Levi Ward Hancock

Mexican War




Vol. 1

July 20th to October 11th


{LN’s note:  Levi was the only “General Authority” of the LDS Church to enlist in the Mormon Battalion.  As such, he served in an ecclesiastical position of leadership as a chaplain, as well as his military duties as a “musician” (fifer).  At the request of Brigham Young for men to support the US Military, Levi joined up while still bringing his own family, his mother-in-law (Rebecca Bearce Reed) and some of her other daughters and their children across Iowa after being driven out of Nauvoo.  With his departure, at this very difficult stage of their exodus, he relied heavily on his young 12 year old son, Mosiah L. Hancock, to provide for the welfare of all these families.  For more information on the travels of that group, refer to the journal of Mosiah Lyman Hancock.  As an additional comment, in Levi’s original journal, he drew pictures of the surrounding horizon and landscape almost daily.  Those have not been inserted in this presentation due to the added space required.  However, many of his comments in this journal refer to points of interest and mountains that he drew in those pictures.  This note is necessary in helping the reader understand some of the comments made by him.}

July 20, 1846.  I enlisted into the Army of the United States Mormon Battalion, Fifth Company.  D.C. Davis, Captain; Jefferson Hunt, First Captain; Jesse D. Hunter, Second; James Brown, Third; Nelson Higens, the Fourth.  I was chosen Musician; Jess Earl was the Drummer.  James Pace was First Lieutenant and Andrew Little, Second Lieutenant.  

These men I messed with.  Nothing done, but organizing for some time. 

22 day.    Marched out four miles.  Tune: ‘Girl I Left Behind Me’.  7 o’clock, marched again by the request of Colonel Allen.  Played: ‘The Girl I Left Behind Me’.  Muddy road.  Traveled 18 miles and camped on a small stream beside the bluff.

23 day.    Continued our line of march and camped beside of the water of Merom.  Soldiers generally in good spirits.  Some was weary and complained.

24 day.    Marched out of camp with music, some had to ride.  Crossed Nishanybotany and the Colonel was very kind to us.  Made us ride and tried to administer consolation to the men.  Nothing was too good for his men, he would say.  We camped in Anderson, Atchison County, making 20 miles.

Saturday, 25th.    Crossed over the Torkeyou Creek. Traveled 20 miles.  Not a word of complaint from any man.

26th day.    My feet became sore.  My pain was severe.   The sore had been of long duration.  Opened it with my knife.  Brother Galley and Brother Lytle and Pace were very kind to me and done all they promised to do, to see that no hardship was placed on me, as I told them my health was poor.  Marched 20 miles.  Camped by a good spring.

27th day.  Crossed the Little Tarkeyou.  In the evening, a man was brought in camp called ‘Colonel’.  This was one of our men who had palmed himself off upon the people as Colonel of the Mormon Battalion.  Had got the people to feed him by the way.  Colonel Allen asked him why he done so.  He said he wanted a good living, authority and by so doing, he got it.  The Colonel smiled and told him to do so no more.

Next morning, it being Monday, marched out of camp. Tune: ‘Over the River to Charley’.   Traveled 25 miles and camped.

28th day.    Marched through the country beautiful to behold.  25 miles.  Camped on the Nodaway Creek.

29        Continued our line of march at six a.m.  Tune:  ‘Girl I Left Behind Me’, then changed to ‘White Cockade’ through St. Joseph (Missouri) and camped in Mount Pleasant, making 16 miles this day.

30 day.    Marched.  Tune:  ‘D.B. Huntington’s Favorite’.  Passed through Bloomington and camped in the woods.  Some time in the night there was a high wind.  The trees fell every way from us, but none in the camp.  One ox was killed out of camp by a limb. 

31 day.    At 7 o’clock marched.  Tune: ‘Jefferson’s Liberty’.  Passed through Weston.  Played the tune: ‘Over The River to Charley’.  The whole town looking (out) the doors.  The musician had not kept so good time before.  The people looked astonished while Elisha Averet, Allen Jackson seemed to receive fresh breezes, as it were, from the mouth of the Father of Spirits, which inspired them with the most perfect sounds on the fife, while sprge Earl, Smith and Day with listening ears that catched the sounds with hands and fingers clenched tight around the drumstick, beat the accents with most tremendous strokes, which were even and were handsomely measured with left foot down at the beginning of every bar.  All was silence while five hundred Mormons passed and turned three corners in the heart of the town. 

Camped one mile out of town.

August 1st.  Marched to the river opposite the ferry.  7 miles today.  Crossed over in town Fort Leavenworth (Kansas). 

2 day    Rested

3 day.    Builded a bower through camp before the tents which were pitched yesterday, by order of Colonel Allen.  The Battalion was stationed in town on the same ground where the other soldiers were not permitted to stay.  The law had been read to them, but was not read to the Mormons.

