Mormon Battalion Journal

of

Levi Ward Hancock


Part 4


Feb. 7, 1847 to Oct. 14, 1847



Sunday 7th, 1847.     Met in the same room and Brother Tyler came in and he talked well to us and wanted to join in our meetings.  He spoke of the necessity of our being more united and thought what we had done would serve to unite us and humble us before the Lord.  Then repeated the same words that I did the night before and asked if that there was any who had ought against him and if there was, he wanted to know that he might repent of all the evil now.  Nothing against him.


I then told the people I wanted him and other elders that was in the room to help and we would have some meetings as the Colonel said we might have a meeting and soon there would be an end put to so much cursing and profane language.


Some other beast as usual and guard mounting.  It was said that we should drill after now every day and soon commenced drilling in many squads.  Captains, Lieutenants and the Adjutant was teaching the soldiers as the Colonel taught them. 


This evening I was invited to attend a prayer meeting at Brother Cox’s room, which I did and truly we had a good time.  Many spoke and that to the purpose after I had got through.  Meeting dismissed by Brother Cox before ‘Tattoo’. 


February 9th, 1847.     Brother St. John, one of the presidents, invited me into meeting where they was washing feet and anointing their joints as we had done and many confessed that they had felt the necessity of a reform in the Battalion and felt to turn to the Lord and forgive and seek forgiveness of the Lord and sin no more as they had done.  I spoke considerable to them and meeting adjourned to meet again and we went home.


10 day.     Brother Averett and I went to see the Pacific Ocean.   The wind blew cool from off the snow mountains which lay east about 120 miles off.  On some we saw snow in the air, but could see no land under.  In a clear day, the mountains may be seen more clear, but now as it is not quite so clear sky, nothing appears in sight, but the snow which looks like white clouds hanging in the air east, while down here all is green and pleasant as May.  The ocean looks no different than a lake that you cannot see across.  We saw no vessels, nothing but one wide water.  Not so pleasant as Lake Ontario for there was timber.  Here is none or but little timber and nothing to beautify the shores of the Pacific but mud houses which are built of unburned bricks in the ranches between the mountains.


But, man can live easy here for he has to cut no grass and raise no more grain than to make his bread, which is easy done after he has his farm fenced and houses built.  There is a plenty of feed here for all our cattle and sheep on the hills around and by herding a man may raise thousands of head of cattle and horses, but they are so independent that they soon become wild.


Our men have gone playing ball in the square which is one acre and 7.0 square rods of ground, 16 rods by 17 rods.  This evening I am invited into meeting again.


12 day, Friday, 1847.     Last night, I attended meeting and many spoke and after asked to be received as men who would reverence the name of God and use no more profane language and washed each others feet and anointed the joints to make them limber.  Drilling as before, with the addition of oblique step, then played ball.  Had some pleasant walks and retreats.


13 day.     All things as before done and drill being over, I sit down to record a dream that I had last night.


I found myself with my wife and I ran to her and she turned, and said I to her, “I have wanted to see you and now tell me, are you well?”  She said, “Yes.”  I told her I was sorry I had wrote her such a letter as I had and asked her if she forgive me.  She said, “Yes”.  I then kissed her.  She then stepped in a room and said that I was chosen to set the table and gave me to understand that I must be careful, for some would take the advantage of me and would turn what I did into evil.  I said, “Well then, they are basically wicked.”  “Yes,” said she.  “You must not...” and this is all I can remember.  “What is it?”  said I.  You must not....” said she.


I do not understand yet, although I knew at the time what she said.  I awoke and could remember nothing what it was that I must not do, but this is the first time I have had a dream about her that has satisfied me and I am not yet, nor shan’t be until I can find what she meant by the caution she gave me.  I pray that it may be revealed by another dream.


14 day.     ‘Reveille’ as before.  This morning, while at Guard Mounting, I saw Brother Borowman under guard.  As he had been once released, I asked what he was under guard for and it was said that it was a mistake when he was let go and they had arrested him for the old offense for getting asleep on guard a few days before.


I then came up to Brother Cox and Fosgren’s quarters and saw Brother Dikes and said he to me, “When are you going to have that meeting?”  I supposed he meant the meeting I mentioned of before how that when I got through I wanted meeting.  He said that some was for Brother Hyde.  I told him I wanted Brother Daniel Tyler to preach and Hyde to write and it was repeated and it was understood and agreed upon all around by many that Tyler speak. 


Said I, “Will not some of the officers speak to the Colonel and see if he will give permission”, as he had given me leave through Brother Cox to have some evening meetings.  He said, “I suppose that it belongs to Hunt to get permission”, and went and asked him to get permission for him to preach and then called on the people to turn out to hear. 


I thought I was used with perfect contempt and said if I can’t have my rights here, I shall have them sometime, and further said that if I had anything in contemplation and if I had any rights some men wanted the band would seek to take them from me and went after some wood for dinner with Brother Avery and others and concluded to let all go as it was and say nothing about it and have no feelings and let God judge between them and me.


15 day.     After ‘Reveille’ and other camp duties over, I went to see Brother James Miller, a man that was in our company moving from Nauvoo to the Bluffs.  Said he, “I had a dream about your wife.  I saw her and she was dressed the best I ever saw her in my life.  She looked young and fresh and had a cap on, trimmed off in the best of style.”  This I thought agreed with my dream when I thought she told me to ask.  I was chosen to prepare the table when she gave me the caution.


After I and Brother Avertte went to do some washing which when I returned, I found then I had faded all the white out, which caused some laugh among the soldiers.  I am invited to a meeting this evening with Brother Pettigrew. 


16 day.     Last night I attended a meeting and got Brother Hyde to write it, in which I asked leave if Brother could be heard next Sunday and I told the brethren that I felt that the Lord would bless him. 


This morning I was invited to go into the Catholic Church by Brother G. P. Dykes, which I did.  I passed first through a wide door into a beautiful garden where the peach tree was in full blossom.  Old leaves and young at the same time, just beginning to put forth their leaves.  This proves to me that peaches will grow in California and it is said apples will do the same.  Here grows the orange and Rose of Sharon and other things.  I do not yet know their names, but all help to beautify the garden. 


When this door is shut all is out of sight.  On each side of the walks is a wall with openings or passes in right angles from this beautiful place in stairs that go up outside of the temple and into a small room where there is a door which leads to the gallery, where I am told the choir sits on the top of a wall which serves for a railing as a cage which is made.  Fast out of this flew two owls.  These was handsomely painted and although its walls and architect(ure) is course, yet it looks well. 


I then returned back and in there was a pomegranate.  I then went out on the northeast corner of town and it being clear, I drew the hills and snow mountains lying between the points of east and west on the north side.  These lay between the points of north northwest and lay between here and the ocean.  I am invited to another meeting this evening.


17 day.     Drilling through the day.  Last evening at Rosacrant’s quarters, I was invited to speak.  I had good attention paid to every word.  The people was well pleased and I told them I was pleased to see that there had been so much good done since I first gave my mind to them concerning swearing.   I felt that they had done well and God would bless them and I hoped they would curse each other no more.


18 day, 1847.     ‘Reveille’ at sunrise and other orders obeyed.  I took a walk and had some conversation with some of my brethren.  I learned that some was offended because Brother Tyler was going to preach on Sunday and said that if he did, he would have to preach on the other side.


19 day.     Last night I attended meeting.  In it I exhorted the brethren to remember their covenants before the Lord and all that was in the room agreed to keep from taking the name of deity in vain and washed each others feet and anointed their joints to keep them limber and from cramp.  And since I done it, I have not been cramped in my legs since and it has done others good.  And this morning I, with some others, called upon to administer to some who was sick and there was good done.


The Battalion has drilled today as usual.  The music now drills one hour in each day by order of the Colonel.  We have had some beans come in camp today.  5 days rations.  Swearing has ceased or there is none before me.


20th day.     Drill as before.  Some ball playing.  Captain Davis chose me on his side. We came out even with the other side.


21 day.  Sunday.     Inspection of arms.  This day, Daniel Tyler preached and could not get on any other subject than the one I last spoke on.  He talked well and all appeared to be suited.


22 day.     Last night there was news of a fight near here between the Spaniards and Indians.  One Indian killed and others wounded.  The men are drilling now, 12 o’clock.


23 day.     Drilling as before.


24th day.     While drilling, I saw some sport with the cattle and Spaniards.  I saw men throw and catch a wild bull with a lariat and lead him to town and after this, I saw others do the same.  Our men is a manufacturing combs and shoes and forks and powder horns here daily. 


25     Drilling as before


26     Drilling.


27     The same.


28     I have heard that there has been a detail of some ten men out of the Battalion to go across the prairie desert to Colorado to fetch the wagons that is left behind and all are to act as poleas and clean up everything we have. 


March, Sunday the first--1847.     In the morning thick clouds cleared off.  ‘General Parade’ and ‘Inspection of Arms’.  Called ‘Musterday’. 


2 day.     Clear and muster and drill in squads as before.  Last night meetings was called by ‘Tattoo’ to see who wanted to go to Monterey and who not.


