From the producers of the History of the Saints television series comes this full-length documentary on the story of the Mormon Battalion.
In 1846, the United States Army came calling on the Latter-day Saints camped as refugees along the Missouri River in western Iowa. Five hundred of their most needed and able-bodied men were mustered into service for one year in the Mexican-American War. While the Saints established Winter Quarters on the Missouri, the Battalion endured enormous hardship in a 2,000-mile march to the Pacific Ocean. Though the war ended before the Battalion arrived, their presence nonetheless secured California for the Americans. Upon Completion of their service, the men were discharged to return home, but where was home? Where were their families, and by what route would they find them? They went in different directions and, along the way, discovered gold, blazed new routes into California, buried victims of the Donner Party, and proved themselves useful in incalculable ways.
This is the story of the Mormon Battalion – their march to California, their brotherly service while garrisoned there, and their subsequent adventures upon their discharge. Moreover, it is the heartrending story of their families – the wives, children, and loved ones left behind to make their way west, not knowing when or if their soldier would ever return. This is the story of a small group of pioneers who proved themselves the salvation of the Saints in the wilderness.
This special bundle includes both the Mormon Battalion book and DVD.
It was December 1847 in Kanesville, Iowa. Reddick Newton Allred and William Hyde were approaching the Log Tabernacle to attend a jubilee conference when President Brigham Young pointed to the two men recently returned from service in the Mormon Battalion and said to those near him, “These men were the salvation of this Church.”
Indeed, the service of 500 Latter-day Saint men and women in the Mormon Battalion in 1846-47 was the salvation of the Church. In large measure they financed the move of the entire Church to the West in 1847-48, and hey became the seasoned veterans called on to colonize the Rocky Mountains once they had returned and gathered their families.
It was June 1846 near Council Bluffs, Iowa when Captain James Allen of the United States Army came and asked for 500 men to form a battalion to aid the United States in the war with Mexico. For the Church to give up 500 of its strongest men was an incalculable to sacrifice, especially for their families. Their march from the Missouri River to California still stands as one of the longest infantry marches in U.S. military history. The Battalion’s contribution to history is significant and meaningful—and worthy of study.