Here we received our pay for our clothes, $42, and fitted out for Santa Fe with mules, cattle and wagons.  Also arms which was muskets, daggers and swords.  I drawed mine.

On the 4th day my company drew their arms.

5th day.    Was ordered to be examined by the musitions in the fort.  Passed examinations.

Six day my company’s pay was handed over to them, after signing the articles of war.

7th day.    Wrote some camp tunes and duties.  First the ‘Reveille’ at day break; next ‘Sick Call’ at sunrise; next the ‘Marching in of the Several Guards’; next the ‘Marching of the Guards’.  Music dismissed until the ’Orderly Call’ is wanted, which is beat many times a day.  Next the ‘Retreat’.  ‘Tattoo’ at nine, the last.  The ‘General Rally’ is sometimes wanted or ‘Assembly’.

8th.    Was sorry to hear that some had been drinking to excess and to see how some squandered away their money.

9th.    I sent word to Brother Pettigrew, to take some man with him and see if the brethren would stop drinking.  He went and visited each tent and they agreed they would stop it and swearing, also.

10th day.    Heard no swearing.  I also in hopes that they would do it no more.

11th day.    Made song and sung it.  It was liked by all.  Some of the Missourians wanted a ballot.  I lent it and could not well repeat it by heart with some trouble.

12   Viewed the situation of the town.  Learned the price of goods at the store to be very dear.  And practiced on camp duties.

13 day.    Marched 4 miles down the Missouri River.

14 day.    Marched 6 miles.  John Allen that baptized at the fort, Confirmed on the 15 day and marched southwest, crossed the valley of Clearwater, making 15 miles.

16 day.    Crossed the Caw River, about one fourth of a mile wide.  Full banks.  Raises some times very high and flows over much land and bottoms.  Came on 4 miles and camped by some springs.  This side of the river was the Shawnees, on the north was the Delawares.  Making twelve miles today. 

17 day.    Some cattle lost.  Hunters were sent out and found them all.  One horse not found, belonging to a mover.

18 day.    Baptized Leonard M. Scott into the Church.  Also, some for their health.  Passed over some beautiful land, but little timber.  Only a small grove between here and the fort.

19 day.  Morning found that our cattle had broken in an Indian’s cornfield and destroyed a considerable corn, which made us sorry, as it appeared to be all his living.  I believe the officers made him whole or satisfied him and then we concluded to move on our camp accordingly.

In the course of the day, we prepared to take our departure from this place and dried our clothes as they had been washed here and guard the corn at night.

We left here for the prairie on the 20 day, at an early hour.  Marched about 4 miles and camped on a hill.  Some water and near another company on the east side of a valley, in plain sight.  About five o’clock, a storm arose.  The wind blew with hail that pelted my right foot that had no shoe on, until it was sore.  My shoe had been lost out of the wagon.  This storm continued for about an hour.  Every tent was blown loose from the bottoms and we had to lay hold of the standards with all our might.  We called this ‘Hurricane Hill’, for it was so severe and wind blew so hard, it would run a wagon off without a team, for it was done with a woman in one.

... I called on Captain Hunt and told him we had ought to have some meetings.  He then appointed me to take charge of the same.  I then call(ed) on Brother William Hyde and Taylor to assist me and Father Pettigrew to open the meeting.  I there talked to the Battalion as well as I knew how.  I told them they must not swear and take the name of God in vain and told them that he that had sinned, to do it no more and for a long time I hoped they would watch over themselves and try to break off from the habit entirely.  They said they would try to do as I had told them and all held up their hands to observe the things that I had said.  Taylor and Hyde addressed the Battalion upon the necessity of giving heed to all of the requirements of Heaven.  After which, the senior Captain addressed the same handsomely.

21st day.  Some pieces of artillery pass by and many soldiers horseback going to Santa Fe, belonging to Colonel Price(‘s) command, as I understand. 

22    At half past 7 o’clock, marched off from Hurricane Hill and continued our journey.  Met a man that I had give some rushes and olemack to the night before and it relieved him of his gravil complaint.  He appeared to be thankful.  About eleven o’clock, our pilot, whose name is Thompson, was taken sick. 

Here on the right was a point of timber, but no water.  We continued our march south west and about 12 o’clock reached the old Jackson County Road leading to Santa Fe.  Traveled until 4 o’clock and put up near half mile from the road, left hand side.  A mud hole afforded us all the water that we used here.  A few trees and bushes was all the timber we had.  All of it being green and no wood to kindle with.  This day traveled twelve miles.

