Vol. 3

November 24, 1846 to February 6, 1847

These [drawings of the surrounding mountains] was all taken from the shape of their tops as appeared from the camp on Tuesday 24 of November, 1846.

Yesterday was our hard days travel without food or water.  Thirty miles over dry plains.  One chain of hills, 2 miles through where we could see the peak of a high mountain.  10 miles south of Ash Valley, which is called White or Ash Valley on account of the worn out, broken down ox that was killed to feed the Battalion with.  He was so poor, he could not live but a short time and there had to die. 

We traveled from these hills the same direction as we had the day before, southwest, making 12 in the morning and 18 in the afternoon, making 30 miles.  As stated above, this day we rested and prepared for tomorrow. 

25th day.     Morning.  We find that another ox has come that was left 9 miles back.  He followed us to the camp and I understand he is to be drove on.

Here is a plenty of water, but soon looses itself in the sand.  It is on the east side of the dry bed of a lake or pond that is sometimes filled with water.  I do not know how long this bottom is, but we came south on it 3 miles.  It is hard and traveling as on a smooth rock.  I can see no end neither way, 1/2 mile wide.

This morning marched 10 miles and came to these hills where we are now passing southwest direction to find a pass, if possible, for the wagons into another valley.  We are now about 2 miles in among the hills and I have to go.

The hunters have here, nearby me on the left hand side of the road, killed a grizzly bear.  Her cubs yell and scream.  They return and lay their paws upon her, then yell the second time.  They leave and go up the mountain.

We continued our course, southeast, until we make 20 miles and camped on another plain between the mountains on a creek in the center of the flats.  Timber for wood a plenty.  Good land, but little timber and water tilling.  There was some timber among the hills, as we passed them, I beheld that was good to burn.  The first I have seen for a long time.  I have taken a view [drawn a picture] of the hill from this camp this evening. 

We have had some beautiful plains to pass over as we have come along, but a lack of water and timber.  The best of grass.  These bottoms are wide and long, generally sand and gravel.

I now must record about four crows or ravens that have followed us almost from Santa Fe.  On the road they have got one more.  They follow us and light in the grass until the camp passes, then fly ahead and wait until the camp passes again.  They are here this evening.

26 day.     November, 1846.  Last night I was troubled in my sleep very much and also the night before.  I dreamed I heard my wife pray, “O Father, Father,” and continued to call in this way until I had got near to her and I awoke.  I took no pleasure all day yesterday. 

Last night I had a view of this camp and Satan had got power here.  I could do no good by trying to rid the camp of him.  I got up and told the brethren, many of them, that I had had a dream and it worried me and what to do I did not know.  I beheld myself with many people in the woods, where there was plenty of timber and each one seemed bent to keep to himself as much wood as he could.  And beef after beef was made.  I tried to get some and somebody would lay clam to it and I knew they did not want it and it was pulling and hulling all about.  I concluded to let them have all and go with it and not quarrel about it and so it was I learned that some almost come to blows.  They would curse each other and damn when there was plenty all up and down on the creek.  I thought Satan defied me and my power.  I tried to have him leave.  He would not.  I took him by the fore top and he stood his ground.  I took my knife and tried to dig out his eyes.  I could handle him, but could not make him go.  I called to the Lord and awoke.  ...I knew it was Satan and I have no power in this camp on the account of jealousy rising up for fear I want to exercise power in the Battalion.  

27th day.     ‘Reveille’ at daybreak.  Last night camped by good water.  Made 15 miles yesterday and while the camp was moving, three of our hunters went to the top of a mountain and they say that they could see no end to the mountains northwest from here.  Off every other way, there was many valleys between them as it is here, save nearly south.  There it was more level. 

The water here runs to the north.  The first we have seen and this is in the same valley we was in yesterday.  There is plenty of timber on the mountains here.

This morning the whole guard has to go on extra duty because one man run his bayonet in a mule.  The guard is mad. 

We traveled until 10 o’clock and I got ahead of all the train and stopped and took a picture of the mountains around.  On the east side of the creek it appears to me to be about a half round.  The sand hills in the middle groves of timber.  All around under the mountain it looks more like live here than in any other place I have seen since we left.  One place on the Rio Grand, at the bend where we turned west.  This valley is large and rich soil.  If anything lacks here, it is water.  I do not take anything yet from the west.  The hills in sight is small, save some at the northwest, a long ways off.  The course we have come this morning is south, making about 8 miles.  We continued our journey until we came to a valley, putting into this from the west.  We turned to the right and went around the point of the mountain and camped in the center of the valley on a stream of water, putting down from the mountains through the valley. 

This mountain is against where we camped on the 26 November 1846.  This chain runs rounding towards the southeast.  The next is running from the southeast to the sand hills and there it forms the center of its large circle.  Pine and oak timber grows here. Sand hills. This chain, like the rest, is connected with the other and joins the other and runs to the southwest, leaving a beautiful valley and wold be a find country, but for the lack of water, as I think it must be watered as in Santa Fe by hand.  Here the valley turns nearly south.  Again mountains are north and south.  It is my desire to give a true statement concerning this land.  It abounds with bear and antelope.  Wolves, also.  This land is in Sonora, I understand.  Owned by the Apache Nation of Indians, who stroll around and hunt from place to place.  Some live in towns.

On the 28th day.     We moved in the morning through a low part of the hills to the southwest of camp and turned east and went around another point and turned west and camped on the plain where we found a little water, until we could fix a road down the mountains into the valley.  This is a valley we camped in on the 27 and on the 28, we had hoped to go into the valley of a branch running into the Hely.  We passed through among the hills and turned west and to our astonishment, the guides returned and stopped our teams and told us we could not go down the mountains.  The teams all turned about and passed around another point of hills and turned up another valley, but could not get down in the valley.

There was in the evening, an Indian Chief come in and told us that we was on the right road and that last summer there was one wagon went down where we was calculating to go yesterday.  It was then counciled to return back and go the way that we intended.  There was then a call for men to work on the road in the morning.

Accordingly, on Sunday morning the 29th day, all hands was engaged in fixing for a pass to go into the valley.  Some was to stay with the stuff, others to pack mules and others to work with the shovels and axes and if possible, they are a going to fix a road for the wagons to pass down the mountain. 

Yesterday, some of our men shot a grizzly bear and knocked him down and did not get him.  This is the place that our camp descended into the lower country from a plain surrounded by mountains on almost all sides, save one that we ascended a small creek from the north, having a valley 10 miles wide, not enough water to improve it.  This is the only pass into the valley below.  I stood 3/4 of a mile above the bottom of this curious ground with smaller hills as I have marked down here on this map.  Although I cannot see from here, nearly all it looks to be impossible to find a way for wagons as the Spaniard says.  It looks as if a bird would have all he could do to find a way up over these mountain tops.  But, I understand that there is a way by taking out the loads. 

I am now down and have drawed this ‘Nature’s Steeple’.  As I sit on this rock, which is on the other side of the valley, as I sit in this hole in the rock, this is about 6 miles down the hills.  We have crooked around among the hills until we have go(ne) over the worst part of the way.  There is a variety of timber here, such as cedar, ash, sycamore and some walnut and cottonwood.  It is warm as summer here.  The trees are green or many of them.  The first time I ever saw it this time of year. 

November 30, 1846.     These mountains are rightly named.  They appear to be nearly all rocks.  The day I saw a panther or catamount while on my way down here.  Also, two deer on the side of the mountain, north side, where I stood to draw the view of the hills on these valleys below.  The first I have seen this side of Council Grove alive. 

December the first, 1846.     I have now to record the course of one of our officers to a soldier.  Last night, Lieutenant Oman went to one of the Hoyts, Timothy, and he was eating his supper.  The Lieutenant said to him to go and move some baggage.  Said Hoyt to him, “I must eat my supper.  I been on duty twice.”  “No you shan’t.  You shall go now.”  “I can’t until I eat.”  “Well, you need not go now.  I’ll have you under guard.”  He was ordered under guard and then he was not satisfied, but must go to the Colonel and get him tried as many have been before for nothing.

i have seated myself again in the valley in the tent and and will give here the course of our travel through this strange place.  Our course is a little to the south of west, but we have had to go almost every way to get here, since we left the country above, over the backbone of the American land.  There is no end to the hills and mountains.  I only took what was in sight from where I stood on the highest of the land before I come down here.  If this is the best place, the other places must be bad enough.

We left one wagon above and yesterday another as we was descending and we are not yet down and out of this hole that is here marked out.  Here is some quaking aspen and poplar and also a plenty of buttonwood and a considerable of a variety of other timber.  The leaves of the trees are not as they are in the eastern countries, although it is the same kind of wood.  There is every kind of prickly thing grown here that can be thought of, save those few that used to grow in my own country.

On the north is a hollow where water sometimes rises, putting down from the mountain into the river or creek.  Which runs from the north, forming a corner of a ridge, where we camped.  From the camp I drew the mountains on the northeast and west.  Those up the creek are in the book taken at other camps.  One man returned from upstream and says that about 3 or four miles above, there is the best millseats he ever saw.  The water passes through the hills through the rocks and the best falls ever seen.  After it passes here, it continues through another bottom, very wide, of the best of land.  Wood or timber is scarce, only around the mountains there is pine.  Never have I seen a more beautiful stream and more pure water and better fish and better meat.  Nature seems to have formed this place for some great purpose.  Timber could be easily cultivated here.

December the 1st.     We camped in among the hills and the second day, we passed into a valley where this one house and habitation is.  Where I took this map of mountains and hunters had a day of hunting and was ordered to deliver over their beef to the Commissary, which made the soldiers warring mad.  They did not want to be compelled to do it.

December 4th, 1846.     We started to go to the foot of the hills west.  At one o’clock, the pioneers cut their way through the brush about 9 miles and the camp followed and camped among the hills, which was nearly all rock.  In the morning I discovered that the greatest part of these hills was rock.  The orders came in last night that even the pioneers themselves should carry their packs and one company, who had a company team, was not excepted.  The men say it is hard.

On the fifth day.     We traveled on west, through the hills and in about four miles came out to another valley as big as the last mentioned.  About as far from the top to top across the valley, as the one last described.  As soon as I came out from among the hills, I saw that the hunters had killed some more wild beefs.  Noble fine beef it is.  I understand it is to be delivered up to the commissary.

This day we made 12 miles and came to an excellent spring.  I cannot yet tell whether it runs to the south or north.  The stream, in the one we have just come from, runs to the south and is said to turn west and empties in the Gulf of California.  The soil in this valley is red from the hills down to this water.  There is an abundance of cattle here.  I have seen many as I was coming today.

The weather is rather cool and the clouds are in the west, hovering over the mountains as far as you can see.  This is the first day that it has been cloudy since we left Rio Grande.  It now looks like rain.

We have camped by a sulfur spring, visited by many cattle, some wild horses.  This evening I took a picture of the mountains in sight, on the north.  A raise of ground hid the prospect of the north.  We camped on the south side of the hill.  At the bottom is the spring.  South of camp, water turns west, then southeast and passes through the mountains, then west to the Gulf of California.  On the west of this stream, which is small like the one east, is good ground, I should judge for wheat and many other things.  Black soil and rich.  Small brush for timber.  Wood a plenty, such as it is.  The pioneers have to work busy.  A plenty of beef here.  Snow on the mountains, here on the east and west.

