Littell's Living Age/Volume 10/The Mormon Camp

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Littell's Living Age
The Mormon Camp
Published 22 August, 1846.

THE Hancock Eagle of the 10th July notices the arrival there of Mr. S. Chamberlain, who left the most distant camp of the Mormons at Council Bluffs on the 26th ultimo, and on his route passed the whole line of Mormon emigrants. He says that the advance company of the Mormons, with whom were the Twelve, had a train of one thousand wagons, and were encamped on the east bank of the Missouri river, in the neighborhood of the Council Bluffs. They were employed in the construction of boats for the purpose of crossing the river.

The second company had encamped temporarily at station No. 2, which has been christened Mount Pisgah. They mustered about three thousand strong, and were recruiting their cattle preparatory to a fresh start. A third company had halted for a similar purpose at Garden Grove, on the head waters of Grand River, where they have put in about two thousand acres of corn for the benefit of the people in general. Between Garden Grove and the Mississippi river Mr. Chamberlain counted over one thousand wagons en route to join the main bodies in advance.

The whole number of teams attached to the Mormon expedition is about three thousand seven hundred, and it is estimated that each team will average at least three persons, and perhaps four. The whole number of souls now on the road may be set down in round numbers at twelve thousand. From two to three thousand have disappeared from Nauvoo in various directions. Many have left for Council Bluffs by the way of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers; others have dispersed to parts unknown; and about eight hundred or less still remain in Illinois. This comprises the entire Mormon population that once flourished in Hancock county. In their palmy days they probably numbered between fifteen and sixteen thousand souls, most of whom are now scattered upon the prairies, bound for the Pacific slope of the American continent.

Mr. Chamberlain reports that previously to his leaving, four United States military officers had arrived at the Mount Pisgah camp, for the purpose of enlisting five hundred Mormons for the Santa Fe campaign. They were referred to head-quarters at Council Bluffs, for which place they immediately set out. It was supposed that the force would be enrolled without delay. If so, it will furnish Col. Kearney with a regiment of well-disciplined soldiers, who are already prepared to march. Mr. Chamberlain represents the health of the traveling Mormons as good, considering the exposure to which they have been subjected. They are carrying on a small trade in provisions with the settlers in the country, with whom they mingle on the most friendly terms.