The link and story below is the U. S. Army's version of the Mormon Battalion. I'm glad to say that it squares with the Church's version.
Saints March In!
The story includes two pictures. Both pictures are of officers that commanded the Battalion after it was organized by Colonel Allen. Colonel Allen died sadly and abruptly after the Battalion was created.
The Church has a marvelous video history of the Battalion. It is entitled "A Legacy More Precious than Gold." It is available in videocassette in Spanish and English. It can be purchased on DVD as part of a three DVD set of Church History. The video runs 24 minutes, 16 seconds.
Seeing "A Legacy More Precious than Gold" gives you a perspective for how so many things are connected in achieving higher goals. For example, the Army's pay and equipment to the soldiers helped fund their own trek to Utah as well as that of their families. After being discharged, the men were able to earn more money and supplies to take to Utah from California. They cut roads into the wilderness that numerous travelers used after them. There are so many other examples.
Looking at all these events individually gives you a sense of the extreme hardship and sacrifice these people made. But taking a magnifying glass to any of the details simply makes you think of one word -- hardship. By looking at the whole, you get an idea of how all these "hardships" taken together played such a big role in all the benefits that happened later. All these events were of enormous benefit to both Mormons and others. Roads were forged, cities were built. Much of the later prosperity of the Mormons and communities in California is undergirded by these events.
Reflecting on this has made me look at my own life. I think I appreciate a bit more how my multitudinous many hardships under gird my own achievement. I recall a comment from an article I read years ago concerning a girl who became a paraplegic. She said, "Yes, I do wish I could walk again and this had not happened to me, but not if it would mean giving up everything I have learned from being this way."
I feel similarly.