SIA1299: Mormon Battalion Plaque

Photographer:Calvin J. Hamilton
Copyright:© 2003 Calvin J. Hamilton
Location:Mormon Battalion Trail Monument, New Mexico

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The plaque reads as follows:

The Mormon Battalion, composed of 500 men mustered into the service of the United States in the war with Mexico, was called to the colors as the Mormon Pioneers were beginning their historic trek to the Rocky Mountains. At the conclusion of the 2,000 mile march from Council Bluffs, Iowa, to San Diego, California, the leader who took command at Santa Fe paid tribute to his men in part as follows:

"History may be searched in vain for an equal march of infantry, half of it has been through a wilderness, where nothing but snakes 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 wells, which the future traveler will enjoy. Without a guide who had traversed them, we have ventured into trackless tablelands where water was not found for several marches. With crow bar and pick and axe in hand, we have worked our way over mountains which seemed to defy aught save the wild goat, and hewed a pass through a chasm of living rock more narrow than our wagon, to bring these first wagons to the pacifie. We have preserved the strength of our mules by herding them over large tracts, which you have laboriously guarded without loss.

Thus, marching half naked and half fed, and living upon wild animals, we have discovered and made a road of great value to our country."

Lieutenant Colonel P. St. George Cook

Official order issued January 30, 1847, upon the safe arrival of the battalion in San Diego, California.

Sponsored by the committes for the erection of the Mormon Battalion Monument in New Mexico and the Utah Pioneer Trails and Landmarks association. Build throught the donations of many friends.

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