In 1846, the Mormon Battalion was tasked with finding a southern wagon route to California. Its record-setting, 2,000-mile march passed through Yuma because this was the best place to cross the river. The U.S. Army of the West Mormon Battalion Foundation erected a bronze statue in 2007 to commemorate the historic journey. Find the statue on the river side of the main park road – look for an elevated iron footbridge.U.S. Army used Mormon volunteers under the command of regular Army officers to blaze a southern wagon trail to California, crossing the Colorado River at Yuma. The Mormon Battalion’s grueling march of nearly 2,000 miles from Council Bluffs, Iowa to San Diego remains one of the longest infantry marches in history.