very expeditious & spared no fatigue or pains to search out the road for us to go.  It seemed that we must follow down the ridge of mountains which we were now butting against running from N. to South.  Everything seemed to forbid our passing through & we must go at least further down.  At this place we found the ruins of an ancient building.  The foundation was yet plain to be seen of stone.  The dimensions of it were as follows: 36 feet square petitioned off into 5 rooms.  Inside of these walls were found pieces of pottery & a stone martyr [mortar] to pound corn in.  As we supposed, this encampment was near 5 miles west of two large mounds out in the plain we crossed this day. This plain is beautiful in the extreme, covered with grass.  Though it dries up in the winter, it retains all its nourishment the year round.  The weather changed quite cool towards night & commenced raining so that it was uncomfortable.

Sunday Nov. 15th  The rain continued all night last and all day the cold increased.  Also the orders were to stay here for the day.  This evening it snowed a little in the valley’s and covered the mountains in sight of us.

Monday Nov. 16th  Verry cold this morning.  Quite winter weather.  The wind blew from the snowy mountain’s top.  Though the sun shown bright upon us, it chilled us through the change being so great from the last 2 or 3 days.  The pilots were ahead in search of a road or pass through.   The ridge of mountains were those following down in a south course.  Our day’s march was called 18 miles from where we struck tents.  We encamped near water at this place I was told the Apache Indians often encamped.  One of the pilots returned, reported a pass through which we were glad to hear as we feared it would cost us many days march around it.  They reported water 6 miles off.  The train of mountains alluded to above run from N to S and the large plain lies between them and the Bluffs of the Rio Delnort.  Still cold!

On the 17th we marched to the 6 mile spring which was in the midst of the mountains.  Such curiosity was excited by the strangeness of this lonely unfrequented portion of God’s creation seen only by the wild Apache and the fleety antelope, their prey.  We could plainly see where mountains have been rent from each other and thrown up at a tremendous height.  There is one which Capt. Hunter, myself & our wives visited (south which stands full 8,000 ft. high split open at the top a good way down, leaving a large cavity through which the airs sucks so that it is almost impossible to stand there.  The vegetable kingdom seemed also disarranged in producing strange things to the traveler’s astonishment such as (mescale) (sic) and (podistel) (sic) and other vegetables which I have not time here to describe so I can say that while others fancied the flesh of wild animals I feasted upon the beauties of nature and thus passed away the time in the mountains of Chihuahua, N.M.

On Nov. 18th  1846 under the direction of the guide which returned the night before marched entirely through the pass, came out upon a large plain which made up the best kind of a road.  We started our course west to regain the latitude lost in going south for a pass.  Came to large creek in 20 miles travel and camped. The name is ---bers Creek.  Some timber on it.  Dr. Foster the pilot returned and reported water 25 miles ahead.

According, on the morning of the 19th the whole camp set off in good season to see what another day might bring forth on our journey towards the Pacific.  Unfortunately some of the wagons broke in crossing the creek which detained the persons concerned till late so they came into camp very late at night, though the most of the Batt reached the water [camp] before dark.  We remained here on the 20th by order of the commander in consequence of the pilots finding no water ahead so they made it a day of council and raised a smoke which is a signal of distress to the Indians and they always pay attention to it.  Within less than 2 hours Spaniards came to the signal to see what was the matter.  These Spaniards were traiding with the Indians of the Apache tribe.  They seemed to know the way some 200 miles.  One of them were imployed to go as a pilot as far as he knew the way.  They said it was 300 miles to the Pemo/Puma (can’t read smeared type) Village one way and 200 miles another.  One way took them to Sonora, N.M., another took them by the headquarters of the Gila Riv through a trackless range of mts. & etc.  These traders reported that there was an army of men scouting from Sonora on their way to Chihuahua and Santa Fe to retake that country from the Americans.  After hearing the Spaniards deliberate upon the matter which was for the best etc., the Col. concluded that he would consult Capts. Hunt & Hunter upon the matter.  They told him they would have nothing to say about it, that he must take the responsibility upon himself.  Capt. Hunt persuaded him to raise the ration to 10 oz. of flour.  He did so but complained that the Cos. had wasted the provisions for 6 days.


men.  He Capt. Hunt, blamed Lt. Cook for coming without knowing beforehand whether there was water or not.  The pilots encouraged the men by saying there was water a plenty 12 miles farther ahead.  The Col. permitted some of the men to stay at this place til morning and the rest of the command continued the march but it was not til about 10 o’clock at night when we or the 1st wagons came to the water.  Many fainted by the way & more left scattered along the road.  The place where we encamped was well supplied with water near a dry lake.  This day we crossed the line between Chihuahua and Sonora, so said the pilots.  Before this we had been traveling in Chihuahua.  The country looked quite delightful with hills and vallies but considerably barren except in the vallies which are quite fertile indeed.

Dry Pond, Sonora Tuesday Nov. 24.  There are camped near us some Spanish traiders from whom we got a small recruit of 25 mules.  The new pilot promises to take us to a deserted Mexican settlement where we can get some wild cattle to live on.  He will also bring the Apaches to traid with us.  After so long and hard a tramp for 2 days without water, it was thought wisdom to stay here a day and wait for the men who are yet behind.  They arrived in camp in good season safe.

Sonora, Wednesday Nov. 25th 1846  Marched 25 miles this day.  Crossed another range of mountains on one of these mounts Shovinak killed a large grisly bear, though I was told it was not large for this country. The pass in the mts. were very difficult and the road somewhat impracticable. My wife rode a mule this day.  We camped on a creek in a beautiful valley with the necessaries of a camp ground which is wood & water.

Thursday Nov. 26th – We marched down the valley in a southerly direction, the distance of 22 miles.  The country was rough in places & showed every sign of being rich mineral country.  The gold blossom was to be seen in many places.  The timber is yet scarce.  That there is nothing but scrubby oak.  Our feelings were pretty well about this time, though the rations were scant indeed.  The game was very plenty such as antelope & deer.

On Friday Nov. 27th 1846.  We marched 15 miles and camped in the same valley.  We have had a good road 2 days.  This morning was the coldest we have witnessed since we left Council Bluffs.  Several antelope were killed by the boys while we passed along.  And we saw herds of them as we were in advance of the camp.  Whle I am writing this, I am comfortably seated in my tent while my wife is cooking supper by a fire made of brush in a pit which we commonly dig to save wood.

Saturday Nov. 28. No pilots appeared to show us the way though we marched off in the direction we thought was right and six miles travel brought to where it was impassable, then we about faced and marched ¾ of a mile to water & camped.  There is a considerable sickness in the camp at present.  Capt. Davis was taken 2 days since and remains very ill up to this date.  He is under Dr.’s care!  About sundown the pilots returned with 2 Apache Indians and informed the Lt. Col. that that was the only place (which we thought was impassable) for us to go.

Sunday Nov. 29th.  Was a fair day.  by order of Cook near one hundred & fifty mules were packed and sent on 9 miles with Dike’s Co. as a detachment, those mules returned the same day. The object of this was to lighten the wagons that they might take them down the declivity, after the way was prepared, which was done by adding near 20 men to the Pioneer Co. under Lt.[George] Stoneman let drag.  By hard labour they made the way possible barely so that wagons may be taken down in the morning.  