23 day.    Traveled 25 miles through the prairies without much water and what we had was poor.  This night we camped on the northeast side of a creek called 110, as it received its name because it was this distance from Fort Leavenworth.  I have made my calculations, according to my own judgment, making all the inquiries I could on the way, so I cannot tell how my journal will agree with 110.  This stream affords good water.  Springs all along the bank.  Good timber on the bottom -- walnut, hackbury, pignut and mulberry and a considerable of a variety of timber grow here.  This grove is about 5 miles long, 3/4 wide.  Other groves further down and some up this stream.

24th day.    Marched through the timber and crossed Switzlers Creek.  8 miles from 110. Timber like it.  Six miles further is Beaver, where we camped.

25 day.    Crossed several small streams with small skirts of timber.  Made 12 miles and put the teams out to feed on this stream, lightly timbered.  Two Caw Indians met us here and came on with us until night.  Making 15 miles this day.

26 day.    Having an opportunity, I now finish recording the operations of the Spirit upon me.  On the 21st day of Hurricane Hill, I thought the Lord spoke to me and told me that my sins was all forgiven and what was done at the meeting was according to his Spirit, which overjoyed me so that I lay sometime in the Spirit, praising my God who is so good and kind as to manifest himself to me in such a manner.

I come to and Brother Wolsey told me that he had a dream at the same time that I was in the Spirit and I told him to prophesy and he obeyed and woke up.  I fell asleep again and the Lord spoke again and I saw that I was made happy by the instrumentality of Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimble.  I glory to God in the Highest and on Earth, peace to man.  The Lord is good and merciful.  He has shown himself so to me.  Let me ever praise him and do all the good I can for His kingdom.  Keep me from sin, said I, and let me never forsake thee and turn from thy commands.  Let me praise thee.  Let me love thee all my days.  Thy wisdom is great.  Thy love is great.  Forever let me serve thee and in this way did I shout in my heart. 

26 day.    Morning.  Ordained Samuel M. Chapin at 8 o’clock and continued our journey from Bear Creek until we had found water to drink.  Some skirts of timber along the valleys sufficient for fuel to do our cooking and also water.  The soil of the land is decently good.  If there was timber to fence it, there might be some plantations on the right and left as we came along.  We continued along our march until we come to another creek, making 12 miles.  Here we took dinner, baited our teams and then marched to other timber passing over some good land, other not so good and camped here for the night, making 5 miles further.  

27th day.    Morning.  Ordained Matthew Caldwell into the Seventies, to be placed into some quorum when there was a convenient opportunity and marched 7 miles and put up at Council Grove. 

28th day.    In the morning, before ‘Reveille’ was beat at break of day,  I dreamed that a nighthawk flew over the camp and cried, ‘peek’, over all the tents, back and forth and then turned as bright as the sun, which waked me.  I looked and behold there was one saying, ‘peek’.  Said I to some that was near me, I dreamed just now that that nighthawk looked like the sun for brightness a few minutes ago to me and said, ‘peek’.

I then called for the musicians and beat the ‘Reveille’ and then I heard that there was a letter for the Battalion from the Twelve.  I then had a ‘peek’ and it said that we must be careful not (to) take medicine from the Doctor.  Some had been taking sick and Andrew Lytle said, “Brother Levi, this is your nighthawk.”  I then after this, told the sick to peek at that letter when they would ask me what they should do when they were sick and then pray for them and lay hands on them and surely there was many healed at this time. 

Came on the Doctor, Mr. George Sanderson, and surely Death and Hell followed after this man gave his charge to McAntyre, our Doctor, and muckary was crammed down the Saints against their will.  We had a new order of things all together.  Lieutenant Smith had the command now by the consent of our officers.  All power had been given up into the hands of wicked men altogether and all Mormons must submit to it.  “Oh,” said I, “when will men learn wisdom?  God puts power into the hands of our brethren and they will give it away.”  This is proved out. 

On the 29th day, when this man Smith come on from the fort after the death of Allen, who was a good man and an officer who loved to see our people enjoy themselves, and had taken much pains to provide all things as comfortable as possible for the Mormon Battalion. 

30 day.    He was told that he was excepted as our leader to General Corney (Kearny).  This being done, he issued his orders for marching at 7 o’clock tomorrow. 

31 day.    Traveled this day from Council Grove fifteen miles to Diamond Springs.  This spring is the best water I have seen on the route from Council Bluffs to here.  Water is an abundance, but no timber between Council Grove and here.

September 1st.    Marched at 7 o’clock and saw scattering timber at the left.  Three miles further saw some scattering trees at the left.  Five miles is more.  All about the same distance from the road.  Grasshoppers now and then, one as big as my little finger.  Wild sunflowers, three inches diameter.  Milkweed, white tops resembling white blows, but are nothing but leaves, green all below one third its length.  We marched until we came to what is called the Lost Springs, it being at the bottom of the main stream, which stream is now dry.  Here we camped.  Here we had no wood, but good grass for our mules and oxen and horses.  Making 15 miles traveled. 

