Latter-day Saint Military Records

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The Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints

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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.

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:

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The usage of "Mormon" and "LDS" on this page is approved according to current policy.

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.

Missouri State Archives.Records pertaining to Mormon experience in Missouri, 1838-1864. Digital images

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.

Mormon Battalion and the Mexican War (1846–1848)[edit | edit source]

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.

Muster Rolls

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.

Pension Files

Bounty Land Application Files

National Archives Catalog - Images of Compiled Service Records, Pension and Bounty Land Application Files Coverage Table

  • Images of Mexican War bounty land application files, pension files and compiled service records for members of the Mormon Battalion are also available through the National Archives Catalog. From the battalion company lists locate the NAID number then in the catalog search box type the National Archives Identifier Number (NAID) and click search.

Rosters and Records

Printed Sources

Thesis and Dissertations

Journals and Diaries


GuideBooks & Trail Sources

Additional sources about the Mormon Battalion:

Mormon Battalion Monument

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]

National Archives

Selected Bounty Land Application Files

Related Collections

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.

Online Resources[edit | edit source]

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: