The Mormon Battalion Part 1 Volunteers
June 1846, The Latter-day Saints had barely arrived at the Missouri River, time was short if they were to make it to the Rocky Mountains that year, as were the supplies and means to get there. As tumultuous as times were for the Church, they were difficult times for the United States as well. On May 13, 1846, the United States declared war on Mexico. With all that concerned U.S. president James K. Polk, why would he be concerned with a group of religious exiles—the Mormons, struggling for existence on the banks of the Missouri River?
The Mormon Battalion Part 2 The Santa Fe Trail
In this episode of History of the Saints we pick up the story of the Mormon Battalion. We told you earlier of the Church’s lobbying with President James K. Polk to recruit a Battalion of Mormons for the war with Mexico. Accordingly, Captain James Allen mustered into service about 500 LDS men to serve in the Army of the West under General Stephen Kearny. We spoke of that emotional moment when they took leave of the Saints and began their march to Fort Leavenworth. As 1847 dawned upon Winter Quarters Brigham Young and the Saints were making preparations for their journey west. However, even before the Church left Winter Quarters for the West, the Mormon Battalion was already there.
The Mormon Battalion Part 3 March to the Pacific
In our last episode of History of the Saints we tracked the journey of the Mormon Battalion from Fort Leavenworth Kansas to the Battle of the Bulls along the San Pedro River in Arizona. Forced marches, no water, and much sickness marked their journey. However, in this episode, the Battalion will yet experience the most difficult part of their journey, until finally, emaciated and in rags, they reached the Pacific. We begin December 14, 1846 on the outskirts of Tucson.
The Mormon Battalion Part 4 Mustering Out in California
The Mormon Battalion endured one of the longest marches in United States military history; a grueling trek of some 2000 miles from the Missouri River to the mighty Pacific Ocean. They arrived January 27, 1847. In our previous shows we told you the story of the Battalion’s march and of the sick detachments sent to Pueblo. In this episode we continue the story with the legacy of the Mormon Battalion in California.
The Mormon Battalion Part 5 The Women Left Behind
It was July of 1846 when President Brigham Young and the United States Army called for 500 Mormon men to form the Mormon Battalion. The Saints responded, the Battalion was formed, and they marched boldly into history. But what of their families left behind, particularly their wives—what of them? In this episode of History of the Saints we will tell you their story. We begin in July of 1846 with their reactions to the call.
The Mormon Battalion Part 6 The Reunion
In our last episode of History of the Saints we talked about the mustering in of the 500 men of the Mormon Battalion. Almost to a man, when they marched off, they left families; wives, children, and parents behind. From their journals we told you of the struggle, sacrifice and uncertainty that answering this call brought to them. Today we will continue that story. This is the story of the Battalion’s return and reunion with their families.
The Mormon Battalion Part 7 Discovery of Gold
California—it has been there from the very beginning of our narrative and has continually loomed large in the story of the Latter-day Saints and their gathering to the West. At first it was Upper California that the Saints sang about and declared they would there find their new home; then the Saints of the ship Brooklyn landed at Yerba Buena and became the first American colony, and then the Mormon Battalion marched there to claim the whole of it for the United States. In this episode of History of the Saints we return to California for that significant event that so affected the United States, California and the Latter-day Saints—the discovery of gold.
The Mormon Battalion Part 8 The Journey Home
In our last episode of History of the Saints we told you the story of the discovery of gold and the role of the Latter-day Saints in that discovery; Also of the fevered rush of the locals in 1848 to get to the mines. Notably while so many rushed to the gold fields, the men of the Mormon Battalion who had been first on the ground, pocketed what they had and walked away. In this episode of History of the Saints we will tell you of their historic journey home, how the word of gold spread, and the impact of the gold rush of 1849 on the Latter-day Saints.