We know that the only battle the Mormon Battalion fought was a herd of wild cattle in what has been dubbed the “Battle of the Bulls.” Battalion member, James Ferguson attributes this battle to whom?
a. Heavenly Father
b. The Mexicans
c. Their own non-member officers
d. The Natives
c. To see what a Mormon looked like
From the life of William Hainey Hickenlooper: At this time many of the Saints who had remained in New York were emigrating to Missouri, going by raft down the Allegheny and Ohio rivers, then traveling up to the gathering place. One of these rafts, containing three families on its way down, was anchored on the Allegheny river for the night, about two miles from Williams’ farm; that night it froze so hard that the raft could not be loose, and the voyagers were compelled to land. Although many similar rafts passed down during the winter, this was the only one frozen in. Elder Freeman Nickerson, or Father Nickerson, as he was familiarly called, was the leader of the detained company, and he at once began to preach the new and everlasting gospel to the people in that vicinity. One day, shortly afterward, William met Father Nickerson at a neighbor’s house and invited him home, being anxious to see a “Mormon”—a real live “Mormon,” though he looked very much like an ordinary mortal and appeared to be an intelligent man—and to learn of the principles of “Mormonism,” about which so much was being said, and which many thought was a “Yankee trick.” Father Nickerson accepted the invitation, and was introduced to William’s wife and mother-in-law as a “Mormon” preacher. The whole family were of the Baptist persuasion. Supper was provided, and earnest request of William, to remain all night. When William asked what was the difference between the “Mormons” and other religious sects, the Elder answered, “We believe the Bible; they do not.” William disputed this, but was forced to yield point after point to his opponent, throughout a long argument. During the evening the remainder of the family treated the Elder so coldly that William felt ashamed, and when the latter went out late in the evening to attend to some outside chores, Father Nickerson departed, to the great annoyance of his host. Shortly afterward the Elder called and told William that he was going to preach at a certain time and place, and gave him an invitation to be present. His wife objected, however, saying if he went, his horse would fall and he would have his neck broken. The night before the meeting it stormed and the road being so slippery, William decided to stay at home. Again Father Nickerson called, and announced another meeting, and William’s wife insisting that if he attended she would go with him, they both went. William took his New Testament along, intending to expose every error, but found no use for it; he learned that the Elder was strictly truthful in his statements and correct in his references. Father Nickerson’s daughter, who had recently lost her husband, and was in mourning, exercised the gift of tongues in the meeting. This puzzled William considerable; at first he thought it ridiculous, but the more he reflected the more he was forced to the conclusion, by the appearance of the lady and other circumstances, that she was at least sincere, and there might be something in it after all. Mrs. Hickenlooper borrowed the Book of Mormon for a week, and William read it through to discover whether it was an imposition. When Elder Nickerson asked what he thought of it, he answered that if he was going to write a fraud he would make it more mysterious; the book was too plain. The Elder replied, “The Lord delights in plainness;” which fact William had to admit. Mrs. Hickenlooper partially believed the first sermon she heard preached, but her husband had met with a number of impostures, and though he would be wary. Hrs. Hawkins was at the time severely afflicted with rheumatism, and Father Nickerson, who made another visit to the family, told her if she had faith shoe could be healed, and after some argument, she began to think of the matter. One day the old lady was lying on the bed, fully awake; suddenly she sat up and began to repeat—William and family being present in the room, and hearing plainly every word—the 55th chapter of Isaiah. Going through the entire chapter, she followed with the chapter immediately preceding, and then with some from the Book of Mormon. William was greatly surprised at this, for he remembered the part which came from the Book of Mormon; he knew well the old lady had never read that book, or had any opportunity of learning its contents. When asked to explain, she declared she had had a vision; that the Bible has been presented to her, and she had read the two chapters in their order; that the Book of Mormon was also placed before her, and she also read from it; that the letters in the Bible were very plain and seemed as large as her thumb, while those of the Book of Mormon were much smaller and could not be seen so easily. She was a conscientious woman, and was very careful in her statement. The next morning Father Nickerson again came to the house, and was told of the events of the day before. He knelt down with the family and prayed, then laid hands on Mr. Hawkins, rebuking her sickness in the name of the Lord; the rheumatism immediately left her body, as did also a pain which she had felt for some time in her side. The old lady at once expressed a desire to be baptized. Mr. Hickenlooper did the same, and William, who had by the time pretty thoroughly investigated the claims put forth, was convinced of the divinity of the message, and the following Sunday was appointed to attend to the ordinance in the Allegheny River, then frozen over. Ongoing down to the river, where they expected to have to cut the ice on Sunday, they found that that very morning the ice had broken, and they, with five others, were baptized. This was in February, 1839. A branch of the Church numbering about forty members was organized, and William was ordained to the office of an Elder by Elder Freeman Nickerson, March 34 [?], 1839, and was appointed to preside over the branch which shortly increased to about one hundred members. A few days after this organization, the river opened, and Father Nickerson proceeded with his company.
Andrew Jenson, L.D.S Biographical Encyclopedia (Salt Lake City: Publishers Press, 1901) Vol. 1, 608-609.