The Mormon Battalion passed by the natural landmark known as Picacho Peak on its way to the Pacific Ocean. It camped there Dec. 17, 1846.
Battalion members and animals were suffering greatly from the lack of good drinking water. They had trudged along, mostly barefoot, for 26 of the previous 36 hours.
The site, located between Casa Grande, Arizona, and Tucson, Arizona, near Interstate 10 in Pinal County, Arizona, is now a state park. The historical marker and interpretive plaque were placed by members of the Maricopa Arizona Stake in Mesa, Arizona. The plaque notes that the Mormon Battalion had been the first group to unfurl the United States flag in Tucson.
A decade and a half later, Picacho was the site of a skirmish between Confederates and Union troops in what was one of the western-most battles of the American Civil War.