Utah Events and Chronology Related to the Civil War
February: The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is concluded ending the Mexican War, ceding territory to the United States which included what would become the Utah Territory.
March 4: Citizens of the Utah territory appoint a committee to draft a constitution to put before Congress that would lay the foundations for a Mormon state.
December 27: Senator Stephen A. Douglas presents the memorial for statehood which was drafted by Bernhisel and Almon Babbitt to Congress. Douglas asks that Utah be organized either as a state or territory contrary to the wishes of the Utah delegation.
September 9: Utah was made a territory by the Organic Act signed by President Millard Fillmore.
February 3: Brigham Young took his oath of office becoming the first Governor of the Utah Territory.
October 21: In Millard County, Utah, a band of Ute Indians massacred Captain John W. Gunnison's Pacific Railroad Survey party of seven men.
August 31: Colonel Steptoe, at the head of a military expeditionary party arrived in Salt Lake City ostensibly in order to study the feasibility of establishing a road through the territory and to detain the Indians who murdered Captain John W. Gunnison and 7 others in 1853.
February 18: Brigham Young having heard that Pres. Pierce had appointed Col. Steptoe as governor, endorses Steptoe in a sermon delivered at the Tabernacle.
February: A mob of armed Mormons, instigated by sermons from the heads of the church, broke into the court-room of the federal district judge W.W. Drummond and compelled him to adjourn his court. Soon afterward all the United States officers, with the exception of the Indian agent, were forced to flee from the territory.
March 17: In a fifth effort (1849, 1852, 1853, 1854, 1856) to obtain statehood a constitutional convention assembled in Salt Lake City and ten days later completed a constitution. The effort was aborted upon the advice of Steven A. Douglas and others that the timing was bad. Congress refused even to hear the matter.
March 4: Pres. James Buchanan's inauguration.
May 20: President James Buchanan, upon hearing the negative accusations of Drummond and other federal appointees becomes convinced that the Mormons were in rebellion against the United States. Buchanan orders the replacement of Gov. Brigham Young. This was done without giving Young any notice, and without the required Congressional approval as congress was in recess. Buchanan proceeds to make his new appointments and issued orders for a large military escort.
May 28: Sec. of State John B. Floyd ordered 2,500 federal troops to assemble at Fort Leavenworth for the escort of the new governor to Utah. Gen. William S. Harney was appointed Commander of the Utah Expedition.
July 11: Alfred Cumming, of Georgia, was appointed governor of Utah by Pres. Buchanan.
August 28: Col. Albert Sidney Johnston was appointed successor to Gen. W.S. Harney as commander of the Utah expedition and set out to catch up with the Army which took him until November.
September 15: Gov. Brigham Young ordered large numbers of armed militia to Echo Canyon and other points to intercept the expedition and prevent their access to the Valley. (complete text: CHC 4:273-274).
September 29: Daniel H. Wells, general of the Territorial militia, the Nauvoo Legion (about 3000 troops), left SLC for Echo Canyon, 65 miles east, where he established headquarters. The militia he commanded employed various measures to block the progress of the army through the canyon.
October 1-3: With the approach of the Army imminent, Fort Supply and Fort Bridger, two Mormon outposts twelve miles apart in now southwest Wyoming, the hopeful winter quarters for the Army, were burned by the Mormons.
October 5-6: Mormon raiders surprised and burned three trains of government stores. No shots were fired or blood shed. The teamsters were disarmed and dismissed.
November 16: The Army began arriving at Fort Bridger, abandoned and burned the week before by the Mormons. The Army set up their winter-quarters at a site 2 miles from Fort Bridger in now southwest Wyoming, 115 miles from SLC. This was named Camp Scott.
November 21: Gov. Cumming wrote a letter to Brigham Young informing him that violent acts authorized and commanded are treasonable; that those involved are subject to the penalties accorded traitors; and the Territory is in a state of rebellion. He also issued a Proclamation to the people of Utah stating his duty "to enforce unconditional obedience." He assured that there would be no interference with their right to religious freedom.
January 4: Brigham Young and 66 others were indicted for "treason and other felonies" at the District Court for Green River County established in December. (Mormon Resistance, 303, 317-318)
March 18-21: The decision was made to retreat rather than resist. The first movement was to abandon SLC and the settlements north and go south and prepare to burn the City before the Army could take possession of it. The Mormon response was a remarkable widespread willingness to burn their homes and evacuate
April 12: Cumming arrived in Salt Lake City. Over several days of meetings with Brigham Young, he began his office as Governor with the help and support of Brigham Young.