At San Bernadino 18 miles from this we were to meet the Apache Indians who would traid with us, as we supposed, though they were very shy indeed even when the pilots went there the Apaches charged upon them and if they had not known them in all probability they would lost their lives forever.

Monday Nov. 30th, 1846.  Pioneers marched early to commence on the road, 25 miles no.  The whole train followed soon and descended the declivity with little accident though it required 10 or 15 men in some places with rope to keep the wagons right side up with care they being nearly empty at that.  They were till night from 8 o’clock going 9 miles where we encamped on a small rivulet in the midst of the mountains.  In this hollow the trees were as green as in spring with us.

Tuesday Dec. 1st  The command marched 10 miles, followed down this stream winding through the mountains.  The scenery was quite pleasing. The rocks are so high and huge.  The oak and the grass and all the vegetables as green as in July in the states was something new to me. The animals gaining and working too on this grass.  Some of the brethren went out hunting.  4 laid out over night.  One of them had not returned yet. We suppose he is lost.

Wednesday Dec. 2d  Marched 12 miles across a large plain of sand.  Camped at San Bernadino, the deserted Spanish town.  This place has been vacated 15 years.  The Apache Indians drove them away and scattered their cattle, which cattle are here running wild now in large herds to be seen at any time we choose to go out of the camp.  The Indians met us here with a few mules & some horses which they offered for a blanket each but the Col. forbid us traiding with them til the Q. Master had gotten his supply but the Q.M. did not get his supply because he wanted the animals for less than they were worth & the Indians knew it well.  This evening the lost man Jno. Allen [Pvt. in Company D] returned half naked & almost used up.  He said he had wondered 3 or 4 days before he found track or trace of us, that the Indians robbed him of his gun and clothes and he finally got here safe but very ill indeed.

Dec. 3d.  We remained at this place all day to give the hunters a swing among the wild cattle as we were quite scant in rations.  It came very good.  At evening they reported about 20 killed & brought 7 or 8 into camp.  On the morning of the 4th of Dec. Cook came out with another order stating that we had wsted 6 days rations and there was enough left to take us up at 10 os. per day which statement was a lie indeed.  We marched at 1 0’clock and gained 6 miles.  The orders were to kill no more beef cattle till the 9th in consequence of their having so much on hand.  This evening the Lt. Col. told the Adjt. not receive any on guard who had not their knapsacks on, neither should they ride if they had hordes.  This I called tyranny in the extreme.

The 5th of Dec. 1846.  We marched 15 miles.  Passed through another range of mountains & camped at a Sulphur spring.  There were many wild cattle here and Capt. Hunter, Lts. Merrill & Barrus & myself went out to kill a bullock or 2 for ourselves by permission of the Col.  We succeeded in killing 2 and bringing the steak into camp though not till after dark some time.

On the 6th Dec. we marched 14 miles over a plain of sand as usual among the mountains and encamped at a place we named Maple Grove, it being the lot maple timber we had seen since we had left Santa Fee.  It was very tedious traveling here this P.M. as it snowed & rained during the whole afternoon.  The cattle and horses are very plenty here.  As the teams were soon faged, we laid by on the 7th and I went a hunting again with Capt. Hunter and [Ruel] Barrus Brown. We saw nothing but bulls.  We suppose the Indians had selected out the cows & calves, as they were tender.  When we got into camp the soldiers were making preparations for an early start.  The pilots had returned & said the San Pedro Rio was within 30 miles.  The Pilot [Pauline] Weaver professed to be acquainted all the way.  After we got to the San Pedro we had some reason to entertain some fears from Sonora as we were drawing near her borders.  We are now within 13 miles of a Spanish Garison and one of the sheep drivers ran away on the night of the 6th, being a Spaniard.  We have some reasons to believe that he has gone to inform them of our approach and numbers, Sonora numbers near 5000 strong.  We could expect nothing less than capture if we go among them or their thickly settle country.

On the 8th Elisha Smith, Capt. Davis’ servant died precisely 6 o’clock. And the camp was night with little difficulty 18 miles further on the way but we had to camp without water.  A stiff brese met us in the face this P.M. and the snow was on the mts. in sight of us.

The next day being the 9th brought us to the San Pedro in 16 miles tramp over a good road.  Yet there is plenty of cattle.

10th Dec. 1846.  We marched 14 miles.  Camped on the same rio.  As the command passed along I struck off to the right in co. with Bro. [William W.] Spencer to kill a fat bull if possible.  We marched out of sight of the Batt soon and got among the cattle behind a mountain & gave them goss [chase ?].  After firing a good many shots we killed one and by the time we got loaded up to start to the camp, it was most night and I supposed the Batt 12 miles ahead but luckily it have in sight after we had passed over the first hill to my surprise very much so I got home before dark.

Thursday Dec. 11th was a remarkable day in the history of our travels. The wild bulls being pursued by the hunters came rushing down from the hills in madness goring everything they came across.  3 mules were killed by them this day.  Bro. [Amos] Cox was tossed up into the air and gored in the thigh badly so as to make a wound 4 in. long & d deep.  Sergt.[Albert] Smith was run over by one of them in his ferocity and hurt pretty bad [he was trapped between the bull’s horns and had three ribs partially severed from his backbone].  Another brother [William C. or S.] Prost [Prows] [another account names this individual as Corp. Frost of Co. A] being attached by one stood till the bull advanced very close to him, then took deliberate aim and dropped him in his tracks, this in the presence of the Col.  He said he was a courageous man and he want no farther proofs of his courage.  Lt. [George] Stoneman of the Draggons shot his thumb nearly off.  Also on this notable day, the Col. named the creek on which we camped Bull Creek because of the fight with them. [Ten bulls were killed and butchered, about two days rations.] I came very near leaving out the case of [Levi] Fifield who in retreating from one of them found himself too closely pursued, threw himself on the ground while the monster passed over him.  He thus escaped. Such was the history of the day.

Dec. 12th  We marched 16 miles and camped on the San Pedro.  We passed some ruins.  One of the Pilots [Charboneaux] returned and reported Tubson Garrison only 36 miles from us that they had went to the distillery 18 miles ahead and got a favourable report of roads, wood, water, etc. also ascertained the amts. of troops at Tubson.  There was supposed to be near 200.

Saturday De. 13th.  Marched 8/18 miles, drilled, heard an order read to pass through Tubson.  At this place many wanted to follow down the San Pedro to the Gila, thence down the Gila, but it was out of the way to there and the Col. concluded to pass through Tubson right or wrong.  This eveing the other pilots returned all but Foster.  He went into the Garrison to see what should befall him.

Dec. 14th  Marched 20 miles.  Encamped near the distillery.  The pilots called it only 18 miles but I call it 20.  We were met by seven Mexican Draggons from the Garrison who wanted to know our intentions, whether it was to kill, destroy & take prisoners or to pass through peaceably to which the Lt. Col. replied that it was to pass through in peace, that they did not come to make war on Sonora, though he was able to demand a surrender he should not do it but wished to traid with them for provisions and mules as we were quite destitute.  They said their citizens were leaving in fear & in hast tambien (also) but the Col. desired them to detain their people which they promised to do acknowledging their weakness & inability to compete with us in any shape.  In the meantime Dr. Foster was detained and we knew not why.

