Recently our family took a trip to San Diego. Folks from Utah might be interested to visit the Mormon Battalion Memorial that has recently been updated and improved. The tour takes about 45 minutes and is fun and very informative. But first, a little background on the Mormon Battalion:
As the Pioneers were heading west in 1846 they were met by Captain James Allen. Allen ask the Pioneers for 500 men to fight in the Mexican-American War. Mormon President Brigham Young saw this as an opportunity to fund the westward trek, and it turned out to be exactly that. Additionally, Young promised those who volunteered that they would not see any fighting if they stayed true to the commandments. As anticipated, the trek was very lucrative, and as Young prophesied, by the time the Battalion arrived in San Diego, the war was over.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (or Mormons) have a memorial site in San Diego, which reminded us of the brand new site in Fort Bluff. As we entered, we were greeted by two young ladies in period dress. They walked us through a series of rooms with video presentations that helped us understand the history of the Mormon Battalion. Our boys were super-excited at the interactive elements of the presentation. The story begins with talking pictures. In the next room they played simple instruments as the Saints danced. And finally, the boys dressed up as army volunteers, complete with muskets, which was their favorite part.
After the tour, we were took a free family picture, which we emailed to ourselves. Then the boys were allowed to pan for gold, as some of the Mormon Battalion soldiers did at Sutter’s Fort which prompted the California gold rush of ’49. Don’t forget to check out the view of Old Town from the balcony. We were there at sunset, and it was amazing.
This museum is absolutely free!