President James K. Polk requested that a Mormon Mattalion consisting of 500 volunteers depart from Council Bluffs, Iowa on July 19, 1846. At Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, they joined up with other troops. Then they moved to Santa Fe and San Diego. They got to San Diego on January 29, 1847. After one year, 81 of them stayed in San Diego and the rest went to Sutter’s Fort, which was to the north. Eventually, they all went to Salt Lake City, where they met up with other Mormons.
A group of troops consisting of 13,000 Mormons made up a territorial militia. It also contained non-Mormon men of military age. That group stayed in existence and participated in military maneuvers until the late 1860s, after the Black Hawk War ended. The Utah State Archives holds the original records for that group for 1849 to 1870. They also hold records relating to various other veterans and militia groups from the state. Those records include multiple useful indexes. The National Archives and the FHL also have many of those records available on microfilm. The Utah State Archives website also has a guide available called “Utah Military Service Records.”
Several Utah volunteers participated in Civil War action. In 1898, 500 Utah servicemen participated in the Spanish-American War. About 21,000 Utah soldiers were active during World War I and World War II saw an even bigger increase in Utah resident participation. A special census of Union veterans and Civil War widows was taken in 1890 and included servicemen from Utah. Those who were living in Utah in 1890, but served in other places, were also included. Many discharged troops chose to stay in Utah and get involved in commercial or mining industries.
The federal burial program has been in existence since 1861. For information on veterans of all wars who were buried under that program, researchers should contact Cemetery Service, National Cemetery System, Veterans Administration all headstone applications were filed according to applicant name, state, county, and cemetery where the burial took place.
- Utah Military Records (Fold3.com)
- Utah Military Records (ancestry.com) from Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.
- Utah Military Record Books (amazon.com)
Utah in the Civil War
Civil War Website Links
- Research in the Civil War 1861-1865
- Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers, 1861-1865 (familysearch.org) Union service records of soldiers who served in Captain Lot