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Exploring the science and magic of Identity and Access Management
Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Experiencing History

Author: Mark Dixon
Sunday, March 8, 2009
6:30 pm

Now and then, we get an opportunity to not only reach back in history in a meaningful way but to do our small part in writing positive history for those to come.

On Christmas Day in 1846, the Mormon Battalion camped at a location they dubbed "Christmas Camp," southwest of Phoenix, Arizona, on a brief stop in their 2,200 mile march from Council Bluffs, Iowa, to San Diego, California, during the Spanish American War.  Theirs was the longest infantry march in US History. As reported in WikiPedia, "The battalion’s march and service was instrumental in helping secure new lands in several Western states, especially the Gadsden Purchase of 1853 of much of southern Arizona. The march also opened a southern wagon route to California. Veterans of the battalion played significant roles in America’s westward expansion in California, Utah, Arizona and other parts of the West."

Mormon Battalion at Christmas CampLast Friday night, our church group held our annual Fathers and Sons campout at Christmas Camp to celebrate the service this battalion of about 500 men provided to the state of Arizona and our nation. A group of descendants from that battalion joined our campfire in period dress to share interesting bits of information about the long march and its significance to our history.

Dutch oven cobblerAfter the campfire, we enjoyed dutch oven cobbler that friends and I had made. It was enjoyable to use my old dutch oven that had laid dormant in my garage for many years.

BLM wilderness restoration projectSaturday morning, under the cooperative direction of the Bureau of Land Management and local Mormon Battalion descendants, we broke out shovels and rakes to make our contribution in reclaiming a small section of desert that had been destroyed by careless vehicular traffic. It was as though we were joined together across the generations with that earlier group of men to move forward and leave our world a little better than we found it.

Thank you, Mormon Battalion.  Happy Christmas, All!

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