2nd day.    Marched 18 miles to what is called ‘Cottonwood Fork’.  All Cottonwood, some a few trees--walnut and plum.  Some scrubs or other bushes.  A few wild grapes.  Here, Father Pettigrew told me he had ordained William F. Ewell an Elder on the first day of September. 

3 day.    Marched 26 miles.  Camped where there had once been running water by the looks, but now nothing but mudholes.  Poor mud at that.  It being made of buffalo urine, a good part of it.  About twelve o’clock at night, the wind blew a shower of rain until day break.

When the ‘Reveille’ was beat and we prepared to move on.  Started at 7 o’clock and marched until 11, when we came to a raise of ground and saw timber on our left, which our pilot informed us was the timber on the Arkansas, at the distance of about 10 miles.  Fine prospect here all around, but barren land, light grass.  This 4th day made 20 miles.   Still water poor.

5th day.    At usual time of ‘Reveille’, we awoke and prepared to leave at the hour appointed.  When the ‘Assembly’ was beat and all hands was on a march and soon we made 10 miles, where we found wood and water.  We marched on with a long halt until we made what we called ‘Little Cow Creek’, where there is timber scattering, but the stream was not there, but a good place for it when it comes again.

Four miles further is Bigelow Creek, where the mobbers or robbers killed the Spaniard.  I was informed here the man offered them five hundred a piece if they would spare his life, but they would not and by doing the murder, they lost their own lives.  This is lightly timbered.  I traveled up the stream and found where it looked as if there had once been a garden here.  I found some parsley growing.  I got my arms full and carried down to camp and it went first rate, it being boiled and tender.  We put on some vinegar and it became a rarity.  Not many things here to entice anyone to stay long.

Six day.    Traveled over the sand and barren prairie for 12 miles and came to a high sand bank which overlooked a space of desert all around.  On the north, at the fork, was a basin which our pilot informed me was often filled with water.  Here we had hope to find drink, as we was thirsty and found none.  On the top is plum bushes, but no fruit.  They had been picked by the Army that had gone ahead, as we supposed.  Marched three miles further and found grass, but no water.  Here we encamped, being dry.  Our teams suffered for water much. 

Seventh day.    ‘Reveille’ at break of day.  Camp marched before breakfast 13 miles.  Camped and took dinner.  Camp killed a buffalo, poor enough.  I saw many that were dead by the road, eaten partly by wolves.  I thought of what the Lord said through Joseph, his Seer, “Woe (unto) him who wasteth flesh and hath no need.  Everything hath the Lord ordained for the good of man, both fowl and beast and things that climbeth upon the tree to be used sparingly.” 

The land that we passed over today is poor and hardly fit for nothing, save it is a harbor for wolves and wild animals.  Two o’clock, the Mormon sutlers killed a bull buffalo.  It was good eating.  These men were appointed to go with us for our merchants.  They had many goods with them, very dear.

8th day.    Morning.  We beat the “assembly’ and marched through the prairie, passed by some timber and found no water.  Continued five miles further and came to Pawnee Fork, which made 28 miles.  Here we camped for the night. 

9th day.    Crossed the creek and marched five miles further and camped on the same stream off at the right, about one mile off from the road.   As I turned out, I spied a paper done up, a string around it.  A man handed it to me and there was a rag around another paper.  In it was enclosed these words:

    Look for Indians.  We had a man killed here last night by the Comanches, as is supposed. 

    May thirty first, 1846.  Signed Bramford. 

This creek afforded us good water and plenty of it for the teams.  Feed not good, but better than some places that we have seen on our route.

10th day    Morning.  Met some men returning from Santa Fe.  Said we was wanted there about this time.

I began to feel sorrowful for the Battalion to hear some swear and some was sick and then see the men flock around the black wagon.  Some compelled to take calomel or be drove out of their wagons and forced to walk or have medicine fed to them.  The ‘sick call’ must be beat at sunrise and then all that was not able to do duty must appear before his majesty, the Doctor, to be examined.  Who would give them his poison to them according to his own mind.  Who had been repeatedly to say,  “I don’t care a damn if half of them die”

Our would-be Colonel said about the same.  Sometimes threatening to cut any man’s throat who should presume to give anything that had not been previously prescribed by the Doctor.  This I thought to be too hard and as our Captain had previously told me to do on religious matters as I thought best in the Battalion.  I considered it a principle of my faith to detest calomel.  I came out against it and Brother Brown, our Orderly, told the Colonel that our people did not believe in taking much medicine.  “Well I do,” said our Adjutant Dikes.  Which showed how much he regarded or cared for the epistle of the Twelve.

Still, the nighthawk sounded in my ears, ‘peek’.  I told this to the Brethren and they said many times I had rather die a natural death then to be poisoned.  Our people had been assembled a short time before to hear the military law read to them, which was death at every sentence or other punishment as the officers might see fit to inflict.

