Author Archives: Seth Todd

Utah and the Civil War (5) Markers

Published / by Seth Todd / Leave a Comment

Utah and the Civil War Markers (1961):

These historical markers were erected September 30, 1961 by the Daughters of Utah Pioneers (Central Company). It encompasses four markers.

GPS Coordinates (Latitude/Longitude):

40.7767625°, -111.89043469°


“This monument honors the Utah men who answered the call to protect the mail and telegraph lines along the continental route during the Civil War. April 25, 1862 Acting Governor of Utah, Frank Fuller, called for volunteers from the Nauvoo Legion. The next day twenty-four men under Col. Robert T. Burton left for their assignment. Two days later Brigham Young received an authorization from President Abraham Lincoln, through Secretary-of-War Stanton, for a company of cavalry to serve ninety days protecting the same route. One hundred and six men responded for duty under Captain Lot Smith. Later some Utah men joined the 3rd Regiment, California Volunteers, stationed at Fort Douglas, Oct. 1862-July 1866. Other pioneers served in the Civil War before coming to Utah.”


Captain Lot Smith Company:

Joseph S. Rawlings, 1st Lt.

J. Q. Knowlton, 2nd Lt.

Richard H. Atwood, 1st Sgt.

James M. Barlow, 2nd Sgt.

Samuel H. W. Riter, Sgt.

Howard Spencer, Sgt.

Moses Thurston, Sgt.

John P. Wimmer, Sgt.

Andrew Bigler, Corp.

Wm. A. Bringhurst, Corp.

Hiram Clemons, Corp.

Joseph H. Felt, Corp.

John Hoagland, Corp.

Newton Myricn, Corp.

John Neff, Jr., Corp.

Seymore P. Young, Corp.

Moroni W. Alexander

William C. Allen

John Arrowsmith

Isaac Atkinson

William Bagley

Lachoneus Barnard

William H. Bess

John R. Bennion

Samuel R. Bennion

Henry Bird

Edwin Brown

Charles C. Burnham

John Cahoon

Theo J. Calkin

Thomas S. Caldwell

Francis R. Cantwell

Jesse J. Cherry

Peter Cornia

George Cotterell

Everet Covert

James H. Cragun

Charles Crismon Jr.

George W. Davidson

Albert Davis

Henry L. Dolton

Parley P. Draper

Josiah Eardley

Charles Evans”


Captain Lot Smith Company:

Joseph A. Fisher

Wid Fuller

John Gibson

Moses W. Gibson

Joseph Goddard

William Grant

James Green

Edward F. M. Guest

Solomon Hale

Thomas H. Harris

John Helm

Samuel Hill

Ira N. Hinckley

James S. Hixson

Richard Howe

Louis A. Huffaker

Harvey C. Hullinger

James Imlay

Lars Jensen

Powell Johnson

Hiram Kimball, Jr.

Wm. J. Larkins

Thurston Larsen

Leander Lemmon

Daniel C. Lill

Wm. Longstrough

Thomas Lutz

William W. Lutz

William Lynch

Elijah Maxfield

Edwin Merrill

Reuben P. Miller

Mark Murphy

Daniel McNicol

Benjamin Neff

Edward A. Noble

Hiram G. North

Lewis Osborn

Hugh D. Park

Francis Platt

Lewis Polmantur

Francis Prince

Alfred Randall

Adelbert Rice”


Captain Lot Smith Company:

Landon Rich

Wm. H. Rhodes

Alley S. Rose

James Sharp

Emerson D. Shurtleff

Harlon E. Simon

John Standiford

James H. Steed

Joseph J. Taylor

Joseph Terry

William Terry

John H. Walker

William H. Walton

E. Malin Weiler

James H. Wells

Bateman H. Williams

Ephrain H. Williams

Col. Robert T. Burton Company:

Heber P. Kimball, Lt.

Robert J. Golding, Sgt.

Joseph M. Simmons, Sgt.

John W. Woolley, Sgt.

Stephen Taylor, Corp.

