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Picturing history: Mormon Battalion in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Mormon Battalion members officially began their long march when they left Council Point, Iowa, on July 20, 1846. For much of the first part of their journey, they followed the Santa Fe Trail, reaching the end of it on Oct. 9 of that same year.

As they arrived, they were met with the salute of a volley of gunshots fired in their honor. This came because of a request by Col. Alexander Doniphan, a longtime friend of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Prophet Joseph Smith in particular.

The men and women of the battalion rested at Santa Fe for about four days. It was there they met their new leader, Col. Philip St. George Cook. They had only had temporary leaders since the death of Col. James Allen, who died Aug. 23, 1846, at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.