The Mormon Battalion Crosses the San Pedro River
San Pedro River
How a member of the Mormon Battalion may have looked
Mormon Battalion's march across Arizona. Small dotted line marks their route
1860s rendition of the Battalion traveling through the Arizona Sonora Desert.
Gen. Philip St. George Cooke during the Civil War
Backstory and Context
"In December 1846 the Mormon Battalion was journeying west along the United States-Mexico border. Along with the challenging terrain and lack of food, battalion members suffered from a lack of good water. Journals say that on December 9, 1846 they reached the San Pedro River flowing north out of Sonora (in Mexico) into Cochise County, Arizona. At this point the battalion turned north following the river for about five or six days when they turned west/northwest toward Tucson. During this period, members of the battalion enjoyed the water and were able to do some fishing and hunting. Even though they were in a desert, they were afflicted at times by the cold. They followed the San Pedro for about fifty miles."
This location and the one for the Battle of the Bulls (see Clio entry for more information) lie close to the border with Mexico.