Latter-day Saint Military Records
|The Church of Jesus Christ|
of Latter-day Saints
Military records identify thousands of individuals who served or who were eligible for service. Evidence that a Latter-day Saint actually served may be found in family traditions, census records, naturalization records, biographies, cemetery records, and records of veterans’ organizations. Your ancestors will be more interesting if you learn about their military service and the history of their units. Military records can also give birth dates, marriage dates, death dates, spouse and children’s names, and localities of residence throughout the life of the family.
This section includes the history and records of several military operations in which Church members were directly involved.
- 1 Zion’s Camp (1834)
- 2 Mormon War in Missouri (1838)
- 3 Nauvoo Legion and the Mormon War in Illinois (1840–1846)
- 4 Mormon Battalion and the Mexican War (1846–1848)
- 5 Utah Militia (1852–1870), Utah War (1857–1861), and Civil War (1861–1864)
- 6 World War I (1917–1918)
- 7 World War II (1941–1945)
- 8 For More Information
Zion’s Camp (1834)[edit | edit source]
Members in Kirtland, Ohio, organized a military expedition known as Zion’s Camp to assist the persecuted Saints in Missouri. Many future leaders of the Church were members of Zion’s Camp. The following histories discuss this effort:
- Green, John P. Facts Relative to the Expulsion of the Mormons or Latter Day Saints from the State of Missouri Under the "Exterminating Order." 1833. Reprint, Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of Utah, . (FHL film 025592 item 2). This work gives a positive account of Zion’s Camp. It also includes transcripts of addresses, reports, acts, and newspaper articles about the expulsion from Missouri.
- Launius, Roger D. Zion’s Camp: Expedition to Missouri, 1834. Independence, Missouri: Herald, 1984. (FHL book 977.841 K2L). This book has chapter notes and bibliographical references. An index is also included.
- Backman,Milton V. Keith Perkins, Susan Easton Black. A profile of Latter-day Saints of Kirtland, Ohio and members of Zion's Camp : vital statistics and sources. 2nd ed. rev. Provo, Utah : Brigham Young University, 1983. FHL 977.133/K1 K2b 1983
Mormon War in Missouri (1838)[edit | edit source]
In 1838 Governor Boggs of Missouri issued an extermination order against the Saints. Members living in Missouri were forced from their homes and left the state. The following history and papers deal with this period:
LeSueur, Stephen C. The 1838 Mormon War in Missouri. Columbia, Missouri: University of Missouri Press, 1987. (FHL book 977.81 H2Lm). Includes index and bibliography. This is indexed in the Early Church Information File. This is mostly a history with some names of prominent individuals.
Missouri. State Archives. Mormon Papers, 1838–1842. Jefferson City, Missouri: State of Missouri, 1972. (FHL film 984920). Includes the unindexed affidavits of the Mormon War payroll of Missouri men and soldiers.
Johnson, Clark V., ed. Mormon Redress Petitions: Documents of the 1833–1838 Missouri Conflict. Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1992. (FHL book 977.8 K29j). Includes indexes. This book contains affidavits, petitions, letters, and other documents concerning early Church members’ redress for Missouri losses.
Nauvoo Legion and the Mormon War in Illinois (1840–1846)[edit | edit source]
In 1840 the Illinois Legislature authorized the Nauvoo City Council to establish a militia. The officers were commissioned by the governor, and the members were required to do the same amount of military duty as the regular state militia. In 1844 the Nauvoo Legion numbered about 5,000 men. The organization was disbanded in 1846 and was reorganized in Utah in 1852. For a history see:
Young, Robert W. "The Nauvoo Legion" Parts 1–12. The Contributor: Representing the Young Men’s and Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Association of the Latter-day Saints 9, nos.1–12 (November 1887– October 1888): 1–8, 41–49, 81–89, 121–27, 161–68, 201–12, 241–51, 281–86, 321–32, 361–73, 401–13, 441–54. (FHL book 289.305 C768m Volume 9). This is a historical account of the Nauvoo Legion in Illinois and Utah from 1840 to 1887.
For records see:
Illinois. General Assembly. Miscellaneous Petitions, 1839–1853. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1975. (FHL film 980654). This record includes claims against the state for supplies furnished in the Mormon War at Nauvoo. It shows names and the amount they claimed for payment.
