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Abner Levi Blackburn

Question: Where did Abner Blackburn move to after he served in the Mormon Battalion in 1847?

Answer: Abner Levi Blackburn was born January 23, 1827, in Bedford, Pennsylvania, the third child of four children born to Anthony Blackburn and Hester Ann Rose. Abner’s father, Anthony was the eldest of twelve children born to Thomas M. Blackburn and Elizabeth Bowen. Thomas died just one year after their last child, Elias, was born in 1827, so much of the burden of the large family fell on the shoulders of Abner’s father, Anthony Blackburn.

In 1833, Abner’s parents and his grandmother, Elizabeth, moved with their families to Ohio. Here they were converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-ay Saints. By 1843, the family is living in Nauvoo, Illinois, where the Saints were gathering. They lived here during the trying year of persecution when the Prophet Joseph was martyred. The men of the family, which would have included seventeen-year-old Abner, helped in the finishing of the Nauvoo Temple. Abner was a cooper (craftsman who makes barrels and casks) by occupation.

In 1845/46 the family took part in the exodus of the Saints from Nauvoo, when the mob drove the Saints from their homes in the dead of the winter. At this time, Abner would have been about eighteen years of age and would have gone with his father and mother and grandmother, and other family members, from Nauvoo to Winter Quarters.

In the spring of 1846, Brigham Young received a call came from the United States Government for a battalion of soldiers to fight in the war with Mexico. They became known as the Mormon Battalion. At age 19, Abner joined the Battalion. He was a Private in Company C, and they left Winter Quarters in July 1846. The Battalion reached Santa Fe on 9 October 1846. There an inspection was made of the battalion, and 86 men were found sick or unable to endure the march ahead. They were detached to Pueblo, Colorado. Abner was assigned to help with one of the sick detachments.

Three sick detachments of disabled men in the Mormon Battalion, along with some women and children, spent the winter of 1846-47 at Pueblo, Colorado. An advance party of 13 soldiers met Brigham Young’s company on 4 July while trailing livestock. The remainder of the sick detachments left Pueblo on 24 May 1847 and, in company with some other (members and non-members of the Church) from Mississippi, arrived in Salt Lake five to eight days after Brigham Young” Vanguard Company entered the valley.

In 1850 Abner is living in Provo, Utah County, Utah, with his uncle, Elias Blackburn and his wife and baby. By 1852, Abner has moved on to California. On April 28, 1852, Abner married Lucinda Harris in San Bernardino, San Bernardino, California. Abner and Lucinda had ten children together, all born in San Bernardino.

Abner died on November 2, 1904 in San Bernardino, California, and was buried in the Pioneer Memorial Cemetery in San Bernardino. Lucinda died on October 11, 1905 in San Bernardino.

Source: Sources in; “Elias Hicks Blackburn,’ Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, Biographies; Knudsen, Andrew, p 491-492;

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