Tuesday Dec. 15th, 1846, this morning was very uncomfortably cold.  We were detained later than usual this morning, took 3 of the troop prisoners and sent one to Tubson to tell the people that these men should be kept till Foster returned anyhow.  After 14 miles travel camped without water.  At 12 o’clock at night, Foster came into camp.  He had been confined ever since he went there as a spy but they liberated him at the arrival of this messenger whereupon we liberated the Mexicans tambien.  We traveled this day through the most prickly prongly thorny country I ever saw.  The prickles were in every shape imaginable and though the mules were nearly worn out with fatigue, when they came among these prickles, they many of them acted very bad indeed and threw their riders.

Tuesday after a heavy day’s march came to the garrison a distance of 16 miles.  We found the town sacked, the troops with nearly all the inhabitants had fled, taking with them their property.  Those few who remained instructed us to save the town and preserve their property and we assured them we would do so.  This place is well situated in a valley that resembles the valley at Santa Fee very much.  Fruit of various kinds we found here.  Gardens were mostly laid out with beautiful irrigation for watering purposes.  Their houses were built of dobys [adobe] as in Santa Fe.  The people more enterprising and happy, but the troops were cowards and their acts spoke for them.  The wagons arrived before dark and we encamped ¾ of a mile N. of town.  A strong guard was posted out this night.  All was well and quiet.  I was sent to town 9 o’clock at night by the officer of the day with 3 men to see if all was well.  We ransacked the town and found all well and returned home on Wednesday 16.  We laid by all day except a detachment of 50 men volunteers were called for some purpose.  I among the rest stept into the crowd and went along not knowing where or what for but heard it whispered that it was to pursue the enemy and got their field pieces and mules.  We (the detachment 50 men) marched 4 miles when the Col. ordered Stoneman to come back and tell us to load our guns, that we would undoubtedly have to fight and

Page missing here

& camped without water. This was rather bad again.

On the 19th there was still greater suffering.  We marched 32 miles this ay over the parched ground and found no water yet save a small mud pond which was drinked up by Company C.  We were from 6 o”clock atill 11 at night before we encamped, leaving men all along the road over night.  Capt. Hunter observed to the Col. that the mules suffered.  Said the Col., “I don’t care a damn about the mules, the men are what I am thinking of.”  He told the mento get provisions where they could regardless of measurement & stop till morning if they choosed to do so.  I was much pleased at this expression.  It was the 1st humane word I had heard from him.  Here we were and harsh words would not do in such a time.

Sunday Dec. 20 was a propitious day.  10 miles from the head wagons was a plenty of water where we arrived about 11 o’clock & camped for the day.  We have to be very careful how we gave the mules drink.  They were so near choked they would kill themselves if we had left them do so.

On the 21st Dec. we marched to Gila Rio, a distance of 15 miles and found a plenty of wood & water and grass for mules, an uncommon thing.  This encampment was 7 miles from the Pemo Village so known by the Indians, traiders, because the tribe of Indians called Pemes [Pumas] live here.  Many of these Indians visited our camp bringing corn, wheat, flour, small beans, pumpkins, & musksete [unreadable] for sail.  They seemed perfectly harmless and hospitable.  The Pemo Indians are industrious.  Their settlement extends 25 miles down the Rio.  They raise their own grain, make their own blankets & shirts, in fact, nearly all they have is of their own manufacture.  They work oxen.  They have aplenty of horses & mules, etc.  They live in huts made of brush and mud.  They are not so noble a race of Indians as the Apache neither are they bright.  They number 3000 warriors, & as many children.  I never saw before put them all together as there was at this village.  We marched only 10 miles on the 22nd and encamped near an Indian farm.  It was truly surprising to see the multitudes of women & children.  The women looked very bandy indeed with nothing but a brich cloth, many of them.  They were singularly formed, their bubbies was nearly 18 inches long and looked unnatural.  They flocked into our camp in great multitudes, gazing at everything they saw as it was natural to suppose, being with Indians uncouth & uncivilized.  They told Weaver the pilot that the Sonoroians had tried to hire them to capture us but they refused the proposal.  These Indians have a chief who exerts great influence over his people.

The 23d  Marched 15 miles down the Rio leaving the river to the right.  We encamped near Kearny’s camp ground, we having struck his trail 3 days before.  2 men came to us from Genl. Kearny.  They stated that Kearny was within 60 miles of San Diego 19 day ago.  That the country was all in a state of rebellion & that he wished us to hasten on.  We obtained a few mules from the Indians this day, laid by on the 24th, made some shifts, got some more mules, orders, etc.  One of the orders was to the commandants of Cos. to throw away all the provisions which had been bought at this village would have been half we had and ordered all the unnecessaries left saying transportation is deficient, etc.  Why was transportation deficient?  because he wanted it so.  The Qr. Master purchased only a little sweet corn & then forbid us eating that.  Such was our troubles but the Capts. did not throw away the provisions as Cook thought and we had enough for a while.  We purchased a few mules ore this P.M.  The bottom along here is very fertile indeed and the climate is also good enough.

Dec. 25, 1846 was a pleasant day.  The task we had before us was heavy.  We were to cross a desert of 2 days journey without water and forced to leave the river to save 60 miles travel, it being that much faster around.  Started at 10 and marched 21 miles by 9 o’clock P.M.

26th Dec.  We passed through a ridge of Mts. by a practicable pass & so down to the Gila again a distance of 26 miles good camped just after dark and felt quite happy to see the water and timbers again.

The 27th we marched 8 miles only, but it was downhill and went easy.  It seemed like getting to California more than ever before though we had the worst of our journey ahead as it afterwards proved.  This evening we were met by some Spaniards from Calif. making their escape.  They reported Calif. in a perfect state of rebellion, said a battle had been fought and many killed on both sides and that the war was by no means over.

28th  Marched 11 miles, camped ¾ from water.  The road soft & lugging.

Dec. 29th  We marched only 12 miles over a very rough road.  All well save with me.  There was a report put into circulation by the Lts. of B. Co. to injure me which was false & I proved it so.  It seemed there was some jealousy existing for a long time and I knew not why, in this Wm. Hyde was my friend & told me.

On the 30th marched 16 miles through sandy roads [approaching Sears Point and area to become Yuma County, Arizona]..

31st  Mustered at 7 and marched 9 miles.  Camped 1 ½ from the Rio.

Jan. 1, 1847  Marched 12 miles and camped on the bank of the Rio Gila [near Texas Hill].  Made boats of 2 of our pontoon wagon boxes and some of the boys made a raft to go with it.  We found some families camped near us who are on their way to Sonora.  They left Calif. with a small supply and had been living on horse flesh for several days.  The principle man whose name was Mooney/Money had his wife with him, she having given birth to a child 2 days before caused them to lay by on acct. of her.  She was a very handsome woman.  Money was a Scotchman and liked Calif.  He gave general information in regard to Calif., the war, etc., said Kearny was about to make his way through the pass into San Diego.  They heard the firing of guns and supposed a battle ensued.  An Indian reported a severe battle and great loss.  Still, it might be false news, thought we.  He also told us of the brethren from N.Y. who came by sea [Sam Brannan and the Enterprise Saints], said they were well situated, etc.

January 2nd,  1847  Marched 12 miles.  Camped on the Rio.  The party under Lt. Stoneman stuck on the sand and unloaded the boats and it was with great difficulty that they came empty down.

Jan. 3d, 1847  Very pleasant.  Marched 15 miles.  Camped near water.  The health of the camp is good, only 20 of Co. B. on the sick report.  The country is barren, producing nothing but muskeete brush and thorns a plenty [probably the broad plain of Mohawk Wash].

Jan. 4th  Marched 8.  Camped near a large mountain [Antelope Hill] on the Gila River.

Jan. 5th, 1847  Marched 10 miles.  Camped near the Rio.  Doctor [George] Foster went back in pursuit of the man with the boats.  They were 3 miles back, had left all the provisions.

Jan. 6th  Marched 14 miles, camped near the Rio Gila.  The country through which we are now traveling is the poorest I ever saw before.  There is no timber good for any thing, no grass at all, even the brush has some thorns.  Them and the grass, tambien.  The provisions had been left, would have been lost altogether had not the capts. been cunning enough to send men with pack mules after it contrary  knowledge and will of the Col.  The Col. cared not for our suffering, so he had a plenty.  There was only 7 days rations and we were more than 15 days from settlements.  Understand, there was only 7 days ½ rations.

Jan. 7th  1847  We made 10 miles only this day towards our place of destination [Devil's Point].  The roads very bad.  The river seems to descend a considerable.  The hills come nearer to the river in many places it is difficult to pass along with wagons.

Friday Jan. 8th  We made 16 miles this day, a tolerable good road or place for a road as we have to make our own road all the way.  We think it is good when we come to a plain.  The crossing is now close at hand.  We camped near the mouth of the Gila [near Devil's Point].  The men are nearly starving for bread already.. There is great prices offered for a morsel.  The beef which was the only means of sustenance at this time was of the poorest quality.  A man would have been fined in any place but this to have sold such beef.  Notwithstanding the extreme suffering of the men, there was not much grumbling after all.

Saturday Jan. 9th, 1847  Marched 10 miles.  Camped on the Rio Colorado or Big Red River.  At the crossing, this is one of the boundaries of Cala [near Algodones, Mexico]..  It is one year this day since I was in the temple of Nauvoo.  I little thought of being here at this time I am certain.  On the opposite of this river the brush is so thick it is almost impossible to pass.  The pilots fired it & it is now in flames.

Monument dedicated to Mormon Battalion near Algodones, Mexico

On the 10th a part of the command crossed the river Colorado in the pontoon boxes.  The wagons were to be untied entirely on account of the high water & sand in the bed of the river.

On the morning of the 11th I and the teams crossed over early. Reveille beat as usual but I was out of reach and took my ease for the 1st time in a great while but soon they came over and away we went not so fast as one might suppose.  The sand was so deep that Co. C. had to leave their wagon.  Co. E. also theirs.  But go we must, wagons or no wagons.  We were in a desert, no water, no grass, no provisions for ourselves but beef & a little flour.  Co. C. had none, I was informed.  We marched a little way farther & left another wagon.  The sand was very deep indeed.  The mules were giving out hourly.  We were leaving about 5 or 6 every day.  We marched in a sweat & encamped 15 miles from the Colorado.  Co. C. left behind 3 miles this night, also many of our men were so tired that they did not come up. At this place we found a well of water.

Wednesday Jan. 13th  We marched 10 miles.  Camped by some wells that Genl. Kearny dug for himself.  They afforded us water for mules & all but we had found no feed for mules since we left the Colorado which made they give so fast in hot days.  Maj. Cloud [Paymaster Major Jeremiah Huddleston Cloud, Jr.] proffered to lend me a horse for Melissa to ride to the settlements on, which I accepted though with some reluctance.

Jan. 14th, 1847  Lt. Stoneman went ahead with 10 men in search of water.  By order 2 wagons were left and a great many harnesses cached.  This morning the baggage wagon of Co. E. [or B, not readable] was left on the ground.  The mules were sold to the highest bidder because they could not draw the wagon any farther.  Marched 18 miles and encamped without water 9 o’clock at night

Friday Jan. 15th  Marched 10 miles to well which had a very little water in.  At this place one of our pilots me us with beef cattle and mules from settlements and letters from Genl. Kearny and others. On the 6th of Dec. Gen. Kearny while going in to San Diego was met by some Spaniards whom he attacked in the morning before it was light and lost 2 capts., 1 1st Lt, and 19 men.  He however routed the enemy & they fled with the loss of but one or 2 men.  The Gen. was then in pursuit of them from the last acct.  The enemy held 900 strong and the Genl’s force was 600 only which consisted of marines, sailors and Californians, etc.  We changed teams and passed on 10 miles farther making 20 miles this day.  The mules were all wild and ugly enough.  The boys were unfit to handle wild mules having scarcely enough to sustain nature.  These were hard times 2 days without water.  We camped without again this night.  The Col. ordered the officer of the day to call up the Musicians at one o’clock to beat the assembly and they would move of for water.  No feed yet for mules and the way they were dying off was a sin.

On the 16th we marched at 1 o’clock A.M. and marched 25 miles to water by 2 o’clock a part of the comd. did not get up to camp during the day such was the extreme suffering of the Mormon Battalion.  3 days without water and if the fresh beef had not met us, nothing would have saved our lives but the unseen had of Almighty God as the most of us were out of bread stuff entirely.  But the worst was then over as we had found feed for mules and running water.  We had passed a large desert, the worst place we encountered since we left the states, killing on mules & men.  Since we left the San Pedro River there has been scarcely any grass for mules.  They sustained themselves on brush mostly.  The name of this stream is Cariseto on which we are now encamped.  We are approaching a train of mountains which run down lower Cala.  We will find a pass by traveling up this creek and down the next.

Sunday Jan. 17th  We marched at 5 expecting to find water in 15 but it was 20 to where we encamped.  More mules died this day than any day before and the men gave out.  They seemed weaker than before they came to water by over eating and drinking, I suppose.  The Indians live along here in the mountains upon muscall.  Principly they are called wild Indians.  Those nearer the farms have all been Christianized by the Catholicks.  These have never been tamed. 3 Indians came to camp and told of the Batt. at Pueblo, etc. by Gen’l. Kearny.

Jan. 18th 1847  Laid by. Capt. Hunt urged the Col. to give out more beef which he consented to do.  3 Indians brought letters to us from Gov. Montgomery who gave a statement of Kearny’s battle at the Pueblo.  Said they should receive us warmly and welcomly after our fatiguing march from the states.  All was well in the camp.  Some of men absent who went back after flour.  It created some uneasiness.

Jan. 19th  This was a hard day’s march though only 10 miles distance.  We encountered on hill that was almost impracticable but the Pioneers rolled the largest stones out of the way and we passed on winding our way up a crack through a very narrow pass, too narrow for the wagons to pass but by means of axes we cut the rocks so the wagons could pass and went up and camped on the top of the mountain without water.

Jan. 20th 1847  Traveled 15 miles.  Met Shavinaw the pilot and 2 other Spaniards.  They were direct from San Diego.  Reported all well for the Americans, that the Spaniards had sued for peace, but Gen’l Kearny would not grant it.  Mr. S. [unreadable initial] had left a plenty of beef a day’s journey back.  Jerome Zabrisky overtook us this evening, one of the boys who went back after flour.

