Preface -- vii

Introduction -- ix

February, 1847

Battalion leaves San Diego‑‑2; Battalion arrives at San Luis Rey‑‑5; Map of Council Bluffs Area--7; "Silver Gray Picnic" held--10; Luman Shurtliff starts relief mission--15; Brigham Young family meeting--26; John Tippets and Thomas Woolsey return from Pueblo--27; Brigham Young's vision of Joseph Smith--30; Donner Party rescued--35; Heavy snow in Winter Quarters--37;


March, 1847

Battalion leaves San Luis Rey--71; Winter Quarters mill put into operation--72; Plans for pioneer company established--75; Battalion arrives at Los Angeles--78; Addison Pratt leaves Society Islands--84; First Pioneers leave Winter Quarters--87; Summer Quarters site selected--88;


April, 1847

Three sisters allowed to go with the pioneers--93; General Conference held--99; Summer Quarters surveyed--100; The Twelve start pioneer journey--101; Map of Pioneer Trail from Nauvoo to Salt Lake Valley--104; Elkhorn River--109; Platte River--114; Twelve return to Winter Quarters--114; Twelve again leave Winter Quarters--118; Pioneer company organized--121; List of pioneer company--123; Roadometer idea conceived--132; "Revenue Cutter" used to catch fish--132; Pawnee Indian Village--138; Pawnee Missionary Station--141; Loup Fork Crossing--148; Horses stolen by Indians--155; Samuel Brannan leaves Sutter's Fort--157; First buffalo sighted--160; Grand Island--160; First buffalo hunt--166;


May, 1847

Pioneers meet Charles Beaumont--174; Burned prairie--178; William Clayton counts wheel revolutions--183; Battalion patrol battles, kills Indians--187; Roadometer put into operation--192; Kearny detachment of battalion leaves Los Angeles--195; Cedar Bluffs--203; Ash Hollow--207; Chimney Rock spotted--210; Ancient Ruins Bluff--211; Courthouse Rock--218; Chimney Rock--222; Scotts Bluff--224; Brigham Young calls camp to repentance--225;


June, 1847

Pioneers meet Mississippi Saints--234; Fort Laramie--237; Mississippi Saints join pioneer company--242; Black Hills--249; Deer Creek--255; North Platte ferry crossing--261; Big Company of pioneers organized at the Elkhorn River--273; Big Company leaves Elkhorn River--277; Lists of Big Company of pioneers--278; Pioneers left behind to operate ferry--282; Brigham Young arrives in the Salt Lake Valley--388; Jacob Weatherby shot by Indians--292; Independence Rock-- 298; Devil's Gate--299; Battalion members bury Donner‑Reed bones--305; Addison Pratt arrives at New Hope--306; Ice Springs--309; Snowball fights--315; South Pass--316; Pioneers meet Moses Harris--318; Pioneers meet Jim Bridger--321; Big Company at Pawnee Mission--323; Big Sandy River--324; Battalion reenlistment effort--325; Green River--327; Pioneers meet Samuel Brannan--327; Mountain fever strikes pioneers--328;


July, 1847

Pioneers chosen to guide Big Company--331; Pioneers meet advance guard of Mormon Battalion--333; Ham's Fork--337; Black's Fork--339; Fort Bridger--341; Second pioneer company begins leaving Winter Quarters--244; Muddy Fork--346; Company B leaves San Diego--347; Pioneers meet Miles Goodyear--348; Bear River--352; Echo Canyon--354; Map of pioneer trail in Utah--355; Hogsback Summit--361; Company B arrives in Los Angeles--361; Mormon Battalion discharged--364; Big Mountain--372; Emigration Canyon--375; Orson Pratt and Erastus Snow enter Salt Lake Valley--375; Battalion leaves Los Angeles--377; Main company of pioneers enter Salt Lake Valley--380; Orson Pratt offers prayer of dedication in the valley--383; First ground plowed--384; Brigham Young views valley on Big Mountain--385; Brigham Young arrives in the Salt Lake Valley--388; City Creek dammed for irrigation--389; First Sabbath in the valley--392; Brigham Young chooses location for temple--396; Brethren climb Ensign Peak--397; Hot Springs--398; Expedition to Oquirrh mountains--401; Plan for city blocks--404; Pueblo Company of Mormon Battalion and Mississippi Saints enter valley--408; Lists of Mississippi Saints and Pueblo Mormon Battalion detachment--409;


Epilogue -- 417

Bibliography -- 420

Topic Index -- 425

Name Index -- 427


As this third and concluding volume was written, a great celebration took  place all over the world to recognize the sesquicentennial anniversary (150 years) of the arrival of the pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley of Utah.   A modern reenactment of the pioneer trek from Winter Quarters to the Salt Lake Valley received international attention. 

In October 1995, I started to write daily articles that looked back 150 years ago from the day.  I shared these articles with several friends on the computer internet.  I thought that I would only write these articles for a week or two, but the series lasted for 648 consecutive days.

In February, 1996, I joined forces with David Kenison of Orem, Utah, to establish an internet electronic mail (e-mail) distribution list which we named LDS-Gems.  I continued to distribute these daily articles to subscribers of this free service.  LDS-Gems started with about 100 subscribers, and has exploded to more than 10,000 subscribers as of September, 1997.

Over the months, I received frequent requests to compile the LDS-Gems articles into a book that could be kept and shared with others.  In December, 1996, I published the first volume of this LDS-Gems Pioneer Trek Series, Saints in Exile.  Four months later, the second volume, Saints in the Wilderness was released.  Finally, just six months later, this third volume, Saints Find the Place is published completing this historic journey to the Great Salt Lake Valley.

