Mount Pisgah

Distance: 153 miles from Nauvoo

The resources at Garden Grove proved insufficient for meeting all the needs of the Saints still crossing Iowa. A second, more expansive and permanent settlement was established at Mount Pisgah, named in honor of the biblical mount from which Moses was permitted to see the promised land. It was here that the U.S. Army first called on the Saints to furnish volunteers for the Mormon Battalion.

Journal Entries

Parley P. Pratt

“Being pleased and excited at the varied beauty before me, I cried out, ‘this is Mount Pisgah.’ . . . It was now late in May, and we halted here to await the arrival of the President and council. In a few days they arrived and formed a general encampment here, and finally formed a settlement, and surveyed and enclosed another farm of several thousand acres. This became a town and resting place for the Saints for years.”

The Autobiography of Parley Parker Pratt: One of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, ed. Parley P. Pratt Jr. (Chicago: Law, King, and Law, 1888), 381; spelling standardized.

“Late from the Mormon Camp,” Hancock Eagle

"The Hancock Eagle, of Friday last, notices the arrival there of Mr. S. Chamberlain, who left the most distant camp of the Mormons at Council Bluffs on the 26th, and on his route passed the whole line of Mormon emigrants. He says that the advance company of the Mormons, with whom were the Twelve, had a train of one thousand wagons, and were encamped on the east bank of the Missouri River, in the neighborhood of the Council Bluffs. They were employed in the construction of boats, for the purpose of crossing the river.

"The second company had encamped temporarily at station No. 2, which has been christened Mount Pisgah. They mustered about three thousand strong, and were recruiting [resting and feeding] their cattle preparatory to a fresh start. A third company had halted for a similar purpose at Garden Grove, on the head waters of Grand River, where they have put in about 2000 acres of corn for the benefit of the people in general. Between Garden Grove and the Mississippi river, Mr. Chamberlain counted over one thousand wagons en route to join the main bodies in advance.

"The whole number of teams attached to the Mormon expedition, is about three thousand seven hundred, and it is estimated that each team will average at least three persons, and perhaps four. The whole number of souls now on the road may be set down in round numbers at twelve thousand. From two to three thousand have disappeared from Nauvoo in various directions.

Many have left for Council Bluffs by the way of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers—others have dispersed to parts unknown; and about eight hundred or less still remain in Illinois. This comprises the entire Mormon population that once flourished in Hancock [County].

In their palmy days they probably numbered between fifteen and sixteen thousand souls, most of whom are now scattered upon the prairies, bound for the Pacific slope of the American continent" ("Late from the Mormon Camp," Hancock Eagle, as reprinted in the Sangamo Journal, 23 July 1846, 3).