The Trek

    West

    Grand Encampment

    Distance: 255 miles from Nauvoo

    This broad, open area became the stopping place for pioneer companies as they approached the Missouri River. At this site, the current location of the Iowa School for the Deaf, more than 500 volunteers of the Mormon Battalion officially mustered into the U.S. Army for service in the war with Mexico.
     

    Journal Entry
     

    Thomas L. Kane
    Summer 1849

    “This landing, and the large flat or bottom on the east side of the river, were crowded with covered carts and wagons; and each one of the Council Bluff hills opposite was crowned with its own great camp, gay with bright white canvas, and alive with the busy stir of swarming occupants.

    In the clear blue morning air, the smoke streamed up from more than a thousand cooking fires. Countless roads and bypaths checkered all manner of geometric figures on the hillsides.”
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    Locations Along the Trail