On the sixth of December, warm in this valley.  Cold last night and windy and rainy.  Not bad showers, but drizzling rains.  From here I see many mountains at the north and east that I could not see in camp.  I stood in camp west of where camped last night and drew this.  13 miles west here is a good spring, although it tastes a little of sulfur.  Water runs south and makes its way through the mountains and is said to turn and empty into the Gulf of California. 

This chain of hills or mountains runs from 12 miles southwest from here to the northwest, out of sight running northwest.

On the sixth day, the camp traveled through the brush for about 12 miles and passed in among the hills and I found a beautiful grove of young timber of ash and a kind of walnut, a little like black walnut and a great variety of other wood or brush which grows on the mountains and in the valleys, good to burn.  This peak is seen from where we camped last night, covered with snow.

This place is where the camp passed through into a small valley, where we found an old yard that we understand from one of our guides was built by the man who owned the little town we passed through. 

This is a hill north of camp 5 day.  The camp was on the south side running around to the east from northwest, hiding all on the north.  Camp her on the fifth night.

One of the Spanish drovers left and went to the Spanish settlement below here a short distance.  We are now camped where the Spaniards used to yard their cows, but the place is now in the hands of the Apache Indians, who are at war with one another.

Last night I learned what was the cause of their difficulty. The Indians was once their slaves.  For some cause, an Indian shot a Spaniard with his arrow and killed him.  It commenced about a bull.  He immediately fled to the mountains and others followed.  The Spaniards sent 18 men to take them.  A battle commenced.  The Indians kept the ground and held it ever since. Thousands have since been slain here and it is one continual war between these people.

We are near a fortified town of Spaniards now.  Some I understand have thought they should like to go and attack it.  Others are not.

Seventh day.     Morning orders is to rest a while.  Accordingly, we waited with all patience, not knowing how long.  If (we) knew for one day, we could wash, but we must (be) kept (in) ignorance.  It happen(ed) that it was all day the seventh and we was no better for it, save we had a plenty of bull beef.

The Indians have sworn vengeance against the Spaniards.  That they never will forgive them for their murders and wrongs they have received from their hands, but take vengeance whenever they can and it is said that one will chase six.  They now live by plundering and say they are well able to do it and ask no favors and they live in the mountains and fight and get a living and a good one too.  This is the place where we camped and rested one day, December 7, 1846. 

On the eighth day.     Camp moved at eight o’clock and traveled north by west 20 miles and camped on the prairie north of the mountain seen west through the valley yesterday covered with snow.  It was a very cold day.  Wind blew hard, but small brush for fuel.  The men suffered.  No water, only what some few brought in their canteens and a little that.  Brother Pace and Lytle brought in a keg which they divided freely as they have done before.

Elisha Smith’s grave.  Died on the eighth day of December, 1846, early in the morning and buried before eight o’clock.  His grave is in the road, four rods from the creek, north side.

East and west and on a straight line with two hills, one laying to the north, one south.  Marked 1 and 2.  These are all the hills seen from the camp.  As soon as we ascended the high land, we could see many more.  Here is a good place to keep from the cool winds.   Last night it serve us well.

This peak was seen through the mountains from where we camped the day before.  We camped last night in among the hills 7 day.  Snow on this mountain, 8 of December 1846.  This is covered with cedar, small, or pine.  It is six miles from camp, but few mountains I have put down here.

This is a large valley and we are calculating to descend it northwest until we come to the river Saint Padra.  The land that we passed over today is a red color or like Spanish brown, as it is in many places in among the mountains the other side of Santa Fe.  We passed over many places that was covered with small stone and appeared to be good for nothing, but the grass would catch in places and grow well.

At 7 o’clock on the 9th day.     We started and went about northwest until we came to St. Padra River.  A beautiful steam.  It is a plenty of water for the whole country.  The best of land, although we today have passed over a considerable red soil, but the most of it appears to be good.  Here on the creek, the soil is black and nothing hinders this land being a place worth possessing, but a lack of timber, like many other places.  A few scattering trees along the banks and some cedar on the surrounding mountains is all that this country affords save brush of various kinds.  Filled with prickers.  They look at first sight as if it would not do to talk about them for fear of getting a pricker in your tongue.  

Friday, 11 December.     We continued our march down stream for about two miles and then went down into the bottom, covered with high grass and immediately come into contact with the wild bulls.  One man was very badly hurt in his thigh.  The horn tore him very bad.  I have not yet heard how bad.  I was called upon to lay hands upon him and pray, which I did. Another man was badly hurt, belonging to the Church.  One of the gentiles, by the name of Stoneman, had his thumb shot off.  Other was hurt.  Such a time I saw before the guns went every way.  The officers could not stop the men shooting and this I call ‘The Bull Battle’, in the land of Sonora on the River St. Pedro. [LNs Note:  This Bull Battle took place not too far from the present site of Tucson, AZ.] 

December 11, 1846.     Two mules was killed dead and tore open with the horns and how many bulls, I know not.

Last night, I had a dream that worried me much.  I thought I saw trouble in among the brethren.  I saw judgment pass and such a time I never saw before.  Such crying and yelling and screeching.  Men whipped almost to death and was made to whip each other, until my blood ran cold in my veins.  How I pitied them and could render them no assistance.  I could learn no cause of it, but it was told me that they was those who damned and swore and cursed their brethren.  I thought I knew them well, but when I awoke, I could not remember them.

I awoke and told my dream and went to sleep and dreamed that I was called up by the brethren to tell it which I did and told them I thought it was for not keeping the covenants, but use the name of the Lord, their God in vain and it had become common language to curse each other.  Some men cried out, “That is right.”  I then thought that I was constrained to say,  “And all those who steal their brother’s rations, when they have half.”  I knew them also and they hung their heads down. 

... We passed over the best kind of land I ever saw and came to another creek, putting down from the west into this river large enough to carry a grist mill continually and might be brought onto a overshot wheel as clear as crystal.  From here we went through another bottom of the same kind of rich soil and pass over a ridge of the bluffs.  Short, but steep on both sides.  The worst place I have seen since we come from the mountains and went through another flat and camped.

News has just come in that there is ten bulls killed.  They chase the cows into the mountains, it is said by the natives and there raise their calves where the bulls cannot find them.

The bottom land here is about one mile wide, with now and then a scrape of bottom much wider.  Sometimes the bottoms come almost together.  Along down and up this stream, there are other bottoms of another quality of soil, ascending until they reach the mountains, which is some 20 miles.  Take this river up and down as far as we now have traveled the Rio Grand was the same, but not as beginning scarcely for richness of soil, nor goodness of water.  Up the creek that we passed on the right hand side, is an old town.  How old, we know not. 

This day, some of our hunters informed me that they have seen a number of bear tracks and one was the width of his hand and length of his thumb.  Say 7 inches and one foot long.  The orders is for no shooting tomorrow.

Some men escaped a narrow chance today.  One bull shoved his head against one man and his horns went on each side and ran over him.  Another ran at a man and he fell down in the grass and the bull ran over him.  Several men, I am informed, was treed and the bull kept them up until he was shot.  One young man stood his ground and would not run until he came in about ten feet and then shot him.  “That is a brave man,” said the Colonel and often spoke of his courage.  This night all hands are drying beef. 

December 12, 1846.     I drew this place where we camped after our bull fight. At daybreak, ‘Reveille’.  Marched at about 7 o’clock.  Passed over another hill and in about three miles, saw an old town on our right, in a beautiful place beside of the water, how desolate.  A young man found a piece of furniture and showed it to me.  It looked like a piece of a drawer, pine dovetail on one end.  It looked very old.  In the narrows as we came along down, I saw a rapids of falls and the best kind of a mill seat and good land all around, up and down is rich black land.

We went over another hill and across the bottoms.  On the other side, east of us, we saw another old town.  We did not go to it.  The towns here are all built so as to be easily protected.  Whether the people was all destroyed or not, I cannot learn.  I may here after.  But, they lay up a wall of the hardest kind of clay and generally encircle about one acre of land and build inside of that.  And that is easily defended.  Nothing, save cannon, can penetrate it.  These towns are now all evacuated and cattle left.  No better place could we be in to winter.  We wish our folks had some of our beef where they are now.  We fear it is scarce, but God is able to feed them as well as us.  And He has the care of them now. 


The Mormons led by Colonel Cook

while passing down St. Pedro brook

A turning o’er a little rise

where grass was up to horses eyes


While on the way to California

On our hard and tedious journey

In among the Rocky Mountains

Crystal stream and flowing fountains


Just as our mules began to pull

out from this tall grass jumped a bull

As soon as we appeared in sight

he raised his head ready for fight


“Stop. Stop.” said one, just to see the brute

“Hold,” was the answer, “Let me shoot.”

He flashed but did not shoot the gun

both stood their ground and would not run


He primed and said, “I want some meat.”

“I think that you will do to eat.”

He shot him then and down he lay

but soon jumped up to run away


He ran awhile then turned around

all hands cried out, “You shot him down.”

And then the guns began to roar

and killed him dead, he raise no more


And then the Bulls and men around

determined each to stand their ground

The Bulls then rushed out in great rage

and war against the Mormons waged


A Bull then at one made a pass

he being quick hid in the grass

Said he, “This Bull is very spry.

I’ll lay down here till he’ll pass by.”


I saw a battle had commenced

in the Bull pasture though not fenced

And that we must ourselves defend

for we among them had no friends


There was a man threw down his gun

a charge had burst and spoiled his thumb

Others before the Bulls did flee

and ran and climbed up on a tree


The Bulls them rushed like unicorns

into the mules they thrust their horns

A victory they meant to gain

and leave all dead upon the plain


A man then shot a musket ball

at a Bull’s head and made him fall

A man dressed with his butcher’s coat

was well prepared to cut his throat


The Bull as quick as a steel trap

threw up his horn and catched his cap

This man as though he’d lost his crown

out ran the Bull and got him down.


“Give up my cap, you darned thief.

I’ll cut your throat and have some beef.”

Then at his throat his knife did throw

and cut it open with one blow


I saw a man as I passed by

a Bull had hooked him in the thigh

The blood out of his thigh did pour

three inches deep he made the sore


Others got hurt some very bad

those who escaped felt very glad

The Bulls they took an awful fright

and left the ground for Mormonites


And when this Bull Battle was o’er

and sound of muskets heard no more

We stopped a while and found there slain

two mules and twelve bulls on the plain.

by. Levi W. Hancock

The timber is the meanest kind.  Scrubby, crooked, knotty, rotten, brash, winding, gnarly stuff.  The limbs look so crooked and bad that one would think the first sight of it that it could not lay still and the earth is as crooked as the timber.  There is some exceptions of about the toughness.  Some of the buttonwood is hard, while young.  It is said that some of the oak is hard.  But, I have not seen any oak that looks tough.

We are now about 18 miles from our last camping place, in the upper country.  This country is a continual place of war.  The Apaches are at war with the Mexican.  It is said that they has sustained themselves by plundering their enemies.  Some nations of Indians are at war with them and they fight and then retreat into the mountains and dwell secure in some valley from the sight of their enemy, until they are found or themselves sally forth upon their enemy.  They do not care for money.  They say it will do them no good.  If they go to trade, they are killed and the only way for them is to fight until they die.  They do not attempt to raise anything to eat.

