Pvt John Steele

Pvt John Steele

Death 31 Dec 1903 (aged 82)
Kanarraville, Iron County, Utah, USA
Burial Parowan, Iron County, Utah, USA
Plot 09-19-04
Memorial ID 11697404 · View Source
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Son of John Steele & Ann Kennedy

Married Catherine Campbell, 1 Jan 1840, Belfast, Antrim, Ireland

Volume 6 January, 1933 Number 1
[p.1] Utah Historical Society

Extracts from the Journal of John Steele
*Stars denote omissions of slight historical interest.
I will now state that I was born in Hollywood, county of Dourn, Ireland, March 21, 1821.* In my twentieth year I married Miss Catherine Campbell, daughter of Michael Campbell and Mary Knox.* In the year 1840, I left Belfast for Glasgow, Scotland, where I readily obtained work at a first-rate shop at boot and shoe making.* I soon found myself on one of the trades committees of one thousand who were on a strike for wages.* About this time there was a society purporting to be very old and also for the benefit of mankind formed called the Rachobites wherein those who belonged to the society could have money to help support them when sick and means to pay funeral expenses when dead. One of the strongest points was that none of these members drank wine or any intoxicating drink of any kind. I cheerfully joined and soon found myself in a conspicuous position among them.* On the 2nd of June I had a son born A. D. 1842. I called his name John for my father. Shortly after this I heard of the Book of Mormon by seeing a hand bill posted up purporting to be an ancient writing by an ancient people who lived in America and that an angel of God had appeared by whose ministration the records of ancient America had been discovered.* I borrowed a Book of Mormon from one Graham Douglass and would repair to the banks of the Clyde on Glasgow Green and read it through in two weeks. I read P. P. Pratt's Voice of Warning and attended all their meetings and in four weeks from the first sermon I heard I was baptised.* On the 14th of March A. D. 1845 I took up my line of march for Nauvoo.* On the 15th day of January A. D. 1845 I arrived in Liverpool.* About 11 o'clock January 21 we hoisted anchor and set sail, and before 3 o'clock we were on the deep blue sea plowing away with a good 10-knot breeze for the land of Zion.* Arrived at New Orleans on the 7th of March having been six weeks and three days on sea.*
On the 11th day of March shipped our luggage on board the Alex Scott for St. Louis; arrived at the mouth of the Ohio [p.4] river March 20th and soon got to St. Louis.* I went to work for Mr. Bates on 3rd street at boot making. Made money. My wife would do the fine stitching and I would side them up and bottom them. After working there three months. I started for Nauvoo July 8th, 1845. We landed at the upper stone house in a soaking rain. We had some house furniture along. I put my bedstead up in the shelter of the upper stone house spread an open bedtick over some boards I found and made a tent.*
I soon found plenty of work at the boot and shoe factory in Nauvoo; but very soon the scene was changed, the mob becoming so rampant I had to guard nights and work days. The mob boasted they would destroy the city if Jesus Christ should stand at our head.
On the 15th day of August I joined the Masonic Fraternity, and soon became well acquainted with the old brethren, and on the 12th day of September, I joined the Nauvoo Legion and the 29th Quorum of Seventies, got my license from John D. Lee, clerk of Joseph Young, President, recorded book A page 16, no. 594 (or 597) of the General Record of Quorums.*
On the 20th of September A. D. 1845 I and a number of the others were detailed to bring up the guns. So we went to President Young's yard and found what was then called the old sow and pigs very neatly covered over and in a wagon box so that no one would suspect it was any thing but an old wagon. We ran them to the Temple, had them taken care of and worked with a will. I had no wagon of my own at this time but when the mob was so bold and was wishing to drive us before our time the warlike spirit of my fathers awoke in me and sooner than I would be driven I would let them have all the steel was in me, and said to my shopmate, Hartley Mercer, "If you will shoot down one of the mob, I will go into their ranks and get his gun;" so that was agreed upon, but I was spared the trouble for on the evening before mentioned. after bringing up the guns, I was told to go to Captain Farnham's house and bring up the muskets. Forty stand of arms was brought up, five wagons having previously been prepared. Forty of us got in after dark so that spies could not see where we were going. Started for Macedonia where the mob had threatened to burn the carding machines.