And while I was asleep, I dreamed that I saw many of our people and all the disaffected ones, I saw in a house a little way off.  I said to Mr. Andrew Lytle, “Let us go down there.”  We went in and I saw my brother Joseph’s wife and all hands making merry and there was dancing and talking much.  I saw Samuel Alger there and many that I knew and they wanted to hear from me.  I then told them that they was in an error and that I would not join them and I knew that they would be sorry sometime for what they was doing and saying and I knew that the Kingdom was organized according [to] the will of Heaven.  “Yes, you know many things.  You always know everything,” said my brother’s wife. 


And there began to be a great rebel[ion] in the house.  I said to Brother Lytle, “Let us go.”  We went out and I soon found myself with another company and Brother Hunt was at the head and he had with him a man who once was an apostate in Missouri and turned against the Church, but after come back.  And he took up a trumpet to blow a tune, pretending to be happy and could make no noise and put his mouth under the hole and tried to sing and he made a wonderful noise, but could make no tune.  “That is a good man,” said Hunt and called to one man by the name of Allred, who belongs to the Church and is at the Bluffs and said, “Weigh that man out 100 pounds of flour.”  And all around him there was men stood and had born the burden and heat of the day, that he never noticed.  And I stood by him in his sight as a cipher.  I looked at the countenances of my brethren and saw they loved me and I took courage. 


3 day.     Morning.  I went to see the inside of the Roman Church and a map and will mention about a funeral, which took place in this house.  I first heard the bells ring in the tower which was ingeniously done by the Spaniards.  I turned and went in and I saw the Indians all, or nearly all, kneeled down and looking at some images in a curious apartment at the other end of the room which is ten paces across and I should suppose about one hundred long, 15 high.  Arched painted rough, but (at) a short distance looks well.


These creatures remained on their knees until the bells ceased tolling and then arose and [went] to the child and went to pray and then the bells began to toll again.  And all the noises of the bells and Indians together made a curious sound.  As soon as the bell had done tolling again, the corpse of the young child was taken and put on a bier and carried in to a burying yard back and on the east side of the temple and then come the mourners and some Indians laid the corpse in the grave and commenced burying it.  The bell again tolled and the mourners howled like as if their hearts was nearly broke with grief.  I then heard that about three hours before it had been bit by a rattle snake, said to be 9 feet long, other say five.


Last night I dreamed I was at home with my wife and all was well.  I have been up in the steeple and saw the bells.


March 4, 1847.     Drill being over, I sit down to write.  Morning clear after the fog went off, which usually goes at about 9 o’clock.


Here is a muskeet.  A growing the root and a part of the leaf is used for making whiskey.  This is baked and is almost as good as candy when it is well done.


5 day.     Drilling as before.


6     Drilling


7     Drilling.  Rained here and turned cold.  Snow on the mountains.


8     Cold.  Drills every day.  Cold breezes.


9 day.     Some talk of leaving soon.


10 day.     Clear and pleasant.


11     Warm.  Snow is going off the mountains.


12     Warm and still the drilling is kept up and parades about every two or three days.


13     Still pleasant


14     This day went with many others to the ocean.  There I took some pleasure, it being warm and pleasant.  And for the first time, I saw the bones of a whale.  Many went in and bathed themselves, but did not stay in long.  The water was so cold while I stood on the beach viewing the waves and seeing men rolling over them.  I saw at the distance of about 2 miles, something standing erect which looked black about 12 feet out of water, then out again and again until I saw it about 8 or 10 times.  I also saw others.  Some said they was whales, other say not.  Some say they are black fish about 40 feet in length. 


Just as we thought of turning to the fort, I looked and saw a vessel moving out to sea, bearing a little to the north and when we ascended the hill, I saw two more which appeared to be laying at anchor.  Then returned to the fort and heard that General Kearny was appointed Governor of California and Colonel Cook had command of the army.


15 day.     One company was ordered to S. Diego and marched at 9 o’clock.


17 day.     Our men came home who had been sent with Lieutenant Thompson back to Colorado (River) after wagons that we left behind.  All [the wagons] save one had been burned by Flores, the Spaniard leader against the Americans.  He has gone to Sonora.  Lost all his horses on the desert.  50 men deserted him at Colorado.


I understand that Warner living at the hot springs is a traitor or supposed to be and told what wagons to burn and what ones not to burn, as he had agreed for one or two and told where they stood.  One he had got home.  Out of seven left behind, one was left.  I understand that he tried to lead a party of Americans into an ambush to shoot him down if he, Warner, should attempt to go off.


This day heard that the Colonel had written to General Kearny and had given the Mormon Battalion a good name and it was said that Captain Turner said that General Kearny thought more of the Mormon Battalion than he did of all the rest of the troops and infantry in California and that he was doing all he could for us and the convenience of the Church and any thing that was wanted of us would be granted.  Also, that we have a chance of working for extra pay. 


17 day.     It is said that day after tomorrow we are divided again and part sent to Pueblo. 


18 day.     I marked out St. Lewis front.


19 day.     Friday.  We left for Pueblo.  Made 23 miles apart.  Camped on the sea shore at the mouth of a small creek.


20 day.     Marched at 7 and on the sea coast, some times in the edge of the water.  Saw many seals and porpoises, which made a curious show.  High bluffs for many miles.  This day made 20 miles.  The men feet sore and blistered for many had no shoes nor clothes and still they was ordered to keep up.  Camped on the bottoms near a small stream of water.


21 day.     Marched at 7 through the bottoms and over many small streams and wet places and made 20 miles and camped on the sand near water making down from the mountains.


22 day.     Marched at 7.  Pull over much good land today, yesterday and day before.  Camped near the battle ground on Rio St. Gabriel.  Made 20 miles.


23 day.     Marched at 7 over some good land, then passed over some hills.  Came in sight of Pueblo.   Marched into town and back about one mile, making 11 miles traveled.  Camped on the bank of a creek that empties in the one we passed over.


24     Continued in camp to rest and walked out into town and back.  Went into the temple (Catholic Mission).  Many of the Mormons got drunk.


25     Went over to town and saw the order of Colonel Cook executed in killing dogs.  Said to be as many as 50 killed.  Went into the temple again.


26     Rested


27 day.     Moved up the river one mile.  Later -- oyoh Rio.


28     Went last night to town.  Drank a glass of wine made of grapes. 


29     Rested half the day.  Drills commence now.  I have heard just now that the dragoons have killed 4 Indians since they went out.  Two of them are wounded.  These 4 whipped them once, then retreated to the prickly pear and there was surrounded by the Dragoons and killed.  They chose to die rather than give up. 


29     Drills


30     The same.


31     The same.


April 1st.     Drills.  It is said that (General John C.) Freemont has returned from Ontera and still claims to be Governor. 


2     Some newspapers have come from Montera printed by (Samuel) Branon.


3 day.     Nothing more than calm on Sunday.


4     Was pleasant.


At night, Brother Tyler gave us a lecture, short but good, in which he said that he had a desire to honor the Priesthood and felt to respect it and spoke of Ephraim, the first born.  I then spoke a short time and gave way.  Captain Hunt then spoke and said that he called on the officers of the Battalion to call on the Elders and also to preach themselves, for it was strictly charged them to take all the leads of meetings.


And now as I have said before, so I say now.  You are the men who the Twelve charged to be fathers to the Battalion and we must see to it.  A poor short sighted creature he, nor no other man ever got the right of presiding over men called to be Seventies in the Priesthood and I am bold to say there is no such a thing can exist and if he or any other officer has been called to be father for one year to those whom I am called to preside, they at the end of the year shall be heard.  If my voice in the Council is heard.  I have seen their labor and patience in the Kingdom and in this mission.  


Was introduced to our officers.  Orders us on parade at 9 o’clock tomorrow morning.


April, Monday 5, 184(7).     Nothing of importance occurred save the Indians appear to be very friendly to the Mormons.  They, the Mormons wayno, the Dragoons little wayno.  Freemont’s men march a mile.


6 day.     Drills every day.


7     Drills.  Some visitors came in camp.


8     The same.


9     The same.  Some of our men drink too much liquor


10     Drills


11     Same


12     Company C was sent to pass about 50 miles east to guard it as the Indians come in there and are continually murdering the Spaniards.  At evening, the small company under 6 men come in from St. Lewis Mission, much rejoicing. 


12 day.     Brother Lytle got a blanket from a Spaniard that an Indian had sold to him belonging to Lytle.  Many in the Battalion wants to be discharged.  I signed a petition requesting the same and said at the time I did not feel that it would be heard or amount to anything.  I signed it some days ago. 


Twentieth of April.     We still continue in our camp.  One mile above the city of Nigils [Angels?] on the river bank.  Not so many drills.


13     Night before last I dreamed that I was at home with my family.  I do not remember that I saw all, but I saw my oldest son and I stood in a new house.  A window cut out, but no glass.  I saw a panther looking at him and desired to catch him.  The boy was busy and did not see him.  I called for a pitch fork and could find none.  I then thought that I would fight him without anything.  I made an exertion to get hold of an ax or something and hollered and he left and I saved my son...


I’m lonesome since I left the Bluffs

and warring it doth tire me

From home I have been long enough

without my children by me 


My loving friends I wish to see

and wife I love so dearly

I wish the day and hour to see

I’d welcome it most freely


When I considered how I was

enjoying life and pleasure

And mob law was the only cause

that did destroy my treasure.


There I had houses and had land

and ways to live a plenty

And soon would had enough on hand

of all the earthly dainties


My soul is vexed and often I

almost am lost and wonder,

I wonder what the reason why

the mob is and to plunder


And vex my soul from time to time

when I would be clever

and are not punished for their crimes

forget them, I shall never.