Nature has provided a kind of root they call ‘muskeall’.  It is an excellent root.  It is sweet and pleasant root, well cooked.  The way the natives cook it, is to get a stone and dig a place in the ground and lay a stone at the bottom and one at the top and build a fire in the hole and heat it as an over.  Then put in the muskeall, well peeled and roast it for one whole day and it turns sweet and good as the best squash and is used by them for bread.  And almost all kinds of food of any kind, they appear to be strangers to it.

I understand there is a plenty of wild oxen here among these hills, which is excellent beef.  I do not know, but these natives kill some occasionally, but they have nothing to kill with but bows and arrows.

These bottoms look like the best of soil in these valleys for about one mile wide, some places wider.  On the next rise of land is course gravel and completely cut up with hollows, brush and thorns and everything mean and hateful to tear ones skin and clothes.  There, no such things grow in the States, but there is an abundance of grass and good feed for stock.  The bottoms here are black and mellow and easy to be tilled.  They look as if they would bear the best of grain and make the best of gardens and orchards.  The timber is small brush, save a few large trees.  Only five are in sight here.  There is plenty of wood for fires to cook with here.

Where our camp is, a small town called ‘Barnadeno’, once owned by a rich  man who built it for himself.  He owned one thousand head of cattle and this camp has killed many of them.

Yesterday, we rested and the hunters went out and brought in much beef.  Some was gone until near day.  This morning, they say that there are large droves, but a short distance from here west. 

The orders have not come for the camp to move.  At one o’clock, I have just come in from a walk.  I find that there is an abundance of water here, but it is the warmest I ever saw in my life.  Some suppose that it comes from a hot place, perhaps a burning mountain not yet burst open.  The mountains have the appearance of once having been in the fire, on account of the black stone looking so like lace and many stones look like glass, clear. 

Today is Sunday, 13 December, 1846.     I am in camp and see that the bottoms are five miles wide here, some places wider and the best of soil.  Small trees for wood.  The pine and small oak grows near the mountains.  The land between these bottoms and the mountains are generally rocky and some places rough.  It lies about 20 feet higher than the bottom land and some places a hundred.  It generally bears good grass.

Yesterday we traveled 16 miles, today 10.  Our course is still north, as near as I can tell with a pocket compass.  Many crooks across the bottoms, now in the course of our travels down this stream this far.  Last night one of our pilots came in camp, having returned from the Spanish fort.  Says that there is about two hundred men there at the garrison. 


When Colonel Cook who did command

the little Mormon Army

And through Sonora called to go

ordered by General Kearny

From Santa Fe down the Delnort

we passed the hills quite handy

Though some hard pulls had with the mules

because the roads was sandy


We left our children far behind

and wives we love so dearly

To us they have been good and kind

and suffered with us yearly

But again we hope to see

all those we’ve left behind us

When we’ve gone through and are set free

good fellows they shall find us


Although we travel hard all day

we feel not like complaining

And have not many things to say

and not much forward gaining

But soon we hope that there will be

an end to war commotion

And meet with General Kearny too

by the Pacific Ocean


The hand of friendship we extend

to everybody round us

And to our Country we are friends

as it has ever found us

To Colonel Cook we wish success

success also to Kearny

We hope to be hereafter blessed

and prospered through our journey


The Colonel’s spirit we admire

since first we heard his order

And also gentle course he took

along Sonora boarder

And when we go home to our wives

we always will remember

The time we had in old Tucson

in the month of December

Last night I took a view of our camping ground and saw that it was like the one we had the night before.  It is ten miles down north the same mountains.  Here on each side of the stream, the bottoms about the same width and about the same for timber.

On the 14th day December.     Monday, we had ‘Reveille’ at five o’clock, (as order had been given the night before on the parade ground, for we did parade and there was an inspection of army), and be ready to march at sunrise.  On this day, we took a west course and passed on the south side of the mountain.  Marched northwest up a dry hollow, over a hill around course by the south and came with a parallel line west of where we left the creek and went down another hollow, making 20 miles and camped by good wood and water.  This valley runs as far as we have come on it for 10 miles, a northwest course.  This is a fine valley, about half mile wide, rich as a cow yard.  Five soldiers have been in camp tonight and say that the Governor has forbid any Army passing through the borders.  We have to go tomorrow and try.  Timber is small here.  

15 day.  Morning, December 1846.     We left camp at 1/2 past eight.  No mountains of any account in sight.  We passed this valley down about one mile and came to a Spanish distillery.  It is a curious concern.  Creatures skins for tubs and an earthen jar for the water, cooler for the pipe.  Hops worked into whiskey called ‘Muskall’.  This root is used for many things and there is a great variety of it.

Many species of the same things {LN: cactus} of all descriptions.  Every shape we could think of, it grows.  It may have different names.  I have not leaned them.  It is also with the prickly pear.  All sorts of these concerns are along our road.  There is from the smallest kind to some like a tree, 14 inches diameter, 20 feet high, limbs sticking out.  The whole body is filled with flutings with the pillets covered with prickly thorns.  Other curiosities, a kind of thing that resembles prickly pear, but a hundred times as many prickers and a hundred times as bad.  Worse that a hedgehog quills.

It is expected tomorrow to fight against a fort.  ‘Reveille’ at 5 o’clock, march at 7.

[LN Notes:  The following poem was not found in this place in Levi’s journal, but was placed in the journal much later, while in California, but has been moved to this spot to put it in a more current context.  From his journal, it is not totally clear when they actual passed Tucson but there was anxiety that a battle would ensue at that point.  This poem better captures his mood at that time, on the eve of going into an expected battle.  And so this treasured poem has been moved to this spot in the journal. Forgive me for taking this liberty.]

Battle Expected At Tucson

Night came on and orders too

that to all ears was strange and something new

Shall we who strolled so long

o’er these vast plain now dare to storm the fortified Tucson?

That on our road remains we who have rambled till our feet have bled

earth hear, and they can witness by our blood made red

thorns and briers now do hold the rags

that from our bodies have been torn and in their place have used old worn out bags.

To save our skin and flesh from going, dare we tomorrow morn by break of day

when bugles, fifes and drums sound Reveille

March out and give our names to go

and drive the soldiers out, or town o’er throw.

All night was calm we had laid down

upon a hill in sight of town

That o’er us called, the spirit in our hearts did burn;

Our enemy before we could not turn.

And go around, while in our country’s cause

Sonora must give way and know our laws

For t’would be cowardice in us

and to ourselves and country prove a curse

After we’d suffered and had marched so long

to fear to pass the fortified Tucson

Thus meditating as we lay

we fell asleep until the break of day

When quickly from our slumber we arose

and as the horns did sound put on our clothes

Water we’d none to cook, no wood to roast our meat

20 miles to march before we’d eat.

The morn was clear, we marched until four o’clock

our guns had all been cleaned and fine locks

We came before the town and saw in sight

a flag towards us borne that showed no fight.

The enemy had fled and left the ground

and only the mountains did hide themselves around

The man who bore the flag rode up and said

Although you are well armed, we’re not afraid.

The garrisons we’ll hold.  You cannot go the road

and then the order was for us to load

We p;rimed our guns in sight of town

cast about, and ramrods drew to send the cartridge down.

The officers then said, we will not fight,

our men are gone and out of sight.

The Colonel and his staff here turned, we love our country’s laws

and naught but death will give the Mormons pause.

We drove the Spaniards out, they would not fight

and from the fortified Tucson took their flight.

This day is the 16th day of December.  We are camped now one mile northwest of town.  Tomorrow we rest and I now record the course of the Colonel which we consider wise.

We had one man detained in town, a prisoner.  Some of the guides asked the Colonel if he would not take some Spaniards until they gave him up. They was afraid that they would take him to the mountains and we could not get him without fighting.  He saw the propriety of such a move and ordered them to be arrested and sent some more into town to let them know if they would give up Foster, they should have the men that we had taken. 

Last night he came into camp.  He informed us that the regulars was not far, one hundred and that he thought we must fight.  But, they left town and we passed through peaceably and have a plenty to eat as the public property is plenty.  None is to be wasted.  They have the best of wheat here, beans and corn.  But, we have no money and cannot buy much of anything.

This is the mountains east are very high, running south until they come against this camp, then they turn east rounding corner and then turns north as I have laid down on another map down the St. Pedro to Hely.

I have just received some bread made from the seeds of trees, called, ‘Muskeet Bread’.  They call pause.  We have had some quinces in camp.  I have saved some seeds.  They are a natural production of this place.  Good orchards here and water.

16 day.     Morning.  We did not do our cooking as we had done before, but started to see the fort.  We expected to see some resistance when we come near the fort, but the regulars left the fort and we passed through peaceably.  The orders from the Colonel was to hold all private property sacred, which order we loved.

As curious a thing as I have seen with thorns, is the large prickly pear or water plant or tree, which is often as high as 20 feet, 16 inches over.  Filled with thorns, standing on the plains which when young answers for water to quench thirst.  A man may live, I am told, without drinking 5 days by sucking out the water. 

This day I have seen a pomegranate, something I never saw before.  The inside is filled with sweet wine in a kind of comb, red, a beautiful thing inside and tastes as well as it looks.

Seventeenth day of December, 1846.  These mountains was taken on Thursday, 17 December, 1846.  I have seen other sorts of bushes covered with prickers.  It seems that everything has its guards to keep and preserve their own body’s [from] destruction.

On the morning of the 18 of December {LN’s note: This day was the 32nd birthday of Levi’s wife, Clarissa Reed Hancock.  She was still struggling through a miserable winter in Council Bluffs, Iowa.} at one o’clock, ‘Reveille’ was beat through mistake.  It seems that the Spaniards meant to surprise us in our camp, but was mistaken.  They had been fired upon by our guards and the bugles sounded.  I awoke and expected they wanted ‘Reveille’.  I thought I had overslept myself and the first thing I beheld was a Lieutenant crying, “Why don’t you beat that drum?  Put out that fire if you can’t beat that drum!  Beat that fife!”  I then went to a drummer and we commenced ‘Reveille’, but was soon stopped and then found that it was an alarm and that we must defend ourselves.

The Battalion then was placed in battle line and all ready for action immediately.  I talked with one of the guards and he said that he had let about ten pass before he shot and that his orders was to shoot.  Then he saw many others in the road, supposed to be the advance guards.  The Spaniards fled and we all went to the camp again.  I understand that the Colonel said that he was convinced that the Mormons will fight.  

On the 18 day.     ‘Reveille’ at 5 o’clock.  Moved at sunrise.  This day made 30 miles on a northwest course, towards Hely (Gila) on a straight line. 

These mountains are from the left of the center line, running southeast to northwest and on the other side of the road is mountains that are as high as these on the left.  I have taken them on the other side, or page, as they present their faces towards the road.  The lines from where I stand is north and south.  I have to guess at the distance of all the hills and mountains.

This land that we have passed between here and town is baron, desolate waste and nothing grows here and it looks like the best of land, a plenty of wood here, fires. 

North, half mile from the road to the foot on the right of this center line as I was facing the mountain, I took this map.  It lays at the left hand as we passed the road or west (of the) town Hely and it is the one that is seen from camp the night before we come to town and presents a different appearance altogether.  This peak is 3/4 mile high and is halfway to Hely. 

Today is the 19 day.     About 11 o’clock in the morning we continued this day until we made 30 miles and camped for the night without water.