When we got to the corner of Joseph's farm, the Captain ordered us to load our gun,.,. I did load mine and never tasted any thing so sweet in my life as did the powder. I felt I was an old soldier for my father used to train me with his walking cane when I was a child about twelve. At night we arrived at Macedonia, were paraded before Uncle Billy Perkins' house as he was called. Volunteers were called for. I volunteered to stand [p.5] guard on the carding machine as that was the night 'set to burn it. Brother Mercer said to me if you go I will go too on guard. He was a good man then, but his faith failed him, he joined Strang afterwards. So we stood there over an hour when we heard the rattle of a wagon in the distance. We thought that it was them and we prepared, unbuttoned our cartridge boxes, saw to our priming, found all ready. I said, "Brother Mercer, you stand in the shade of the crooked fence. I will stand in the shade of the porch;" as there was a small moon, "and I will bring them to a halt and you grab the horses as they come over an old rattling bridge close by." We verily thought they were the mob so we both sprung out at once. I brought my gun up within six feet of them as they sat in the wagon, and demanded, "Halt!" Brother Mercer at the same time caught the horses. It was quite a surprise to the midnight travelers as they returned from a long ride to find themselves prisoners in their own town. We were strangers to them and so were they to us, but after much questioning, I found it was Utica Perkins and long Andy as he was called, both brethern. So we let them go.*
I labored hard gathering corn and potatoes then was sent to Nauvoo for ten days, staying at Brother Clark's house and Sister Clark was as a mother to me, doing as much for me as though I were her own son.
On the 30th of September we all returned home as some change had taken place in affairs. We hid our guns in the bottom of the wagons among straw. One thing here is worthy of note, when we drove into town the mob heard us come and all hostile intentions were stopped for the time being and as the men dare not show face, they sent their wives to visit Sister Perkins' house. Our guns we're standing in the corner of their parlor and the women all declared there were 500 stand of arms there they knew and when we walked out so that we could be seen everybody said there were 500 of us and 200 Indians. As there were 2 Indians got in and came along to see what was done, so you can see how the wicked are afraid and often when no man pursue and the magnitude of their own evil deeds makes good men multiply in their sight.*
On the 28 th of January, I and my wife were called upon to go into the house of the Lord and get our endowments, and on the 8 th day of February the last public meeting was held in the Temple. At that time there was a great sensation caused by the sisters who had been washing out the floors. Brother James Houston was keeping fire in the stoves for them. They thought the floors did not dry fast enough to suit them, and wood was applied freely to the stoves. One of them became red hot, ignited the shingles and all was soon in a blaze, February [p.6] 9th, 1845, but was soon extinguished by all hands in town turning out. There was a continuous line of wagons from the river to the temple, and people worked with a will. However all was soon quieted down again.*
I cannot leave Nauvoo without giving you a few items of some of the men of that city so far as they have come under my observation. I will here mention John E. Page, one of the Twelve Apostles. When the news was spread abroad that we were going west to where the foot of white man never trod, the faithful saints began to make wagons, parch corn and have it ground into meal so that it would keep a long time and in various ways prepare for a long journey not knowing to where or how long it would take to perform it, but trusting in the Lord, through our leaders, Brigham Young and the rest of the Twelve.*
I got ready and started from Nauvoo on the 4th day of May, A. D. 1846. I must here mention I hired my passage in Brother Samuel Burgess' wagon, not having team and wagon of my own. I made him and his family boots and shoes to haul me and my folks I knew not where. And as there was his folks and my family and our effects to go in one wagon and only one yoke of cattle and a pair of 2 yearling calves to haul it you may suppose we could not bring much but our provisions which consisted of parched corn meal but leave we had to and go we must, so I got up and left all my furniture standing as we were wont to use it. The clock hung on the mantle piece, and every thing as though we were just gone out on a visit, only the beds were gone but not the bedsteads. I wanted a hammer for something after I started and returned to the house and found three of our enemies quarreling who should have the clock. I opened my tool chest, took out my hammer, closed the lid and sat down upon it, and heard them awhile, then started on my journey, crossed the Mississippi that day and followed on as fast as we could, leaving many friends behind, and many who never followed, some apostatised, some went to St. Louis, some laid down in death, and so we were again scattered.
