Picturing history: Mormon Battalion, Bent's Fort

Published: Wednesday, July 18 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

Military orders were changed near Ingalls, Kan., instructing the first of three major detachments to separate from the main body of the Mormon Battalion and take the northern or mountain route of the Santa Fe Trail to Colorado. Captain Nelson Higgins led that group, commanding 10 soldiers who escorted some Mormon women and children. They followed the Arkansas River west to Bent?s Fort and continued on to Pueblo, Colo. The Higgins detachment began its journey on Sept. 16, 1846. The image at the top shows the reconstructed Bent?s Fort at the Bent?s Old Fort National Historic Site on the banks of the Arkansas River. The view at the right shows the river. At that time, lands on the right (north) side of the river in this view would have been in U.S. territory, and lands on the left side were part of Mexico.

Kenneth Mays,

Military orders were changed near Ingalls, Kan., instructing the first of three major detachments to separate from the main body of the Mormon Battalion and take the northern or mountain route of the Santa Fe Trail to Colorado.

Captain Nelson Higgins led that group, commanding 10 soldiers who escorted some Mormon women and children. They followed the Arkansas River west to Bent's Fort and continued on to Pueblo, Colo. The Higgins detachment began its journey on Sept. 16, 1846.

One image shows the reconstructed Bent's Fort at the Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site on the banks of the Arkansas River. The other view shows the river.

At that time, lands on the right (north) side of the river in this view would have been in U.S. territory, and lands on the left side were part of Mexico.

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