On the 11th day, morning.  ‘Sick Call’ at sunrise.  Then other beats to answer the law.  Then the ‘Assembly’ and ‘All Hands Ready’.  March tune often played is: ‘California March’.

This day we ascended the river bluffs and marched until we made 13 miles and camped on the Arkansas River.  Here we found good feed, but no timber.  Some flood trash made our fuel for cooking.  This river is a curiosity in creation.  It appears to be a river of sand with now and then a drizzling of water breaking out and then losing itself again immediately.  Dig in the sand and find fish.  Sometimes deep holes of water with large fish.  I killed some with my sword.  Some men killed very large ones, perhaps four or five pounds.

On the 12th day, we ascended this river 20 miles.  Some footmen walked in the midst of the river.  Some rode horseback.  I saw the tracks of five panthers.  I saw where one had jumped all of 18 feet.

13 day.    Traveled 23 miles further up the river.

On the 14 day, we marched at 8 o’clock.  Ascended the river 19 miles and camped.  Here was poor feed.

15 day.    Marched 10 miles and crossed over on the west side.  Here we were detained for some cause or other.  Here some families was sent up the river to Bent’s Fort.  I told the officer that I wanted it distinctly understood that it did not agree with my feelings, for it was told to us that we must take the Cimmerone Route. 

16 day.    We rested.  Alvah Phelps died the night following.  He had been sick for some time.  He said that he knew he would live if he did not take medicine.  I know that it was plainly shown if we obeyed Council, not one man would die.  But, Satan strove against this principle.  There appeared to be an exertion used in favor of the Devil’s ruling together.  Phelps was buried in the night and we was surrounded by Missourian volunteers on both sides, up and down the river.

After the ‘Tattoo’ was beat, Brother Brown, our Orderly, said, “Look her and see this star.”  I looked and I saw a star moving up and down, between two stars as if dancing.  I said this is a sign of something and this is what was meant when the Savior said that there should be signs in the heavens.  Something will follow soon.

Accordingly, in the morning I looked towards where the star was and to my joy, I saw James Pace, John D. Lee and Howard Egan about a mile off, as I supposed.  I soon met them and had them by the hand.  I told them that the camp was on the move or about to move.  When they hurried on to let them know the news from the Bluffs, when to their sad disappointment, they was treated coolly and no tarrying, but we forced on with rapid strides through the sandy desert, 50 miles without water. 

I then repeated I wish we could go to Bent’s Fort.  Our provisions are gone.  There Brother Pace and Lee was of the same mind.  I heard that the Colonel was willing to give up the command.  We thought that the Mormons was capable of leading their own men as God had put it in their power to lead.  But no, as the Adjutant said, when Smith came to us, we have no men who understand military discipline and so the power given into the hands of the enemy.  However, these brethren started on with us, trying to alter their minds and have them give ear to the Council of the Twelve.

17 day.    Made our sand hills.

18           The same.

19           The same.  Nothing but mud to drink.  Half buffalo urine at that, as we had some time before.

20th.    Same.

21        Came to Cimmaron Springs making, as my informant said, 50 miles.  Here we encamped.

22 day.    Traveled 15 miles over mostly sand.  Dug for water and found on the Cimmaron bottoms, which was sand.

23 day.    Made 14 miles.  Camped on the same bottoms.  This day I looked off from a high ridge and all around presented a beautiful prospect.

24        Came on over high ridges of baron ground.  Saw no timber, but a perfect desert all around.  Wolves a plenty.  Antelope began to be more plent(eous).  All kinds of creatures began to appear, such as the Santa Fe millions or dark lizard massagers, little rattle snakes.  Buffalo not so plenty.  Hundreds we have seen in groves along back.  The Santa Fe toad now begins to appear.  Some with tails, some not.  The tarantula, a large spider, legs three inches long, bodies as big as a man’s thumb.  Some natural toads, four inches on the back, on these dry baron plains.  No grass.

Rocks upon rocks, heaped up high, presenting to a curious appearance.  Some places appear to have been washed by water, some to have been thrown out of the bowels of the earth by volcanic eruption.  Some places appear like mountain of sand.  At a distance, along the road, it appears to be a place of habitation for all doleful creatures and not for man.  It appears to be an unfinished part of the world when God had finished his work and pronounced it good or the part he had finished.  This looks like piling heaps of dirt up and rocks and not time before meeting on the seventh to spread them out.  Many thoughts I had when I saw these hills. 

25 day.    Cimmaron, New Mexico.  Commanche nation.  Cold springs.  Camp Moss, or dung for fuel.    19 miles.

26 day.    15 miles.  Cellar Springs.  Encamped.

27 day.    Mt. Leace Creek.  12 miles.

