Armed with a letter of recommendation from Thomas L. Kane, Jesse Little, a member of the presiding bishopric, was sent to the U.S. Capitol seeking financial aid for the Mormon migration. Little arrived in D.C. eight days after the United States had declared war on Mexico. President James K. Polk extended an offer to the Mormons to raise a paid battalion of 500 men. Brigham Young’s endorsement of the endeavor resulted in 543 volunteers who departed for Fort Leavenworth in July, 1846. The forty-two dollar allowance each enlistee received for clothing was dutifully relinquished to the church to aid in procuring the necessary equipment for trek to the Great Basin.