James T. Allred

William Carlos

Mark Croxall

Lewis Grant

William J. Harris

Henry Heath

Richard D. Margetts

Orson P. Miles

Lewis N. Neeley

Samuel D. Serrine

Adam Sharp

George Spencer

Joshua Terry

George W. Thatcher

Lewis A. West

James Woods

Brigham Young, Jr.

John W. Young”

Utah and the Civil War Marker (2015), Utah Civil War Casualty:

This historical marker was erected on November 11, 2015 by the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers (International). It was added as part of the Utah and the Civil War Markers (1961).

GPS Coordinates (Latitude/Longitude):

40.7767625°, -111.89043469°


“Lieutenant Henry Wells Jackson (March 10, 1827- May 27, 1864), was the only Utah battle fatality of the Civil War and the first known Latter-Day Saint to be killed in a U.S. national conflict. Jackson marched in the Mormon Battalion, Company D, musician; panned for gold at Mormon Island (now Folsom Lake), California; and used gold to pay for his wedding. He and Eliza Ann Dibble were married in Salt Lake on February 3, 1850, by Brigham Young. Henry and Eliza started a family and helped establish settlements in Tooele Valley and San Bernardino, California. In 1858, Henry carried mail for George Chorpenning on the Overland Mail Route, a precursor to the Pony Express. Due to bad management, Henry was owed $1,300 in back pay for his mail service. He decided to go back East to try and collect the money. Payment was delayed, so Henry took employment as a wagon master and was ultimately captured by the Confederate Army and held as a prisoner for three months. He was later released in exchange for Confederate prisoners. Because of the way he was treated, he decided to fight for the Union. Henry enlisted with the First Regiment, District of Columbia, Volunteer Cavalry and was commissioned as a lieutenant due to his previous service in the Mormon Battalion. On May 8, 1864, Henry took part in the Battle of White Bridge near Jarrett’s Station, Virginia, and was shot. Due to infection, he died on May 27, 1864, leaving behind his wife and three children. Henry Wells Jackson is buried in Hampton National Cemetery and is remembered for his great sacrifice and love for family and country.”

Extended Research:

            On April 12, 1861, the United States descended into a civil war, portrayed in the contemporary perception as a conflict between an industrial north and a slaveholding south. With this perception, it is often thought of as a war in the southern and eastern United States, excluding the American West from discussion about this uncivil bloodshed. While the American Civil War and its cruel battles remained mainly in the eastern portion of the country, people from its western territories and states participated in various manners. Utah’s role was small and limited, enacting its state militia for only a 90-day service before federal troops from California assumed responsibility. Members of the Nauvoo Legion were ordered to protect the telegraph lines and the overland trails. While the militia accomplished little in terms of warfare, the Nauvoo Legion’s participation helped provide a counterpoint to the American perception about members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ loyalty to the United States.

Questions about Latter-day Saints shifted into doubts regarding the loyalty of Latter-day Saints to the Union. Prior to the Civil War, they were viewed as alien to the ideal American community, which was white and Protestant.[1] During the war, this perception became coupled with heavy suspicions that Latter-day Saints collaborated with the Confederates. For example, the governor of Nebraska Territory wrote of “Mormon emigrants,” who “sympathize warmly with the secessionists” and, “If they were disposed to make common cause with the secessionists in our own Territory and Missouri, the Indians also becoming their allies, they could easily exterminate the whole loyal population between the Missouri River and the Rocky Mountains before relief could be obtained from the Government.”[2] It was not enough that the group traveling through Nebraska were emigrants. They were “Mormon emigrants” who would ally with Native Americans, reflecting the idea that Latter-day Saints were not white through their associations and beliefs about Native Americans in their religious text, “The Book of Mormon.”[3] The religious people were contrary to the ideal American community, which suggested in the eyes of the public that they must be secessionists too. Perhaps, therefore, Simon Cameron reminded President Abraham Lincoln of the Utah War and recommended that another army should be sent to Utah to prevent violence by Latter-day Saints.[4] The “Mormon Problem” expressed before the war became a question of doubt about loyalty.