28th day.    Camped at Middle Fork.

Raped Ear Creak.  29th.  17 miles

Extra Valley, 30.

Oct. 1st,  Basin Valley.  Rocky Point.

2nd day.    Commanche Nation.  Started from Rocky Point.  I thought I would go to the top of this hill or mountain.   I started at sunrise and in about two o’clock I reached the top.  A chain of mountains presented themselves all around.  One on my right.  I saw 36 (mountain peaks).  I looked at my left and across a prodigious valley of 25 miles, so said.  I saw others lifting up their heads as I ascended a little higher.  I soon gained the summit.  Then I beheld in front so many that I could not count them. 


I turned my self around and beheld the hills I had passed by, all west of the ‘Rabbit Ears’, which were the first of the cloud appearing mountains we saw.  Where I stood I looked down south, the opposite of where I ascended this mountain and saw two men coming up.  I went to work and laid up some stone and all three of us lifted one on the top of all.  We then all stood on the top and I then said,  “I would pray these words.  Long may we three friends live.  Long may the church of Christ continue to flourish until all oppression and wickedness is put under the feet of the Lord, as then things that we now behold are under ours.  Amen.”

We descended this mountain on the west side and come around at the root until we came to our brethren on the south end.  While we were on this mountain, said I, “Let this mountain be called the ‘Three Friends’, on account of its two lesser mountains, one on the north and one on the south.” 

Continued our march after hearing the declaration of the Colonel, “Which I’ll be damned if you shan’t all be shot.”  Because we had stopped to get some water, I suppose.  Camped this night at Red River.  This is a curious stream.  It forces itself down through large ledges of rocks from fifty to 500 feet.  Easily stopped that it might overflow all the valleys and thousands of acres and tens of thousands also.  25 miles. 

3 day.    Went six miles.  Came to grass and found water, poor enough, among the rocks.  Here the Battalion was divided again.  Orders were issued to me to select three fifers and drummers to go with the advance.  I accordingly done as I was ordered and orders was given for 250 of our men to go on to Santa Fe on a forced march.  In order, as the Colonel said, to get there at the time appointed, which was the tenth day of this month for all who was going to California to be at Santa Fe or they would be dismissed and sent home.

But, I did not like this.  It looked like a division of the Mormon Battalion, I said.  And it looked like carrying out the designs of Allen and the Twelve spoke erroneously, said I.  Everything looks like a determination to go contrary to Council in every movement.  Some cried.  Some were mad and some prayed.  Some swore.  Some were for taking the sword, settle the dispute on the ground.  I told all that I come to that God was able to work it all for the best, if wicked men did mean it for evil and I would cheer the Hearts of the brethren as much as possible and we would be close behind them and ready to join them before they left Santa Fe.  This is a trial, they said, and bid us good-bye and started on their march.  I said “Let this place be called the ‘Valley of Tears’.” 

A dismal looking place.  It is a habitation of devils.  Could not look worse.  All around presented a doleful appearance. Cragged rocks all up and down the streams.  The banks was all rocks, save the streams on the east of us.

4th day.    The rest of our Battalion left the Valley of Tears, (which received its name on the account of the tears which had been shed because of the division of our little army, by the craftiness of evil designing men and few of our officers who consented to it), and marched about 6 miles and came on to a high ridge and beheld a few high tops of mountain tops in our front, lifting up their lofty peaks.

As we ascended this hill here, I see on my right hand numerous peaks at the distance of about 12 to 30 miles.  Some skirt of timber along the ridges, here we stayed last night, that I now behold which have the appearance of cedar and we had pine to burn while there.  This day made out 18 miles and came to a beautiful valley that we called, ‘Valley of Hope’.  It being the first that I have seen that looked like living since we came from Council Grove.  This valley afforded the best of water and grass.  A bottom of about one mile and a half of the best land also. The bottoms joining this valley on the east is about six miles wide of the best land, but timber scarce.

Here we was met by a Spaniard with a keg of whiskey, which he sold at the enormous price of fifty cents a pint.  He packed it upon an ass about three feet high.  I heard he took upwards of one hundred dollars from the company ahead.  He soon returned in the morning.

And I went up to the top of a mountain on our left and had though to walk upon a rock that was on the summit and view the surrounding country.  This rock, as I ascended the mountain, grew larger and when I come to it to my astonishment, it was about 12 rods on the end and where I thought I could climb up it, at least 80 feet and on the front 120 high, about 1/4 mile in length.  I then called it the ‘Rock of Disappointment’.  But where I stood, I could see our baggage train, west of us, about 22 miles off, on the other side of the fine grove, where they had stayed.

We continued our march and about 10 o’clock at night, we made over these vast hills of from one to five miles, ascending and would be half a mile down and some less and camped on the bottoms of the Moran Creek or river.  It being the 5th day.