On the 18th, December.  Before the alarm in camp, I dreamed for the first time I saw my father and mother together.  My mother said to me, “Levi, your father says that he is going to do something great for you.  He says that he never understood you before.  That you have been honest in heart and have taken a straight forward course and your regard for him excels all his boys and because of it, something nice shall be done for you.”

I then looked and I stood at the right hand of him and expected he would say something, but did not.  I thought to myself or within myself, “What does he mean to do for me?  Does he mean to give the homestead?  Has he anything else?”  I don’t know of any and then thought within myself, “If he does, I don’t want it.”  And the boys will hate me for it and I will tell Father that I thank him as much as though I had it and that all I wanted was a living and that I loved my father and mother and all that I had done was a duty owed to my parents and my God.  I looked at my father and oh, how I loved him.  He said nothing to me, but looked pleased at what my mother told me.

I remembered a dream I had before, which was this: I saw him all alone and said I, “There is my father” and got him by the hand and said, “Bless me, O my father.  Bless me my father,” and put our feet together and ran around.  I said, “Bless me”, and waked.  Soon I found that my little son, Levison, was in bed with me and I fell to kissing him.  He would open his little mouth as he used to when alive.  I kissed him as I done before.  I awoke and said, “Glory to my God.  Peace on Earth.  Good will to Man.  Thou, O Father, art worthy to be praised and loved by all the human family.  Thy goodness is unbounded.  My tongue is not long enough to praise thy holy name.  And my thoughts are great, but they come from the heart and I have not words to tell of thy goodness, but thou does know.  I love thee and let it be my whole study to do good in thy Kingdom and help me to serve Thee all my life and keep thy commands and walk in all thy ordinances blameless.  Even so, Amen.”

These mountains are those that are on the right hand and is about the same distance and height of those on the left.  These are also marked on the map taken near town and run north many miles.  This is the end of this mountains and the camp passed between them.

These was taken on the 19 day of December, 1846.  These plains are covered with locust trees.  The seeds of which the Spaniards use as a kind of meal.  They call the meal ‘Muskeet’.  It is said that is the best of stuff to raise bread.  It is a pleasant sweet, good to put in puddings to make them light.  I think it must be valuable.  I think that there is a cause of this baroness.   The grass is destroyed by animals, signs of prairie dogs.  They leave all desolate where they go.  Many signs of them here. 

On the 20 day.     We came to water near the Hely River, some six miles and a rejoiced set of fellows we was.  After crossing a baron plain of eighty miles without water.  Men almost dead with thirst and the teams almost give out.  No grass and nothing for the teams to eat.

Many opinions there is about this plain.  I have my own opinion which is this, I believe that all green things that can be eaten is eaten by the wild animals.  It does look as if the soil is good, although many places look as if it is good clay for bricks or earthen ware.  The ‘petyyah’, the prickly tree I have sometimes called it pear, grows in abundance.

Along our last days travel, which is the 21 day and I am now in camp, in the borders of the Pema town or on the east side of town.  I know not how far.  There is many Indians in the camp now.  They appear to be very friendly now and want to trade shirts, trade the vest and the breads next. 

This town is on the Hely River, a fine stream it is too.  It is said that it affords a plenty of speckled trout and a variety of other fish.  We have crossed over land filled with particles of yellow stuff some say gold, some say not.  The river runs northwest by west here by this camp and not much timber on the bottom.  More wolves here than in any place we have been in on our route.

Tuesday, 22 day.     Morning.  ‘Reveille’ as usual at daybreak.  This morning I find by looking over the camp that the men fare well.  The Indians have sold them a considerable provisions December 21.

This, the 22 day of December, on Tuesday morning, we left our first camping ground on the Hely and went down this river 8 miles to the Pemo village and pitched our tents.  I find that thee is a greatness in theses Indians that I have not seen in any Indians before.  Yesterday made 10 miles and today is 22, made 3 miles and we find these the most pleasant Indians we have seen.  They are very dark and also the most naked I ever saw.  Any kind of old clothes are wanted in exchange for meal. 

23 day, December.     This day we made 18 miles this day.  And we camped against Salt River mouth. Fifty miles above the mouth of Salt River, which runs southwest and empties in Hely, come Francisco and empties into Salt River.  Francisco heads near the Colorado, within one days travel.  An Indian has just come into camp and says that 3 to 5 hundred Americans are on our trail and are in Tucson, behind 120 miles and are near starved.  Have heard that this (is) not so this evening.   It is a lie.

Many smokes are on the mountains today.  It is said that the Spaniards want help and smoke is a sign of distress.

Camp 23 and rested on the 24.     Here we have to leave the Indian settlement and cross a desert of 40 miles without water.  Last night we heard from Kearny and he says the Spaniards have taken Montera back.  From here commences the great bend in the river.  We have to go southwest across the bend until we strike Hely again.  Many miners in camp today.  It is said that the Colonel will not suffer that the soldiers provisions to be carried only on the soldiers backs.  Maricopers are the names of the Indians here.  At the head of the great bend, the river turns to the right and we southwest around the end of the mountains, across the bend.  This tribe appears to be friendly as the Pemoes, 20 miles above.  It is very warm here and the people nearly naked and live in miserable huts.  They have the best of horses here, but it is hard trading with them and they appear to have the best respect for each other.  They walk around lock armed with each other and act as if they never had any hard feelings with each other.

On the 24th day, I got in conversation with one of our guides and showed him my map of Hely River and the Colorado, Salt and Francisco.  He told me I had it nearly right.  He told me where to make some alterations, which I done and he said it was right.  I saw Laru mark it out last night and today this man, whose name is Powell Weaver, said it was right.  Both Laru and Weaver are well aquatinted with these waters, having traveled the ground many times.

Marched at 10 o’clock from our camp and the maricopers and raveled southwest by west 8 miles, then by the end of the mountains four miles southwest then west, far enough to make 18 miles and camped on the desert on the left hand side of some hills.  We passed through an opening between the hills east of here and there is other openings south that lead into the big desert, that we passed through this side of Tucson. 

The land here  is like the great desert, baron.  No grass grows here.  It appears to be too dry, yet good looking land.  The first 8 miles appears to be covered with the prickly tree or peteyyah, also the cactus, a prickly, thorny, hateful bush or weed or halfway between.  Nothing can touch it without getting pricked and that too severely.  The prickers work in like porcupine quills.  There is also a variety of other bushes, such as the wild orange muskete dwarf pine.  All very scrubby.  Poor timber.

This is Christmas Day and yesterday there was watermelon brought in camp for sale and they was good melons, too.

I saw the Chief last night and he said that he knew who we was and some time he meant to go and see the Mormons in California.  Some said that Captain  Hunt was a going to preach to them and asked me what I thought of it.  I told them that God had not manifested anything to me about it and I knew that he had not to any of the Seventies and if he had to the High Priests, I had no objection.  He did not preach and I was glad for we had not the right sort of interpreter.

26 day.    Morning.  ‘Reveille’ at half past 4.  At daylight, marched 10 miles by 10 o’clock, a southwest direction and went into the valley a leading through the mountains nearly south by southwest direction.  Then after about 4 miles, turned west and through a large valley to the river, making 25 miles.

We have found no water, only what we brought in our canteens.  This valley is as the desert, only more timbers.  Some different wood from that that we have seen along back on our road and many weeds along the aroyohs, where water once run.  The trees are green here and it is very warm.

We got in camp about 8 o’clock or I did.  My feet was sore and I was very weary and it being sandy in many places along the road and poor shoes, it made it hard on my feet.  When I got to camp I went to the pilot’s tent and inquired of them about the two rivers, Salt and Francisco and learned from them that the mountains came close down and there was nothing but mountains up and down them save one place on one of them there was room for a plantation for one man and that not very good and it is almost impossible to get water to drink in the whole route save in the hollow of rocks and one place where they can ride a mule to the river.

In one hollow or gully, it is said that this valley is the best of any and that here is a good place for raising any kind of grain, also anything of the fruit kind, and by the looks of the land here, it seems that a nation might be fed here as in Egypt, by watering the land which might be easily done.  Millions of acres of these plains and all that is lacking is timber.  Here is good clay for bricks and wood enough to burn, then stones enough for fences.  Man can live well here and raise any quantity of cattle and horses, but wood and rain is the objection. 

December 26, 1846.    This is a fair looking place or plain, surrounded by hills not so high.  I took (this drawing) as I passed along.  This valley is like the main body of the great dry plain between here and Tucson, covered with the petayah and other strange trees and brush.  No grass.  All appears to be entirely baron.  These hills are each side of the pass as we moved along through into another valley.  This first, on the north and that about 12 o’clock on the 26 day December 1846.  This aroyah is 40 rods wide at the bottom. Scrubs and small trees grow along throughout this valley.   The hills are very rocky like all we have passed.  When we passed through, I saw small hills all around which I do not take down here and are not seen so as to be noticed when we came on the plain west and it is so near the mountains through this country. 

27 day December 1846.    There appears to be no game on this land.  It must have been hunted out of the land.  Here are old farms that have once been tilled on this river, so say my informants, the guides.

On the 27 day.     We camped near the river 10 miles from last nights campground where our Colonel trod in some human dung and then was mad and said that it was because the men eat parched corn and sent the Ex-Adjutant all around through the camp to forbid the men’s eating parched corn, public or private.  Supposing that it made the men call to the Doctor more than usual. The Adjutant said he came to John Spidle and told the orders from the Colonel.  We have officers of our own, was the answer.

Early in the morning, the old doctor came to one tent where some had been boiling beans and asked, “What is this?”  “Beans and corn.” was the answer.  Soon came the old Colonel himself.  “What have you here?” said he. “Beans,” was the answer.  And he was not satisfied until he looked and found himself fooled.  He next sent to Captain Hunt and he told the messenger to tell the Colonel to kiss his ___.  What will be the result of the matter, I know not. 

This river is one of the finest streams I ever saw.  The whole country of desert or barren plain ought be watered by it -- for, by examination, I perceive it could be brought the highest ground under the mountains and by building some arches across the aroyohs where the water descends from the mountains to let it pass into the channel of the river.  The Hely could be brought so high as to overflow the whole land, a country 80 miles wide and one hundred and fifty long, surrounded by mountains and many valleys putting up into the hills beautiful places, too.  And if this was done, timber would grow large as in amy other place and sugar, cotton, rice, oats, wheat, barely, sweet potatoes and many other things would grow where nothing now grows.  Although it is equally as good as the land that does raise these things. 

On the 28th day.     Monday morning, we marched at 8 o’clock and went through some of the best of land and that to that is good enough for any people although a lack of timber.  This day made 12 miles and camped one mile from the river or any water. 

This day I had a talk with Brother Dikes and traveled about 2 miles with him, in which time he told me that he had wanted some conversation for some time and would be glad if I would give him some council and then said that there was considerable feelings existing against him in the Battalion and he would like to do right and that he considered that I was the one to come to get council. 

I told him I already had that laid to me and I had had a put down for it when there never had been any cause for it and if I should give any council, it would be said again that I sought power and authority and I had concluded not to give any council to any officer, lest it should cause further jealousy.

Said he, “I have been out and called on the Lord to show me what to do.  I have tried to humble myself before him and the Spirit directed me to you and now I want to know if I shall keep the Law and observe strictly as the Twelve had counciled the officers before they left the Bluff.”

