Mormon Battalion (1846-1847) - A battalion of volunteers organized at the request of the President of the United States by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) to fight in the Mexican War. The Battalion was commanded by regular U.S. Army officers with LDS company grade officers and men. Some 550 men were organized into five companies.
The Battalion was enrolled in Iowa on 16 Jul 1846 as a volunteer unit of the Army of the West commanded by Colonel Stephen Watts Kearney. The Battalion proceeded to Fort Leavenworth, arriving on 1 Aug 1846, where they were paid and outfitted. Lt. Colonel James Allen, 1st U.S. Dragoons assumed command but died shortly thereafter (23 Aug 1846).
The Battalion began its march west under temporary commanders until they were joined by their new commander, Lt. Colonel Philip St. George Cooke, 2nd U.S. Dragoons, who commanded the Battalion until it was disbanded. At Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Battalion was ordered to march to San Diego, building a wagon road as they went. The Battalion arrived in San Diego on 29 Jan 1847 after marching some 1900 miles from their initial gathering point in Iowa.
The Battalion was deployed in several locations in southern California including Los Angeles where they participated in the building of Fort Moore (2). On 16 Jul 1847 the Battalion was disbanded at Fort Moore (2) in Los Angeles.