Men will not work, yet the Mormons have to or it is called rebellion.  And that without pay too.



[LN Note:  This part of Levi’s journal has the pages mixed up and I have inserted this portion of the manuscript into this spot as I believe this is where it fits.]


15 day.     Drills.  Last night, I heard that the Indians said that some of our men had been making free with the squaws at San Lewis Mission and laid it to Lieutenant Omen and he confessed that he had kissed them and nothing further.


Heavy fog every morning, which rises from the sea and makes into clouds on the first mountains, which are half the time in the clouds.  Sometimes they are seen above and makes them look high. 


A man by the name of Shepherd was ordered to be tied over a stack of guns by Lieutenant Clark.  Said to be contrary to law.  He was a Corporal.  Done day before yesterday. 



We now have reached old St. Diego

and near the ocean shore

Never do we wish to see

those plains we have passed o’er


We viewed a while the towns and rays

where many grapevines grow

Also the ocean seas and bays

where the sea breezes blow


But our Colonel not yet content

to let us rest, must go

And build a fort for government

up to old Pueblo


And here we worked for many days

drilled and with powder blowed

And not a cent of money make

to purchase us more clothes


The soldiers now feel very well

their year is nearly o’er

And say they’ll see some men in Hell

before they serve them more.


They’ll serve their time, then make a break

and leave the ocean shore

And meet their brethren near Salt Lake

or cross once more.


Our monthly wages it will take

to fit us out to go

We do it for our Country’s sake

and show to fools we’re true


All men we hope will be content

and trouble us no more.

We’ve proved we’re friends (to the) government

through to the ocean shore


We’ll wear our rags and dress in skins

for we can do no more.

And let alone (the) settlers things

to buy them we’re too poor...




16 day.  Morning.     ‘Reveille’ as usual at daybreak.  Some fears entertained respecting some mules being marked with a horseshoe. 


Vapors [visions] of Levi W. Hancock near Hurricane Hill       [LN Note: Hurricane Hill was the place where the Battalion encountered a tornado type storm on the plains before they arrived at Santa Fe.]


While on the way to Santa Fe, as I was in a deep study, I saw the following curious vapors pass before my eyes.  First was the whole family of man, as I supposed by the innumerable host which was present before me.  This host, which I could not number nor imagine how many, perished by a rot which commenced and brought them all to a jelly matter and then to a dirty, nasty, filthy, warty substance and soon became so as to run like water. 


I looked and beheld a great maelstrom and this matter poured down in the earth until it all ran off the earth and the land shut up and the awful ocean was hid from my presence.  I then said to myself, “Now is a good time for the Sons of God to rest, for the earth is cleansed from all filth and the land is clean and there is no one to molest the Saints.”


I then cast my eyes to the right and saw a beast of about six rods off and before him as he faced the east was a cloud black and small and from his left hand reached out with a dirty filthy piece of meat between his thumbs and fingers.  The east which was in the shape of a Santa Fe million [millipede] and about twenty feet in length, crawled along and took hold of the meat and sucked it down as if it tasted good.


The hand then swelled and the thumb first burst open, then the fingers vanished.  The beast did the same.  I though there was something which appeared to speak with a small voice which said, this is the hand that oppressed thy brethren.


I then cast my eyes to the left and saw that I was on the east and to the right of a veil which appeared to be let down from the skies in open space, being white and thin.  Through it I could discover men walking.  The same small whisper said, “These are the Twelve and the Authorities of the Church.” 


Some of them stepped to the veil and reached their hands through some holes and in their hands was many ribs which was covered with a dirty caren [carrion?] meat and from the east there came another beast like the first and gathered these ribs into his mouth and pulled.  The men also pulled and soon the meat came off and left the ribs as white as a new pipe stove and the ends of the ribs blazed up as lamps.  I said to myself, “I then know what the ribs are.  The beast that clothed them with that filth has got the same back again and the ribs are lit with the lamp and the Spirit of God.” 


My attention then was turned to a loud crying of some men for want of water.  I turned my eyes and saw some men who I think [I] knew well, but could not recollect who they were.  Afterwards they looked filled with horror and miserably poor.  Some of my brethren ran and got shovels and went to digging and soon come to water.  It boiled up clear.  Soon there was a bucket brought and Mr. Gully dipped up a pail full and placed it before one man and told him to drink water.  Said he, “Why?”  “Here is water,” said Gully.  “I know it,” said the thirsty man.  “But by Gaul, I cannot drink.”  I pitied him and said I do hope he can get so as to drink soon.  I know the one who wanted, but could not. 


17 day.     I found that it was dangerous for me to say anything as council opened.  One of the Presidents of the Seventies, St. John said that he would call the Seventies together and tell them that there must be a council and go against this marking of mules, which he did and all agreed to put it down if they could.


Sunday, 18.     The Seventies was called together.  7 Presidents.  St. John presided.  John Allen was cut off from the Church for his threatening to take life, swearing and continually getting drunk.  All those was to be disfellowshipped who had been with the women and defiled themselves, or had marked  [branded] mules or horses as his own and would not repent and turn them over to their proper place that evil might be put out of the Church.  William Earl was clerk. 


Monday 19.     The Colonel with Lieutenant Stoneman came to the camp and called for all the mules, both public and private, to be brought up and then countermanded until 4 o’clock in the afternoon.


[LN Notes:  More passages have been readjusted here to fit into their proper order]


21     Soldiers rest all they want.  Have become more steady.


22     Good times.


23     Orders from Lieutenant Pace to go to the mountain.  Had a letter which informed me that Lieutenant Rosy Craunts with the Company would be back here on the 19, by order of the Colonel.  Lieutenant Pace started and soon was ordered back.  A part of his men put under guard for taking their own animals, mules to ride.  The mules ordered to be sold tomorrow.  No mules nor hoses to be owned by privates.  Battalion moved on the river below town.  Runners say the Spaniards are gathering to surprise us in the night and spike the cannons. 


24     Company A was paid 42 dollars on six months pay.  I have a bad headache.


25 day.  Sunday.     I have learned that the Catholics will not allow any trading today.  Therefore the Colonel will not pay the other companies till tomorrow, but Mormons must work whether they will or not. 


This afternoon, there was a number of Spaniards came into camp and had a sham fight.  It [was] truly surprising to watch them use the lariat.  They will throw it over each other and run with the horse and haul each other off.  I saw one man haul one off so quick that I was afraid that he was nearly killed.  But, he was so quick that he loosed the lasso before it hurt him. 


26 day.     Our company was paid.  I received $48 and then we moved on the ground where we was commanded to build a fort a little north of town.  A beautiful place it is.  At one glance of the eye I can see the whole place. 


  1. 27.     Rested.


28 day.     Last night some of our men played cards all night and one of the privates was ordered to work on extra work and one of the Lieutenants, Omen, played with him and I went out and told the hands that I had come out to pay for the sins of Omen and went to work.  I thought he had ought to pay as much as the private as he was a presider and a Presiding Elder too.  He soon heard of it and come and worked with the privates.  Rosacrants has now come in and Pace too.  By order of the Colonel. 


29     Last night an Indian stole some cartridges and was put under guard.  I am told that some of the Mormons have played cards last night.  A pleasant day it is.  We have not yet any rains of any account.  Heavy dews every night.


30 day.     It is said that the Spaniards are calculating to make a fandango and invite our officers to it and then fall on the Mormons and destroy us.  Some of Quesnant’s men are engaged in it, but we do not fear them.


Our men are busily engaged to work on the fort.  There has just come in town about thirty men called New York Volunteers.  They bring news that Mexico is taken and the war is over.  They have brought much ammunition with them.  They say that they will not work on the forts without pay.  And it is said that Kearny, not Freemont’s...


[LN Note:  This is the end of the inserted portion from another part of the journal.]



May first, 1847.     Orders have come that each command has to work four days a piece alternately until the fort is done.


2 day.  Sunday.     Last night we had a meeting.  Father Pettigrew talked to the people and warned them against swearing and all profanity.  I closed by prayer.  Men are still working on the fort.


3 day.     The Adjutant says that the Colonel says our shoe makers must not work for anyone, only the Battalion.  That all those who are not to work on the fort must drill.  All hands are now drilling, who are not to work.


4 day, May.     Work on the fort.


5 day.     Work.  No drilling


6 day.     Work.


7     Work.


8 day.     Heard the General is coming


9.     Heard he had (to) go to St. Diego, but he is expected here soon.


Twenty-four cannon shot.  The General has come and soon visits the Mormon Battalion.


On the 9 day of May, Lieutenant Thompson with 20 men went to the mountains and killed six Indians.  None of our men killed, but two wounded. 


[LN Note:  The following section/pages were out of their proper place, but inserted here as I believe this is where they belong.]


10 day.     Monday.  9 o’clock, the ‘Assembly’ was beat.  The General came and inspected the Battalion and then praised the men and said that we was the men that had done more than Napoleon had done.  And said he, “You have fought your way through to this place and I will give you a good name at Washington.”  He then wanted Captain Hunt to give a statement of what we wanted and he attempted to do it, but made out nothing and desired to meet him alone. 


11 day.     Last night, some men was called for to go to the States.  The offer was made to me.  I excepted it and immediately I felt a darkness of mind and I then said I will not go and gave my place to another man.  In the night I have a good dread.  I saw myself with my woman and she presented me with a child.  Said I,  “Let me see the little tot.  I cannot stay five minutes.” and awoke. 


