Members of the Mormon Battalion: A Sesquicentennial Remembrance
The database presents vital statistics of those who marched with the Mormon Battalion in 1847. It is alphabetically organized by surname.
Listen to Susan Black talk about the database. LISTEN Note from compiler:: It has been my purpose in preparing this sesquicentennial compilation of vital statistical information to show my appreciation to the Battalion. Unfortunately, some of the statistical information recorded by the members and their posterity was inaccurate, conflicting, or incomplete. Where possible, research was done to alleviate this problem. On January 26, 1846 Brigham Young wrote to Jesse C. Little appointing him president of the eastern and middle United States Mission. In the letter President Young assigned Elder Little to visit the nation's leaders to secure aid for the emigrating Saints. "If our government shall offer any facilities for emigrating to the western coast, embrace those facilities, if possible. As a wise and faithful man, take every honorable advantage of the times you can. Be thou a savior and a deliverer of that people, and let virtue, integrity, and truth, be your motto--salvation and glory the prize for which you contend." On May 21, 1846 Elder Little arrived at the capitol for the purpose of securing the desired emigration aid. A suggestion made by Amos Kendall to enlist one thousand Latter-day Saint men to defend the country in the Mexican war was the key for aiding Mormon emigration. After deliberating on the suggestion and negotiating with government officials, Amos Kendall and Elder Little presented the suggestion to the President of the United States. On June 5, 1847 President Polk informed Elder Little that a decision had been reached to accept 500 to 1000 Mormon men in the military of the United States. That evening Elder Little, on behalf of the Latter-day Saints, wrote a letter of acceptance to President Polk. The emigrating Saints received word of the decision and acceptance on June 26, 1846 from Captain James Allen. At Mt. Pisgah, Captain Allen circulated information regarding the purpose and particulars of enlistment. Many of the brethren were inclined not to accept the call and regarded Captain Allen with suspicion. It was not until Brigham Young and other Church authorities used their influence that men began to enlist. "We want to conform to the requisition made upon us, and we will do nothing else till we have accomplished this thing. If we want the privilege of going where we can worship God according to the dictates of our consciences, we must raise the Battalion." By July 16, 1847 a total of 549 men had enlisted as soldiers in the Mormon Battalion. They were accompanied by approximately 33 women and 51 children. The Battalion left the Mormon encampments on July 20th and arrived at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas on August 1st. At Fort Leavenworth they received arms, accoutrements, and $42 in clothing money. Most of this money was used to aid the soldiers' families in the Mormon camps. By August 14, 1847 all five companies comprising the Battalion had left Fort Leavenworth for Santa Fe, New Mexico. They were under the direction of Colonel Allen Until his death on August 27th. Following his death, command of the Battalion was assumed by Lieutenant A.J. Smith--ill-feelings developed and many hardships for the Battalion soldiers ensued as a result of his leadership. He was relieved of command at Santa Fe and Philip St, George Cooke was appointed to march the men to California. Colonel Cooke ordered all women, children, and soldiers who were incapable of making the trek to California to winter in Pueblo, Colorado. Pueblo became the location for 273 Mormons during the winter of 1846-1847. The remainder of the Battalion proceeded on to California. They arrived within sight of San Diego, California on January 29, 1847. From San Diego, the companies were sent to various locations in California to secure the United States position. During the long march members of the Battalion suffered from scarcity of food, lack of water, poor medical advice, and authoritarian leadership; however, they never fought a battle other than an attacking herd of wild cattle. This fulfilled a statement made by Brigham Young and Church authorities. "We feel confident they (the Battalion) will have little or no fighting". The accomplishments made collectively and individually has left a lasting memorial to their courage. Their efforts evidenced that Mormons were loyal American citizens. Their enlistment gave the Mormons a justifiable reason to camp temporarily on Indian and government lands. The pay they received and the clothing allowance aided the impoverished emigrating Saints.
Compiled by Susan Easton Black. Appreciation is extended to Dean Blaine Porter of the College of Family Living at Brigham Young University for securing capable secretarial assistance and necessary funding for this compilation.