Got to Indian Creek, Iowa, on the 20th May. Laid there to the 6th of June, I having my customary shake once a day and at farthest once in two days regular. Got to Grand River, West of Pisgah, camped there until Colonel Allen came along with his aide authorized to raise a Battalion of Mormons of 500 men. You can better imagine my feelings than I can describe then,. I must ask pardon for thinking or saying they may all go to hell together. I will see them (meaning the whole United States) in hell before I will fire one shot against a foreigner for them those who have mobbed, robbed, plundered and destroyed us [p.7] all the day long and now seek to enslave us to fight for them. I could not find words hard enough to say in just anger for that kind of treatment. However President Brigham Young, Richards, Kimball, Benson and others came to us on the Missouri (?) stream and preached faith into us for we were all mad. They said it would all be overruled for the best, and the only thing left for us was to furnish 500 men and march against the Mexicans, and they would try what could be done to have us get the country of California for fighting for it, and also get discharged with our guns and accoutrements, for said they we know there is a deep settled plan if we do not raise these men that the mob will come against us and cut us all off, and not allow us to cross the Missouri River. And that Battalion must be raised if I. Brother Kimball, Brother Richards and the rest of the Twelve should go in thought of it and proceeded on our journey. At last arrived at the Bluffs, as it was called Council Bluffs and agreed to enlist and enrolled myself in Company D under Captain Nelson Higgins and started for the Missouri River.*
We mustered at what was called Sarpey (?) Point, a Frenchman who kept a trading post there where we fitted out for our journey having our names enrolled on the 16th day of July, A. D. 1846.*
As near as could be made out there were about 20,000 inhabitants in the city of Nauvoo, many fine buildings, costly mansions, many fine farms cultivated round the city, plenty of wood land close by and a beautiful situation, a large Masonic hall, of which I had the honor to be a member, several stores, and upon a high commanding bluff stood our magnificent and beautiful Temple from the top of which could be seen far out upon the prairie, up and down the Mississippi River, see the river boats playing up and down, and large rafts of logs and lumber floating down to market below.*
The 500 men having arrived at the Missouri River, we were organized into five companies under five captains.* In all we had 513 men and 20 women who got the privilege to go along with their husbands.* I also had my wife and my daughter Mary who was about five years old when we started from camp and from our old friends. I left all my earthly effects with brother Louis Zabriskie, took one blanket apiece for me and my wife, a tin cup apiece, knife and fork apiece, and a spoon, and for the first time laid us down on the cold ground one blanket under and one over us, and then I felt as though it was hard fare. We were both sick of ague and fever, I having two shakes a day, and I had been in that situation for many months; we made several short drives. Col. Allen was a very good kind [p.8] man and felt for us in our situation, and he had the doctor wait constantly upon the sick, especially my wife. About the 28th of July the health of the Company began to improve, passed through several small towns, came through Jamestown on the 29th, also through St. Joseph, also a town called Bloomington Friday 31st.*
August 1st, 1846, we came to Fort Leavenworth after crossing the Missouri River, marched to our camp grounds in good order. There were 400 volunteers quartered there and about 70 regular troops.* Stayed here until the 15th, when we took our departure to join General Kearney's army as fast as we could. He had gone on before with all the troops he could get at the time for Santa Fe. When we got our belts, guns, knapsacks, haversacks and canteens on we were harnessed up like a mule and to a sick man it was anything but comfort. The weather was uncommonly hot.*
August 26th, news arrived of the death of Colonel Allen, on the 27th arrived at Council Grove. This was called after a council that was held between the Government and the Indians, in which the Government bought ten miles wide from Fort Leavenworth to Bents' Fort on the Arkansas River. Here Captain Hunt was nominated our commandant in place of Col. Allen.*