12 day.     We now have better times.   A plenty to eat.  Old Yahoo, the Colonel, is going to the States and I think we will fare well now we have had to live a long time on half rations, then reduced to one third, then guts and hide of beasts and there no part of a bull but what was eat.  Wild bulls at that and some as old as the hills and as tough as white leather, even the hoofs of animals was eat. 


Those who are going back with Kearny are fixing to go as fast as possible to go.  Start tomorrow.  All are glad because I am not going.  They call me, “Chief”.


I now have to record what I heard of our Colonel.  Some of the regulars went out to train and the Lieutenant was at their head all being on horseback.  “Now follow your leader,” said the Colonel.  “If he goes to Hell.”  Soon the Lieutenant’s horse is frightened and ran.  He could not stop him and all ran after him and left the Colonel.  “Go to Hell,” said he.  “And I’ll go home.”   Next day the Colonel called on the men and asked them what they done so for.  Said the soldiers, “You said to follow him if he went to Hell.”  “Oh yes, yes.” said the Colonel. “You are right.” 


13 day.     Our men started under the bugler to Montera.  Some men with Kearny, by water.  We have liberty to buy horses if we do not encumber ourselves too much.


14 day.     Some horses bought.  Work on the fort is going on.  15 more horses bought.  Work on the fort is going slow. 


15     I understand that tomorrow the regulars have to work on the fort.  More horses bought.


17     A considerable fuss to make.  The regulars work.  Many are under guard and tied.  One man gagged and tied.  More horses bought.


18 day.     Worked on the fort.


19     The same.  Buying horses.


20     The same.


21     The same.  No hopes of any pay for work.


22-31     All passed away without anything worth noting, save I had a ride out a few miles for the first time.


June 1st-13.     Passed away in which I bought some horses and mares to fit me out for the journey home.  This day, turned one horse back to the man I bought off.  I found he was old.  I have now only three.  Yesterday, I had a talk with Captain of the Indians.  He says that (he) will meet us on our route.


[LN Note:  This is the end of this inserted segment.  We now return to a continuation of his journal in proper order.]


Horned cattle -- 25,000.  Statement of the condition of St. Lewis Mission in 1831.  Sheep -- 25,500.  Goats -- 12,000.  Horses -- 2,150.  Mules -- 250.  Wheat sown -- 700 bush, Bush crop -- 40,000 bush.  Barley -- 450 (sown), Crops -- 3000.  Corn -- 45 crops.  42,000 bush.  Beans -- 25 sown, Crops -- 500.  Male Indians -- 1493.  Female -- 1326. Thirty miles square.  Seven mission as above, 150 miles square.  $8,400.00 first quarter.  Mexican war General Gessup. 


The Indians are friendly and many want to go with us. They say that the Mormons are wayno.  Colonel Cook has ordered all who are among us to go back to San Lewis and they say they do not want to go. They are afraid of the Spaniards. 


[LN Note:  This entry for the 14th and 15th was found elsewhere but was for June and so is inserted here.] 


14 day, June.     Fort plat.  39 paces northeast from the gateway which is 10, then north and south -- 39, then east -- 11, then north and south -- 40, then east -- 11.  The southeast -- 26, then east -- 11, then north northeast -- 33, then north northwest -- 9, then north northeast -- 32, then east southeast -- 11, then north northeast -- 40, then north -- 5, then northwest -- 25, then north northeast -- 15, then west southwest -- 48, then north northwest -- 10 to the place of beginning.  Width of the ditch is 10 feet 6 deep.  This Rio runs north and south through town.  The flats are about one mile wide below it is wider.  The water soon looses itself in the ground below town. 


This day at 5 o’clock, Poll at ‘Retreat’.  The sentence of John Allen was read and carried into execution by the order of the General at Montira (Monterey).  His head was half shaved and drummed out of town under the tune of ‘Rogues March’.  Drove across the Rio and ordered not to return.  If he did, he was to be put in irons and put in the calaboos and kept during the war. 


15 day.     Work on fort.  Sometimes we look from mountain tops and cast our eyes below and see the town and crops around that in the valley grows.  [LN Note: End of insertion.] 


18 day.     Still working on the fort


19     The same.  Some buying horses.


20     The same.  And work on a liberty pole.  Some gone to work and have been for some time for Williams in the wheat field.


21     The same.  Made some poetry.


22     Work on the pole.


23     Same.


24     I was sick.


25     High fever all night.


26     Sought out some physic.  Could get none.


27     Still sick.


28     The same.


29     Better.


30     Still better.  Sought to get some salts.  Could get none unless I would come on sick report.  I will not. 


July first.     Liberty pole raised.  A white ball [LN: Fire ball?} came from toward Montera and passed over the pole.  Seen by several. 


2     Friday.  Rest and wash clothes. 


The 10 of July has come and what there has passed I cannot tell, only there has been a great struggle for power and to get us enlisted again.  I said I would not stand and many others say the same.   Such cruelty on soldiers I never saw.  Men chained and a ball hung to them and to wear it for 6, 8, or 10 months, gaged and imprisoned. 


17     No money drawed yet.


18     Drawed


19     The same


20     Moved.  My mares are lost.


21     Looking [for] provisions. 


July 23     Started from our camp, 3 miles north of Pueblo.  Same day, many horses broke loose.  Some not found.  Six miles this day.  Went further.  Very much scattered.  Agreed to meet at the ranch of the arcaldres and there gather. 


24     Went to Pecoes Ranch and found many more and camped.  Good water here.


[LN Note:  Levi didn’t know it at this time, but on this day, Brigham Young led the advanced party of Saints into the Salt Lake Valley in Utah.  Levi’s own family was still back in Council Bluffs preparing to immigrate.  Levi and a large group of recently discharged Mormon Battalion soldiers are preparing to begin their march from southern California to the Salt Lake Valley.]


25     Passed over the first mountain which was 9 miles from camp last night and at the head of a canyon.  The pass left of here is said to be worse then this.  After we had got to the top of what is seen, we had gained the summit.  Then turned to the east and went down into another canyon.  While on the top the sea breezes blew cool and good.  We followed down an easterly course and come to the ranch of the trealdies.  A beautiful stream.  It is one with two branches.  Our men we found camped on them both.  One company behind yet. 


26 day     Bought our cattle, which cost us two dollars a piece.  Cattle six a piece. 


27 day     20 men called upon to drive them which we found to be hard.  We went about 2 miles and found another canyon and followed it up 9 miles from last camp.  Came to a mountain and crossed over and in a hollow on the top, we found timber and water.  A good camp it made. 


27     Marched on through a hollow which went out northeast and went winding through the tops of the mountain and here we found timber land.  We followed the trail, which must be many hundred (years) old.  Wore down in some places 3 and 4 feet. Crossed over high peaks and down in hollows.  Sometimes the path not more than one foot wide on the side of the mountain where, if the horse had fell it would have dashed him to death.  Sometimes on both sides it was so steep no creature of cattle kind could stand, but we thought, if Freemont had been there, we could. 


Lost 9 cattle.  They were very wild and would charge on any man who was in their way.  Some was shot and part saved after and brought in here. 


Met Russel Brownal and James Miller.  Came up and told us that the other Company was behind coming and would be able to catch us in one or two days, which caused us to rejoice much and we have peace now.  No swearing and cursing each other.  All are trying to do as well as they can.  Brownal went back to inform the men where we are. 


Many deer seen today.  Said to be small.


Last night a grizzly bear come to our camp and we drove him off.  Our horses was much frightened and had have like to break loose all around.  We was glad to have him leave. 


The water that is found here is salt in the scuttle.  The timber is mostly willow in these valleys, some oak, cottonwood, sycamore.  Seen two beech trees.  Camped here.  Good timber here and water to do for us and animals by waiting patiently. 


28 day.     Mountains on each side.  I think we should have trouble if we had not run.  Made 12 miles today. 


29 day     We left our camp on the mountain in a beautiful valley and took up another canyon coming in from the northeast and crossed over another mountain continuously ascending, going sometimes on the tops and continued on the sides of the mountains winding our way passing through valleys.  And we today have passed through some good timber on the hills beside of the dry beds of the creeks.  The roads is narrow sometimes not over one foot wide on the side hills.  There is a considerable variety of timber in these mountains.  Some hemlock we have seen on our route here.  No timber like the timber in the States.  The leaves are smaller.  Cedar is the most natural. 


After we passed into the other canyon, the 29 day, we found a stream of water running from the east and turning to the northwest and winding through the mountains towards the sea.  We went up it for about one mile and it turned to the northeast and went crooking around until we took another turn, nearly northwest and at once we come up to the foot of a mountain and looked as if we could go no farther. 


But, all at once, we saw a light cast and we saw that the stream come from between the mountains from the east.  We turned and went about one mile and it took another turn and come from the northeast.  One valley come in from the east.  We journeyed northeast and ascended the stream until we came to what used to be called the hot springs three years ago, but now are cold and we have traveled over the worst kind of road between the mountains and over rocks and between them they tear our horses hooves to pieces.  The worst going I ever saw.


We have now camped and have good feed and water.  This day made 12 miles and the council is to kill all the cattle tomorrow and dry [the meat].


