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The Mormon Battalion Association™

Welcome to the official website of the Mormon Battalion Association,™ formerly known as the U.S. Mormon Battalion, Inc.™ 

We emulate the only unit in American military history bearing a religious title and being comprised entirely of recruits from a single religion.  This unit's members had every reason to be conscientious objectors.  They were outcasts, part of a 10,000 member Christian religion which had just been expelled from their homes by Illinois mobs and militia mid-winter into the wilds of Iowa Terrritory with only what they could carry or put in a wagon.  These able pioneers were desperately needed by their impoverished sect in its forced exodus out of the United States into the high deserts of the Mexican Alta California.  Yet these expatriots still loyally answered the call to serve the country which had just "ethnically cleansed" them. This unit was unique in two other ways:  It was not a state or territorial militia (for none would claim them), but a federal infantry battalion recruited by President James K. Polk himself.  And it had no parent regiment, but was assigned directly to the Army of the West.  Official U.S. Army records simply referred to it as the "Mormon Battalion of Volunteers, Army of the West, U.S. Army."  (All other terminology is subsequent and incorrect.)  During it's single twelve month enlistment during the Mexican-American War, these humble soldiers became what we would today call a public affairs pacification unit, unselfishly serving and establishing friendly relations with Native and Spanish Americans wherever they went.  Later, many of its veteran frontiersmen were instrumental in guiding "greenhorns" from the East and Europe in establishing Mormon settlements all over the Mountain West.

The Association was established in the late 1940s when LDS President David O. McKay asked his Huntsville neighbor and personal friend, Fred M. Reese, to form a quasi-military organization to help fulfill prophecy. 

SGT William Hyde recorded a prophecy in the 19 July 1846 entry in his journal, stating that Apostles Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Parley P. Pratt, Willard Richards, John Taylor, and Wilford Woodruff gave a last charge and blessing to the officers and NCOs of the Battalion before their departure that "our names [would] be held in honorable remembrance to all generations."  (William Hyde, The Private Journal of William Hyde, Part 2 [1846-48], p. 16. http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Gazetteer/People/William_Hyde/Journal/2*.html#18May46.)

President Brigham Young enlarged upon that prophecy eight years later at the first reunion of the Mormon Battalion on 6 February 1855:

The Mormon Battalion will be held in honorable remembrance to the latest generation; and I will prophesy that the children of those who have been in the army, in defence [sic defense] of their country, will grow up and bless their fathers for what they did at that time.  And men and nations will yet rise up and bless the men who went in that Battalion. ...As the Lord lives, ...you will never be forgotten, worlds without end, but you will be had in honorable remembrance, for ever and ever.  (Report of the First General Festival of the Reknowned Mormon Battalion, Which Came Off on Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 6 and 7, 1855, in the Social Hall, G.S.L City, reported by J. V. Long, reported by T. S. Williams, Deseret New Office [1855], p 17.  Copy in Historian’s Office Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Vault P, M273.42, R-425, 1855. https://ia800500.us.archive.org/14/items/reportoffirstgen00unse/reportoffirstgen00unse.pdf.)

The Mormon Battalion Association™ is neither a religious organization nor a military unit, but a nondenominational non-profit quasi-military service organization striving to match the dedication and community service of the original 1846-47 volunteer militia infantry battalion.  Similar to other military heritage and service organizations, we combine the best features of the unit we emulate with those of a non-profit service organization.  One does not have to be a descendant of the original Mormon Battalion, or a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the “Mormons”) from which it was drawn to belong to the modern Mormon Battalion Association.™   Membership is open to patriotic individuals, families, and organizations of good will – regardless of gender, race, creed, religion, national origin, or heritage – who wish to unite in emulating the unselfish service they gave their communities, nation, and fellow mankind wherever they went.  We are building a new legacy for citizens of all ages, faiths, and national origins can learn, emulate, and apply the heritage and experience of the Mormon Battalion to their current lives through service to humanity.

Recent Updates:

We have updated our website to include the following new features:

  • History | Original Battalion Roster - We have updated the Chain of Command "wiring diagram" to show the names of all officers and NCOs as of their original mustering-in on 20 July 1846.  This diagram is subject to correction and update.  We intend to add new wiring diagrams for each of the Battalion mustering dates as we research.

  • Member Activities | Minutes - We just posted the Minutes of our 16 December 2017 Executive Leadership Meeting and added links to our 1999 Minutes.

  • Publications | The Valiant - We just added links to our 2000 issues of The Valiant.

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Header Photo:  Foothills of the Rockies, East of Springer, NM (approx. 36.2911 N, 104.460 W), taken by Kevin Henson – The Canadian (Red) River lies just behind (west) of the mesa.