The BYU Ballroom Dance Company was in Midland last night, and our branch took the youths to the performance for the combined activity. The theme of the performance was the Mormon Battalion, with the main focus being on how the wives handled the absence of their husbands while they were in Winter Quarters and making the trek to Utah. It was an excellent performance; aside from some technical difficulties with the sound equipment (they didn't have the best sound techie with them, possibly, but the equipment itself probably didn't help), it was obvious that a lot of skill, talent, and practice went into the performance. More importanly, the brouht to life the extreme hardships and sorrows that these sisters faced with little or no resources and without the help of their husbands. It is hard to say who had to endure the worst trials during this time, the men of the battalion or their wives, though I dare say the wives certainly weren't complaining about trivial matters by a longshot. Maybe I'm just getting old, but I almost cried during a few of the stories brought to life by the talented performers.
They did mention some of the Battalion's accomplishments as well, which brought to mind an interesting fact I read just a few days before. During the Mexican-American War, all of the states were asked to provide volunteer military units for the war. In fact, the majority of the American military forces involved in the war were volunteers. Texas provided the most (the equivalent of over 8 regiments), while other states contributed various amounts as seen on the table here. Look at the amount Iowa contributed. Only one battalion, the 1st Iowa Battalion. Of course, most people know them instead as the Mormon Battalion. Considering that all of the states around Iowa sent approximately 5 regiments each (a regiment is usually comprised of 3-4 battalions for comparison purposes), it strikes me as odd that Iowa managed to only send one battalion, and the battalion they sent was comprised of people they didn't want in the state anyway. Only New Jersey and Florida sent similar or lesser amounts of volunteers.