Jan. 21st  Marched 12 miles to Warner’s Ranch.  This is a beautiful valley.  There is a hot spring here, not quite boiling, but hot enough for suds.  Mr. Warner pretends to own near 15 leagues which equals 40 miles square, a pretty good farm.  It lies between the mountains and the climate is very different from that on the coast.  “It is,” says Mr. Warner, “not uncommon for snow here in June on the hills.”  Winter wheat can be sown here any time from September to March and come to maturity and produce from 30 to 50 bushels per the acre.  Mr. Warner had cattle brought up by the Indians and killed her.  We saw a performance that beat anything entirely.  The Indians on horseback throwing the lassow and catching cattle by the lead and legs and anywhere they pleased and throwing them and holding them down by having the rest wound round, round, round the sagerhead [horn]of the saddle.  Their skill beat anything I ever saw.  They threw with so much certainty.  Well, the beef tasted good as we were nearly starved.

On the 23rd we laid by to rest.  Heard some news from Genl. Kearny which we could not dispute or credit, importing that peace was declared.  But the Col. concluded to go by the way of Pueblo de Los Angeles and assist Gen. Kearny if he needed any assistance instead of going to San Diego as he was directed, thinking perhaps he might meat some of the rebels sloping to Sonora and cut off their retreat.  I might here mention that my sufferings were relieved partially by buying a hog of Mr. Warner.  I can say candidly that I never ate anything that tasted as good before but the brethren’s wants were not supplied and it hurt my feelings to see them beg for food.  Some of them were nearly naked also.

Jan. 23d, 1847  We marched 25 miles.  Camped near a creek.  We were a little disturbed by the rain which commenced about 3 o’clock.  The roads were somewhat hilly and we were overlooked on either side by mountains.

Jan. 24th  This morning all woke wide awake in a storm which had continued all night and blew many tents, mine among the rest and wet me and Mr. Coray and everything we had and it was with hard pleading that we could gain admittance into the publick wagon because the boys knew it disturbed them so much as to wake them out of their warm nest though we should perish with the cold, they remonstrated against our coaxing in, we however prevailed.  No roll was called this morning.  We marched 4 miles in the rain in the rain and camped.  The rain continued all day and ceased in the night. 

On the 25th of Jan’y.  We marched 11 miles and encamped in the most beautiful valley I had ever seen.  The soil very rich and fertile indeed above anything yet.  It filled all my expectations of Califa. at once.  I must relate the circumstances of our camping.  Before we were in sight of the camp ground, we see the smoke ascend from many fires.  It had the appearance of an army very much but still we were unconcerned.  Directly we came in sight of the place and we could plainly see a company of men formed in a line of battle.  I thought to my self surely we will have to fight now and I knew there could be no better place in the world than this plain which we were then on, but, we found upon closer examination that it was a body of Indians & our friends liqwise.  Directly after this, an express came to us with news that the war was over and the Orders were for us to go to San Diego direct.  The Gen’l had had some skirmishes with the Californians and whipped them in evry place.  They fled from Pueblo leaving him in full possession of it, etc. etc.  

Tuesday Jan. 26th 1847.  We traveled our course toward San Diego.  Marched 16 miles.  Camped on the St. Louis Rio.  The country is beautiful through which we have traveled since we left Warner’s Rancho.  Hills and vallies, a plenty of water and green grass in the winter season, green leaves on the trees also.

On Wednesday Jan. 27, 1847  Marched 20 miles, passed through San Luis Valley down the Rio to San Luis Bay.  This building is handsome in the extreme.  It is said to be the finest building in Califa.  It is wide, supplied with gardens on either side with a variety of shrubbery and fruits of various kinds.  The Col. ordered the Indians to drive into the drove a quantity of fat cattle this day and we passed along 11 miles beyond the Bay and encamped for the night.

Jan. 28th, 1847  Marched 19 miles and encamped.  The roads very uneven. 

On the 29th we marched to the Bay of San Diego, a mission similar to San Luis Hacienda.  It has been a very expensive edifice.  It lies within 5 miles of San Diego.  The Batt is yet without flour.

Jan. 30th  Laid by as we supposed for good, as we were ordered to this mission as a station for us.  The Genl. is now at San Diego but expects to start to Monterey in a day or 2.  I went down to Diego with one or two others.  Saw Genl. Kearny.  He is a very good looking man, graceful in his appearance and sociable to all.

Jan. 31st, 1847.  Orders came from the Genl. for the Regulars to be joined to our Batt. and the Batts. was to take up quarters in San Luis Bay, the building which I described before.  Genl. Kearny and Commodore Stockton is at variance for some cause which took place in the Pueblos Angelos.  When Pueblos was retaken, they joined their forces together & gave the Genl. the comd, as he was a land officer and Stockton was a navel officer.  After it was taken, the Commodore gave the govt. into [John C.] Fremont’s hands contrairie to order or policy. This troubled the Genl. as he was appointed before he left the States Sole Governor of Califa.  The Genl. set sail for Monterey this morning in the Scion, a sloop of war.

February 1st, 1847.  We took up the line of march again for another point according to order.  There was no clothing to be had at San Diego or any other place in Cala. at present.  I was told so by many who ought to know at least which made it hard traveling for the boys without shoes, etc.  We marched 16 miles and camped.  I went to Lt. Col. Cook and told him the men had not rations enough and he ordered more immediately.  As it was only beef and that very cheap.  We though we ought to have enough after starving 4 or 5 month.  Upon the head of this, he ordered that the fleshy part of the beef must be broiled, that the bones might be boiled, etc.

February 2nd, 1847  Marched 16 miles.  Camped on a beautiful plain.  We passed the hill on which Genl. Kearny was based in and obliged to eat mules, and they gave it the name Mule Hill.  Lt. Merrill told around this day that he intended to resign his adjutancy and come back into the Co.

On the 3d of Feb. we marched to the mission of San Luis a distance of 13 miles and took up quarters there.  Orders were given to keep all garrison duties strictly.

On Thursday 4 Feb, we cleaned up our quarters and the Col. read an order to the Battalion by the Adjt. concerning our long march & said it had not a parallel in the world, commended our Batt very much, many compliments, etc. for which we gave him 3 cheers loudly.

SATISFIED that an epic march of infantry had just been completed under his command, Colonel P. St. George Cooke expressed his pleasure to his men of the Mormon Battalion in a written order:

Order Number 1
Headquarters Mormon Battalion
Mission of San Diego, January 30, 1847

The lieutenant colonel commanding congratulates the battalion on their safe arrival on the shore of the Pacific Ocean, and the conclusion of the 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 savages 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 ax in hand we have worked our way over mountains which seemed to defy aught save the wild goat, and hewed a passage through a chasm of living rock more narrow than our wagons. To bring these first wagons to the Pacific, we have preserved the strength of our mules by herding them ever over large tracts, which you have laboriously guarded without loss.

The garrisons 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 animals, we have discovered and made a road of great value to our country.

Arrived at the first settlement of California after a single day’s rest, you cheerfully turned off from the route to this point of promised repose to enter upon a campaign, and meet, as we believed, the approach of the enemy; and this too, without even salt to season your sole subsistence of fresh meat.

Lieutenants A.J. Smith and George Stoneman, of the First dragoons, have shared and given valuable aid in all these labors. 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.

By order of Lieutenant-colonel P. St. Geo. Cooke,
P.C. Merrill, Adjutant

Friday Feb 5th  By this time everything began to look like a regular Garrison.  The strictest discipline was enforced. 5 men were put into the stocks for passing through the Col.’s hall & other like offences.  As we are now stationed in Califa., I shall cease writing a daily journal and only note the particular incidents which accrue & which I like to preserve for the future.  My only object is keeping a daily journal on the way was more to ascertain the distance than anything else, and while I was noting the distance, it came very handy to record other items, which may be a satisfaction to me in future especially if I should ever retrace my steps.

