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Mormon Battalion Fact Sheet

  • United States President James K. Polk called for 500 to 1,000 Mormon volunteers to march to Fort Leavenworth (present-day Kansas) and then to California on a one-year U.S. Army enlistment. The U.S. was involved in the Mexican-American War.
  • Mormon recruits were called together Saturday, 18 July 1846.
  • Monday, 20 July 1846, the Mormon Battalion marched off.
  • Their trek was 2,000 miles from Council Bluffs, Iowa, to San Diego, California.
  • Battalion members honored their military assignment, some for one to three years and others for nearly a decade.
  • President Brigham Young prophesied that not a single battalion member would be lost to hostile action.
  • Twenty members died due to the privations they suffered.
  • Not a single shot was fired by the Mormon Battalion except at a herd of rampaging bulls.
  • The battalion arrived in San Diego 29 January 1847, making the journey the longest religious march in U.S. history.
  • The Mormon Battalion carved out a vital road for wagons through the American Southwest.
  • The battalion was the only religious military unit in American history.
  • The Mormon Battalion Monument was dedicated in San Diego 28 January 1940.

Style Guide Note: When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online style guide.

 
 
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