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BACK TO CALIFORNIA. 495
hired by Sutter to work on his mill-race. Bigler was of this party, and Tyler of those who continued their journey. The latter arrived at the Salt Lake settlement on October 16th.28 Many remained here, but thirty-two kept on after a stay of only two days, and after a journey of two months without adventure calling for special notice joined their people at winter quarters on the Missouri River the 18th of December, 1847.
The company of reenlisted Mormon volunteers27 started the 25th of July from Los Angeles for San Diego, where they arrived August 2d. Lieutenant Barrus with a detachment of twenty-seven men was sent a few days later to occupy San Luis Hey. Two of the company died during this second term of service. As before, the work of the Mormons was rather that of mechanics than of soldiers, since there were no disorders requiring military interference. Says the writer of one diary: "I think I whitewashed all San Diego. We did their blacksmithing, put up a bakery, made and repaired carts, and in fine, did all we could to benefit ourselves as well as the citizens. We never had any trouble with Californians or Indians, nor they with us. The citizens became so attached to us, that before our term of service expired they got up a petition to the governor to use his influence to keep us in the service. The petition was signed by every citizen in the town."23 The term expired in January, but the men were not mustered out and paid off until the middle of March 1848. More than half remained for a time, some permanently, in California, scattering northward to the
M Tyler notes that they brought from Cal. various kinds of seeds, which were found very useful in the valley, especially the club-head wheat and a prolific variety of pea.
27 Tho officers of this company were: Captain Daniel C. Davis; lieutenants, Cyrus C. Canfield, Iiuel Barrus, and Robert Clift; sergeants, Edmund L. Brown, Samuel Myers, Benj. F. Mayfield, and Henry Packard. There were four corporals, two musicians, and 68 privates, whose names appear in my Pioneer Register.
28 Henry G. Boyle's diary, in Tyler's Hist., 330.
mines, towns, and farms; but a party of twenty-five, under Boyle as captain, went to Williams' rancho to make ready for an overland journey. They started on April 12th with one wagon and 135 mules, followed the southern route by Mojave and the Santa Fe- trail, and reached Salt Lake the 5th of June.
The experience of the detachment that returned to work through the winter at Sutter's Fort is clearly recorded in Bigler's diary, but belongs to the annals of the gold discovery, as recorded elsewhere.29 In May 1848 preparations for a migration were begun, and Daniel Browett with a small party made a preliminary exploration for a new wagon route over the Sierra. By the end of June arrangements had been completed, about forty-five men30 were gathered at Pleasant Valley, near Placerville, and Brouett with Allen and Cox had started in advance to make new explorations. The main company started on July 2d. Jonathan Holmes was leader, or president, and Lieutenant Thompson captain. On the 19th they found the bodies of Brouett, Allen, and Cox, who had been murdered by the Indians at a place that still bears the name of Tragedy Spring. The route was south of the lake and into Carson Valley, where they encamped the 5th of August. Thus with much toil but without serious disaster the Mormons opened a new wagon road over the mountains. Soon they struck the old Humboldt trail, on which they met several parties of emigrants, announcing to the latter the news that gold had been discovered. The arrival at Salt Lake was on September 25th. It should be added that a large part of the saints left behind by the different detachments of the battalion found their way, with many of Brannan's men, to the Salt Lake
"See vol. vi. of this work. Tyler in one place gives the number of this detachment as 40, but elsewhere says that more than half of the party turned back. The two statements seem contradictory, though the exact number of the eastward-bound company is not known.
*> So says Bigler. Tyler says 37. There was one woman, the wife of Sergt Coray. There were 17 wagons, 150 horses and mules, and about the same number of cattle.
settlement in 1848-9, though a few spent the rest of their lives in California.
Respecting Captain Hunt's project of raising a new battalion of Mormons, we are told that Colonel Stevenson, by Governor Mason's instruction, wrote a letter to President Young on the subject, alluding to the old prejudices against the saints, which in California had been so completely dispelled by intercourse with the volunteers until there had come to exist a strong feeling of respect for them, and a general desire that they should remain in the service and become permanent residents. But Young persisted in his view that the original enlistment had been a necessary sacrifice, which there was no call to repeat. According to Cannon, "he said he did not want the battalion to reenlist for another six months. He regretted that he did not have clothing for them; but he would rather wear skins, he said, than go back to the United States for clothes."13 The probability would seem to be that Young would gladly have furnished another battalion had it still been the intention to establish his people in California; but the determination to find their promised land in Utah rendered it undesirable to part with the bone and sinew of the saints.
Tyler appends to his admirable history of the battalion the record of a festival held by survivors and their friends at Salt Lake City in February 1855, including speeches and reminiscences by comrades and church dignitaries, including President Young. There is a strong vein of religious faith running through all that was said, making the record all the more fascinating. The old idea of the enlistment as a sacrifice that saved the whole Mormon people from massacre was brought out in an intensified form; indeed, the motto of the festival was, "The Mormon battalion—a ram in the thicket." The many hardships of the march, the promised and fulfilled immunity from bloodshed, the frequent miraculous cures of the sick, the wagon
31 Geo. Q. Cannon's History of the Church, quoted in Tyler's Hist., 343-5. Hist. Cal., Vol. T. 82
roads opened and other achievements, the prayers and piety of the men, the vain threats of Fremont and his wicked followers, the finding of gold, and the return to join the brethren in their new home—all were pictured anew to eager listeners. Praise from president and others high in power was lavishly bestowed, with something of blame and no end of good counsel. Song and dancing supplemented the speech-making. It is pleasing to fill one chapter of a volume with saintly doings, even if they do not seem to differ very radically, but for certain peculiarities in the telling, from the deeds of those not of the faith as recounted in other chapters.
NEW YORK VOLUNTEERS AND ARTILLERY COMPANY. 1846-1848.
Congress Calls For Volunteers—Letter To Stevenson—Policy Of The Government Revealed—Recruiting In New York—In Camp At Governor's Island—Clark's History And Murray's Narrative— First Or Seventh—List Of Officers—Character Of The Men—Camp Life And Drill—Popular Ridicule—Discontent And Desertion— Habeas Corpus—Instructions—Stevenson's Troubles—Resisting Arrest—A Baffled Sheriff—Newspaper Comment—Voyage Of The 'Perkins,' 'Loo Choo,' And ' Drew'—Later Vessels And Recruits— The Colonel's Valor—At Rio—Arrival At San Francisco—DistriBution Of The Companies—Garrison Life—Disbandment—Company F, 3d U. S. Artillery—In Garrison At Monterey—Deserting For TheMines—Sherman's Memoirs—Burton's Company—The Dragoons.
An act of congress dated May 13, 1846, authorized the president of the United States to call for and accept the services of volunteers for the Mexican war, and on June 26th the following communication was addressed by William L. Marcy, secretary of war, to Colonel Jonathan D. Stevenson of New York City: "The president having determined to send a regiment of volunteers around Cape Horn to the Pacific, to be employed in prosecuting hostilities in some province of Mexico, probably in Upper California, has authorized me to say that if you will organize one on the conditions hereinafter specified, and tender its services, it will be accepted. It is proper it should be done with the approbation of the governor of New York. The president expects, and indeed requires, that great care should be taken to have it composed of suitable persons—I mean persons of good habits—