“Why,” said I, “what the Twelve have said is right and that is what I have been contending for.  I want their words heard in preference to anybody else.  And because I stood with Lee and boldly told my opinion concerning authority and powers and how that we had ought to stop at any time and listen to the voice of a messenger sent to us from them.  And for these things and some other council I had given, that there was fault found with me and Father Pettigrew and,” said I, “do right and you will be right and any man can do that and this is all the council I shall give until I see the Twelve and give an account to them of my stewardship and there I am willing to go.”  

And then he said that he could clear himself of the charges that was against him and that he had defied any man to prove either Eclyseastacle or Military Law against him, for he had kept them both and when he got to the Church things he thought would be differently represented and would not appear as bad as many suppose and then asked me if I did not think that he had better be independent and do the thing strictly according to law.

Said I, “I never go against the law and do not advise any to do it.”  And now, said I, “If Captain Hunt will acknowledge that I have the right to council, I will call on good men to assist me and we will council together and we will have better times and there will soon be no fightings among us.” 

These valleys are good and rich.  The river sometimes overflows and washes large places down very deep.  The timber is light.  The poplar and willow mostly on the bottoms.  The greenwood, also.  This is taken as I stood in camp one mile from the river bank on December 29, in the morning at 8 o’clock. These bottoms are covered with quaking aspen or poplar and between here and the river.  It was burned last year and destroyed much timber.

December 30, 1846.     ‘Reveille’ at daybreak.  Marched 7 o’clock from our camp on the bottoms surrounded by mountains on all sides save upstream at northeast, which presented a fine view of mountains on the north side of Hely.  Here on the west, about 4 miles below camp, it looked as if it run in the hill and we went west and turned a little to the left and went up the mountain and across another flat.  Then down on the Hely bottoms and through the sand aroyohs until we hit Hely west and camped on the bank, making 19 miles.  Very bad roads.

And had another order not to parch any corn, either public or private.  No mountains in sight, only on the north of Hely and they are so many that I do not take them now.  I have mountains down said to be on the Colorado and have some on the south which are rich mines of gold.  It is said by Doctor Foster that there is some 10 mines there and many millions of dollars have been made there.

December 31.     ‘Reveille’ at daybreak.  Marched at 8.  Traveled southwest by west for eight miles, then turned a little around, making a large circle until we came on a west course and came to some water that we found was so salt we could not use it and had to go one mile and half to Hely to get water to use.  There is no feed here.  It is still barren, yet good looking soil.  It is said that there has been no rain on this river for 3 years.   Little timber here such as had been described before on these plains.  Not many mountains in sight from this camp.  I may take some before I leave here in the morning.

Friday, January 1st, 1847.     ‘Reveille’ at daybreak.  Marched without watering the teams by order of the Colonel.  Think we should find water in a short distance.  Took a south by southwest course for 6 miles and turned southwest a short distance and went west and I stopped and drew a picture of the mountains all around as seen on this plain where I stood, about ten miles from this morning’s camp.

This day we traveled ten miles and come to the river northwest, then turned west by north and went ten miles further and being 18 miles over the best kind of land.  This land could be easily canaled by this stream for streamers.  There is twice the water here than is at Portage Summit in Ohio and of the purest kind.  The best of fish is catched here by our Battalion this evening, some call them trout.  They (are) not spotted as they are in York State.  Others say salmon trout, but they are not like those I have been acquainted with.  I never saw such fish before.

Our hunters have returned and have killed a number of wild bulls and brought in much beef.  One man is under guard for shooting at an antelope without permission.  Allan, the Fifer.  One man was put on extra duty for breaking wind.  I heard one man had to lose his office for telling the Colonel that he could not see to call the name of the Company at roll call.  It was so dark after being asked not long since and many other things.  Tying men to the wagon and make them march all day.  Putting men on extra duty for nothing.

We have passed over as good land today as yesterday.  The laws are more strict now than before.  The Lord only knows what the people think so tenacious about law.  Our soldiers are used no better than slaves.  I have heard officers G-- D--n the soldiers who have the priesthood.  I have exhorted all men that belong to this Battalion to cease their taking the name of their Lord, God in vain.

Yesterday we traveled 18 miles and camped on the highlands without water.  Today we traveled 23 miles in 7 hours.  We are camped now about one mile below town.  Many of the people here live in straw buildings, but the most are as in Santa Fe.  This fort is called Fort Teasaw.  Vaholas they call are beans.

Success to those who volunteered

our officers and leaders

May they live long upon the ear

their children live for breeders

That seed may be upon the Earth

that will preserve good order

And love a course such as we took

along Sonora border

January 1st, 1847.    No game here of any kind.  Many soldiers go on extra duty tomorrow and that for nothing only because the Colonel told the guard not to guard on one certain side and in the morning the mules was not all found.  Many are angry because of it.

January 1st, 1847.     In this day’s travel, I perceived that there is a great bend in the river and we crossed over the ridge and hit it again.

History, January 2, 1847.     I find that this river overflows the greater part of these flats or bottom land.  Consequently, the land cannot be settled, although much labor may improve this country by canaling the land near the mountains to keep the floods from over flowing the country.  Thee is much land that might be tilled in this way.

At 8 o’clock marched a round about direction into the hollow.  We came down in and went out west and journeyed a south by southwest direction 6 miles then turned southwest and made 12 miles.

Bad roads and bad land as it has been in many other plains.  Stone and sand.  Little and big.  Of all colors and dimension.  In fact, nearly all the upland is this kind.  Good for nothing.  The land along down by the river is good.  If it was not for the floods the timber is better and more of it.

Tonight no feed for teams.  The mules that starved last nigh is four.  Others are missing and cannot be found.  This night camped beside of the end of a mountain at our right 10 miles and about 2 to the west.  These are the last here described and marked.

January 3rd.     The boats launched yesterday, last night, have not come down as we expected.  We camped here January 2, 1847 and Sunday the third.  Had ‘Reveille’ at daybreak and marched at 7 o’clock a northwest course and over a hill, down on the flats and good land was it.  Hills poor, the bottoms wide.  Much talk about them today.  This day made 12 miles and camped on the river bank opposite an island.  A bend in the (Gila) river today, not large, but long sweep.

James Pace has now brought in a petrified bone which he wished was in the Church, which must have an enormous large animal, about 9 inches across one end, four inches the other way.  13 inches long and the other end 4 inches by 4 1/2.  Three cornered in the middle, about the same bigness around at the ...   ... To look at it, it appears smaller.

January 3, 1847.     Andrew Lytle and James Pace tells me that while they was coming along today, they saw much blood on the hard ground and butt of a firebrand nearby.

January 3.     Camped...   [torn page]  ... south by southeast direction from the peak on...

January 3rd, 1847.    We camped on the northwest side.  Many men went up on the top and viewed the land all around and rolled down a huge, large stone which made a noise like it was tumbling down.  From here they could see our camping place back for two nights and a great distance all around.  The windings of Hely could be seen for a long way s up and down stream. 

January 4, 1847.     Last night we camped on the bottoms near a point of the hill...  ... an island making near the bank.  No grass yet.  Nothing but poplar to feed with and the mules east it well.  The banks below we found to be sand and they was so bad we scarcely get along with ... ... behind us we often have to do.

We came to the top of the hill and the mountains presented a sight and I stopped and drew the shape of them.  Here, I saw the mountains along the Colorado and on...  ... sides I saw there lofty peaks at a long distance.

The land between them level, but as far as I have seen it, is good for nothing.  It is all...  ... and gravel and nothing can grow on it, but muskeet bushes and greenwood.  I have in some places called it green laurel and some times wild orange.  The right name is greenwood.  Bark is smooth and green twigs and all as...    ... as leaves.

This day made 7 miles over the hill, down on the flats near the bank of the river near a mountain which many ascended and viewed the country and I could see the winding Hely for a long distance. 

Tuesday, 5 of January, 1847.     This day ‘Reveille’ at daybreak.  Marched as before, early and as soon as the teams found, which was considerable scattered.  Boats not arrived yet.  One man sent back to find them if possible.  He returned and told that they was about 4 miles above and had left all the provisions nearly back to the place where we camped 3 days ago.  All hands was sorry, for they had been living on half rations for a long time.  They are in hopes that the Colonel will send for it. 

While passing along down the bottoms today, I saw another prickly body of the pear or appears to be a species of the same, in another form here.  It is a curiosity.  The thorns are three and four inches long and as hard as a horn.   They are not as crooked as some other I have seen of the species.  I have not learned the name of this concern.  The Spaniards have names for all these things.  The weeds are different here from what they are in the eastern states and a great variety there is here and the last is not pleasant of any I have seen yet.

Yesterday I saw a kind of weed I have seen in Illinois and other places.  It has a yellow blow and is small in shape of the sunflower.  When I saw the stalks I thought of my own native home and could scarce refrain from weeping in my heart. 

I tell the brethren to wait until they can have a hearing before the authorities of he Church and to be as patient as possible.  Thee is no chance for justice here.  When Allen was alive, he would say these are a good set of men and they shall have their rights, but it is not so now. 

But,  thank God we have served 6 months, save eleven days and we will try to heave it as good soldiers, although our shoes are worn out, our torn clothes are all almost gone, the skins of beavers are used for moccasins.  They become as sheet iron and they cut the feet.  Some go barefoot and they fair no better, for everything almost has thorns.  The ground is many places is full of burrs, but it is healthy here.  The men are now as rugged as bears.

This night our pilot brought in camp about 6 pounds of good salt.  He say s there is plenty here and there are places that there can be an abundance of saleratus.  The ground is white in many places through Sonora and some would think it was snow from a distance.  There is an abundance of muskeet here.  Timber still on the river, same as before mentioned. 

Wednesday, 6th, 1847.     ‘Reveille’ as before.  Marched early, west through the bottoms 2 miles, turned up at the left on the bank and took a circle around and about 5 miles further, turned down to the river and watered and then on the bank making a little to the north of west direction.

One point the bottoms are about 10 miles wide.  Here good land, but not easily watered, only when the floods come from the mountains through the aroyahs, which are as wide as the Rio or river.  I understand that last night 4 beavers died in the water.

And our provisions, much is left behind which could not be brought on the boat.  Thousands of property is expended on this route and to no purpose.  Hundred dollar wagons, one after another left.  A sick man cannot ride unless he is first examined by ‘Old Sauerkraut’, as they call the doctor and he has not compassion and will give arsenic and calomel very often.  This makes the men afraid and they will not go to him as they would if he had feelings. 

Across Hely, there is this peak seen some days ago to of the hills.  This day had bad roads.  Sand on the bottoms and the worst kind of hills to cross,sand and stone as before, northeast from camp 10 miles January 6, 1847 and on the 7 day, marched early.

Took a northwest course for four miles and turned around a mountain and in two miles further west, I took the shape of the end of the long mountains seen a long way back.  I have marked south on the end as well, be seen on the other leaf. 

Here the river has a bend and the valleys are not so wide as they are above, and sometimes to be narrow down below here, which is a southwest course from here and looks like the worst of going.  This called the ‘Devil’s Elbow’ or crook.

These hills was seen west of northwest a long ways back and sometimes the peak that is above, was west.  I now go on to mark the end of the mountain laying at the left hand.  The whole of the land around it is broken up and it looks as if it had been turned topsy-turvy, hurly-burly, upside down and downside upside, around end ways and sideways, top ways and bottom ways.  Hooked and crooked, rough and not smooth.  Sand and stone in abundance.  Good for nothing.  Timber in gullies as mean as the stone and the stone as mean as the land and the land as mean as the Devil could make it.  Here it is.