There are many people to thank for making this third volume possible.  First to thank again is my wife Linda, who is very grateful that the Saints finally found the “right place.”  David Kenison pushed me on, to the end of the journey.  Chris Grant, of the Brigham Young University Math Department, made numerous trips for me to the Harold B. Lee Library on campus, which houses a wonderful collection of pioneer sources.  My sister, Michelle Call, made trips to the Utah Historical Society.  I thank several individuals who volunteered their time and effort to help proof and edit this volume.  A very special thanks goes to Dr. Lon Pearson, of the department of Modern Languages, at University of Nebraska at Kearney, in Nebraska.  He spent many hours helping me to clean up the text and offered insights into the trail through Nebraska.  Dr. Pearson also arranged to have the first two volumes of this series, Saints In Exile, and Saints in the Wilderness, ride along with the modern-day pioneer wagon train that arrived in Salt Lake City, Utah, on July 22, 1997.  Others who helped with the editing were: My sister, Elizabeth Crockett Ball, of Sunnyvale, California, and Howard C. Bybee of Brigham Young University.  Again, last, but not least, I thank the many faithful readers on LDS-Gems who have sent letters and kind notes of appreciation.  You have all made this publication possible.

For those of you who just cannot get enough of this series, you will be pleased to learn that a week-by-week continuation of this history can be read on the internet at:




Volume one, Saints In Exile, presented the tragic expulsion of the Saints from their homes in Nauvoo, Illinois during the winter months of 1845-46.  Thousands of Saints left behind their unsold homes, the beautiful temple, and were exiled across the Mississippi River into Iowa.  Saints in Exile followed the laborious trek of the main Camp of Israel across the Iowa prairies.  Near the end of the first volume, the Camp of Israel reached the Council Bluffs area at the Missouri River.

At the close of Saints In Exile, the Lord opened up a way for the Saints to better survive the winter months in the wilderness.  Captain James Allen, of the U.S. Army, arrived at Council Bluffs to enlist a Mormon Battalion of five hundred men.   

Volume two, Saints in the Wilderness presented the historic march of the Mormon Battalion from Council Bluffs to San Diego California.  Saints in the Wilderness also followed the day-by-day struggles of the Saints as they built up Winter Quarters and passed through the trials of sickness and death.  Saints in the Wilderness related the tragic last days of Nauvoo as it fell to the mob.  Hundreds of Saints struggled across Iowa to make their way to their winter home on the banks of the Missouri River.

As this third volume opens, the Church is led by Brigham Young and the other members of the Twelve consisting of Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, George A. Smith, Willard Richards, Lyman Wight (away in Texas), and Amasa M. Lyman, and Ezra T. Benson.

Saints Find The Place presents the historic trek of the 1847 pioneers.  After months of preparation, an advance company of 148 pioneers rolled out of Winter Quarters, to find a resting place for the Saints.  Several books have been published in the past describing this historic pioneer journey.  Saints Find The Place is unique from them all, in that it follows the trek of the more than 2,000 Saints who arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847.

The historic 111-day pioneer trek often overshadows the faithful journey made by hundreds of other Saints, including large numbers of women and children, that also made their journey across the plains during the summer of 1847.  Others also arrived who are usually forgotten in this important history.  When Brigham Young’s company arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on July 22, 1847, it included Saints from Mississippi and some soldiers from the Mormon Battalion.  Within a week, about 240 additional Mississippi Saints and members of the battalion triumphantly entered the valley.  This group of Saints included dozens of women and children who had spent the previous winter in Pueblo, Colorado.  Saints Find The Place follows their journey.

Saints Find The Place also presents the day-by-day events of the Mormon Battalion, stationed in California, as they wait out the lonely days, looking forward to their release.  Private Robert S. Bliss captured their feelings in verse:


A few days more & we shall go

To see our Wives & Children too

And friends so dear we’ve left below

To save the Church from Overthrow.


Our absence from them has been long

But Oh the time will soon be gone

When we shall meet once more on Earth

And praise the God that gave us Birth.


Thousands of Saints were left behind on the shores of the Missouri River and in settlements across Iowa.  Saints Find The Place shares their story, as they planted crops and cultivated farms to produce food for the long cold months ahead.   Mary Richards wrote about Winter Quarters during this time: “We gazed with delight upon our city of 8 months growth its beauty full gardens and extensive fields clothed with the fast growing corn and vegetables of every description above all things pleasing to the eyes of an Exile in the Wilderness of our afflictions.”

William Clayton, a member of the vanguard pioneer company, penned  lines of faith during the previous years’ journey through Iowa, that reflected the hopes of thousands of Saints looking forward to finding a place of peace and rest.


We'll find the place which God for us prepared,

Far away in the West;

Where none shall come to hurt or make afraid;

There the Saints will be blessed.

We'll make the air with music ring

Shout praises to our God and King;

Above the rest these words we'll tell

All is well! All is well!


Saints Find The Place concludes as this place is found. When Thomas Bullock entered the valley, he could not help but shout, "Harrah, hurrah, hurrah, here's my home at last."

Patty Sessions recorded her feelings on her arrival in 1847:  "My heart flows with gratitude to God that we have got home all safe, lost nothing, have been blessed with life and health.  I rejoice all the time." 

Jesse W. Crosby words resound the joyful feelings shared at the end of a long journey:  "I was led to exclaim when first viewing this beautiful space, hemmed in with lofty mountains:  Behold a resting place prepared and had in reserve for the Saints.'"