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William Burt

Question: How old was William Burt when he enlisted in the Mormon Battalion?

Answer: William Burt was born 14 March 1805, in Howard, Steuben, New York, the oldest of twelve children of Joel Burt and Almira Brace.

When William was 33 years old, he married Asenath Child on 25 June 1838 in Washington, Athens, Ohio. Asenath was born 30 January 1810. She was the oldest of nine children of Seth Child and Dinah Frost. While living in Athens County, William and Asenath had two sons born to them: Prentis born in 1839 and Daniel born in 1841.

About 1842, while William and Asenath were living in Athens, Ohio, the LDS missionaries taught them the Gospel, and they became members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They moved to Nauvoo, Illinois, and then moved on to Winter Quarters when the Saints were driven out of Nauvoo. William and Asenath had one son about 1844 who they named Mormon Burt, who died as a baby.

In the spring of 1846, at the age of 42, William volunteered to go with the Mormon Battalion. William was a private in Company C in the Mormon Battalion. He was one of the older men in the Battalion. He went with the Battalion south to Santa Fe, New Mexico. By that time many of the soldiers were ill, and travel became progressively difficult. William was one of those sent with the sick detachment to Pueblo, Colorado for the winter. As spring approached, the Mormon Battalion Sick Detachment and the Mississippi saints, who had wintered there also, took their departure from Pueblo towards Ft. Laramie and then on to the Salt Lake Valley. About five days after President Brigham Young’s Vanguard Company arrived in the Valley, the sick detachment arrived there on July 29, 1847.

At the pioneer encampment in Great Salt Lake Valley, the detachment was formally disbanded without having to proceed on to California as expected. The Battalion members helped in the building of a Fort and performed other duties as assigned by Brigham Young. In the fall, many of the men headed back to Winter Quarters to find their families.

William was one of the men who made his way back to Winter Quarters. In 1850 William and Asenath were living at Council Bluffs, Iowa, with their two sons, Prentis age 10 and Daniel age 9. On 3 August 1850 while still in Iowa, William and Asenath had one little girl they named Asenath. However this little girl died 13 October 1851, just after they had traveled to the Salt Lake Valley in the summer of 1851.

William died about six months later, on 27 Mar 1852, at just 47 years of age, in Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, and was buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery. Asenath lived until 11 September 1864 and died at age 54 in Ogden, Weber, Utah, where she had been staying with her two sons. She was buried in the Ogden City Cemetery.

Source: Sources on for William Burt; Asenath Child Burt; Utah Division of State History Website for William Burt

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