Building Faith Through Church History

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Season 3 Episode 24 The Latter-day Saints and Public Opinion During the Civil War


The story of how public opinion kept the Latter-day Saints mostly out of the Civil War.


The Civil War swept up the United States and poured forth hate and destruction across the continent. It forever altered the United States, ideologically and politically. Over 1 million casualties resulted from the war, with soldier deaths estimated between 600 and 800,000. The war even reached into the American West and involved those states and territories around Utah. Yet, Utah as a territory and as a people, for the most part, sat out the war—watched from the sidelines. The question is—why? It may be shocking for some to realize but the Latter-day Saints of 1861 were suspected of being secessionists—just like southerners.


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