Wednesday September 2nd, we traveled very fast for 16 miles and came up with a company of Missouri Cavalry Volunteers. We now are fairly launched upon a prairie desert where water is scarce.* Now we have neither wood nor water and the land is nearly a level plain as far as the eye can reach.* At last came to a small eminence from whence I could see many thousands of buffalo. The country was literally black with them for more than four miles square. Here we were ordered up at four o'clock in the morning with the promise that we would stop and cook breakfast soon, but we made 30 miles first, and then by chance found a hole full of water among some rocks, where we had all the water we needed. We found names cut in the rocks as early as 1826. We killed a few buffalo, but as we were on a forced march and tired where water was very uncertain we did not hunt much only where the buffalo crossed our road. Antelope are plenty through this country, our cooking must be done with buffalo chips, and it would do a person good to see the men when they began to draw close to camp, draw their ramrods, not to ram home cartridges but to stick it through the largest chip they could find and string them on as long as one could be put on there like as many pancakes. And then to see the cooking, as many times the cakes were laid on the burning chips to finish baking.*
[p.9] My mess consisted of myself, Levi Savage, Ezra Feytoot. Hayward Thomas, also my wife and little daughter Mary. When I drew out tent and camp equipage for the mess I got another tent which I used for my family.*
Here Capt. Nelson Higgins and several families left us for Bents Fort.* After crossing the Arkansas we came up with Col. Price's command and delivered up to them the ammunition we had in charge for them. Wednesday 16th of September. We lay to all day where John D. Lee and Howard Egan came up; they had many letters for the boys.* At last arrived at Shade Springs oil the Cimarron River.* We have to dig wells when we camp.* This place is called the Cold Spring. The country is still hilly, sandy, and rocky. Met some of the Santa Fe traders who told us it was 250 miles to that place. There are mountains in the distance of blue ether which can be seen for several days as though we did not get any nearer them, called the Rabbit Ears or Mule Ears.*
October 1st, 1846, we came 15 miles and camped one mile from wood or water. Here a project was got up by Lieut. Smith. The Battalion was to be divided and the strongest men and animals go ahead, so 250 men were selected, and all the sick, weak, and disabled were left also all the gave out stock.* I say we, for as I had my wife and little girl along, I was to stay behind. We had the beef stock that never had looked through a bow, and I concluded I would drive the team the women rode in.
From the top of this hill, our faded ranks could be seen struggling along for nearly the whole 30 miles as teams and men were nearly gave out. The Spaniards could see our command for all this distance, and is they had a fort built of logs and trees, at the end of a long lane of road where their cannon could rake us for nearly four miles. (They had nine pieces.) But when they saw our dust for such a distance they thought it was an overwhelming army, and so they left their fortifications, and fled some 200 miles from there, and so the prediction of President Young was fulfilled that if the boys would do right, not one of them would fall in battle. We soon came to a nice little town situated on the Mora Stream about three rods wide and clear as crystal. The town was called Las Vegas. I visited the inhabitants who gave me some pancakes to eat. I bought eggs or warls, and cheese or Keso, also milk or litchic as then, called them. They were very kind and I was all alone among them as I had no fears. Here I also bought 100 pounds of their ground wheat and my mess thought it was the best flour they ever eat. We soon went on through great forests of cedar wood, scrubby, soon came to San Migtiel where the [p.10] ladies were on top of the house, and when they saw that I had women in my wagon they hastened down and sent their old father to invite us in. This old gentleman lived opposite the Catholic Chapel and attends to services when the regular priest is absent. So when he came and invited us I gave him to under stand I would. Then when my women got out of the wagon there was such a hugging as I had never seen before, as that is their manner of saluting. I left my cattle and went into the house and on entering there was a large picture of the Savior on the cross. As soon as I saw it I made the sign of the cross on my breast. Then the old Spaniard took me by the hand as if I had been his long lost brother. There was on a table under the picture a carved wooden crucifix of the Savior, also two others of carved wood, I suppose to represent the two thieves. But I found it would not do to remain as I discovered skulking around the corrals, a great number of men, and as my team was the last and I was alone, I must hasten on. It was well I did for I was told they were planning to steal my little girl, by a man named Antonio Balastho who afterwards ran the mail through Utah to California. We did not reach camp until midnight that night, and it was so dark I could not see the horns of my oxen while walking alongside them.* The houses need a few words to explain the kind; they were made of what is called adobe or sundried brick which answer very well for a dry country. They are one story high with flat roofs mostly covered with poles and earth to a great thickness, and they go up there to sleep. At a distance it looked to us like a great brick yard ready to be burned.