This stream is one of the most beautiful that I have seen in all my life.  The purest of water, running to the south, rolling and gliding from place to place through Moran bottoms, about one fourth of a mile wide, then bursting through narrow ledges of rocks for the most beautiful mill seats.  A plenty of fish.  The Spaniards say the timber is pine and cedar.  Thousand of antelope we have seen this day.

Two men have come in who have been treed by a grizzly bear that they have wounded.  He watched them about two hours, raging and tearing everything all about him and left.  In the scrape, he tore the shirt and pantaloons of one man.

Here on this stream is some herbs that grow east, such as bear’s foot, pea vines and I have seen the root that is called the gravil plant in the east.  Wild rose, some willow trees, small.  There may be many more things that I have not noticed here.  On the west of this stream is a large flat or bottom wider still spreading out where there is some dwellings, houses of Spaniards.  Here it looks like living more.

We had a visit from a man who lived in St. Louis the time the Mormons was drove from Jackson County, Missouri.  Lived here 12 years.  Owns two hundred head of cattle.  Sometimes the Indians drive off many cattle and horses.  Take them to a mountain and draw them up by ropes.  They let no man ascend to them and do not want to make peace with the States.

Sixth day.     Rested until some of baggage teams come in, which stayed out all night.  The officers concluded to stay here today and let our women do some washing.

On the 7, we marched at a good hour and crossed the creek and beheld to our astonishment, we beheld to our right, clouds I saw pass these mountains Snow above them while in the valley I saw all round us numerous herds of cattle and thousands of sheep together in flocks a mixture of goats.

This day come up high hills.  Come 5 or 6 miles, ascending.  Made 20 miles and camped near a little town on the bottoms.  Here was cornfields and the name of this town is Bagus.  Here was green corn, onions and many other things offered for sale by the Spaniards.  This town is on the bottoms about twenty miles from Moran Creek, this called ‘Laplasak’ and is watered by hand as there is not much rain.  Numerous ditches carry the water to all parts of these bottoms.  Houses built of mud.  Mud roofs.  Any amount of wool here.

At the hour of six on the 7 day, ‘Reveille’ at sunrise.  Marched.  I had command of the sick yesterday and today the sick in the advance.

Today, at 9 o’clock, took the narrow pass between the hills and rested in the valley at the foot of a hill on the banks of a beautiful stream that went through the pass into the settlement of the Spaniards.  Ascended this valley for about one mile and took up a hill through the pines and descended into another valley and passed through between two mountains and beheld a mountain on my right, at the distance of about 3 or 4 miles, that I saw yesterday.  A beautiful concern.  It was round.  The appearance of a cornice at top, covered with pine.  Also, the sides for three fourths up on the right of this a high ridge forming a quarter circle until it lost its chain behind other mountains.  A splendid valley covered with small pine timber.  At the left, this valley continued around this round mountain.  I know not how far.

We continued our course south on rising ground into the pine timber.  Passed over the mountain and came to a little town called ‘St. Aclarah’.  Passed on over another mountain, more curious than the one we passed yesterday.  It was higher and some clouds run below it.  Our spring come from before it and run into a dry bed of a creek.  The poorest land I have seen for a long time.  The ground is red.  Small cedar and pine is the principle timber.  Some little dwarf oaks of no account.  This day traveled 20 miles.

Friday 9th.    At daybreak, ‘Reveille’.  Marched at 7.  Traveled a north course between the mountains until we come to a spring at the right.  First guard got on the ground at about dark.  All night the teams came in one after another until sunrise.  As I am writing, one has just come.  Many are behind yet.  Our teams are worn out.  The men are drilled down until they can hardly go.  No feed.  Teams chained up last night.  Still the orders is to move on right now.  Hardly have time to eat.  The command is in the hands of George W. Omen, who said about those who was behind that we will starve them until they will come up when they could not walk.  This is the statement of a young man that was in our camp last night in the presence of Gully and Pace and Binley. 

This morning is the 10 day.  Yesterday made 22 miles.  Such whipping and beating of dumb beasts I never saw before.  I saw a man, not a Mormon, throw about 20 stones, one after another in the side of one ox.  Many an ox would lay down in their tracks.  Man and beast has to suffer.  Now thirty miles to Santa Fe, yet men rushed off without eating this morning until there can be feed found.  No feed here.  Yesterday there was a great hailstorm.  I got wet through.  Today there is a mountain covered with snow.  I suppose perpetual. 

Just met an express going to Fort Leavenworth.  Made 7 miles.  Come to an ancient town.  The Spaniards give an account one hundred years about that time the head or governor died.  Said he should rise and light must burn until he arose.  His people kept lights burning for some 2 or 3 years, when the Blackfeet Indians descended the mountain and swept them all off.