The brethren soon became very playfull & happy, fiddling and dancing nearly evry night.  Still they were without clothing sufficient to hide their nackedness and living on beef alone.  The Lt. Col. said there was a prospect for flour within 7 or 8 days & so we were contented till it come.  On the 8 the Col. commence drilling the officers and the officers drilled the men & they kept it up till the 15 of March when Co. B. was ordered to go and Garrison San Diego and other companies marched for the Pueblo on the 19th of the same month.  San Diego is 50 miles from the St. Luis Bay and Pueblo is 100 North.  All this was by order of Genl. Kearny who was yet at Monterrey announcing himself governor of S. or G. C. and Brigr Genl. in the army of U.S.

Sunday Feb. 14. Lt. Oman started for flour with 10 men and pack mules.  Lt. Dikes preached a sermon on Daniel’s Kingdom which very much affronted some of the brethren and they would not stay to meeting because Capt. Hunt gave out the appointment after service was over he gave an appointment out for another on the following Sabbath.

The night of the 15th Levi Hancock held a meeting at Lt. Dike’s quarters in which he stated that he hated to be under the necessity of telling the brethren his rights. Said he, “The spirit of God should do it.  Men have tried to take away my rights (meaning the captains) but I won’t give them up to any man.”  He said a number of the Brethren had met together and washed each other’s feet, and anointed each other with oil and the Spirit of the Lord had testified to them that it ws right.  In regard to preaching bro. Tyler id the man to preach to this Batt.  I know it,” said he, “Because the spirit revealed it to me (with heavy accent). After casting many insinuations about the captains taking the lead when it was not their place, etc.  Concluded by taking an expression of the congregation whether Bro. Tyler should preach next Sunday or not.  Thus I conceived he got up an opposition to Capt. Hunt who had given out an appointment on the same day.  Whether this was intentional or not, I do not know.  Wm. Hyde arose stating that he had but little to say and what he did say should be at the risk of all hazard which was the Levi Hancock was file leader and he would obey his council circumstances be what they may and farther if he had done anything he wanted forgiveness but he knew he had not done anything wrong for he sought to do as his officers told him all the time and his file leader also who had not profained the name of the Deity and carried himself perfectly strate.  In the meanwhile I set still and listened to all that was said but said naught myself.  I found that Bro. Levi and the Captains were at variance.  The captains being present at the time considered themselves insulted by having their appointment taken up before their faces.  I went home and concluded to keep dark.  I knew not which was right and did not know but they were both wrong.  This variance had existed a long time between the parties, the fast of it was bro. Levi thought he had the most authority and the Capts. thought they had and so it went.  As to myself I have but little to any in favour of my good deeds, neither have I very many grievous errors to charge myself with.  Upon the whole, I claim to be nothing more than a middling sort of fellow at the best or worst.  Lest I should forget what my sentiments were at the time in regard to the Captains & Bro. Levi I will here record them so that when I get to the church I may know if I guessed right.  When the Batts. was about ready to start as I was one of them, I wanted to know if any man would be sent along to be our counselor or not.  And I asked Bro. Willard Richards if there would be any, he said “No, your officers will be your councilors.” After that Bro. Brigham and others of the twelve met the officers comd. and now comd. below Sarpy’s to give them instruction at which place Pr4est. Young said, “Brethren, go and be faithful hearts to your officers who shall be over you.  Let it be said of you that you are the best men that ever entered the service.”  Speaking to the officers in particular, he said, “Be as fathers to the soldiers and council them, for you are their counselors and I shall know if I hear of your dancing or playing cards, that it will be right if you control it.  You must have control over everything & all will be well.”  There was never anything said about Levi or Wm. Hyde presiding or dictating in any way.  Notwithstanding Brother Levi Hancock is first counselor to Joseph Young [of the First Quorum of the First Seventies] & Prest. of the Seventies and I could do no more than acknowledge his authority over me in spiritual things but still I thought the course he pursued an improper one in getting up an excitement against the officers and destroying their influence with the men whom they should control according to Prest. Young’s instruction.  Neither could I justify the officers altogether because some of them set very bad examples & were somewhat tyrannical.  Not so with all, but as little differences should not be aggravated but rather forgotten, I will say not more upon this subject.

Within a few days orders came from Genl. K. to Lt. Col. Cook to take comd. of the South Hily. [unreadable] Dist. and scatter hs forces in different stations throughout the country upon which Co. B. was ordered to San Diego on the 15th March 1847 and the remainder of the Batta. to the Pueblo de los Angeles except the sick who remained at San Luis Rey under Lt. Oman.

Co. B. arrived at San Diego on the 17th and took possession of the Garrison where Capt. Hunter became the sole comdr. of the place.  Here our Co. faired well while the other companies had to drill evry day twice until they commenced the Fort and then they had to work all the time while we lived at our ease.

As the time drew near for our discharge, the officers of the Regular Army pressed us very hard to inlist for another term and I believe Capt. Hunter was the first man who made a proposal to Col. Stevenson. The conditions were that they would be discharged with their arms & accoutrements and transportation & rations to the Salt Lake to which they excepted and about 70 of the Batt. reenlisted for 6 months, a year if they choosed.  I suppose Capt. Hunter expected to be Capt. of the Company but Davis was run in by some means or other & Hunter was appointed Indian Agent.

Meanwhile those who beleaved in the Council of Bro. Levi made preparations and started with him to meet the church by way of the Walker Pass near 40 or 50 in Co. with Capt. Hunt also marched for the Bay of San Francisco expecting to there hear something from the Church, as this was the place the Twelve supposed we would be discharged.  As to myself, I had to act for myself, having a wife with me in a delicate situation, I thought it best to make my way as fast as possible to San Francisco, seeing this country was in an uproar and the Spaniards threatening an outbreak after our discharge.  I begged Capt. Hunt to wait for me to which he freely consented.  As to the rout, it was almost impracticable.  While going through the gavaote pass I took my wagon apart and took a piece at a time over one place.  Had it not been for Capt. Hunt & two or 3 others who came back 3 or 4 miles to help us through I should have been obliged to stand at the mercy of Indians till I could have made other arrangements for transportation.  However, we got through the pass and by the assistance of some Indians with their Bestus [unreadable], they kept the wagons from upsetting til I could drive around, sideling places by very careful management.  I only upset once in going to Monterey at which plae I arrived the 13th of Aug. 1847.  At this place I considered all things & concluded to stop for a season, expecting my wife to be confined every day.  I rented a room and went to work with my team for the tralda [unreadable].  Business became very dull with me & I worried more and more about the church, hearing nothing, only that Capt. Hunt with a part of his Co. had gone to meet them.  Time passed on as usual until the 2nd Sept.  1847 when my wife was delivered of a fine boy, & I named him Wm. after myself as he was my first-born.  Near two months after I went to San Francisco & seeing that there was plenty of money, I concluded to move my effects there forthwith that I might gain some to myself.  I also saw Mr. Brannan direct from the Church which had located at Salt Lake and laid out a city there, calling the Batta. all back but not forthwith.  Capt. James Brown had also been through to get the pay for his men [of the Sick Detachment], bringing letters to the boys. So as agreed upon, I moved to San Francisco.  My health at this time was not good, being troubled with a bad cough, I was disenable for business for one month or more.  I kept my team a going which brought me in a considerable money.  San Francisco is a beautiful place.  A fine ship harbour, perfectly secure from storm.  Also very healthy.  The place at this time was improving rapidly, lots selling at a great price & was all speculation & money making both by the Mormons & worldlngs & it seemed to me that the Saints here were going to the Devil fast enough.  The Mormon girls marrying sailors & drunkards & he who should be their counselor was backing them up directly or indirectly, while at the same time he would play Billiards & drinking grog with the greatest blacklegs in the place, saying it was policy for him to do so.  Said he to me one time when he was some intoxicated, “Evry act of my life is through policy.”