Friday 30     This morning our cattle has been killed and we lay by to dry beef.  About one o’clock, I went up on the top of a mountain and drew a map of the canyon we passed and ahead I could see our road for a long distance ahead.  I looked up the hollow on the left and northwest I saw a large smoke.  I suppose built by the Indians.  Our men have all come in while I was on the mountains.  Our course is through the valley.  In two days we can get to the Beelelary Valley. 


31 day     Our pioneers have gone ahead to find water and a road with the Indian guide.  We are drying beef.  Calculating to move on tomorrow. 


August first, 1847.     This morning we packed up our beef and started on our journey.  Made 15 miles.  Crossed over some small hills,  From last night’s camp we moved north for about 2 miles and turned over a hill a diagonal course into a valley or branch of the same we started.  In here is the hill we passed over and road up this branch runs nearly northwest.


After we had gone down on over the hill, I met two Indians and bought a “gawah” or mare, and continued northwest for about 3 miles and crossed over another small hill and went down into a very low valley.  On the north was a high mountain about 3 miles ahead.  We turned east and still went down and come to a lake, or near one as it looked and it was as white as flour.  I cannot tell whether it was dry salt or what it was.  We turned north before we got to it and continued down and passed much timber and beautiful land and grass bottoms about one mile wide and soon we descended further down and come to a beautiful spring and woods.


Very large timber.  One tree measured 25 feet around.  Another close by, had a split-off on it with a Catholic Cross.  “Peter Lebeck killed by a bear October 17, 1837.”  His grave was by the tree.  Our pioneers stayed here last night and we found a plenty of fire.  I see on the hill, east of here about a half mile, 4 antelope. 


August 2, 1847.     This morning we took an early start and went out of this beautiful valley into another canyon and following it down continually, descending about northwest course following a beautiful stream of water big enough to carry a mill and good wood all down for about six miles and came out in the Tularry Valley.  And we have had [to] crook about some in the canyon and cross the stream several times. 


After we came into Tularry Valley, turned about north and traveled about 14 miles and found that the Rio was so high we could not cross and turned and took about an east course and traveled six miles and camped north northwest from the mouth of the canyon we came out of today. 


3 day.     This day, an Indian came in camp and others came.  Some are going for guides.  We have traveled north today.  We see the canyon we came out of and here is the picture below.


We now have camped and from now have to travel a north northwest course.  Made twelve miles today along by the King’s River or Rio Ra.   There is an Indian’s hut here.  We crooked about a considerable today.  There is many fish in these waters. 


Last night the Indian, Arcalda, came into camp and he said that we was the best people that ever passed this way.  We made him some presents.


Wednesday, 4th.     We traveled about north northeast 8 miles and crossed the river.  The horses had to swim until another ford was found a little below that crossed or more half mile.  We camped on the river.  Some timber here for fire.  Many flags, poplar trees, cottonwood.  It is a beautiful country.  Water enough to water the whole country.


This Tularry tribe of Indians have three thousand warriors and many old men they consider too old to fight. They often fall on the Spaniards and fight them, it is said.  This is the tribe that Lieutenant Thompson fought by order of Colonel Cook, Lieutenant Colonel of the Mormon Battalion. 


Thursday, 5.     We started early from our camp on the Rio Ra or King River and had a considerable brush and timber and came out on a place and took up a canyon or dry hollow and passed over a high hill at the head and then went down another, crooking around between the lofty hills and narrow path on the bottom of a dry stream.  No timber for a long way of any kind until we came down very low and saw timber still lower down and soon we came to it and found, down the stream running to our right and to the east, a hole of water.


Here we had thought to stay and refresh ourselves and animals, but the pioneers went ahead and to water all of our beasts would have took till night.  We continued our journey and traveled as we had 12 miles back, a northeast course.  The same we continued until we made 28 [miles] and camped in a hollow near, or in sight of, a high mountain east of us about 4 miles. 


We passed a good deal of timber and through among the large oaks for Mountain Oak.  In the valleys grows the cottonwood and poplar.  Seen one buckeye tree.  Northeast course all day.  Our road was crooked and this afternoon we come over and some big hills.  Poor feed and water tonight. 


6th day.     Crossed around and over hills, very large and down in deep hollows.  Then up and down dry beds where water once ran.  In about 7 miles came down here as steep as 45 degrees in some places.  We came down another not so bad.  We soon found a little water.  No grass.  Soon found grass and no water.  Soon found good water and wood and grass.  Last night, dug for water in many places.  This stream runs some.  Traveled about north by east today.  This day made 10 miles. 


7 day.     Traveled about north and winding in the valleys and on the tops of the high hills many of the valleys had large trees and many grew on the hills.  We traveled about 16 miles and descended into another valley, which looked almost as looking from the clouds and found a plenty of timber and feed and water, though it is in holes. 


We here left 20 men yet behind who have not got in yet.  We have not seen them since yesterday morning.  The low valleys have good land, but no water to use.  I have put down the hill that we came over today and course of the road and creek.  Timber here and a beautiful country it is. 


8 day.     The pilots went and got in some Indians to pilot us over the mountains.  They appear to be naked all but a breach cloth.  They fetched in some deer skins and traded some. 


Last night I dreamed that Dimic Huntington come in camp and said, “Go ahead.  All is right.”  He was on horseback.


Made 6 miles today and camped on a beautiful stream that we have ascended about 2 miles from north of east.  Nights camp had to come hills today to get to this creek.  Good fish in this stream which runs about northwest. 


9 day.     Traveled 25 miles northwest direction over many hills and passed a little water under some rocks and this side of the hill some 4 miles.  Found some more under a tree at our right.  We are on a beautiful stream.  A plenty of water.  Deep and running stream.  Crooked around as before in valleys and on ridges and up and down the hills.


10 day.     Made 8 miles.  We was detained on the banks of this stream a long time.  To get over our men made a raft and crossed our baggage.  Swam our horses and mules.  We come over a few hills and descended onto the bottoms and a beautiful country it is.  Well timbered and thousands of water. 


11 day.     Made 28 miles north northwest course without water.  No pilot across the level bottoms.  Many suffered for water.  All did not get through until the next day.  Many come in the night.  The straightest course we have made.  Water was sent back to the men behind.  We have a camp.  Plenty of water and feed some. 


Have gone back to get one man who got hurt last night.  The old man, Clark.  Last night the Indians brought in some roots for us.  We gave them some beef in exchanges.  Very friendly. 


12 day.     Rested while our pioneers went to search out a route.  Our men, some of them went out to see the river which they found to be about six rods wide.  A beautiful place it is here.  The Indians were a frighten(ed) and ran with their women and children.  Our men disturbed nothing. 


13 day.     Last night, some men came in.  Said that they had found a camping place about 10 miles off.  Today made ten miles.  We have learned we are right. 


I dreamed last night that there was a man in camp and said that our men that we sent out was returning back and that we could pass.  I asked him if we could pass.  He said, Yes.  But it will take some work and it is not the place you intended to go.  Said I, “Then let us call it the ‘Mormon Pass’.”  “Yes,” said he and there is one below that has the name of “Sergeant” or “Surgeon”.


I then awoke and told Andrew Lytle.


14 day.  Saturday.     Yesterday we went to the mountains and tried to cross, but in vain.  And we will call this the pass and hope that no man may try to go over again until much work is done.  And we found that we had to work to pass the river.  We came down about 5 miles and crossed over in two places and continued down about 3 miles further and camped.


Many Indians came in.  We found that they was at war with the Ute Indians.  When they are at war with any tribe, they take away all their standing monuments which are peeled poles and painted like barber poles.  They are religious here and have many dances.  We told them that we was friends to the Indians and loved them and did not want to hurt them.  We spoke by an interpreter.  An Indian who could talk a little Spanish.  They said we could lay down and sleep in peace and not be disturbed.  They then sang and danced and one had the power as Methodist does at their camp meetings.  Then tried to exhort us.  I never saw so fine Indians before.


This Rio runs from the northeast to here and to the southwest below.


15 day.  Sunday.     We left the Rio Sangoquin [San Juaquin] and journeyed northwest up near the hills.  Below the foot of the mountains and in 12 miles, made water by digging in the sand at the bottom of a creek.  The pioneers went with all speed to a mountain and looked at the northwest and they thought in about the same distance there was water.  We put on our packs and our animals and started.  And in about 13 miles made a river, the largest we have passed, and camped.


In the morning, there was considerable trouble to find a ford.  At last we found one up stream about half a mile and continued our journey northwest for about 15 miles and camped on a stream which does not run above the sand.  Dug and found water.  We passed where we have seen signs of elk and deer and antelope.  Stoney going.  Small stones up and down small hills. 


Day 17.     Yesterday was the 16th and we had hard times, but felt to be patient.  Crossed some dry streams.  We found water to do us.  We have camped again and we have passed over one Rio, a large one about 12 miles back.  We have come 22 miles today.  We have seen many antelope on our way.  None killed yet.  One of our men saw an elk.


Wednesday, 18.     This day made 22 miles on a straight line and camped on a beautiful stream that the Indians said was in three days journey of Sooters Fort, [Suter’s Mill--where gold would be discovered the following year] and one of the ends [tributaries] of the Sacramento [River], and [within] 1 1/2 miles of Freemont’s route.  Here we got a plenty of watermelons and some muskmelons.  Some of these fellows was naked.  The women had a beach cloth on. 


