“President Lee Visits Southern California,” Ensign, Jan. 1973, 136
Members of the Church in Southern California were recently delighted with the visit of President Harold B. Lee to their area to dedicate the Mormon Battalion Memorial Visitors Center in San Diego. President Lee was accompanied by Elder Mark E. Petersen.
The building serves both to commemorate the role the battalion played in settling the area and to acquaint visitors with the history and doctrines of the Church. Organized at Council Bluffs in July 1846 during the war against Mexico, the 500-man battalion arrived in San Diego in January 1847, after trekking more than 2,000 miles, the longest infantry march in American military history. Although the battalion did not see military action, its members aided in the settlement of California, and their army pay provided financial assistance for the pioneers.