After we had turned around here, we had to pass through the bottoms, the thickest kind of brush and small cane and cottonwood or poplar, willow and many other kinds of small brush.  The side of these hills are full of hollows and small hills.  Not laid down here, this chain only, the tops of the highest hills.  High on the bottoms are signs of gold, so said.  The sane had been for some days back, filled with bright yellow sand or dust.

Last night there was a pelican killed.  It measured nine feet from one point of the wing to the other.  One man made a cap out of the gullet.

Our rations have been cut down less.  We are hungry.  Some spies are sent to see if the Spaniards are not in ambush at the crossing.

I stood at the end of the mountain last described and drew this below.  These hills look as bad as these here close to me.  I presume they are.  There appears to be much level land towards them and sometimes a hill that does not reach so high.  I see the sky through the scraggles at a great distance and the smaller peaks is not seen as these close by.  However, I have seen as bad back as they, when I was nearby them, the mountains at a distance, say 40 or 50 miles off, look rough and very bad.  Many noted peaks in sight along the road we was traveling.  They are known by all hunters. I am told they are seen at a great distance and when a traveler passes down the valleys, they can see them and know where they are.  Many days ago, I saw those above when I was coming down the Hely and marked them down, but here in the place where I took these, they appear to be different. 

Friday, January 7th, 1847.     This day made 10 miles and camped around the end of a mountain in a hollow and on the 8th day, leading west across the hills and a winding course until we came to the great bottom.  I put down here the compass and found that at the points of south, southwest and southeast was mountains.  Those at the left goes up Hely.  Those on my right commence 100 miles and continue to turn to the right and are scarcely seen.  A little more to the right are other hills commenced and hides the first and others appear nearer until they come around and gain on those which are around me on all other sides, only the pints described.  From last camp to here is 2 miles and we go down on the great bottom and see what is there.

I have now got in camp and the course we traveled from the bluffs was a northwest course for about two miles and began to bear a little around towards the west and now we are going west and I take some peaks that I can just see on the top of a hill or mountain as we are on the bottoms.

On the 8th day.     Traveled up the hollow from where we camped and from the edge of the plain it was two miles.  This day made 16 miles and camped near the Hely and 2 mile from the Colorado.  These peaks are seen over other hills and are across another valley, there other peaks another course I took down in this book.

January 8, 1847.     This day made 16 miles and camped on the bottoms near the river.  The river took a turn from where we camped last night, around to our right and took a large bend, not deep bend.

January 9, 1847.     ‘Reveille’ at daybreak.  Marched as soon as light, a southwest direction 2 miles and turned west.  The Colonel called to Captain Davis and told him that he wanted the Fifth Command to go ahead as a guard.  It has been rumored about last night that today we should have fighting at the crossing.

We traveled through sand and over gravel, course and fine, until we made 12 miles and camped on the bank of the Colorado.  It is said that this river was never so low before or no one knows when it was so low.  The country overflows like Egypt.

The timber is better here than in any other place between her and Rio Grande.  And in the state of Ohio, they would make no use of it, only the basket willow, which is plenty and the best kind.  Muskeet makes good wood to burn and there is a plenty of it here.

And much fruit have I gathered today.  It is in the bobs and pods too.  In some places it is now too late for it to be plenty.  It is the only kind of fruit I know of on this desert.  It is said that there is so much mineral that they will not bear here, but the Indians raise good corn, beans and cotton, wheat and melons and many other things a little about watering.  I believe this is good land if it could be watered and labor would make it as the Garden of Eden. 

10th day.     Concluded to rest.  I hired some washing done today.  I (am as) dirty as I ever was in my life.   Lice is in the camp and I have my match with them.  We all feel bad.   Some fret and scold, damn and curse each other and it does no good to talk to them.  They will threaten each other.  Today they feel better.  They go out to hunt muskeet and have found plenty.  Some have crossed the river and are calculating to cross all night. 

There is no chance for any landscape here, only on the other side and up stream is a mountain.  These bottoms overflow.  40 miles of bottoms.  It is said when the freshets come, but they do not come often.  There has been none here for four years.

We have not yet heard from Kearny, yet we expected to before now.  We know not but that he has been taken.  The last we heard from him, he was fighting. 

On the 11 day.     Monday, we crossed the river and went 3 miles a southwest course, then turned southwest and made 15 miles and camped.  I dug for water and here was another order from the Colonel sent to get Sister Davis’ washtub to put in the well, which made her feel very bad.

It truly (was) a sight this morning to see the Battalion cross the Colorado.  It kept up all night.  Some mules drowned in the river and one or two this day.  One lay down and could not rise.  He was unharnessed and pulled ashore and one went downstream.  We had a man a piece with them.

The ground is as baron today as ever, save more timber.  Gathered some muskeet for the mules.  The men are tired, they fare hard.  We now (are) on the bottom land and we have seen many places today that was once people(d), but now all timber.  Their old dwellings are now visible and some very plain.  The soil here is good and although it is now baron, it will bear (when) tilled.  No  mistake, so says Doctor Foster to me.

This day, 12 day.     Tuesday, ‘Reveille’ at daybreak, marched at 10 o’clock.  Men sent ahead to find muskeet and leaves for the teams.  Left another wagon.  Went a northwest course for 5 miles and went upon the bank and it was hard pulling, as we have had baron land.  I could look back and see our tracks up Hely and on (the) Colorado. 

These run around west.   I look at my left and between the points of these mountains, I see one vast extensive bottom.  And at the settlement of Indians, said to live by fishing altogether. 

This day made 11 miles and camped without water.  The Colonel calls it the ‘Inferno Desert’.  The water we had night before was warm and will hardly satisfy thirst and is hard as a mudhole in Ohio or York state, in the hog holes.  I have seen better.  I have on the desert between Tucson and the Hely, seen men drink mud and here not much better.  We are wretched creatures and almost worn out with fatigue.  Our provisions scarce and here we are on this plain of sand and gravel and no news from Kearny.  We know not but he is a prisoner of war and if he is, we know that we must fight.

January 13, 1847.     ‘Reveille’ at half past 4.  Marched at daylight.  Took a south southwest direction for 11 miles, then a north northwest direction until we made 15 miles.  This desert is level and mountains are seen nearly all around.  While I was traveling today I saw at the right a mountain covered with snow.  It was a the distance of about 100 miles, northwest course.  Some said to be nearly sixty miles and from there a town to the gulf.  One of our fifers went on a mountain while on Colorado and he told me a few minutes ago that he could see the Gulf downstream. 

14 day.     ‘Reveille’ at daybreak.  Marched at eleven over the sand and gravel until we made 4 miles, here I am now and here I record the sight I saw this morning.  While I was at the fire before my tent, a man came up and said he, the Colonel, has been to where that man is under guard and some others said it is too bad to see him in such a fix.  Others ask what did the Colonel say.  One said that the Colonel said to the prisoner, if he was reported at Head Quarters he would have to die. 

I thought I would go and see him myself not knowing it was against orders, as I afterwards heard it was.  “Why sir,” said I to him, “you appear to be in bondage again.”  “Yes sir,” said he.  “Brother Hancock,” said he, “I have always to tell the truth and must talk and tell my mind to all and when they begin on me, I tell my mind and for it I get in trouble.” 

I then asked him if what I heard that the Colonel (had said) was true.  He said that the Colonel said if he should report him to Head Quarters it would take your life, said he.  I told him I did not care for my life.

I soon saw Brother Hyde Williams.  He heard the conversation and told the same.  Boyd Stewart was the name of the prisoner and he told me that last night he saw Joseph and Hyrum Smith and ate with them and the table was as long as to yon mountain at the west about 20 miles and he felt quite well about it.  I told him that he would see better times soon and left him.  And then was informed that it was out of order to talk with a prisoner. 

I am now about 8 miles from our last night’s camp and while on my way here I sometimes discovered something on the ground that looked like a red clear stone.  I picked up a piece and put it in my mouth, not knowing, but it was a stone.  I then thought maybe it is...   ... With that thought, I bit with my teeth and it came in two.  I then saw that it was as clear as my gum copel and about the same appearance.  The lump was nearly as large as the end of my little finger.  I have walked a short distance further and here found another.  I don’t know what it grows on.  I have searched the brush and can find none. 

Hah-yo-de-yah, is all he scrub that grows here on this desert and no grass and in the aroyohs, muskeet and a few other scrubs.  There is a kind of quail here which does not look like those at the East, but are about the size and rather blue, something like a mourning dove, with six feathers for its plume, bending forward.  Both male and female are said to be alike. 

The soil is better today than I have seen since I left Colorado (River).  I got to the camp about 7 o’clock and made 17 miles this day.  No water and hungry enough.  Some lay down and say they will go without fire and anything else.  Nothing to eat but to boil some beans.  This day there was some mules sold to the highest bidder.  Many wagons left and we expect to leave more today so that by the time we get through, we shall have none.  William Hyde was the Crier.  Called first rate. 

15 of January, 1847.     ‘Reveille’ at 5.  Marched at sunrise.  Orders was to have the camp cleared this day.  We see thousands of horse tracks.  Men running to Sonora.  They have crossed below where we crossed.  The orders from Kearny to Cook was to take all travelers as fugitives, but he has not done it and his moves have not been as wise as some men have been before him.  He will notice little things and the more weightier matters are left undone.  He is a man that watches for inequity and the old book of Gods says that they all shall be cut off and so I will sing:

When shall we see better days

when can we our Savior praise

When can we sit down and rest

and take some pleasure with the blest

When we walk this desert through

ago St. Diego and Pueblo

We now all hands in line must be

and well equip by Reveille

And when the horns begin to blow

the fifes and drums ready to go

Our armies brought forward to be seen

if all is kept nice, smooth and clean

This day traveled northwest by west course until we came to where men was digging a well and found water, but it was poor and but little of it and we was ordered to march on to the next, which was 20 miles ahead.  Accordingly, we marched a northwest course towards the mountains and it is nearly night and no water, short of.

Tomorrow noon.  We marched on until we made 12 miles and camped.  The land was baron and most of the way and was clean as a brickyard.  We found little wood here, brush and muskeet. 

Orders was to march early.  ‘Reveille’ at one o’clock.  Moved at 2.  Traveled until we made 26 miles and camped in the hollow on the banks of a Rio of warmish water coming out of the ground a short distance above and losing again itself in the sand not one mile below.  I believe the great Mississippi would soon

be lost in the ocean of sand if it should run out here until it could cut a channel and if I had got to make it my home here, I should think it was worse than state’s prison.  Many of our mules are dead and many are like to die by hunger and thirst.  This water was so good to the taste of the mules, that they would drink and die or as bad as dead.  Could not get up.

Day of January 17, 1847.     ‘Reveille’ at daybreak.  Marched a north by northwest course into the mountains and soon I overtook the pioneers being sent with a horse to the pilot and came to the prickly bushes such as I have seen in Tucson.  So near like hedgehog quills and learned the name of Mr. Weaver.   It choyo and armo is the cover to a Spaniard’s stirrup. 

This day made 18 miles over some hills of sand and the bottoms or flats was gravel and sand.  Hard pulling.  We are now by good water.  We have passed some water...

