James Madison Welsch was a Private in Company C. He was a member of Lieutenant Willis's Pueblo detachment.
In the summer of 1846 President James Polk of the United States asked Brigham Young and the LDS people to raise a Battalion of 500 volunteers to fight the war with Mexico. James Madison Welch a young 18-year-old non-Mormon joined with 3 of his Latter-Day Saint cousins David M. Perkins, John C. Perkins, and Isaac Carpenter to be a part of the now historic Mormon Battalion. They were assigned to Company C.
Madison (as he was known) became ill half way to San Diego and was assigned to the 2nd Sick Detachment, commanded by Lt. William Willis and sent to Fort Pueblo (Colorado) to winter with more than 100 of the Battalion sick men, women, and children.
The men were discharged from the Army after one year of service on July 4th, 1847. On August 13, 1847 Madison and others departed Fort Pueblo for Fort Bridger Wyoming to meet up with the Latter-Day Saints then traveling from Iowa toward the Salt Lake Valley. When they arrived at Fort Bridger they met up with Jedediah Grant's company which included Madison's Uncle John Vance and other family members.
Madison and others continued eastward however, heading toward Council Bluffs Nebraska and reached the main body of Latter-Day Saints just prior to 15 October 1847.
In June 1850 Madison joined again with several of his family - Ute, William L., and David Perkins and headed west to the Salt Lake Valley in the Warren Foote Company.
Madison married Lucy Taylor in June 1850 in Coucil Bluffs, this marriage ended in divorce.
In 1854 we find Madison in San Bernardino California farming 30 Acres and marrying Malinda Hamilton Case. Malinda was the mother of 6 children from previous husbands. Between 1853 and 1858 they had 5 children of their own. Sometime in 1878 Madison, Malinda, and their 11 children moved from San Bernardino to Fountain Valley in Los Angeles. From Fountain Valley they moved to Modesto and then El Monte and by 1888 had settled in the San Pasqual Valley with an Escondido post office address.
I (George Smithson) have run across information that James Madison Welch aka Mat Welsh was one of the 8 men who defended Dr. Ainsworth during the Ainsworth - Gentry Affair in September 17-20, 1859.
"SAN BERNARDINO, Sept. 20th, 1859. A shooting affair came off here to-day, in which several were wounded - David Coopwood, wounded in the arm, the ball passing through to the shoulder blade; Bethel Coopwood, wounded in the leg, wrist and mouth; Frank Green of El Monte, wounded in the back; Mat Welsh, received a slight wound. None of the wounds are considered dangerous. There were from sixteen to twenty shots exchanged. All is quiet now." Los Angeles Star, vol. 9, no. 20 , September 24, 1859, p.2, col.1
The Los Angeles correspondent of the Daily Alta California visited San Bernardino soon after the event and reported what had happened in some detail naming the instigators Dr. Gentry and Dr. Ensworth [Ainsworth] and named the Monte as the town in Los Angeles County that had sent men to intervene:
Daily Alta California, 27 September 1859, p.1, col.2, OUR LOS ANGELES CORRESPONDENCE - September 24
r 268, 27 September 1859, p.1, col.2 OUR LOS ANGELES CORRESPONDENCE - September 24]
Mat Welsh or Walsh, was James Madison (Mat) Welch, a long time Mormon resident of San Bernardino County. He was listed as "Jas Welch" in the 1860 Census that shows he lived nearby James Greenwade, who at that time was running a tavern / hotel near the Butterfield Overland Mail station at Temescal. CENSUS YR: 1860 STATE: CA COUNTY: San Bernardino DIVISION: San Bernardino Township REEL NO: M653-64 PAGE NO: 668 Welch was accused and tried for horse theft along with a man named Harris in July 1861, only Welch was found guilty of petty theft and fined $250. Pioneer of the Mojave: The Life and Times of Aaron G. Lane, Page 6
This may fill in some holes in his life story, and spice it up maybe.
From an obituary in the San Diego Union October 24, 1894 we read "Farmer Breaks His Neck Leaping From His Wagon.
James M. Welch, a farmer living on the divide between Santa Maria Valley and San Pasqual grade, lost his life in a shocking manner last Friday night, the 19th inst. He went to Nuevo (now known as Ramona) Friday morning to witness the ball game, and started for home about dark. After going through two gates he lost his way, and after wandering some time, now and then running into a wire fence, he drove his team up a steep and rocky ridge back of the Montecito school house. When near the top of the ridge one of the wheels ran against a rock, and Welch must have thought the wagon was tipping over, as he jumped out to save himself. His foot caught in the rope attached to the brake and held him swinging his head violently downward, where he struck, breaking his neck."
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