Platt, Lyman De. Commission Records, Illinois State Militia, 1834–1855. Typescript, [1973?] (FHL book 977.3 A1 no.62; film 908142 item 9). This book contains commission records for the Nauvoo Legion. It shows name, date of commission, rank, company, and the date of rank of about 450 men.
Also search the Journal History for the Nauvoo Legion.
In July 1846 the Mormon Battalion volunteers were officially organized at Council Bluffs, Iowa, to reinforce the United States Army in California during the Mexican War. The battalion consisted of five companies who enlisted for one year. Due to illness, about a third of the battalion did not complete the two-thousand-mile march but were sent to Pueblo, Colorado. The remaining members arrived in California in January 1847. They served in San Diego and Los Angeles. At the end of the one year, the army tried to reenlist all of the members, but only one company was organized in Los Angeles on 20 July 1847. This company only served for six months. After they were discharged, most battalion members went to Utah.
Compiled Military Service Records
- United States. Record and Pension Office. Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Soldiers Who Served During the Mexican War in Mormon Organizations. National Archives Microfilm Publications, M0351. Washington, D.C.: National Archives, 1961. (FHL films 471465; 471517–18). These alphabetically compiled service records usually include the soldier’s name, rank, dates of enlistment and service, and the unit in which he served. It often contains abstracts of entries relating to the soldier as found in the original muster rolls and returns. Cross references were included for each soldier’s name that appear with more than one spelling.
Rosters and Records
- Larson, Carl V. Database of the Mormon Battalion: an Identification of The Original Members of the Mormon Battalion. Second Edition. Salt Lake City, Utah: U.S. Mormon Battalion, 1997. (Family History Library book 973 M2Lar 1997.) Alphabetical list of members including grave location, federal and state sources, biographical references, vital statistics, and genealogy. Includes index. The 1987 edition is indexed in the Early Church Information File.
- Carlsen, Ardath. Return List of the Mormon Battalion, July 1846. N.p., 1986. (Family History Library book 973 M2cd). This record lists Battalion member's names, rank, birthplace, birth date, number in family, wife’s name, gear and livestock, where family was located on the trail, wishes concerning his family, and wages of each volunteer in companies A and B. This List is included in the LDS Family History Suite 2.
- Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Camp of Israel (Iowa). Return List of Company A, and Company B of the Mormon Battalion to Council Bluffs, 16 July 1846. Included with Record of the Organization of the Camp of Israel.... Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1954. (Family History Library film 1922 item 3).Names are in alphabetical order within each company and rank. It is transcribed and indexed in:
- Carr, Elmer J, ed. Honorable remembrance : the San Diego master list of the Mormon Battalion.[S.l. : s.n., 1978?. FHL film 1035970 item 9]
- A roster of Iowa troops in the War with Mexico (including the Mormon Battalion) is found in volume six of the "Roster and Record of Iowa Soldiers in the War of the Rebellion: Together with Historical Sketches of Volunteer Organizations, 1861–1866". Volume six is available online. See Roster and Record of Iowa Soldiers.
- War Department. Adjutant General's Office, RG 94. National Archives.Final muster rolls of Companies A.B.C. of the Mormon Battalion, 1847-1848. FHL Film 973032 item 2
- Mormon Battalion muster roll of Captain James Brown's detached company : called into the service of the United States, 16 July 1846 - 28 February 1847.
- Record of the organisation of the Camp of Israel which took place at Shariton Ford, I.[owa T.[erritory] on Friday March 27th and Monday 31st, 1846.Includes Return lists of Company A and Company B of the Mormon Battalion to Council Bluffs, July 16th, 1846.
- Thompson, J.S., comp. Records of the Mormon Battalion.Reno, Nev. : J.S. Thompson, 1995. FHL film 1598348 item 10
- United States. Bureau of Pensions.  Battalion, Mexican War, 1846–48]. National Archives Microfilm Publications, T1196. Washington D.C.: National Archives and Record Service, 1934. FHL films 480129–49. These films contain an alphabetical list of applications from veterans, widows, and dependents. Not all soldiers are included, and some files are not in order. They may show name, unit, rank, enlistment and discharge dates, disability, details of service, witness affidavits, marriage and family information.
