SAN DIEGO — Visitors to the newly renovated Mormon Battalion Historic Site are welcomed by sister missionaries and senior couple missionaries dressed in period clothing.
Visitors begin the tour facing eight framed digital pictures on the wall. Suddenly, the figures come to life. They begin conversing with each other and introduce themselves as members of the battalion. They invite the visitors to follow them to the next room where they begin dramatizing their saga.
In this first room, sitting on logs surrounded by thick forage and large tents, visitors have the impression of being in one of the several camps on the pioneer trail such as Mt. Pisgah, Iowa.
They see a hesitant Capt. Allen and his contingent of three soldiers descend into the camp to deliver a letter from U.S. President James K. Polk requesting that 500 able-bodied men form a battalion to march to the Pacific Coast to defend the country's interests. The captain is kindly received, but expressions on the faces of the pioneers hint of an underlying tension.
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This story is provided by the LDS Church News, an official publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is produced weekly by the Deseret News.