Utah in the Civil War

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United States  Gotoarrow.png  U.S. Civil War  Gotoarrow.png  Utah  Gotoarrow.png  Utah Military  Gotoarrow.png  Utah in the Civil War

Union General Patrick E. Connor (1820-1891) established Fort Douglas in Utah


Utah's participation in the Civil War was minimal. When the Civil War began, the Army left the Utah Territory.  Several Indian tribes started raiding the mail trails in the territory. Brigham Young offered to provide soldiers, and Lincoln agreed to the creation of a thirty man cavalry company for ninety days. This was later became a 106-man company. The company made several efforts to stop the raiders, but it never saw military action.[1]  Two small units of Utah Militia were called to guard the stage coach routes, telegraph lines, and the mail. A few men enlisted and went east to fight in the war. Their records are located with the federal records.

Utah Military Unit

Soldiers at Fort Douglas

The most dramatic event of the Civil War for Utah was the arrival of Colonel Patrick E. Connor and 750 volunteer soldiers from California and Nevada. They founded Fort Douglas in 1862. Information about these soldiers can be found in:

  • Utah State Archives (Salt Lake City, Utah). Military Records of the Civil War. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1966. (Family History Library film 536239.) This is the official record of the veterans of the 3rd California infantry and the 2nd California cavalry.
  • Orton, Richard H. Records of California Men in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1867. Sacramento, California: State Office, 1890. (Family History Library book 979.4 M2a; film 1000133 item 4; fiche 6051180.) This has a roster of the California troops. It lists names, rank, place of enrollment, date of enlistment and muster, and remarks. This book is indexed in:
  • Parker, J. Carlyle. A Personal Name Index to Orton's Records of California Men in the War of the Rebellion, 1861 to 1867. Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research, 1978. (Family History Library book 979.4 M2aindex.)

Sources and Resources

Service Records

Compiled Service Records are also on film:

  • United States. Adjutant General's Office. Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the Territory of Utah. National Archive Microfilm Publications, M0692. Washington, D.C.: National Archives, 1967. (Family History Library film 821588.) This includes data about Lot Smith's Company in the Utah Calvary. The alphabetical index to these service records is found separately in:
-United States. Adjutant General's Office. Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the Territory of Utah. National Archives Microfilm Publications, M0556. Washington, D.C.: National Archives, 1964. (Family History Library film 1292645.) For more information see Union Service Records.

Pension Records

An Index to Pension Applications of veterans who served in the US Army between 1861-1917 is available on FamilySearch. Each card gives the soldier’s name, application and certificate numbers, state of enlistment, and might include rank and death information. The majority of the records are of Civil War veterans, but the collection also includes records for veterans of the Spanish-American War, the Philippine Insurrection, the Indian Wars, and World War I. For more information see Union Pension Records.

A small number of Utah veterans applied for Civil War pensions. These records are at the National Archives. The Family History Library has a microfilmed index to the pension records. The information on these pension applications is found in United States Military Records.

1890 Census of Union Veterans

The 1890 Census Veterans Schedules, the "Special Schedules of the Eleventh Census (1890) Enumerating Union Veterans and Widows of Union Veterans of the Civil War" (NARA M123) are available online for the state of Utah. The schedules list Union veterans and their widows. For more information on the 1890 Veterans Schedules see Union Census Records.

GAR Descriptive Books

By 1890, about 40 percent of the Civil War Union veterans were members of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). The descriptive books of each GAR post usually show each member's name, age, rank, birthplace, residence, occupation, and enlistment and discharge information. The Family History Library has membership records for some posts. Some are found in:

  • Grand Army of the Republic. Department of Utah. Grand Army of the Republic Utah Membership. Salt Lake City, Utah: Utah State Archives, 1981. (On three Family History Library films beginning with 1666083.) This film contains membership information for posts 1–5, 7, and 22.

The GAR organization has published Civil War history books. A history about the Civil War and veteran organizations in Utah is:

  • Fisher, Margaret M. Utah and the Civil War. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company, 1929. (Family History Library book 979.2 H2f) This contains the rosters of the Lot Smith expedition and the Robert T. Burton expedition. The J. Q. Knowlton GAR post directed the writing of this history.

Veteran Burials

  • Pompey, Sherman Lee, Civil War Veteran Burials from the Arizona Territory, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and the Washington Territory, (Salt Lake City, Utah: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1975). FHL film 908986 Item 2.

Union Ex-Prisoners of War Roster

  • Union Ex-Prisoners of War Roster, 1861-1865, (Salt Lake City, Utah: Utah State Archives and Records Service, [198-?]). FHL fiche 6081195. Includes name, regiment, company, prison and date captured, release date, rank and address to which they would return.


Sons-Union Veterans-Civil War
3844 Danbury Circle
Magna, UT 84044-2223
(801) 250-7733


  1. Wikipedia contributors. Utah in the American Civil War, (accessed 28 July 2011),