Bounty Land Application Files
- Black, Susan Ward Easton. Members of the Mormon Battalion: A Sesquicentennial Remembrance. N.p., [1981?]. (Family History Library book 973 M2ew; fiche 6019070.) Alphabetical listing of members with birth, marriage, death, and rank. Includes a bibliography with 22 sources. This is included in the LDS Family History Suite 2.
- Carter,Kate B. Women of the Mormon Battalion and Mississippi Saints. [Salt Lake City, Utah?: Daughters of Utah Pioneers State Central Company, 1938.
- Fleek, Sherman L. History may be searched in vain : a military history of the Mormon Battalion.Spokane, Washington : Arthur H. Clark, 2006. FHL 973 M2fsL
- Landon,Michael and Bradon J. Metcalf. History of the Saints : the remarkable journey of the Mormon Battalion.American Fork, Utah : Covenant Communications, c2012. FHL 973 M2Lm
- Larson, Carl V. The Women of the Mormon Battalion. [Smithfield, Utah]: C.V. Larson, 1989. (Family History Library book 973 M2Lc; fiche 6111512). This book may list birth, marriage, death,biographical sketches and sources on the wives of the men in the Mormon Battalion. Contents are in alphabetical order.
- Maynes, Shirley N. Five Hundred Wagons Stood Still: Mormon Battalion Wives. Sandy,Utah: S. Maynes, 1999. FHL 289.373 H2m.
- Ricketts, Norma Baldwin. The Mormon Battalion : U.S. Army of the West, 1846-1848.Logan, Utah : Utah State University Press, 1996, 1996. FHL 973 M2rnb
- Roberts, Brigham H. The Mormon Battalion: its history and achievements. Salt Lake City, Utah : Deseret News, 1919. FHL 973 M2rb
- Scarcello, Mary Lindenmuth. Mormon pioneers in Pueblo, Colorado, 1846-1900.[S.l. : M.L. Scarcello, 1993. FHL film 1598130 item 9]
- Tyler, Daniel. A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion.1881 FHL Digital book
Thesis and Dissertations
- Wilson, David Parry. The Mormon Battalion. Theses (M.A.) University of Utah,1941
- Yurtinus, John F. A Ram in the Thicket: The Mormon Battalion in the Mexican War.' Ph.D. Disseration, B.Y.U., 1975.
Journals and Diaries
- Bieber, Ralph P. ed. Cooke's Journal of the March of the Mormon Battalion, 1846-1847.in Exploring the Western Trails, 1846-1854. Southwestern Historic Series, VII. Glendale, CA.: Arthur H.Clarke, 1938.
- Bigler, David L and Will Bagley, eds. Army of Israel: Mormon Battalion Narratives. Spokane,Washington: Arthur H. Clark, 2000 FHL 289.373 H2v v.4
- Bigler, Henry William. Chronicle of the West : the conquest of California, discovery of gold and Mormon settlement, as reflected in Henry William Bigler's diaries. Berkeley,California: University of California Press 1962. FHL 979 H2bc
- Borrowman, John. Mormon Battalion - Diary of John Borrowman. Transcribed by Judith A. Borrowman. FHL book 921.73 B684a of film 1036520 item 10
- Cooke, Philip St. George. The Conquest of New Mexico and California in 1846-1848. New York: G.P. Putnam's SOns, 1878. reprint Chicago,Illinois: Rio Grande Press, 1964. FHL 979 H2c
- Hancock, Herbert A., comp. and ed. The saving sacrifice of the Mormon Battalion from the journals of Levi Ward Hancock.[.l. : Bystander at Large Productions, 2000. FHL 973 M2hha
- Report and Journal of Lieutenant Colonel Philip Saint George Cooke's march from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to California, in command of the Mormon Battalion. National Archives Record Group 94: Records of the Adjutant General's Office. NAID 300370
- Standage, Henry M. Henry Standage's journal : an account of his experiences in the Mormon Battalion. Mesa,Arizona: Standage Family, 1972. FHL digital images
- Golder, Frank A, Thomas A. Bailey, J. Lyman Smith. The march of the Mormon Battalion from Council Bluffs to California : taken from the journal of Henry Standage.New York, New York : The Century Company, 1928. FHL fiche 6119352
- Ricketts, Norma B. Melissa's journey with the Mormon Battalion : the western odyssey of Melissa Burton Coray: 1846-1848.Salt Lake City,Utah: International Society Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1994. FHL 979.2 A1 No. 5]
