How old was the first Mormon Battalion Recruit?
B. A two dollar gold coin
In reference to the Mormon Battalion: The author, before leaving Los Angeles, expended all his cash and borrowed a trifle to complete his outfit. While sitting by the camp fire one evening looking at a paper he had taken from his pocket, he noticed something bright drop between his feet. Picking it up he discovered it was a two dollar Mexican gold piece, looking as new and bright as though it had just come from the mint. Mentioning the circumstance to some of his friends, among whom was President Levi W. Hancock, the latter replied; “Keep it, Brother Tyler, you will need it.” Considering it a gift from the Almighty, as upon no other principle could be accounted for it falling in the air and lighting between his feet, he kept it, as Brother Hancock advised.
Probably two or three days after that, by accident, the pack containing the author’s change of wardrobe, as well as his provisions, got turned sideway and frightened his half-wild mule which ran away. The pack was lost. All was recovered except the sack of clothes, which could not be found, although a diligent search was made. The only pants he had left were of cotton and already threadbare in several places. On reaching Fort Hall, he purchased a large deerskin and a young elk skin with the two dollars he had found. These were taken to Salt Lake where Sister St. John and her daughter Harriet made a pair of pantaloons, of which the author had been destitute for several days, having to wrap himself in a Pima blanket.
Chronicles of Courage, Lesson Committee (Salt Lake City: Talon Printing, 1997), 8: 175-176.