--- I have just been to the ridge of the building and I can see another garden where I am forbid to go.  I see a peach tree in  bloom.  In the midst of this square is a tree that is filled with young fruit.  I picked one and saw that it tasted like lemon.  There is other trees growing hear it, I do not know the name.  I am now 8 miles from where we camped last night and it is four o’clock.

Monday, 18 January, 1847.     Lay by to rest.  Men weary and tired.  This morning heard from the Governor of California.  He says that he has plenty for us and keep up good spirits and to watch carefully and have no advance guard. 

We are scantly provision(ed).  I have had not one 6th part of breakfast.  We are now among the mountains and Indians who are naked almost, but appear to be friendly.  Here is plenty of muscall, but we do not know how to cook it.  It takes so much fire and nothing but brush grows here. 

Just now, there is some beef sent to us and the cooks are at work fixing it to cook.  Thank God we have health, but we deal concerned about some who are behind us who have not been able to catch us.  The whole country is full of disaffected Spaniards and Indians.

19 day, 1847.     Marched at 7 o’clock a west by northwest course until we come to the peninsula, backbone of mountains leading the whole length of California Gulf and it was five miles from the spring we left.  We passed through good land and if there was timber, there might have been some good farms.  Many frogs we heard in the water and it sounded like the East Country and made us think of home.

Here at this ridge, we are now passing, is a strange looking place.  I have marked it out on the other side of this leaf.  A number of turns before we got to the top.  I am on the foot of the side hill marked here.  I have a fine view of all the train ascending the might hill, which makes an oval appearance.

I have now gone over and look back to the mountain and see that I am in a hollow.  Mountains all around and can see no pass.  The wagons are going ahead.  I have now got my compass and see that we have traveled nearly west from where we come off the mountain.  We now turn north around.  I am in the hollow now and see by the compass and we go east a little further, north a little further, turn west by west and camp.  Find no water.  Came 13 miles today.  Nothing but light brush or weeds to burn and I am sick and cannot eat.

January 20, 1847.     ‘Reveille’ at daybreak.  Marched at daylight at west course until we came to a ridge of hills and very rocky.  I was sick and had to ride and I saw that there was some narrow places to pass through.  Many times the wagons have to be lifted one side and then the other, as we did yesterday and we made 6 miles, crooking around some between the hills and up the dry streams and between the rocks and found water.  We was ordered to stop for 4 hours and march.  Our course will be west today.  I see where we shall stop at night.  Shaving, our spy, has just come back to our camp and tells us that we expect a ship load of provisions by the time we get to St. Diego.  Orders to march.

20 day.     Marched 7 miles, northwest course and found water.  Stopped and rested four hours and marched 6 miles further, north by northwest and camped by good water and plenty of wood and feed.  I began to get better.  I took supper with Captain Davis and had some coffee and bread, which greatly revived me.  I got some acorns and they stoped my bowel complaint caused by eating beef without bread.  This night, Brother lark, the Assistant Commissary, brought me some flour.  About 1 pound.  I had a cake made of it.

The 21 day.      Morning and marched at half past 7 o’clock, northwest course through an oak grove up a valley passed some Indian huts.  Miserable things they are.  Saw one small vineyard at my left as we ascended a hill.

In the hollow, when we got to the top of this hill, we saw that there was no outlet to this valley, nor inlet.  The water looses itself in the earth and gravel below where we stayed.  It was so in one valley where we passed through on the 19 day.  We traveled about six miles and got on the top of the hill from last night’s camp and had some training and rested 15 minutes and then turned north by northwest and went far enough to make 13 miles and camped by good water in another hollow.  Considerable timber and feed.

Last night, one man catched up with us who had been sent back after a p low that had been left on Hely River by the commissary.  Tells us that the rest are back about 15 miles and want some mules.  We stop and send back. 

This day, 22, 1847.     Early in the morning, I found that we was in a curious place or ranch as the Spaniards call it.  This place, like many others in this country, lies surrounded by mountains on all sides, save a small opening or outlet, sometimes one and sometimes both.  This makes a ranch here.  Northeast from camp is the habitation of Mr. Warners.  Many Indians by him.  Under or besides two mountains peaks beneath the foot of this hills, are some hills covered with rocks and in the midst of these rocks breaks out the hot springs.  Many of them all around, out of the seams of the rocks, at these heads where they boil up and run out.  No man can hold his hand.

More on January 22, 1847.     This morning, ‘Reveille’ at daybreak and ordered to rest all day.  I went and saw the hot springs.  Washed some clothes and my legs, arms and face.  Many rods below the head, this water makes the best suds.  Many people bathe here of all kinds, Indians and whites.  It was full of squaws last night, I am told and soon fled.

Here is a vineyard that looks beautiful and I am told that there have been clusters of grapes that would weigh 14 pounds and that not uncommon.  I think that this place is the best I have seen since I left the Eastern States and I am told that we are on a high mountain top an yet it looks as if we was between the mountains.  A number miles all around of valley between.  Mr. Shavino tells me that tomorrow we go down and help bury some dead Indians who have been killed in battle, about 30, two weeks ago.

January 23.     Marched at the usual time and took down the valley northwest and kept fall very fast.  Found much timber, very large and low.  Some tops cover almost the whole campground or the Battalion might camp under two easy.  I believe many of these trees grow in this valley as we descend from the tops of the mountains we see rain on all sides of us.  Clouds running below the tops of the mountains and soon we expect rain here.  They say here that now is the rainy season or part of the year in this ranches, but snow on the mountains, although none now.

We go all points of compass, from west to north.  I believe our course is northwest as nears as I can make it with my compass.  Find many good farms as we descend down.  All kinds of climate in one day, from ice to where the trees are in full bloom. 

We put up, making 20 miles this day, by a good creek that would make the best of mill seats, not more than two rods to dam in between the mountains of rocks and there might be a lake formed big enough to water all the country below, but lack of building timber here.  Plenty of firewood.

January 24, 1847.     Last night it rained.  The wind blew, the tents fell.  Our(s) flew twice.  The ground could not hold the pins.  We got up and some pulled at the bottom and some the top.  Held to its place.

It made me think of the storm when Joseph Smith was with us between the two Fishing Rivers, only here we had no thunder.  And these words to me just as Joseph said them, “This storm serves for a bramble to keep off the dogs.”  And I could not get it out of my mind and I said that the Lord would not suffer any army to kill us as they did Kearny’s men, for this cause the authorities had prophesied safety and God would deliver for this.

Once I felt it in my heart and although our men, many of them had become basically wicked, He would spare them.  I cannot feel the forebodings of any evil, but it looks well in the west.  We lay very uncomfortable, being very wet.  I have the cramps in my legs which make me feel miserable all the while.  Also, I cannot go meat well.  It will not digest in my stomach.

24 day.     Monday.  I am now about three miles nearly west northwest of last nights camp and camp for today.  We have had a hard pulling thus far and we conclude to go no farther today.  I understand that Captain Hunt is coming out like an officer should when there is a chance of doing good.  He told the Colonel that the men must be better fed.  I understand their rations are increased.  The men feel better. 

Tuesday, January 25, 1847.     ‘Reveille’ at daybreak.  Marched early.  Took a winding course and ascended some hills, but went down many large ones.  In about 6 miles we saw at our right at the distance of 80 miles, some snowy mountains which appear in sight, in many places it is now in sight over the tops of other mountains or large hills. Very white.  Our course is today about west northwest.  Snow to the northeast from here.

January 25, 1847.     As we stopped to rest about 2 o’clock.  Made this day 16 miles and our course was northwest, although we made many short turns around the hills.  We now have camped in a beautiful ranch many miles in length, about one and half wide.  I see the hills covered with cattle.

January 26, 1847.     Last night there was an express for General Kearny sent to Colonel Cook ordering him to St. Diego as he first commanded him to go.  Our pilot said that he were ordered to us there and if Cook took us to Pueblo he had to do it on his own responsibility.  Cook said he would go to Pueblo, but he is now turned and we are in a hollow between two mountains running southwest, turning our course to St. Diego.

4 miles from last nights camp and in plain sight of the snow top mountain described here, which I took yesterday and soon after I took it, I ascended a hill and looked at the northwest and between the hills down a valley, I saw a wide extended plain and an arm of the big waters, putting up a point of land, running into the sea about northwest.  I now must move on with the camp up hill through this rocky valley, sat down to rest.  I find that I am in a beautiful place in between these hills.  We are now descending again into the summer regions where all things look green ______?_______ a plenty white clover and all things green.  Where we came from today was dismal. 

At the northeast mountains covered with snow and here it is hot and all things in bloom, birds singing and all around presents a beautiful sight.  The timber is not large, but in these valleys we could live with ease. 

We are continually descending towards the sea.  Today I ascended another mountain to see if I could see the ocean.  I was not certain whether it was or not, it being smoky and cloudy and I doubt little of that that I saw yesterday being it.  It might have been fog.

We make many turns up and down and around hills, 3 o’clock.  Half past 3 o’clock we have now camped and concluded that we have made 16 miles today, southwest course.  And a beautiful place it is here.  Summer all the while, green grass and elder of the prettiest kind wood so as to do well.  No better place can be found than here in California to live in.

We all hands feel well only the oppression of the Colonel.  He is a tyrant.  He is watching for inequity all the while in order to show his power.  And some of the elders are not wise.  They enter complaints against one another and they are punished severely.  The Colonel instead of being a father as he ought, is not satisfied without everything is done in the nicest order.  Let the soldiers be as tired as they may be, he is not content with usurping power over the Mormons, but has to tyrannize over the Indians and place them around the frog ponds to keep the frogs from enjoying their freedom and when they peep the Indians must whip the water so that the Colonel might sleep.

In fact, he is a miserable creature and often curses and damns the soldiers.  He is as mean as I ever saw a man. Smith, who leads us, is a gentleman to him.  He is a small low lived curse.  The Devil I believe would hate bis oppression towards anybody and would let him have no power in his kingdom and would let him (have) no authority over anybody.  He sometimes will say that this battalion is a mob and he sees it sticking out more and more every day and would be glad to have someone say something to take exception. 

January 27, 1847.     ‘Reveille’ at daybreak.  Marched at sunrise.  Marched southwest 10 miles and came to St. Lewis Mission, built by the Indians.  It is a beautiful place.  The Catholics preside over the tribes and make them work.  Make slaves of them and traffic them away.  The price of an Indian here is the price of a horse.  General Kearny, I am told, has told the natives they shall have the land and buildings back.  This day made 20 miles and camped close by the sea.  It roared all night and many could scarcely sleep.  More oppression tonight.  This morning, the Colonel gave orders that all that did not keep up should be punished. Some had to stop and they was put on extra duty and Andrew Lytle had compassion and gave them a chance to sleep.  I said in my heart,  “God bless Brother Lytle.”

January 28, 1847.     Marched as usual after ‘Reveille’ and went through valleys and over hills, a tedious day.  We had on the sea shore road, crooking around and turning almost every point of compass, until we came into a large valley and camped.  Making this day, 16 miles.  We now think we shall have rest soon and one day more will bring us to General Kearny, who we are told is a good man and when Mrs. Kearny saw us at Fort Leavenworth, she exclaimed, “How you will fare before you get to Mr. Kearny I cannot tell, but he will use you well.” 