            Latter-day Saint disloyalty came from their understanding of themselves as a persecuted people. In December 1861, Brigham Young, speaking in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, stated clearly that “never was a wickeder man than the President of the United States, and his associates are very wicked men.”[5] However, Brigham’s words were to express his disdain for the “Gentile” territorial leaders that lived in the state, believing them to have engaged in misconduct against the Latter-day Saints.[6] It reflected his desire for Utah statehood and the corresponding right for Latter-day Saints to govern themselves. Heber C. Kimball, an early Latter-day Saint leader, declared that while he did not pray for the destruction of the government of the United States, he knew that “dissolution, sorrow, weeping and distress are in store for the inhabitants of the United States, because of their conduct towards the people of God.”[7]

For Latter-day Saints, the Civil War thus brought a reliving of previous abuses and a reminder of the recent Utah War where the nation, in their eyes, turned against them once more. As a result, it was easy for Latter-day Saints to view the Civil War as God’s justice enacted against the United States when the war erupted. This is evident in an editorial likely penned by George Q. Cannon, which stated, “Already our boasted land of liberty… is deluged with blood, and will continue to be so until it has atoned for rejecting the Gospel and refusing to avenge the wrongs of our people, and for passively sanctioning the murder of God’s servants.”[8] The Civil War, in the early Latter-day Saint perspective, was justified for the murder of their prophet, Joseph Smith, as well as other abuses. These expressions of frustration, however, when viewed by the American public were seen as further evidence of LDS disloyalty.

           Yet as much as Latter-day Saints expressed fiery indignation toward the United States for their “abuses,” there was a fair amount of conciliation and sympathy as well. Brigham Young did express sorrow for the people in the East.[9] Though angry at the United States federal government, Brigham affirmed Latter-day Saint loyalty to the country. He felt that it was better that his people submitted “to those things which are [unpleasant] than for us to do wrong” when asked if the Utah Territory would secede.[10] His first telegram to the United States reaffirmed Utah’s loyalty to the Constitution and the laws of the land.[11] To help affirm Latter-day Saint allegiance to the Union in the minds of the American people, he offered the Nauvoo Legion as an aid.

President Abraham Lincoln—tasked with the reunification of the country—knew that the survival of the United States rested on maintaining the loyalty of the states and territories remaining in the Union.[12] Part of Lincoln’s duty was to ensure communication lines with the western states and territories remained open. As workers built the transcontinental telegraph, Lincoln realized its importance. During its construction, he had the lines shifted more towards the north, putting the route through Salt Lake City.[13] Moving the route enabled the transcontinental telegraph line to remain open and free from interruptions. If this was not accomplished, communicating with the people in the West would prove long and tedious as it would more likely be done through messengers on horse. It would add further strains to an already stressed country.

It was not only President Lincoln who saw the vitality of communication with the West. Politicians, too, noted its importance. On May 1, 1861, Erastus Corning, an American politician, wrote a letter to Simon Cameron (the Secretary of War at the beginning of the American Civil War) stating:

I also think that it is of vital importance to the Government that the Hannibal and Saint Joseph Railroad be preserved to its owners, and that its free and uninterrupted use be maintained at all times and at all hazards. It furnishes the only accessible and speedy route by which the Government can communicate with Kansas, Nebraska, and Utah, or with its military posts along the Western and Northwestern frontier to the foot of the Rocky Mountains, and, if allowed to fall into and remain in the hands of an enemy, it is easy to see how difficult and well-nigh impossible in such an emergency it would be for the Government to preserve its Western Territories and military posts, for the danger to which they would be exposed would indeed be serious, and they could only be supported at immense expense and loss both of time and of means.[14]