Our road was bad today, over stone hills and north northwest course.  Our horses was tender footed.  I find that the streams we passed back are named on the map or some of the largest of them.  One antelope just killed.  Much game here.  We have no guide now and trust in the Lord and we find we get along better.  For when we had one, we was always going wrong. 


18 day.     We took a north course and in about 10 miles came to another river, which was beautiful and well timbered for this country.  We have seen many antelope on our way.  We then turned down and found that the river ran east and west.  We crossed and went on the north side.  Made 20 miles.  Not so much stone on our way as we had yesterday.


We soon saw an Indian with a recommend who brought it to one of our Captains.  I read it and found it was from Sooter recommending this tribe as a friendly people and would not steal as some of the tribes do.  We have found that there was some Americans on the next Rio ahead.


20 day.     We traveled west about 10 miles and turned north northwest.  Crossed in about 4 miles a dry bed of a creek.  I supposed the water ran under the sand.  Went 10 miles further, the same course and camped on a beautiful river.  The best I have seen.  Watermelons and corn was brought in by the natives to sell us.  These rivers are well timbered.  The trees low, but large bodies and tops.  The water is clear.  Made of snow from the mountains.  We have the best of feed for our animals tonight.  Much sacarta, another grass.  The Indians say that there (are) some Americans down stream.  Some of our men talk of going to see them. 


21 day.     Andrew Lytle, George Rosacrants, D. P. Raney started to go to the American settlement to see if they could hear from the Church and the Company.  Came on north and camped on a creek about  10 miles from last night’s camp.  Good water and feed.


22, Sunday.     We started and took a north northwest course and came to an Indian town in about 10 miles on the bottoms of a creek or river.  From there we learned that we were [within] 15 miles of the river.  The pioneers went on and crossed hill after hill.  Very stony and bad for the horses hoofs and they became very lame.  We passed through much timber land down and up hill.  Baron land and prairies.  Kept Freemont’s route some of the way and sometimes cut off crooks and went as straight as we could and about 5 o’clock all, or nearly all, came in camp on a beautiful river and we learn we are in one days march of the big wagon road that passes over the mountains. 


23 day.     Yesterday, while we was journeying, we came to a spring on the top of a hill, or small mountain, of the best kind and it was in a time of need and must have saved the lives of some of our animals.  I had one which was about to give out when all of a sudden, he jumped out one side into a large crowed of horses and sprang into it and would drink in spite of me while hot.  I felt considerable alarmed, but it done him no hurt. 


This day traveled a north northwest course 12 miles and for fear we should find no more water for a long time, camped.  Not much feed, nor water.  Our road has been crooked today.  Some wild Indians have come in camp and say we are near the big wagon road which is a little north of us.  We cannot find how far.


Last night I was troubled in spirit and had the worst kinds of dreams, seeing the dead and burying ground.  Also, I thought that a company of men came on us and one man cries, “Shoot.”  I then called for a ‘General Rally’ and awoke the camp.  We have tonight [camped at a place that] resembles the camp I dreamed of last night.  I colud not sleep much in peace and concluded that it must be of Satan and I would not believe it, for I had a certain witness that I should see home and rejoice with my family.  


24 day.     18 miles.  We continued our journey and went north northwest course and when we came in sight of the river, I saw at my right a house and it looked like home.  Here we learned that Hunt and others was near us just ahead.


25 day.     This day rested on Causuurey River or Creek while our pilots went on to Fort Sooters.  And while here, a Mr. John P. Rhodes came to our camp and told us the horrible tale of those men and women [the Donner Party--which had come through there the prior year] who eat each other.  He states that one Mr. Keeshurg was a most horrible cannibal and the tale he states is the most shocking account I ever read or heard of in my life.  [LN Note:  Based upon the tragic and extreme circumstances of the survivors of the Donner party, a myriad of horrific rumors sprang up in the wake of that sensational event.  Surely some of the tales shared here by Mr. Rhodes would fall into that category that is a stretch of the real events, but entertaining to share with his company.  Still, in addition to the actual Donner Group, there seems to have been another settler, on the eastern side of the mountains, a Dutchman, who was supposed to have been a murderer and cannibal.  Tales of his escapades were also related, and he shall be encountered again later in this journal.]


This man [Rhodes] says that there was more hands and feet than one man could carry, which this Dutchman eat.  He must have murdered many.  He had two tin buckets of blood dried and human bodies all around.  One man’s privates with the lower part of the belly lay on the ground before the fire beside of his child.  He states that he had a man and women boxed up.  He would eat off the head of a man and split it open and ate the brains and when he saw one woman after he got through, he told her that he would like to eat her.  She looked so good he knew she would eat well. 


26 day, Thursday.     We crossed the river and traveled northwest 20 miles and camped in about 2 miles east of Sooter’s Fort.  5 miles [to] the road.  Around here is a beautiful country, but sickly.  The people nearly all sick, but the time of year have come when the sickness abates.  The Indians are all sick, nearly.  This day, Jefferson starts out, I understand, with recruiting orders.  Five Companies from the Mormons.  We think he can’t come it.  He is gone ahead of all with his picked Company of officers.  The ‘Old Fathers’, as the soldiers call them. 


27, Friday.     Stop to get some horse shoeing done and all who are ready, push through the mountains.


28 day.  Concluded to stay today and get more horse shoeing done.  Half went yesterday.  This morning, bought me a jack saddle gapo for 15 dollars.  This morning, I strained my breast around my heart, which gave me the most severe pain and I now feel bad and sore around my heart.  I have got shoes for my riding beast.  Paid $1.25.


29 day.     Started out of camp about half past 8 o’clock and traveled a north course 18 miles and camped by some holes of very poor water, and feed but little.  We had good traveling last night.  We had high winds, thunder and lightening and just before day, a small shower of rain.  It seemed like old times.  We have seen at our right, upon the tops of the mountains, clouds that looked like rain.  Also, west of us, there is clouds on the mountains, but none in the valley.  The rivers are kept up by perpetual snow which falls all times of the year and sometimes thaws which keeps the river high and hard to ford and almost impossible to ford.  Sometimes, we find a place where the water runs swift and makes it low just above the breach and by bracing well, we are able to cross all of them so far.


Monday, August 30.     Took a north course some west, but turned and come to us.  Went a long distance out of way, but our course north was 22 miles and come to Bear Creek.  Here we was told that some of our men left here yesterday morning.  This country, along this valley must be nearly all under water sometimes of the year.  Weeds have floated four or five feet in many places along our way.  On the level plane, sink holes are common, on the Sacramento where dead water stands.  This we had to drink.  It must be sickly here, where we are on Bear River.  The water is dead.  Some timber here, not much.


31 day.     We started into the mountains and in east course, over rugged hill and down steep hollows crooking around until we made 21 miles and camped by a small spring of water which would pour lose all water in this place.  We watered our animals, which was something like 250.  Today we passed much timber.  Some pine and oak of many kinds, which grow on the plains here, but is low and bushy tops.  Pines long and slim.  Poor feed.  We take the advantage of it and spread out into a long train. 


September 1st, 1847.     This day is the first day of fall and we cast our minds back to this time last year and where are we now and where was we then.  Now we are on the mountain top, camped in among the pine by good water and grass about 20 miles from Bear Valley, where the emigrants ate each other last winter.  In among the Sierra Mountains.  One year ago, we was under Smith in the Mormon Battalion, marching towards Santa Fe, under a swift march.  Had to carry our arms and cartridge box and clothes, knapsack.  Standing guard when sick or have to take calomel and be sicker.  Now we do as we please and can ride and take our time. 


September 2.     This morning we started and left one tent with a sick man.  One of Hoyet’s who has the gravel.  We found some watermelon seeds and thought that if [he] had some tea made of them t’would be good for him.  The rest of us traveled off for about 5 miles and come to the mountain.  We passed through 2 very bad hollows before we come to the mountain.  Here is our road down and up the steepest of the mountain.  This day made 20 miles and come to the Mule Springs.  The coldest water I have seen in California and the best.  Here we found the names of many [of] our brethren who went with Kearny and wrote on an oak tree.  On the tree was their names and said June, 19, 1847 and then their names was wrote.  On the other side was Captain Pace with 50 men camped August 31, 1847. 


September 3.     We left Mule Springs which lies on the top, or nearly, of a high mountain a few rods each side it looks to be a thousand feet down to the bottom.  On the left is the Bear Creek, where you look west, although here it seems nearly from northeast to southwest.  We are near the head of the bend.  All along it [spring water] presses through the rocks.  We traveled about east northeast and crooking around.  In about 8 miles came down, like coming out of the clouds and crossed the creek, followed it up 4 miles and camped.  Made 12 miles.


Here we found feed plenty.  The bottoms are half mile wide.  Good grass and water.  Two miles from here back was a little [ ? ] that some of the men found and let their horses eat.  many peavines are there, which the horses love.


This country is the best timber of any I have seen in California.  I saw one pine today, I should judge it to be ten feet diameter and 150 high.  Here is plenty of the redwood or I call it cedar.  Some call it fir, some pine, but the leaves taste like hemlock.  We boiled some and it took the hemlock taste out and made the best kind of drink.  This tree are all as large as the pine and look like hemlock, but the wood is considered the best.


We are now in Bear Valley, at the head of the creek, camped along down for two or three miles, waiting for our men who are back who have not so good horses.  Some have come in since we come.