Head Qr. Mormon Batt. Camp at Cho [unreadable] de Vaca
Orders   }  1.  Until farther orders the rations is raised to 10 oz. of flour 1 ¾      
No. 17  } 2d. Hereafter no sore backed mules will be packed.
                       By order of Lt. Col. Cook
                         P.C. Merrill  Ajt.


Orders    }                                In California, San Louis Hiceion
No. 1      }                                Lt. Davidson 1 draggs. will relieve 1st. A. J. Smith in this duties of Actg Asst. Com of subsistance amd Br/ 2d Lt. Stoneman as actg asst qr. Master.  He will give the proper rects for publick property.  II brvt 2d Lt. Stoneman will report to Lt. Smith for duty in Co. Co, 1st Drag. until further orders.  III. Co. Comrs. of the Batt and of the 1st Drag will turn over to the actg ast. Qr all mules above 12 each which they may have in their possession.  They will hold their Co. transportation in readiness for march at 2 hours notice.  IV. All private animals, mules, & horses belonging to non Comd. officers, ensigns & privates of this garrison will be disposed of by the 15th inst.  V. The remainder of this week will be devoted to duties of notice and rest. 

On Sunday the 7th there will be an inspection by CO when arms & accoutrements, clothing & quarters will be critically inspected & required to be in good order & Co. commanders will require their men to appear with cropped hair at that inspection. Strict attention of all is directed to the careful preservation of examination and 6 Seargt Heathcoat of Co. K 1st Dragg will perform the [unreadable couple words at beginning] Qr. M. & Commisary Seargt of the forces until further  [unreadable word]             P. St. Geo. Cook
                                         Lt. Col. Comdg. 

                                                                             Head Qre.

                                                                             San Luis Rey

Orders  }  I.   Capt. Hunter in command of the Co. B. Mormon Battalion

No.  3   }  will march this morning for San Diego.  Arrived there his Co. will constitute the Garrison for the protection of the town and he will take charge of all the defenses of the place.

              II.  Bevt 2nd Lieut. Stoneman 1st Dragg will march from San Diego with his detachment of Co. C. 1st Draggoons for this Post on the 14th inst.

             III.  2nd Lt. Clift will proceed without delay for St. Diego.  He is appointed to receive there each ordnace etc. as shall be turned over to him by officers of the Army.

             Lieut. Clift will perform the duties of Asst. Comy of Subsistance and Asst Qr. Master at San Diego & receive such subsistence & other property as will be turned over to him by Maj. Sword, Qr. Master U.S. Army.

                                                                             P. St. Geo. Cook
                                                                             Lt. Col. Comdg.

 [The William and Melissa Coray's trek from California to Salt Lake Valey commenced on October 1848.]

section header - children

Children of William Coray and Melissa Burton Coray

William Coray Jr.

Born: 2 September 1847
ar Monterey, Los Angeles, California


Died: 5 September 1847
in California

Melissa Coray (Jr.)

Born: 6 February 1849 at Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah

Married: Douglas Archibald Swan on December 31, 1873 in Salt Lake City, Utah

Died: 20 June 1940 at Venice, Los Angeles, California

Douglas Swan was born 5 January 1849 in Edinburgh, Scotland
He died 1 July 1907 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah.

Melissa Burton Coray Kimball around 1855

After William Coray's death 7 March 1849, his wife Melissa Burton Coray married William Henry Kimball, son of Heber Chase Kimball and Vilate Murray Kimball, on December 24, 1851, they had seven children.


PAF - Archer files = Captain James Brown + (5) Abigail Smith Abbott : Abigail Smith + Stephen Joseph Abbott < James Abbott + Phebe Howe Coray Abbott : Phebe Howe + John Coray

Orson Pratt Brown's granddaughter, Shirley Brown Hadley's daughter, Kathleen Hadley, married Paul G. Neff, son of John Edward Neff and Lorele Burt Neff. Neff's are Coray and Garff relatives.

Information from Norma B. Ricketts is that Kathy Bagley Garff found a relative of the Coray's in San Diego who was in possession of a typewritten manuscript of William Coray's Journal. The name of this relative or whether or not the relative had the original journal is unknown. Kathy told me her relationship to William and Melissa Coray is through their daughter Melissa Coray Swan and her son, George Swan. George Swan married Agnes MacDonald, two of their children did not marry but they were in possession of the family genealogy.  Perhaps they have the William Coray journal.

Additions, bold, [bracketed], some photos, etc., added by Lucy Brown Archer

Copyright 2001 www.OrsonPrattBrown.org



To SEARCH THIS SITE: Use the Google.com search engine
Type....site:OrsonPrattBrown.org "TYPE NAME YOU ARE
A list with the search term will appear.

Password Access Only

Password Access Only

... Easter 1986 through October 2005


... Published December 2007:
By Erold C. Wiscombe

... Published March 2009:
(unfortunately the publisher incorrectly changed the photo
and spelling of Phebe Abbott Brown Fife's name
after it was proofed by this author)
Researched and Compiled by
Erold C. Wiscombe

... Published 2012:
"Finding Refuge in El Paso"
By Fred E. Woods [ISBN: 978-1-4621-1153-4]
Includes O.P Brown's activities as Special Church Agent in El Paso
and the Juarez Stake Relief Committee Minutes of 1912.

...Published 2012:
"Colonia Morelos: Un ejemplo de ética mormona
junto al río Bavispe (1900-1912)"
By Irene Ríos Figueroa [ISBN: 978-607-7775-27-0]
Includes O.P. Brown's works as Bishop of Morelos. Written in Spanish.

...Published 2014:
"The Diaries of Anthony W. Ivins 1875 - 1932"
By Elizabeth Oberdick Anderson [ISBN: 978-156085-226-1]
Mentions O.P. Brown more than 30 times as Ivins' companion.