January 29, 1847.     This day marched at sunrise through valleys and over the high hills, often in sight of the sea and sometimes in sight of the winter covered mountains covered with snow, making a beautiful appearance at our northeast and at about 1/2 past 3 o’clock got to St. Diego, a Roman Church and orchard apples, pears and peaches, olives, grapes, oranges and dates.  This would be a beautiful place if there was wood, but there is none even enough to make fire to cook with.  This day made 18 miles.

January 30.     Rested.

On the 31.     A number of us went to the fort or seaport on the north side of the bay.  Here I took a view of the bay and vessels on the west end of the bay, a laying near the shore.  I also took down a part of town.  On the north of town is an old town now half standing and the other thrown down.  It was destroyed 50 years ago by the Indians.  It is a dismal looking place.  So is the town below.  On the flats below, I have drew a date tree which grows in the vineyard where we are camped.  My pen is and cannot do justice to it now.  Hereafter, I shall try again.  This is the shape on the hill.

A little ways, 40 rods, stands the house once called St. Diego.  A large building now empty.  We was ordered to make this house our abode, but the Doctor has condemned it as not fit and tomorrow we are to turn back to St. Lewis, another mission that we passed through while coming here.

Our officers have not been heard in their request to General Kearny, where they prayed him to let the Command be made out of the Battalion.  Brother Averett, when the messenger Lee was rejected and his council also, the Council of the Twelve treated so lightly, said before he thought Hunt never will be Colonel for he has give away his power and soon after there was some stigmatized with the name ‘Prophet’, so I am told.  Now there is nothing said about prophets.

February 1st, 1847.     Marched at 7.  Made 16 miles over many hills, another route than the one we came.  I am told that we are near the battle ground of Kearny’s.  I am calculating to draw it in my book tomorrow.  I have talked with a number of those engaged in the fight and it must have been a tremendous struggle for victory on goth sides.

2 February 1847.     ‘Reveille’ at half past 5.  Marched at sunrise towards St. Lewis Mission.  Nearly south and about six miles, we came to the hill where General Kearny ascended and the Spaniards kept him there for five days.  And here he was obliged to eat mule meat.  The Spaniards was stationed on all the hills around to prevent his getting away.  Some men volunteered their services to go and get help, but was taken prisoners.  One was exchanged, I am told, and then crept out and went to St. Diego and got help and returned.

This is part of St. Diego, mud houses and lies about 40 rods from me here and is on my left.  Behind me is the principle part of the town.  A miserable place it is.  If there was timber, it might be made a beautiful city, but for miles there is not so much as scrubs grow and where our Army is stationed, there is not enough to cook with.  A few naked Indians live near the mission in little straw huts, who live as poor as they can and live at all.  They visit our camp and have sold some tobacco to some of our men and bought some rags for breach clothes.  Some have money.  There is many in town who live about the same.  Some live better. Some play cards.  I saw them at it.

These are rocks laying against the hill in two places.  Here, General Kearny was there five days.  One of his men died here and was buried and unburied by the Spaniards, then robbed of his blanket and tumbled in again and left without covering.  After was buried by the Americans.  There was five Spaniards killed here in battle and one wounded in the leg and died of the wound. 

The ground here, from where I stand, is all the way up hill and this hill with its two rocky ends, is considerable up hill.  Before you come to the base from near the top is a gutter where the water descends from its summit.  Behind these rocks was Kearny’s men who suffered extremely for the want of food and water, for they was continually exposed to their enemies implements of war whenever they descended after water to the creek, which they was obliged to do to save life and that with a strong guard.  This creek is at my right hand, running northwest while I face east.

After viewing this place, we traveled on until we made 16 miles and camped in a beautiful ranch near an old house where the fence was used for fuel to cook with.  If Mormons had done what soldiers do in this war, I think it would be sounded to the four winds even if we was surrounded on all sides by a mob that you could not pass and must do it or starve to death.  But nothing said to those who are not Mormons and they will brag about it and so it is, but there is one thing I now stop to record.  One man by the name of Stoneman lost his boots and went to the Colonel and said the Mormons had stole his boots and some other notions.  On examination, they was found in the staff wagon. 

February 3, 1847.     Last night I was informed the General Kearny was under the necessity of digging a well, which he did at the bottom of the hill and could a lot go to the creek as I was first informed and that two men went to Diego and informed the Americans there of the situation of the General who soon came to relieve him and the messengers so anxious to get back again ran into a snare and was taken by the Spaniards in sight of General Kearny.  And Kearny was about to force his way through them and go to St. Diego, but soon had help.  When the Spaniards fled and went to the mountains, where we suppose they are now.  Some say they have gone to Sonora.  It is not easy to ascertain their exact number nor how many they had killed. 

3 day February and all things look like May and I say in my heart, “Oh, that there could be peace and I had my little family here and owned one of these ranches.  I could be happy and feel different from what I did in Sonora on the Hely, among the mountains.”  Then say:

I now can tell a better story

than I could about Sonora

For the soil is little wetter

and the land a little better

I think twill bring corn and potatoes

beans and cabbage and tomatoes

Raise all things to suit our notion

along by the Pacific Ocean

And all along the pleasant branches

land is good about the ranches

Twill raise good flax and hep for cording

and other things that’s worth recording

Good and currants and raspberries

apples, peaches, plums and cherries

In the winter grass a growing

gentle breezes sweetly blowing

Not so cold as to be chilly

nor spoil the blossom of a lily

Violets and pinks and other poses

might blossom here as well as roses

I look around besides the ranches

all along the little branches

And many times I can discover

different fowls around the gather

Such as geese and ducks a picking

their feathers good for our bed ticking

Droves of horses here are grazing

herds of cattle, men are raising

All things nice and in good order

long upper California border

And when we travel up this way

we find land better everyday

And as we pass along each side

the land along I will describe

That all who read may understand

and not mistake about the land

From St. Diego to Monterey

and all about Francisco Bay

And all around until we meet

our friends and there each other greet

Like Saints of old in former days

when in sweet union, God they praise.

February 4th, 1847.     This day, ‘Reveille’ before sunrise.  Sick call and guard mounting over, I took a walk with Sylvester Hulet down north [of] our town and west through a vineyard.  There I saw for the first time a pepper tree.  It looks as near as I can describe, like a weeping willow.  The pepper hung all over the top like grapes in large clusters, large bunches and some was ripe.  Some very small, some in bud, some in blow and all on one tree.  Besides the trees, which was from one foot to 16 inches diameter, was a large orchard of olives trees and any quantity of grapevines, castor beans and other things to numerous to describe, which grow in the East. 

In the south gate of the vineyard, just as you enter into the place, is a cistern or well, which will hold an immense quantity of water, arched over all around until it comes near the top and there an opening about the size of a well.  From the top is an aqueduct that carries the water into a vat, some 40 feet square, 3 feet deep, then a gate that conducts it into a canal used for watering the whole vineyard, probably this is used for bathing.  This is a beautiful place.  After viewing this place, I return to town.

February 5, 1847.     This morning I made a fife out of pewter, which I cast yesterday and proceeded to write an order, which was read at 5 o’clock last night by the Adjutant.


Mormon Battalion

Mission No. 1 of St. Diego   

30th January

The Lieutenant Colonel Commanding, congratulates the Battalion on their safe arrival on the shore of the Pacific Ocean and the conclusion of its march of over two thousand miles.  History may be searched in vain for an equal march of infantry.

Nine tenths of it has been through a wilderness, where nothing but savages and wild beasts are found or deserts where for want of water,there is no living creature there.  With almost hopeless labor, we have dug deep wells, which the future travelers will enjoy.  Without a guide who had traversed them, we have ventured into trackless prairies, where water was not found for several marches.  With crowbar and pick and ax in hand, we have worked our way over mountains, which seem to defy ought, save the wild goat, and hewed a passage through chasms of living rocks, more narrow than our wagons, to bring these first wagons to the Pacific.  We have preserved the strength of our mules by herding them, even over large tracts, which you have laboriously guarded without loss.

The garrisons of four presidios of Sonora concentrated, within the walls of Tucson, gave us no pause.  We drove them out with their artillery, but our intercourse with the citizens was unmarked by a single act of injustice.

Thus, marching half naked and half fed and living upon wild animals, we have discovered and made a road of great value through our Country.  Arrived at the first settlement of California, after a single day’s rest, you cheerfully turned off from the route to the point of promised repose,to winter upon a campaign and meet as we believed, the approach of the enemy and this too without even salt to season your souls subsistence of fresh meat. 

Lieutenants N. J. Smith and George Stoneman, of the first dragoons, have shared and given valuable aid in all these labors.  Thus volunteers, you have exhibited some high and essential qualities of veterans, but, much remains undone.  Soon you will turn your strict attention to the drill, to system and order to forms also, which are all necessary to the soldier.

By order of:

Lieutenant Colonel St. George Cook

  1. P.C. Merril, Adjutant

February 6, 1847.     This day I went to some of the Presidents of the Seventy and told them we would meet at our quarters and I wanted to talk with them.  Accordingly, at ‘Tattoo’, some few met and I called upon them with many of the Seventies to know if anyone had ought against me.  All said I was clear and they believe I had done right.  I then said I wanted to (put a stop) to so much profane language and I had warded them against using the name of God in vain as we had had a long and tedious march.  I wanted that we should wash each others feet as they used to do in ancient times.  I felt that if our limbs was anointed with oil that we should feel limber and it would be good for us and as many as wanted to join could and wash, which we did.  I then...  

... It is said that when they [the Spaniards] had one shot, they would lasso him and run.  They are very expert with the lariat.  I have seen them on full speed throw it and catch a horse around the neck and hold him and then throw another and catch the foot.  They will do so to an ox or cow and I am told how in battle they throw it over a man and run away with him.  They lash themselves to their horses and they will run on full speed and catch a lariat and wind it around their saddle and turn an haul with all their might until they will take the advantage of any wild animal and tie him.

Two men will lead any bear to town and put him into a corral yard made for the purpose and take a wild bull and tie the bull and bear by their hind foot and see them fight.  Large crowds assemble to see the sport.  The bear most always whips and kills.  Sometimes the bull will take advantage and hook him to death.

I am now in St. Lewis on the deck of the porch which is a walk all around the Public Square, which is about one acre.  To the eaves of the building is my head while I write.  This place looks beautiful a little way off, but rough work nearby.  This walk is about 12 feet wide.  On the south is another walk the whole length of the outside, which is much longer than the one I am on.  Here is stars leading over the rough onto the other which shows how some from the garden across another square.  In this garden is a vineyard where there are all kinds of fruit in season.  Oranges and lemons, peaches, apples, dates, olives and many other kinds grow in these gardens.

Washed Brother Rayney’s feet and anointed his knee joints.  Then washed mine and anointed the knees.  Many other followed and done the same and about 10 o’clock dismissed and went home. 

[The Mormon Battalion had arrived in San Diego without having to engage in any battles with the Mexicans.  The war had just ended and victory was proclaimed.  Still, there was much the military wanted to do to secure the new territory of California as most of the local residents were Mexicans.  The Battalion remained in southern California for several months before being discharged and allowed to find their own way to the Utah territory where they were eventually reunited with their families.  Levi continued his journal until he reached the Wasatch Mountains on October 14th, 1847.  Below, is a drawing Levi made of the San Diego settlement on the bay, the way it appeared in 1847.  See his comments for Feb. 2nd for a description of this drawling.]