Saturday, September 4th, 1847.     This day rest and wait for Captain Allred, who was left back with Henry Hoyt, who was sick with gravel.


The 3 day of September, where we stayed one night and where I had a dream just before day.  I thought I heard Brother Heber C. Kimble call me.  I said I will come directly.  I had something I was doing, which I done quick and started and went and the first man I saw was the Prophet Joseph Smith and the first words he said to me was, this field of grain must be attended to first, and I never knew I didn’t know that it was with you as it is, and I must go and I will see you again.  And after he had said these words, he put his arms around me and hugged me.  And I awoke and told Brother Lytle.  I did not write it until now, considering it a dream, but last night he and I came together again and I asked him if what I had taught was correct.  I told him that I wanted to be right and he would know.  He looked pleasant at me and said, I do not see but that you have done right in every particular.  If there is anything wrong, it is here.  Perhaps it might have been better and arose as he said these words and some others who was with him arose and stood up and Joseph said, the reason why Strang fell was that he assumed to himself power and catched a puppy and turned him around as if he was running after his tail and could not catch it.  And so it was with Strang.  And I awoke. 


Sunday, 5th.     We started over the mountain.  Went first up the valley and at the foot of the mountain was the irons of some wagons that had been left by the emigrants last year.  Brother Allred came with the sad news of the death of Brother Hoyt.  We felt to mourn his loss, but we have had to part with him.  He was buried on the side hill, on the top of the first mountain this side of steep hollow one mile.  His name on a tree about half way between him and the road.  He died by the affects of calomel, so said, which fell on the testicles. 


We turned east at the head of Bear Valley and took the point of a ridge and bore off northeast, until we come to a bench about half up the mountain and went up east and over in another hollow, not so deep by two thirds and saw the road more level and turned northeast again and passed over some hills and saw at our right a pond of clear water of about 3 acres. 


On the tops of the mountains is many ponds here which burst through the rocks.  And on the other side of the mountains many springs which makes the rivers.  These ponds are made of snow which lie all summer.  The water is almost cold enough to freeze.  Here we turned here to the east and have come about that direction until we come onto Juber Creek and followed it east until we came to the falls and turned off our course and we camped.  Not much feed, but it will do.  Made 12 miles.  We have had the worst kind of road today.  Many stony hill we passed over and sharp cornered, too.  Bad for the horses feet.


Monday, sixth of September.     We left our camp and continued our course and found that we had to turn east over a mountain about one half mile high and come down on the same stream and continued our course about east northeast over the points of [the] mountain, crooking around until we ascended a high hill or mountain and saw a steep mountain, supposed to be Freemont’s pyramid and camped on the west side of it.  This day made 12 miles.


Still through the thick forest passed one wagon and one cabin.  Many human bones there, so said.  I did not call to see.  We left one man back by the name of Seshons.  Sick with the chills.  I have just come down from the mountain and while on top I counted 9 small lakes and took the shape of the mountain tops.  This mountain stands on the top of the Sierra or California Mountains, in the center of a great basin and is about 600 feet high.  On it, is nearly straight down here.  We rolled down large rocks that would make a tremendous crashing below.  This day I have noticed that we are in the country of the balsam of fir which is a perfect curiosity.


September 7th.     Last night, Samuel Branhan [Brannen--the man who led a group of Saints, by ship, from New York, around the Cape of South America, and into San Francisco Bay, and from there over the mountains to the Salt Lake Valley; and who tried to convince Brigham Young to bring the Saints on to California; but when unsuccessful, he apostatized and returned to California, where, in time, he became Governor of the State, but eventually died a broken man] came in our camp and had much to say about Captain Brown and I told of the difficulty between them.  And this night I heard Brown’s story which was not as he [Brannen] had stated and called on Brother Fowler to witness to what he had said and Esquires both said Brown told the truth. 


I stopped [at] the place where the men [Donner party] eat each other this day.  The boys said they saw one man laying on the plain about one mile above us in a hollow.  The horrible sight, my informed [informant] says he ever saw.  Some of the flesh was still on, dried up like a mummy[‘s] clothes and has been dragged about by wild animals.  Many bones seen.  Skull, backbones, thigh bones of human beings.  Freemont has burned the most of them. 


Our course has been east 25 miles, but not but 10 from last night’s camp.  The mountain we crossed is the backbone [summit of the Sierra Nevadas, and now descending on the eastern slope].  We turned to the south and wound around west, then south over the mountain, down on the other side of the mountain west, into a large valley.  We passed snow.  Last years.  The mountains are covered each side.  I picked a snowball out of Andrew Lytle’s hand, which he took close by my horse. 


We went down in a hollow south for a number of miles and come to where the man eater lived.  Who, it is said, eat the Widow Murphey after he cut her throat.  He had two pails of blood when he was found and it was dry.  He said he got it out of dead man’s bodies who died by starvation.  The people say it cannot be.  It is the worst looking place I ever saw.  The creek is called now, ‘Feather Creek’, on account of the destruction of many bed feathers strung down it.


8th day.     We left and traveled an easterly course.  Made 18 miles and camped.  Last night, Captain Brown, we found with the pioneers and Captain Poll.  Have good feed now.  We have not got through the mountains yet.  Last night, had a letter from my wife.  It done me good to hear from her.  She has a son born on the first day February.  Levi she calls it. 


9 day.     Traveled down this river, which is called Truckey.  26 miles over many rocks and over high hills and steep ones, too.  This river is swift running water and round rocks and slippery.  We have crossed it 5 times.  The bottoms narrow.  We came to a slew and had to turn right and went around a large scaped of wet, marshy, muddy land and had to pass through much of to get across it.   Then went along by the foot of the hill, which was very rocky and camped in a good place for grass.  These bottoms and marshes is all grass and rushes. 


Last night, the officers called all hands together and heard them express their feelings concerning pushing forward, which all agreed that on the account of so many, the swift travelers might go ahead with the blessings of the Lord upon them.  And if they had time to go to the Bluffs [Council Bluff, IA, where many of their families were still waiting], they could.  Their prayers and good wishes.  They then asked each other’s forgiveness if they had hurt anyone feelings.


10 day.     We went down the river 25 miles and camped in a place we could not get out and I lost my horse.  The Indians stoles it and Lytle’s mule and went to the mountains in as bad a place as they could find.  Lytle went to find them and tract them to the mountains.


One the 11 day.     We stopped on the river and took breakfast, nearly 10 o’clock.  Our course has been east southeast.  This 11 day, we took around on the hill the worst kind of a road.  We found the pioneers had gone ahead with many of our brethren on the desert of 40 miles before us and I am left with out an animal to ride.  The river turns from 6 miles below our camp here, north northeast and runs winding through the hills.  We have spoiled nearly all our cartridges. 


4 o’clock we left this river called ‘Trucky’ and took and east northeast course and traveled until about 10 o’clock and come to the boiling hot springs.  A perfect curiosity.  The water is boiling hot and it boils about 2 feet high in one place.  At others it can be heard for long distance from the holes.  They [are] large enough in some places to let in a man.  I should think there is 30 or forty holes and other places show they once boiled, but are now caved in.


I have dreamed of this place many a time and knew not what it meant until I saw them and went in among them and I remembered my dreams.  I hoped the Lord meant I should take notice of it by repeatedly giving me sight.


To hear the rumbling put me in mind of the Sectarian Hell.  We camped close by and found that our animals would not drink much.  It cooled off in about 12 rods, but are called bitter.  As soon as morning came, we packed up and soon it began to rain, but did not last long.


Yesterday and today made 40 miles.  No grass and no water that’s good and tonight is poor, but our animals will do, I think.  It is called ‘the sink’ here.  I suppose of St. Mary’s River.  We have come a east northeast course yesterday and today.  Very sandy and in many places must be worst of going in wet weather.  [LN Note:  They were probably somewhere in the vicinity of present day Reno, NV at this point.]


Monday, 13.     We took a north northeast course for 23 miles, then north northwest one mile and turned northeast 1 mile.  25 this day.  This is a desert and nothing grows on it but wild sage, save on the sloughs a little grass.  We are on one tonight.  Seen a plenty of wild geese today in the ponds east side of us as we came along.  Have not hit St. Mary’s River yet.


Tuesday, 14.    We traveled north northeast up stream through the baron land for 25 miles and went to our right, down on the bottoms by the river and camped.  Mountains on each side of this stream, not so high and some miles off.


Wednesday, 15 day.     We traveled north northwest 4 miles and turned north northeast 3 miles and then north until we [went] 15 miles.  And our Captain showed me a note left about one mile back, which read like:


Camp on St. Mary’s River  [LN Note:  This river is known today as the Humboldt River in Northern Nevada and flows from east to west, but “sinks” and disappears into the desert without flowing either to the ocean or to the Great Salt Lake.]


Captain Lytle, Sir.


Captain Pace and Company arrived at this place of encampment at 12 o’clock this day.  Since our arrival, the company has been called together and it is the minds of all, after having taken into consideration the scarcity of feed and the conveyance of traveling in small companies and that we are now where there is no danger of the Indians, to travel on.  And if we should get to the forks of the road before you over take us and should conclude to take Hastings Route across the desert, we will leave signs.  My camp is generally well and hope all is well with you and yours.