... To be Published Soon:

Send Comments and Information to: 




... Lily Gonzalez Brown 80th Birthday Party-Reunion
July 14, 2007 in American Fork, Utah

...Gustavo Brown Family Reunion in October 2007

Send Additions and Information to:


...... Wives and 35 Children Photo Chart
...... Chronology
...... Photo Gallery of OPB
...... Letters


...... Biographical Sketch of the Life Orson Pratt Brown
...... History of Orson Pratt Brown by Orson P. Brown
...... Journal & Reminiscences of Capt. Orson P. Brown
...... Memories of Orson P. Brown by C. Weiler Brown
...... Orson Pratt Brown by "Hattie" Critchlow Jensen
...... Orson Pratt Brown by Nelle Spilsbury Hatch
...... Orson Pratt Brown by W. Ayrd Macdonald

- Captain James Brown 1801-1863

...... Wives and 29 / 43 Children Photo Chart
...... Captain James Brown's Letters & Journal
...... Brown Family Memorabilia
...... Mormon Battalion 1846-1847
...... Brown's Fort ~ then Brownsville, Utah
...... Chronology of Captain James Brown

- Phebe Abbott Brown Fife 1831-1915

- Colonel William Nicol Fife - Stepfather 1831-1915


- James Brown of Rowan County, N.C. 1757-1823

- Mary Williams of Rowan County, N.C. 1760-1832

- Stephen Joseph Abbott of, PA 1804-1843

- Abigail Smith of Williamson, N.Y. 1806-1889

- John Fife of Tulliallan, Scotland 1807-1874

- Mary Meek Nicol, Carseridge, Scotland 1809-1850 


- Martha "Mattie" Diana Romney Brown 1870-1943

- Jane "Jennie" Bodily Galbraith Brown 1879-1944

- Elizabeth Graham MacDonald Webb Brown 1874-1904

- Eliza Skousen Brown Abbott Burk 1882-1958

- Angela Maria Gavaldón Brown 1919-1967


- (Martha) Carrie Brown (child) 1888-1890

- (Martha) Orson Pratt Brown, Jr. (child) 1890-1892

- (Martha) Ray Romney Brown 1892-1945

- (Martha) Clyde Romney Brown 1893-1948

- (Martha) Miles Romney Brown 1897-1974

- (Martha) Dewey B. Brown 1898-1954

- (Martha) Vera Brown Foster Liddell Ray 1901-1975

- (Martha) Anthony Morelos Brown 1904-1970

- (Martha) Phoebe Brown Chido Gardiner 1906-1973

- (Martha) Orson Juarez Brown 1908-1981

- (Jane) Ronald Galbraith Brown 1898-1969

- (Jane) Grant "Duke" Galbraith Brown 1899-1992

- (Jane) Martha Elizabeth Brown Leach Moore 1901-1972

- (Jane) Pratt Orson Galbraith Brown 1905-1960

- (Jane) William Galbraith Brown (child) 1905-1912

- (Jane) Thomas Patrick Porfirio Diaz Brown 1907-1978

- (Jane) Emma Jean Galbraith Brown Hamilton 1909-1980

- (Elizabeth) (New born female) Webb 1893-1893

- (Elizabeth) Elizabeth Webb Brown Jones 1895-1982

- (Elizabeth) Marguerite Webb Brown Shill 1897-1991

- (Elizabeth) Donald MacDonald Brown 1902-1971

- (Elizabeth) James Duncan Brown 1904-1943

- (Eliza) Gwen Skousen Brown Erickson Klein 1903-1991

- (Eliza) Anna Skousen Brown Petrie Encke 1905-2001

- (Eliza) Otis Pratt Skousen Brown 1907-1987

- (Eliza) Orson Erastus Skousen Brown (infant) 1909-1910

- (Eliza) Francisco Madera Skousen Brown 1911-1912

- (Eliza) Elizabeth Skousen Brown Howell 1914-1999

- (Angela) Silvestre Gustavo Brown 1919-

- (Angela) Bertha Erma Elizabeth Brown 1922-1979

- (Angela) Pauly Gabaldón Brown 1924-1998

- (Angela) Aaron Aron Saul Brown 1925

- (Angela) Mary Angela Brown Hayden Green 1927

- (Angela) Heber Jedediah Brown (infant) 1936-1936

- (Angela) Martha Gabaldón Brown Gardner 1940


- Stephen Abbott Brown 1851-1853

- Phoebe Adelaide Brown Snyder 1855-1930

- Cynthia Abigail Fife Layton 1867-1943

- (New born female) Fife 1870-1870

- (Toddler female) Fife 1871-1872


- (Martha Stephens) John Martin Brown 1824-1888

(Martha Stephens) Alexander Brown 1826-1910

(Martha Stephens) Jesse Stowell Brown 1828-1905

- (Martha Stephens) Nancy Brown Davis Sanford 1830-1895

(Martha Stephens) Daniel Brown 1832-1864

(Martha Stephens) James Moorhead Brown 1834-1924

(Martha Stephens) William Brown 1836-1904

(Martha Stephens) Benjamin Franklin Brown 1838-1863

(Martha Stephens) Moroni Brown 1838-1916

- (Susan Foutz) Alma Foutz Brown (infant) 1842-1842

- (Esther Jones) August Brown (infant) 1843-1843

- (Esther Jones) Augusta Brown (infant) 1843-1843

- (Esther Jones) Amasa Lyman Brown (infant) 1845-1845

- (Esther Jones) Alice D. Brown Leech 1846-1865

- (Esther Jones) Esther Ellen Brown Dee 1849-1893

- (Sarah Steadwell) James Harvey Brown 1846-1912

- (Mary McRee) George David Black 1841-1913

- (Mary McRee) Mary Eliza Brown Critchlow1847-1903

- (Mary McRee) Margaret Brown 1849-1855

- (Mary McRee) Mary Brown Edwards Leonard 1852-1930

- (Mary McRee) Joseph Smith Brown 1856-1903

- (Mary McRee) Josephine Vilate Brown Newman 1858-1917

- (Phebe Abbott) Stephen Abbott Brown (child) 1851-1853

- (Phebe Abbott) Phoebe Adelaide Brown 1855-1930

- (Cecelia Cornu) Charles David Brown 1856-1926

- (Cecelia Cornu) James Fredrick Brown 1859-1923

- (Lavinia Mitchell) Sarah Brown c. 1857-

- (Lavinia Mitchell) Augustus Hezekiah Brown c. 1859


- (Diane Davis) Sarah Jane Fife White 1855-1932

- (Diane Davis) William Wilson Fife 1857-1897

- (Diane Davis) Diana Fife Farr 1859-1904

- (Diane Davis) John Daniel Fife 1863-1944

- (Diane Davis) Walter Thompson Fife 1866-1827

- (Diane Davis) Agnes Ann "Aggie" Fife 1869-1891

- (Diane Davis ) Emma Fife (child) 1871-1874

- (Diane Davis) Robert Nicol Fife (infant) 1873-1874

- (Diane Davis) Barnard Fife (infant) 1881-1881

- (Cynthia Abbott) Mary Lucina Fife Hutchins 1868-1950

- (Cynthia Abbott) Child Fife (infant) 1869-1869

- (Cynthia Abbott) David Nicol Fife 1871-1924

- (Cynthia Abbott) Joseph Stephen Fife (child) 1873-1878

- (Cynthia Abbott) James Abbott Fife (infant) 1877-1878


- (Diana) Caroline Lambourne 18461979

- (Diana)  Miles Park Romney 1843-1904

- (Jane) Emma Sarah Bodily 1858-1935

- (Jane) William Wilkie Galbraith 1838-1898

- (Elizabeth) Alexander F. Macdonald 1825-1903

- (Elizabeth) Elizabeth Atkinson 1841-1922

- (Eliza) Anne Kirstine Hansen 1845-1916

- (Eliza) James Niels Skousen 1828-1912

- (Angela) Maria Durán de Holguin 1876-1955

- (Angela) José Tomás Gabaldón 1874-1915












Contact Us:
Orson Pratt Brown Family Organization
P.O. Box 980111
Park City, Utah 84098-0111