However, after passing through some fine valleys and a heavily wooded country, at last arrived at the far famed town of Santa Fe, October 12, 1846, where our 250 brethren got the day before. The American flag was flying and all went merry as a marriage bell. The town is about 4 miles long, situated in a beautiful valley with a fine stream of water running through it. Houses are one story high and flat roofed. Must here say a few words about our officers of Co. D. to which I belonged. Captain Nelson Higgins as I have said left us with a detachment of families for Bents Fort while on the Arkansas. Our next in command was George P. Dykes who also acted as Adjutant to the battalion which left the command upon 2nd Lieutenant Sylvester Hulett who acted very kind to those under his command. There was nothing of the tyrant about him.* Our next 3rd Lieutenant was Cyrus Canfield. He was a rough harum scarum man and dearly loved his glass and his lull (?). Our orderly sergeant was N. V. Jones, 2nd sergeant, David I Wilkin, 3rd sergeant, Thomas S. Williams.
[p.11] At this time our adjutant, G. P. Dykes, had made out his returns for a division of the company as Col. P. St. George Cooke was to lead the Mormon Battalion to California, and the sick men and women were to go to Bents Fort and join Captain Higgins and as all the men who had their wives along were able-bodied, I found there was likely to be a separation of the men and their wives. So I went to the adjutant and told him I wanted my name put down to go back. He said he could not do it but that Dr. Sanderson could. I went to the Dr. and told him I wanted him to put my name down to go back. He asked if I were sick. I said no, then he said he could not put my name down. I asked who could and he said the adjutant. I saw there was something wrong and so I went to all the men who had wives, and asked them to go along with me and see Col. Cooke, but I could not find a man who would go. At last I found John Hess who said he would go. So away we went and when we got opposite where they sold whiskey, John said, "lets go in and get a glass we can face the Colonel better." I said "you can go in and take one but I must be only sober." So he took his glass but I would not taste. We went and found him in a long low cellar in company of about 30 officers. I asked which of the gentlemen there is Col. Cooke. Then there arose a man from the further side of the table, measuring about 6 ft. and 4 inches. I told him I had understood he had issued orders for all the sick men and all the women to go back to Bents Fort. He said yes that was so. I told him I had my wife there and would like the privilege of either having my wife go on to California with me or going back to Bents Fort with her. He spoke very saucy and said he would like to have his wife along with him (but he never had a wife). I told him very likely his wife was in Washington or some other good seaport among her friends, while mine was in Santa Fe among her enemies, and to have her left there with only a guard of sick men, I would not stand it, and the more I talked the more angry I got until at last I could have thrashed the ground with him. Colonel Cooke, seeing that things were becoming serious, said he would go and see General Doniphan. I said I would also, and he walked as fast as his long legs could carry him, but I kept alongside of him and the faster he walked the faster I walked. It made him very angry because I wouldn't fall behind so I stopped outside when he got to General Doniphan's door. They had a small consultation, and in a few minutes Col. Cooke came out, looking altogether another man, and asked me very politely to call his orderly, who was Mr. Muir, a Scotchman. I did so and the Colonel told him to go tell the adjutant to stop making out the returns, and come down to him immediately. Then I knew I had gained my point. The [p.12] Colonel was very anxious that I should go with him into California. He thought the Mormons were an ugly set as he had taken a bout with Thomas S. Williams just the day before, and the impression made on him was that the Mormons were all fighters, and as we had been used to mob violence but a few months before it did not take much opposition to make us mad at Colonel or General. I then returned to John Hess and told him I would now take a drink with him, and so we came back to camp, and orders were issued that every man who had a wife there had the privilege to go to Bents Fort. Thus I fought the battle alone and gained the victory for twenty men and their wives who