A Mormon camp in Iowa along the route to Winter Quarters after expulsion from Nauvoo in 1846.
fter crossing the Mississippi River, the Mormons followed primitive territorial roads and Indian trails across Iowa. Their early departure exposed the pioneers to the worst winter elements. Heavy rains turned the rolling plains of southern Iowa into axle-deep mud. Furthermore, few pioneers carried adequate provisions for the trip. The weather, general unpreparedness, and lack of experience in moving such a large group of people, all contributed to the difficulties they endured. The Mormon migration came to be known for its preparedness, orderliness, discipline, safety, and effective organization, but that was later. The diaries written in those cold wagons during February and March yield a picture of confusion, disorder, and severe hardship. On March 27, 1846, Brigham Young issued instructions to organize the group into companies of 100s, 50s, and 10s.