A visit to the Mormon Battlion Monument can be one of the more interesting and educational things to do in Salt Lake City. For a year of military service, the 500 members of the Mormon Battalion purchased the future of their faith. Their march had the advantages of being able to show the United States government that they were truly loyal to the country, and the income it generated supported the men and their families in their exodus from Nauvoo, Illinois. The Mormon Battalion Monument pays tribute to the longest infantry march in United States history, extending nearly two thousand miles from Council Bluffs, Iowa to San Diego, California. In July 1846, over five hundred Mormon volunteers left their families on the trek from Nauvoo, Illinois, to assist in the war with Mexico. The accomplishments of the march were far-reaching: a road was carved out in the wilderness of the Southwest; the Gadsen Purchase of land from Mexico in 1853 was accomplished; the acquisition of California was stabilized and facilitated more than by any other single group of people or single act; an economic impact was felt in California and Utah for many years afterward. After the march, some members of the battalion took up temporary work at Sutters Mill, California, and participated in the gold discovery that marked the beginning of the California Gold Rush.
There are several memorials to the battalion, including one at the Utah State Capitol grounds and one at This Is The Place Heritage Park, featured in the picture above. To see both of these beautiful monuments and hear the fascinating story of the battalion, join us on the Salt Lake City Tour or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Tour. Reserve your seats on the tour bus by booking online at www.toursofutah.com.