American Civil War, Utah War, 1857, 1858, 1861, 1862, 1863, 1864, 1865, Brigham Young, Colonel Patrick Edward Connor, Indians, Native Americans, Mormon Trail, Overland Trail, telegraph, Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act of 1862, Abraham Lincoln, Lot Smith, Utah Cavalry Company, James Craig, Stephen S. Harding, Utah Territory, Harvey Coe Hullinger, Adjutant General Lorenzo Thomas, Utah militia, Robert T. Burton, Daniel H. Wells, Nauvoo Legion, William Hooper, Frank Fuller, U.S. Army, California Volunteers, Camp Douglas, Great Salt Lake City, Camp Floyd, Fort Crittenden, Henry W. Halleck, Mormon Church, LDS Church


This chapter (from the 2015 book “Far Away in the West: Reflections on the Mormon Pioneer Trail” published by the Brigham Young University Religious Studies Center) sets the stage for Utah Territory’s role protecting the Mormon Trail during the Civil War by outlining the Utah War (1857-1858). This essay begins by comparing and contracting Washington, DC’s wartime interest in the trail with that of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Utah Territory. The essay then outlines the changing parties who were responsible for the trail between 1861 and 1865 – the U.S. Army (spring-summer 1861), no one (fall 1861 to spring 1862), Latter-day Saints (April-August 1862), and again the U.S. Army (from fall 1862 through the end of the Civil War).

Original Publication Citation

Kenneth L. Alford, “Utah’s Role in Protecting the Mormon Trail during the Civil War” in Far Away in the West: Reflections on the Mormon Pioneer Trail, Scott C. Esplin, Richard E. Bennett, Susan E. Black, and Craig K. Manscill, eds. (Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, 2015), 205–230.

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Permanent URL


BYU Religious Studies Center




Religious Education


Church History and Doctrine

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor