from Church News, Week ending November 13, 1982

by Hugh McHarry


Plaque Placed on Nauvoo Home

Revolutionary War Vet who

Joined Church is Honored


Nauvoo, Ill.

AMormon veteran of the Revolutionary War — Jeremiah Hatch — was honored posthumously October 23 when his recently renovated two-story brick home was marked with a bronze plaque.


The 18- by 24-inch marker was unveiled by Mrs. Albert Triebel, Illinois regent of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), representing 11,000 women in 200 Illinois chapters.  The Hatch home, which lies a half mile east of the Old Nauvoo restoration area, is the only Illinois residence of a Revolutionary War veteran to be identified and marked.


The plaque, hand cast in Illinois, reads:


“Home of Jeremiah Hatch, Revolutionary War Soldier, member of the Third Regiment, Massachusetts line of the Army of the Revolution.” 


He enlisted April 1781, at the age of 15, and served until the War’s end, November 30, 1782.  He moved from Vermont to Nauvoo, Ill. In 1842.  This home was completed the winter of 1843.  He died May 23, 1850, at the age of 83.


Jeremiah Hatch was left an orphan at age 10 in 1775 when his father died during the early stages of the American Revolution.  The boy, who had six brothers and sisters, was then bound out to an unkindly miller for five years until he entered the army.

Seven years after the end of the war, Jeremiah Hatch married, eventually purchased land and became a successful Vermont farmer.  


In 1840, when Jeremiah was 75, the lives of the Hatch family changed greatly.  Hezekiah, the oldest son, was  converted to Mormonism by a traveling elder.  The others were baptized soon afterward.  Jeremiah and Hezekiah Hatch sold their Vermont property two years later and moved to Nauvoo


In a letter to the federal government asking his war pension be sent to his new address, Jeremiah expressed his feeling about the new home:


“My son Hezekiah upon whom I lean for comfort in old age has removed to this place Nauvoo, and I am moved by the Spirit of God and love to the Saints to gather to this place (too).”


The letter is now in the National Archives.


Hezekiah Hatch died on June 26, 1843, leaving two orphaned daughters in the care of their grandparents.  Josephus Hatch, a brother of Hezekiah, then sold his Vermont property and moved to Nauvoo to give assistance.


When the Mormons began their western migration in the spring of 1846, Jeremiah and Elizabeth stayed in their home in Nauvoo with Josephus, his pregnant wife, and several grandchildren.  They planned to leave when physical conditions permitted, but a mob had other plans.  On September 15, 1846, the Hatches were robbed and forced out of their home on a moment’s notice.


They escaped in an open wagon and camped on the banks of the Mississippi River for a week before crossing it.  With other starving and ill refugees, they experienced the miracle of the quail at Sugar Creek, Iowa when flocks of the fowl descended on the winter camp and  were so docile they could easily be caught.  The incident occurred October 9, 1846.


The eight Hatches remained at Sugar Creek the next spring and summer and raised a crop before traveling on to Winter Quarters near present-day Omaha, Nebraska.  Elizabetth died there on December 15, 1847.  Jeremiah succumbed 2 1/2 years later, also at Winter Quarters.


The remainder of the family traveled on to Utah where they settled in the Ogden area.


The Miracle

 of the Quail