This was on Indian land, but the travelers were received kindly and given permission to stop.
President Young intended to send a body of picked men into the Rocky Mountains as soon as possible to locate a gathering place. They were to push on ahead that summer and put in crops. Arrangements were being made to this end, when something happened that put a stop to the plan. This was the call for the Mormon Battalion, about which I will tell you in the next chapter.
After five hundred of their best men had marched away to fight the battles of their country, it was impossible for the Saints to get to the mountains that year. So it was decided to make a third stopping place and remain there during the winter.
There being a good location for a town on the west bank of the Missouri river, that place was selected and named Winter Quarters. The town was laid out regularly into streets, and log houses were built. Some made dugouts in the sides of the hill, which were quite comfortable during the cold winter. As the Indians were troublesome on that side of the river a stockade was built around the town. By December, 1846, five hundred and thirty-eight log houses and eighty-three sod houses were built, inhabited by three thousand four hundred and eighty-three people. The town was divided into twenty-two wards, each presided over by a bishop. A large log house was built in which meetings and parties were held.
The food of the people that winter consisted largely of corn-bread and pork. President Young had a grist mill built, but before that time many ate boiled wheat, and ground their corn in coffee mills.
Because of hardships and poor food there was much sickness at all the settlements. Graves marked the prairie for hundreds of miles. At Winter Quarters alone over six hundred were buried.
The poor Saints who were left at Nauvoo were not forgotten. After they had been driven from Nauvoo, they were met by teams from Winter Quarters, and all who wished to go were taken to the camps of the Saints.
Perhaps you may get an idea of this great move when you are told that during that summer there were about two thousand wagons and ten thousand Saints on the way between Nauvoo and Council Bluffs.
Topics.—1. From Nauvoo to Garden Grove. 2. Garden Grove and Mount Pisgah. 3. Winter Quarters.
Questions and Review.—1. What might this last move of the Saints be likened to? 2. After leaving Nauvoo where was the first stopping place? 3. When did the camp start west? 4. What hindered the traveling? 5. How was the camp organized? 6. What did the Saints do for amusement? 7. Where were Garden Grove and Mount Pisgah? 8. What was the object in making these settlements? 9. What prevented a band of pioneers from going to the mountains that summer? 10. Where was Winter Quarters? 11. Describe the place. 12. About how many people were traveling across Iowa that summer?