The man in the red cap is President Condie, president of the Nauvoo Temple, and an emeritus member of the Seventy. How appropriate to capture him as there were about 2000 seventies that left Nauvoo during 1846--men called to proclaim and declare the message that the Church of Jesus Christ had once again been restored to the earth with the Priesthood authority to administer all the ordinances in the name of Jesus Christ.
Coming down Main Street getting ready to turn on to Parley Street. We only had about 250 people participate in this event. During the months of February, March, April and the beginning of May more than 5000 left Nauvoo and camped at Sugar Creek, Iowa. In 1846 it was the largest city in Iowa. In fact, just before the Saints left, it was bigger than Nauvoo in population.
One of the things I have repeatedly pondered since our commemoration was the fact that we left from warm and comfortable circumstances, walked down a cold and snowy Parley Street, stood in the cold for about 30 minutes, then went back to our nice warm houses or sites where we had plenty of food and water. They, on the other hand, crossed the river, and stayed by a campfire for the only warmth they could find, crawled into the wagons or slept on the cold, hard ground. Jane Johnston Black recorded in her journal when she left there were 9 babies born that night and she was the midwife that delivered them.
My part of the Exodus was to get the names prepared that people could wear in representation of their ancestors, and for those who did not have ancestors, to represent someone who left Nauvoo sometime in 1846. I represented my fifth great grandmother Hannah Workman Chadwick. As I prepared the names, I saw many who died along the way, others who suffered much loss. There was a man who lost two wives--one died, he married another to help raise his child, she had two children and died and he also had three children die, but he continued faithful all the days of his life. These were not just names on a card to me, but real people with real stories of faith as they followed a prophet of God.
Although we used horses on our re-enactment, most of the Early Saints used oxen. They were must cheaper, they were stronger, they could eat a variety of grasses without becoming bloated, and if they died along the way, they could be used as food. They also walked slowly enough that a person could walk alongside them and keep them on track. There wasn't much room for people to ride with everything they had to take on their journey.
I'm sure the early Saints would have loved the feast we enjoyed as we commemorated their exodus. Mary Field Garner recorded in her journal that her mother had just mixed up bread, but didn't have time for it to rise, so she put it in the pot and let it rise along the trail. Just so you know, they didn't leave in February, but their sacrifices were great nonetheless.