With respect,

Captain Pace

D Pettigrew  

E Averell

W. Hyde


Thursday, 16.     Started sun an hour up and went north 4 miles and turned east 2 miles, then northeast until we made 25 miles and camped on the river St. Mary’s.  Met more movers.  Some to California and some to Oregon.  Good feed tonight. 


Friday, 17.     We marched at an hour by sun and made 25 miles northeast up the river.  Good grass and water.


18 day.     Marched east up the river, winding our course around the banks of the stream.  Made 25 miles.  No timber on this stream, but a few willow sticks.


19 day.     Made 35 miles east south east, crooked road.  Good feed beside the river.  The Indians have been troublesome to travelers. 


20 day.     We made 25 miles east after many long turns.  We have tried to catch Captain Pace until we are tired and conclude that if he is [of] a mind to leave us, he might go.  Our animals are run down.  Our covenant was to stick together without a common consent and we can not catch them.  They have mules.  We have mares.  We have traveled all of 62 miles in two day with our poor animals. 


21     We made 20 miles east.  Crooked around considerable.  This river runs among the baron hills or mountains and very level.  Here we fond the water ran swifter.  We have picked up some animals that have been run down. 


22     We traveled north northeast 23 miles.  The most of it mountains on the left side of the river.  As we came up stream and in the odies, seen many springs coming out of the side hills.  Wild Indians all along.  Saw children tracks.  There is some partridges on this stream. 


23 day.     Made 24 miles northeast.  Passed many Indians.  Naked.  What they eat, I cannot tell unless it is grass seed and seeds of weeds. 


24th     Made 24 miles east northeast in among the hills.  This stream is a curious concern.  It has cut through the hill here a little below, about 3 miles and here it looks as if it was once a lake.  Our course has been crooked today.  This morning, found another letter from Father Pettigrew, who is with Captain Pace, stating that they was with Captain Hunt on the 20th.


25th day.     Went 24 miles east northeast.  Many turns.  No water runs here now.  Some in hills. Road appears to leave the river here.


26 day.  Made 20 miles.  Passed Hastings Cutoff.  Found that Hunt and Captain Pace had gone there.  The letter from the Twelve was not to go it.  We have past 10 miles and camped a little west of the hot springs, which make a considerable of a stream out of a canyon a short distance east of our camp.  We have seen much good land on our route for a few days march, but not timber.  I think by the looks of the grass that anything would grow without irrigating.  Warm springs here in this canyon comes out from under the mountain about as dishwater.  Course east northeast.


27 day.     Left our camp in the mouth of the canyon, an east northeast course for five miles, then turned east and went across the plain and came to the road that we thought was the cutoff and saw the tracks of our brethren horses and after we had made 20 miles, we came to the hot springs and found Captain Pace and Company and there was Hunt, a little ahead.  Hunt and Company leaves.  Made this day 20 miles.  Our course back from the forks of the road has been east northeast.  We passed a backbone ridge between St. Mary’s River and these hot springs.  We brought up several animals our brethren left behind.


28th day.     Journeyed northeast 10 miles and found water in a well like place.  Good water there is in all these places through California and many of them there is too.  From there we took more north and found that it was north northeast for about 10 miles further and found another well.  Here was a bad place to get to the water.  One mare mired, but after it was unloaded, it come out.  This day made 25 miles and camped beside good water and grass.  Large mountains and hills on each side yet.


29th day.     Traveled northeast and found water along for about 10 miles in places, then found none until we came [to] the water of Goose Creek and followed it down northeast until we made 25 miles and camped.  Had to crook around in among the hills.  Passed over some.


30 day.     Went northeast 18 miles and turned north and went 3 miles and took up a canyon and went until we made 25 miles and camped by water and grass.


Our fathers have left us and gone on ahead

but nothing consoling unto us have said

And left not their blessings as fathers would of one

when blessing they wanted to rest on their sons.


Although they camp near us, but passed on before

but oh, and alas, we can reach them no more

Sometimes they pass by us, but won’t crack one smile

and will not camp nearer us than one half mile.


And we cannot tell what it is that we have done

that should make our father despise us, their sons.

Oh father, oh father, oh do stop a while

you left us behind you as much as one mile.


You say that our Company your mules despise

and will not stay with us because he’s too wise

If he did leave us we are sure he left you

and you for to find him had all you could do.


Therefore, we do hope that you will not despise

your sons any longer if they are not wise.

If you are our fathers do treat us as such

and do not despise us as you do so much.


But if you reject us we must let you go

and trust in kind providence until we’re through.

So farewell dear fathers, oh do be so kind

as to leave the road you have traveled behind.



This day we have seen geese, good land and water and ducks.  No wood of any account.


October 1st.     We went northeast crooking around and over mountains and through valleys, until we made 26 miles and camped by good water and grass.  The water here is warm as the springs we passed.  Some mountains covered with the best of marble. 


2 day.     Went northeast 10 miles and come over the uplands to the banks and descended down on the bottoms to another river [probably the Raft River near Malta, Idaho, which flows northward to the  Snake River in Southern Idaho].  We then went down it until we made this day 33 miles.  Our animals was tired when we stopped as well as we were.  This river, like others we have passed, between this and St. Mary’s, is small, perhaps one rod across and runs crooked.  Sometimes very narrow bottoms and sometimes wider.  Sometimes it spreads out wide and would make good plantations.  Travel 11 hours today. 


3 day.     Traveled down this stream or river 20 miles a north northeast course.  Not so crooked.  We have passed the Oregon route [Oregon Trail].  Seen some graves beside the road.  Some at the turnoff back one mile.  Our horses are almost run down.  We have our match to get them along.


4 day.     Traveled north northeast about 8 miles and came to Big Snake [River] and traveled up it until we made 20 miles and camped.  This stream is about 1/8 of a mile across in high water.  [LN Note:  They probably reached the Snake River somewhere near the present town of Rupert, Idaho.]


5 day.     Traveled up it 6 miles northeast and came to the falls and found them to be about 20 feet high.  Called the ‘American Falls’.  We came to two falls yesterday and supposed them to be what these are, but they was small.  Came on the same course until we made 20 miles and camped down on the bottoms, about one mile from the road.  Here the bottoms spread out wide and are beautiful.  No timber on this river, but small brush.  On the bluffs is small cedar in patches.  It looks more like rain this evening than anytime since we left Pueblo.  We, one evening, had a small sprinkle and once at the hot springs, but did no hurt, but laid the dust handsomely. 


Last night, I had a dream which gave me great joy if I was asleep.  I thought my wife came to me and asked me if I did not want to go where she roosted.  I thought it was in a great tree top she had found somewhere.  I told her I did.  She took hold of my hand and we traveled a considerable distance and come to another road and said, I call this ‘Hasting’s Cutoff’.  You must not take it.  She then let go of my hand and ran ahead and said, “Here is the way.”  And we traveled on and soon we came to a valley and I saw George and Charles Hancock and another man.  I cannot tell who it was and they turned and faced east and she said, “I roost here.”  And I awoke.  I thought sometimes I would fly and sometimes a foot and sometimes a riding my mare.


6 day.     Went north northeast until we got to the fort 18 miles today.  6th day.  Traveled 8 miles and came to the river and crossed it and went 10 miles further same course and camped at Fort Hall.  Here we bought some bacon and buckskins.


And on the 7th day, morning.     Captain Pace went ahead.  I told him the pass which was south from the fort exactly by the compass and he got on ahead and took two animals, a jack and mare and my flour.  Ten men went with him.  We followed him until we got sick of it.  We was in hopes all the time he would turn, but he did not and where he will go, we cannot tell.  This is the only pass.  We had to travel 35 miles today.


7 day.  We got up our horses and went south on this stream about 15 miles and camped on good ground for feed. 


9th.     We followed this creek up and in about 15 miles, we went over the dividing part of it [probably Malad Pass], until the ground descended southwest.  Our course has been all day south southwest and a part of yesterday.  Make 30 miles today.  No water and not much feed.


10     We turned east and took into the mountains through a canyon and from last nights camp we are 10 miles, 3 in the mountains.  Found water and paper stating Captain Pace is ahead.  10 o’clock.  Made this day 20 miles.


11     Made 20 miles and camped by Reed Creek.


12 day.     28 miles.  We have crossed Bear River [probably between what is now Tremonton and Brigham City, UT].  Passed some warm springs which is salt.  We are at good water now and feed.  Pace is gone ahead again.  Our animals are tired. 


13     Made 30 miles.


14th.     Traveled 25 miles.  Five out of our way by mistaking the man who directed Captain Pace.  He, Pace, led ahead.  Lytle stopped at a [Indian?] town and I took command of Lytle’s Company and took a shot for the trail and found it in three miles, and Captain Lytle a standing against the point of the mountain I made for.


[This ends Levi’s journal of the Mormon Battalion.  He was probably somewhere in Davis County, which  lies North of Salt Lake.  The fact that he made no more entries in this journal was probably because he found the small group of Mormon Pioneers in the Salt Lake settlement on the following day.  Levi spent the winter of 1847-1848 in the Salt Lake Valley, and in the following spring, he began his trek over the Rocky Mountains to find his family.  His wife and children also began their migration west on May 18, 1848.  In July, Levi met them in Wyoming, a bit west of Fort Laramie, where they had a wonderful reunion after two years of separation.  Levi turned around and led his family back down into the Valley, which they entered on August 3, 1848.  And here they made a new home for themselves and for their extended family.]