otherwise would have been separated, perhaps for years, perhaps for life. This order being issued, Captain James Brown of Company G was chosen to take command of this detachment of sick men, laundress women and their guards, in the neighborhood of 100 persons. Captain Brown selected me and sergeant David Wilkin (although I was only a private) to go and select cattle from the herd to draw our baggage wagons, and I being well acquainted with the stock, soon selected out 7 yoke for each wagon and seven yoke of beauties for the team I was to drive, as I was to take as many of the sisters as could be stowed in one wagon. There were several changes made here. Sergeant major James H. Glines was reduced, and Quarter-master Gully was also reduced, as Lieutenant Smith, who took command after the death of Col. Allen, wanted to be quarter-master as Col. Cooke had taken the other place he wanted. Many blamed Adjutant George P. Dykes for some of these things. Five days passed away, and on the sixth day we drew our pay, October 17th, 1846, and sent back eight or ten dollars to Heber C. Kimball to help him on his journey.
On the morning of the 18th we commenced our journey for Bents Fort. We had 87 men and 20 women and our destination was Pueblo on the Arkansas under captain James Brown, Lieut. Luddington, Sergeant Orson B. Adams, Sergeants Hanks, Wilkins, Williams and a full quota of non-commissioned men.
We took our back track for several days over hills, valleys and very rocky roads. Soon camped on the Pecos River, where the 'Spaniards stole one yoke of my oxen. There is a small Spanish settlement there. Soon we came to San Miguel, another Spanish town, where John D. Lee, Howard Egan, Samuel Gully, and Roswell Stevens passed us bound for the Bluffs with all the money our boys could spare for the use of their families. We soon came to Las Vegas, thence to the Mora River where antelope begin to show themselves. Several were killed, and fresh meat tasted good to our camp as we have been oil salt junk for a long time. Here we left the Moira road, and took [p.13] the Bents Fort road where we passed through many fine valleys, good grass, timber, and high mountains where herds might feed all winter as not much snow falls in this country. Several salt lakes in this region.
October 28, Brother Milton Smith died, We dug his grave and I smoothed down his pillow, got the boys to gather grass and cane and covered him the best we could. Near a tributary of the Purgatory River on the right hand side of the road as we go to Bents Fort there he lies deep in the ground. We also covered his grave with large stones to keep the wolves from digging him up. Travelled over mountains and valleys where snow would lie long in the spring of the year. At last came to the Purgatory River, a fine stream. Here Abner Chase died about noon and was buried the same evening before we crossed the river. He lies near to the river on the right hand side of the road as we go to Fort Bent. He was buried in his robes and a bed of grass below and above him and large stones to keep the wolves from his body. Travelled on passing the hole in the rock where cedars grow ever plentiful. Camped by the willow Springs. Here we found 14 yoke of oxen belonging to Uncle Sam's fit out. The men came hunting them and the Captain told to take all that they knew to be theirs. So they took 7 yoke and left 7 yoke, and when we came to Pueblo, the Captain took 4 yoke of them and divided 3 yoke among his favorites. just about this time we were very hard up for something to eat as we left Santa Fe with only one fourth of a pound of flour for each one per day, and we killed the poorest oxen and eat them. I had a poor old ox that laid in a mud hole all night and in the morning was not fit to travel, so I held him up while one of the boys shot him, and he was tough. I had the toothache all the way for a month. We picked up many head of oxen and mules on this route. At last on Sunday, Nov. 5th, we came to the Arkansas River near Bents Fort traveling 321 miles in 20 days averaging 15 12 miles per day. We were all hungry. My wife and myself divided our rations with our little daughter although it was only 4 ounces each per day. But now we got a new supply of all kinds for which we were very thankful. We drew a supply for sixty days. We pushed ahead up the river bottoms, found plenty of deer, and after travelling 68 miles came to Pueblo, our intended winter quarters. There are several good bottoms on this river where settlers might make good homes. We saw some old ruins of bygone days here.