However, the trouble did not come from Confederate sympathizers, but from Native Americans. For Native Americans, there was a desperate struggle to survive on dwindling resources as settlers encroached on their territory. Competition for natural resources taxed the natives as more settlers entered Utah.[15] The United States made treaties with the various tribes that comprised Utah territory in disadvantageous ways. They were written in English with terms not explained correctly and made with Native Americans who did not lead the tribe.[16] These treaties often faltered. Reservations were never maintained properly with living conditions proving difficult.[17] It pushed some Native American people to raid emigrant trains and cause general mayhem. For these reasons, Native Americans disrupted communications even prior to the war. During the war it proved alarming as Native Americans in the eastern United States sided with both the Union and the Confederates. There was a legitimate fear that native peoples in the West would join the Confederate cause and eliminate those loyal to the Union.

Feeding Native American peoples would not prove to be a solution. As reported by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs for the year 1862 in Utah, “To keep [Native Americans] from robbing the stations and committing depredations upon them, and upon the settlers and travelers, the largest expenditures were incurred for flour, wheat, and beef; but it was impossible, with the funds… to furnish them a constant and adequate supply.”[18] Resources were needed elsewhere as the war continued. The question of how to protect the communication lines was eventually solved by bringing forces to ensure Native Americans in the West did not cause issue for the embattled Union instead of using assets to keep peace. “The safe and speedy transportation of mails and of treasure over this route has now become of such vast importance to… the government, it is supposed the funds appropriated… cannot be devoted at the present time to a more useful purpose than the protection of the mail and telegraph lines.”[19] Perhaps surprisingly to the American public, Brigham Young offered Utah’s militia “to take care of all the Indians within [Utah’s] borders.”[20] Until other forces could assume responsibility, the Latter-day Saints had the duty to protect important communication lines, allowing them to prove their loyalty.

            The opportunity for service came shortly after a year of the war had passed. The adjutant-general, Lorenzo Thomas, wrote to Brigham Young on April 28, 1862, allowing him to raise a company to protect the mail routes and telegraph lines. He wrote, “By express direction of the President of the United States you are hereby authorized to raise, arm, and equip one company of cavalry for ninety days’ service.”[21] Brigham Young acted immediately on this letter, ordering Daniel H. Wells, the Lieutenant-General of the Nauvoo Legion, to act on the telegram.[22] Daniel H. Wells raised the company with Lot Smith at the head. At the time, Colonel Robert T. Burton and his men were protecting mail routes in northern Utah.[23] As well, Robert T. Burton and his men were instructed “to protect Colonel Hooper, [General] Chauncey W. West, and Judge Kinney.”[24] Lot Smith and his men had different duties. He and his men were to be representatives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having been admonished by Brigham Young to be “kind, forbearing, and righteous in all your acts.”[25] They marched to Fort Bridger in May and then to Independence Rock (both in Wyoming), improving the trail and noting the destruction of mail stations along the way.[26] In July, at Independence Rock, some of the men were instructed to apprehend deserters. Lieutenant J.Q Knowlton captured a horse thief (which resulted in a brief skirmish).[27] At the behest of Brigham Young, they contacted Chief Washakie of the Shoshones to ensure that he remained a friend to the Latter-day Saints.[28] Their last mission involved recovering animals from a Native American raid. On their return in August, a Private Donald McNichol “lost control of his horse” in the Snake River and was pulled under the river current, drowning.[29] Private McNichol’s death was the only loss that the Nauvoo Legion experienced. With their service completed, the United States passed the duty to protect Utah and the mail routes and telegraph lines to Colonel Patrick Edward Connor, a leader of a group of volunteers from California. Connor established Fort Douglas on the bench overlooking Salt Lake City and presided over federal forces in the territory for the duration of the Civil War.

           Utah’s part in the Civil War was limited and small, but for the people involved, it meant a measure of self-preservation. For Native Americans, they sought to maintain their way of life as settlers encroached on their lands, diminishing viable resources. Options for survival changed; raiding and destroying became a method to uphold their rights as a people. As Latter-day Saints were perceived as alien before the conflict, this perception warped as the American public viewed them as secessionists that would consume the West. Latter-day Saint participation, through the Nauvoo Legion, achieved little in terms of warfare. Their service provided instead an opportunity to prove loyalty to a doubting Union and a way for Latter-day Saints to attempt to foster a positive self-image.