April 15: Gov. Cumming wrote a favorable report to Col. Johnston of his respectful reception in SLC and Brigham Young's willing assistance in turning over to him public property including all records which Gov. Cumming reported had not been destroyed.
June 7: Ex-Gov. L.W. Powell, of Kentucky, and Major Ben McCullough, of Texas, sent as peace commissioners by the Federal government, arrived in SLC. They brought with them the April 6 Proclamation extending a full Presidential pardon for all Utah citizens on the condition they would cease rebellion, affirm allegiance to the Constitution. (complete text: CHC 4:425-428)
June 10: President Buchanan announced to Congress that order had been restored in Utah.
June 26: The Army marched through Salt Lake City which they found had been abandoned by the Mormons. They passed through Salt Lake City and camped on the west side of the Jordan river. It subsequently marched to Cedar Valley, and there located Camp Floyd, about forty miles from the city where they remained until the outbreak of the Civil War.
June 30: The announcement was made in Provo that all who wished to return to Salt Lake City were at liberty to do so.
August 24: Statement of the negotiations of June 11-12 was signed by both sides.
Feb 6: Camp Floyd renamed Fort Crittenden
April 24: Deseret News announces the taking of Fort Sumter and the commencement of hostilities
May 17: Governor Alfred Cumming leaves Utah and to returns to the South. Special order 86 1/2 to leave Camp Floyd is issued by the Headquarters of the Army. Colonel Cooke receives the orders sometime after, Johnston having left Camp Floyd more than a year previous (March 1860).
June-July: Auction held to get rid of Army surplus
July 1: Federal troops are withdrawn from Camp Floyd. Members of the Nauvoo Legion, the local militia, performed short-term volunteer service guarding the mail line.
July 27: Final troops leave Camp Floyd and flag pole is taken down.
October: Brigham Young send the first message from Utah on the new transcontinental telegraph. His message to Lincoln: "Utah has not seceded, but is firm for the Constitution and laws of our once happy country."
The people of Utah made their third attempt to achieve statehood. The Mormons chided their critics by reminding them that while many states were trying to leave the Union, Utah was trying to get in. This third petition was denied, however. In the meantime, a constitution was drafted for the proposed state of Deseret and a full slate of officers was elected with Brigham Young as governor.
April: President Lincoln asked Young to provide a full company of one hundred men to protect the stage and telegraph lines and overland mail routes in Green River County (now southern Wyoming).
Jun 13-15: Siege of Fort Kington (Morrisite War)
October: General Patrick Edward Connor arrived in Salt Lake City at the head of the 750 volunteer soldiers from California and Nevada. Instead of occupying Camp Floyd Connor chose a site which overlooked the city in the foothills directly east of Salt Lake City. This new military post was named Camp Douglas (later Fort Douglas).
October 26: Camp Douglas is officially established as a military reservation under the command of General Patrick Edward Connor.
January 29: Battle of Bear River or the Massacre at Bear River. Connor's force of 300 troops attacked a Shoshoni encampment on the Bear River and killed more than 250 men, women, and children. They also burned the village and thus broke the strength of the Indians in the area.
March 30: Connor appointed Brigadier General of Volunteers for his actions at Bear River. Formal confirmation by Congress on May 18, 1866. In the meantime, he was recognized as the BG during his service in Utah
April 15: A brief skirmish takes place in Spanish Fork Canyon. At least two soldiers are killed and multiple Ute Indians.
June: The Uintah Indian Reservation is established in the Uintah Basin near White Rocks, Utah in an effort to help control the Ute Indian tribes.
March 4: Utahns’ showed their respect for the president during the celebration of his second inauguration. Salt Lake City authorities and LDS Church organized a joint patriotic celebration
April 9: Robert E. Lee surrenders at Appomattox Courthouse and leads to the end of the Civil War.
April 15: President Abraham Lincoln is assassinated in Ford's Theater by John Wilkes Booth.
April: Utahns' react to the news of the assassination of President Lincoln. A memorial service would be held in the Salt Lake Tabernacle for the fallen president a few days later.
April 30: General Connor was honorably mustered out of the volunteer army in the immediate postwar years, he remained a leader of the anti-Mormon movement and became involved in Utah politics.
May 4: Connor nominated for brevet Major General which was confirmed by Congress on May 18, with the effective date of rank established as Mar 13th.
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