Arrived Tuesday,, Nov. 17, 1846 and set about locating for the winter. Found plenty of cottonwoods, house logs. We soon put 18 or 20 houses up, also a blacksmith shop, and a large corral. The Indians came in and we traded with them for horses, [p.14] and soon our infantry became cavalry, and by the 24th we were all in horses. Nothing of any consequence took place until Monday, December 21st, when another detachment arrived under Lieut. Wesley Willis who had traveled some 200 miles down the Rio Grande River, and Col. Cooke considered them unfit to cross the great western desert, and sent them to join our detachment at Pueblo. Our time was taken up by building and making our houses comfortable, and in drilling which was attended to every day, also guard mounting at 8 A. M. and regular roll call morning and evening. We also got a meeting house up, and sometimes we had good preaching, and sometimes we were scolded by the Captain.* December 24, Tom Wolsey and John Tippits came from the command on the Rio Grande and wanted two of Captain Brown's men to go with them as they had dispatches for the Bluffs, but Captain Brown would not allow a man to go. Whereupon Wm. Casto and Jackson Shoup concluded to go.* About Midnight they started to overtake Wolsey and Tippits, but being too anxious they forgot what I had said to them, and only went 8 miles and made a fire and cooked breakfast, then went on 20 and made fire again. Then rode on and made another fire where Captain Brown, Sergeants Adams and Hanks overtook them and brought them back, court-martialed them, fining each one of them to haul 5 loads of wood as punishment.*
The house that was intended for a meeting house was to be used for a guard house, and when the boys found that out, there was only 3 or 4 turned out and so it never was built.*
January 17th, 1847, there was 9 wagons came from Bents Fort with 60 days rations. Many of the boys were out hunting deer. Jan. 19th, John Perkins died and was buried on the 20th at the root of a large cottonwood.* Friday, February 5th, took two Spanish prisoners, who got away after three days. All the families are getting into safe quarters where they can be guarded. This day another of our boys died, one of Lieut. Willis's command by, the name of Scott. We followed him to his last resting place where Brother John Chase made some appropriate remarks, and then followed three volleys of musketry in honor of the departed. Captain Brown, Lieut's Luddington and Willis went to Bent's Fort and succeeded in getting four months rations.*
February 25th, another of our company died this evening. He had been sick almost from the start. We followed him to his last resting place, beside his comrades. Thomas Williams and James Shoup had each a child born to them, and Corporal John Chase married Captain Nelson Higgins' daughter.*
[p.15] March 21st, this day 26 years ago, I was ushered into this world and since that time I have passed through many trials both by land and sea.
March 28th. this day I am to record the death of another of our comrades, namely Arnold Stevens, a corporal. He was handling a wild mule when he was dragged over some logs and hurt internally. He lingered from the 21 to the 26 of March,, when a blood vessel burst and suffocated him. He was dressed in his robes and neatly laid away in a coffin, made of what is called puncheo

* Mormon Battalion members


John & Catherine Steele & Mary C.S. Fish Members of the Morman Battalion and Pioneers to Utah July 29, 1847.
Pioneers to Parowan Jan 15 1851.
John and Catherine parents of first white child born in Utah Aug 9 1847.

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  • Maintained by: Schott Family
  • Originally Created by: Cracraft Proud
  • Added: 6 Sep 2005
  • Find a Grave Memorial 11697404
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Pvt John Steele (21 Mar 1821–31 Dec 1903), Find a Grave Memorial no. 11697404, citing Parowan City Cemetery, Parowan, Iron County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by Schott Family (contributor 46932087) .