I viewed this temple all through.  Counted 27 rooms and I saw many rooms in among the ruins.  I could not count them.  Human bones we found that had been lately dug out in the main room, which was 8 rods long.  Wood work beautiful, carved all around the gallery was nicely done.  This room was about 40 feet wide.  Rooms on each side.  Below these ruins is a small town which is called ‘Pacho’.

We are now commanded to move.  The sick are almost discouraged and complain against Oman, their acting Colonel.  We are now in 25 miles of Santa Fe.  The old man has gone ahead and says he will complain against us to the authorities because we can’t travel and carry our packs.  He unloaded the pack team which was private property and compelled the sick to travel and many who was unwell and could scarcely travel.  Had to go until I have seen men give out and sit down and could get no further.  Some men would hide them in the wagons.  They are men of humanity.

Montozuma is the name of the man that builded the ruined city, 3 hundred years was the light kept up.  3 years ago it was extinguished.  This I suppose is the correct account.

11 day.    Morning.  Started at sunrise and traveled through the mountains.  Little water we have on our way only what we can carry in canteens.  Met some few returning to the States.  Heard from Corney (General Kearny).  The General lost many of his mules.  “Sixty ten” the Spaniard said.  I suppose he meant six times ten, by the Indians.  Made 18 miles and came to spring and put up in 10 miles of Santa Fe.

12 day.    Came over a very rough country of mountainous land.  Nothing but pine of the poorest quality.  Very small and limbs the whole length for the space of about 10 miles and came in sight of Santa Fe.  The poorest looking place i know of.  Mud houses that do not look as well as the Mormon brickyards did in Nauvoo.  Unburned.  Here we marched the remainder of our Battalion through the town with the best of music that could be found in the American western army.  A little north of town, was Corney’s new fort, not completed yet.  Near this was our remainder of our Battalion.  All hands rejoiced to see each other.  Here we pitched our tents and rested for a short time.

More for 11 day.    We stopped at the narrow pass about 15 miles from here and saw the breast work of the Spaniards commanded by Armeho.  3 thousand in number.  Corney has 15 hundred.  This place looks to be so dangerous.  A pass that 5 hundred might keep of 10 thousand with all ease.  Mountains on each side, reaching up their lofty peaks half way to the clouds.  Some above many clouds, with a pass just wide enough for a wagon to pass beside of a small stream of water. 

With all of the advantages of the Spaniards over him, the brave Corney charged with his little band of troops through this pass to attack his antagonist, Armeho, with company far superior. When to his surprise, Armeho left the ground and fled to Chewaway, 700 miles south and Corney took possession of Santa Fe and raised the American colors, which now is waving in Santa Fe.

13 day    ‘Reveille’ before sunrise and all other camp duties as usual.  Then assembled by the request of the officers and heard Captain Hunt explain the reason how the Battalion should send their monies to the Church.  Which was this--should the paymaster not have cash to pay all, which was verily believed to be the case, they should send checks on to St. Louis where the monies could be drawn and in time, by the Church.  All said they would do it. 

Next, was the women.  They was to be sent to the Fort Pueblo under the escort men, to stay until next spring and then go to California, where they wanted to settle and the men to Montera on the bay of St. Francisco, as it was impossible for them to cross the mountain. 

Same day, Adjutant Dikes read to the Battalion the choice of Captain Cook, our in the choice of Quartermaster, which was to drop Gulley and take Smith our former.  Would I be Colonel and place him in his stead.  I said that all that had been said concerning the separating the sick and the the women would be right now as we was in Santa Fe and they could not cross the mountain, but our dropping a man as good as I always esteemed Gulley to be, I could not consent to it.  I therefore call on two of my friends to assist me in forming a petition to his Honor, Cook.  Him to let Gulley continue in his office.

On the 14 day, this petition was made out.

15 day.    Signed by almost every man present.

On the Sixteenth, it was sent to Donaphan, who said it was right, but thought that as soon as the camp moved on that he would be removed again, as the prejudice against him was great.  Brother Gulley feared not to defend the Saints in any place nor before any man.

We continued in our camp until the 16th, when we received orders for all that was going with Captain Brown to start on the 17th day.

In the morning of that day, we found that he had called out his company, which consisted of all the weakly and those that had wives and children.

This journal, please keep safe that I may transcribe it in the history of my life.  I do not know as you can read it.  I have had to write every chance I could and poor chance at that. 

Clarissa, I have seen the greatest cruelty that I ever saw in my life.  Many an ox and mule whipped to death, until they would lay down in their tracks   Do see that no cruel man shall drive my team.  And may God bless you and prosper you and you have health to perform the journey before you in peace.

From now I keep my journal in another book and send this to you to keep safe.  I pray that I may live to see you again.  In haste I must go.  So fare you well.

Levi W. Hancock.