- McConkie, Forrest Rick, comp., Evelyn Nichols McConkie, ed.,George Washington Taggart: member of the Mormon Battalion, his life and times and his wives, Harriet Atkins Bruce, Fanny Parks, Clarissa Marina Rogers, and their ancestors, 1711-1901.[S.l. : Jennie's Family Histories, 1997. FHL film 2055529 item 6]
- Talot, Dan. Historical Guide to the Mormon Battalion and the Butterfield Trail. Tucson, Arizona: Westernlore Press, 1992. FHL 979.1 E3t
- Allen,Joe D. The Rio Grande turnoff of Cooke's Mormon Battalion and 49er roads: a cultural survey. (1996) FHL 289.3789 A53r
Additional sources about the Mormon Battalion:
- Jeppsen, Maren, comp. Bibliography of Mormon Battalion Sources Found in the Genealogical Library. ( June 1992). FHL Digital images
- Nelson, Glade I. "The Mormon Battalion: A Selected Bibliographic List." Genealogical Journal 26, no. 2 (1998): 59–79. (FHL book 973 D25gj).
Mormon Battalion Monument
- The Mormon Battalion and its Monument.' Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine 11 (January 1920): 13-20.
- The Mormon Battalion and its monument: a compilation of data for sculptors and architects.Salt Lake City, Utah : State of Utah Mormon Battalion Com., 1916. FHL 979.2258 M2m; film 1036130 item 12
Mormon Battalion Association
For more details and records see the "Mexican War, 1846–1848" section of United States Military Records.
Utah Militia (1852–1870), Utah War (1857–1861), and Civil War (1861–1864)[edit | edit source]
Many Latter-day Saints who lived in Utah or surrounding states served in the Utah militia (Nauvoo Legion), or during the Utah War, Indian conflicts. A few militiamen served in the American Civil War. For information about their records see Utah Military Records.
Utah Militia, 1852-1870[edit | edit source]
- Records Concerning Claims of the Utah Militia for Expenses Incurred in Suppressing Indian Hostilities, 2.4.1850-2.14.1855. NAID 12061544
- Records Supporting Claims for Service During the Indian Wars, 1892-1931 NAID 560995
Selected Bounty Land Application Files
- Wiliam Coleman, Pvt., Captain Willis' Company, Utah Volunteers (55-Rejected-338985) NAID 79356704
- Elijah E. Holden, Sgt., Captain Cownover's Company, Utah Militia (55-160-746606) NAID 81219718
- Ebenezer Pearson, Pvt., Captain Standage's Company, Utah Militia (55-160-104203) NAID 77314909
- Ephraim Pearson,Pvt., Captain Conover's Company, Utah Militia (55-160-74370) NAID 77315049
World War I (1917–1918)[edit | edit source]
For information about Church members who served in World War I see:
Record of Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: Who have Entered Military Service of the United States and Its Allies Up to December 31, 1919. Salt Lake City, Utah: Office of the Church Historian, 1961. The Church sent forms to wards in the United States and Canada to identify members who were serving in World War I. The forms are arranged alphabetically by stake and then by ward. The form gives the name of the member, age at enlistment, priesthood, date entered the service, and the class of service. If the member died while serving, the card also includes the death date and place. Some stakes recorded all members who served; others listed only those who served in 1919. This film is available in the Historical Department—Archive Search Room.
World War II (1941–1945)[edit | edit source]
The Deceased Members File includes some members who died during military service. For more information about World War II deaths see Latter-day Saint Vital Records.
For More Information[edit | edit source]
For more information about military conflicts and military records which might list Church members see the United States Military Records or the "Military Records" section of the Wiki research article of the state, province, or nation where the ancestor lived.
You can also look in the Locality Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under:
[NATION]— MILITARY RECORDS
[STATE or PROVINCE]— MILITARY RECORDS
[STATE or PROVINCE], [COUNTY]— MILITARY RECORDS
[STATE or PROVINCE], [COUNTY], [TOWN]— MILITARY RECORDS