For Further Reference

Primary Resources:

Alford, Kenneth L. Utah and the American Civil War: The Written Record. Oklahoma: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 2017.

Corning, Erastus. Erastus Corning to Simon Cameron, May 1, 1861. In Utah and the American Civil War: The Written Record, edited by Alford, Kenneth L. Oklahoma: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 2017.

Dole, William P. “Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs.” H.exdoc.1/5. From Office of Indian Affairs, Department of Interior.

Paddock, Algernon. Algernon Paddock to Simon Cameron, June 24, 1861. In Utah and the American Civil War: The Written Record, edited by Alford, Kenneth L. Oklahoma: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 2017.

Thomas, Lorenzo. Lorenzo Thomas to Brigham Young, April 28, 1862. In Utah and the American Civil War: The Written Record, edited by Alford, Kenneth L. Oklahoma: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 2017.

Utah State Archives (Salt Lake City, Utah). Utah Territory Militia; Nauvoo Legion Correspondence, Orders and Reports, 1-2126. Film. Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1966. Found in Family History Library.

Secondary Resources:

Alford, Kenneth L. Civil War Saints. Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2012.

Fluhman, J. Spencer. ‘A Peculiar People’: Anti-Mormonism and the Making of Religion in Nineteenth-Century America. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2012.

Maxwell, John G. The Civil War Years in Utah: The Kingdom of God and the Territory That Did Not Fight. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2016.

Reeve, Paul W. Religion of a Different Color: Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015.

[1] Spencer J. Fluhman, “A Peculiar People”: Anti-Mormonism and the Making of Religion in Nineteenth-Century America (Chapel Hill, 2012).

[2] Algernon Paddock to Simon Cameron, June 24, 1861, in Utah and the American Civil War: The Written Record, ed. Kenneth L. Alford (Norman, Oklahoma: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 2017), 87.

[3] Paul W. Reeve, Religion of a Different Color: Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015).

[4] Alford, Utah and the American Civil War: The Written Record.

[5] John Gary Maxwell, The Civil War Years in Utah: The Kingdom of God and the Territory That Did Not Fight (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2016), 103.

[6] Maxwell, The Civil War Years in Utah.

[7] Kenneth L. Alford, Civil War Saints (Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, Provo Utah, 2012), 97.

[8] Alford, Civil War Saints, 98.

[9] Alford, Civil War Saints.

[10] Alford, Civil War Saints, 111.

[11] Alford, Civil War Saints.

[12] Alford, Civil War Saints.

[13] Alford, Civil War Saints.

[14] Erastus Corning to Simon Cameron, May 1, 1861, in Utah and the American Civil War: The Written Record, ed. Kenneth L. Alford (Norman, Oklahoma: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 2017), 80.

[15] Alford, Civil War Saints.

[16] Alford, Civil War Saints.

[17] Alford, Civil War Saints.

[18] William P. Dole, “Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs,” (Office of Indian Affairs, Department of Interior, September 12, 1862), 342.

[19] Dole, “Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs,” 342.

[20] Alford, Civil War Saints, 72.

[21] Lorenzo Thomas to Brigham Young, April 28, 1862, in Utah and the American Civil War: The Written Record, ed. Kenneth L. Alford (Norman, Oklahoma: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 2017), 142.

[22] Utah State Archives (Salt Lake City, Utah), “Utah Territory Militia; Nauvoo Legion Correspondence, Orders and Reports, 1-2126” (Film, n.d.).

[23] Alford, Civil War Saints.

[24] Maxwell, The Civil War Years in Utah, 136.

[25] Maxwell, The Civil War Years in Utah, 137-138.

[26] Alford, Civil War Saints.

[27] Alford, Civil War Saints.

[28] Alford, Civil War Saints.

[29] Alford, Civil War Saints, 138.