Mormon Battalion

Mormon Battalion, flag

The Mormon Battalion was a United States Army volunteer unit composed primarily of Latter-day Saint (Mormon) men. It was formed during the Mexican-American War in 1846. The battalion played a significant role in the western expansion of the United States and the development of the American West.

Here are some key points about the Mormon Battalion:

  1. Formation: The Mormon Battalion was officially organized on July 16, 1846, in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The Mormon pioneers, led by Brigham Young, had been forced to leave their homes in Nauvoo, Illinois, and were headed west to the Salt Lake Valley.
  2. Purpose: The battalion was created to support the U.S. war effort in the Mexican-American War (1846–1848). The U.S. government, in need of troops to secure the territory acquired in the Southwest, allowed the Mormons to form their unit.
  3. Service: The Mormon Battalion marched over 2,000 miles from Council Bluffs to San Diego, California, through harsh and challenging conditions. They were mustered out of service in July 1847.
  4. Contribution to Western Expansion: The journey of the Mormon Battalion played a role in opening up a southern wagon route to California and exploring potential routes for future transportation and communication lines.
  5. Legacy: The legacy of the Mormon Battalion is still remembered today. Many battalion members settled in California after their service, and their contributions are commemorated in various historical sites and monuments. The battalion is also remembered as a unique episode in American military history and the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Mormon Battalion’s journey was a remarkable chapter in the American West’s history and the United States’s expansion during the 19th century.

Fort Tejon Earthquake 1857


The Fort Tejon earthquake occurred on January 9, 1857, and is one of the largest historical earthquakes in California. It had an estimated magnitude of 7.9 and was associated with the southern segment of the San Andreas Fault. Here are some key details about the Fort Tejon earthquake:

  1. Date and Time:
    • The earthquake struck on January 9, 1857.
  2. Location:
    • The epicenter was near Fort Tejon in Kern County, California.
  3. Magnitude:
    • The earthquake is estimated to have had a magnitude of 7.9.
  4. San Andreas Fault:
    • The earthquake was associated with the southern segment of the San Andreas Fault.
  5. Damage:
    • The region affected by the earthquake was sparsely populated, which helped reduce casualties.
    • Significant damage occurred to buildings, infrastructure, and landscapes.
    • The earthquake caused surface rupture along the fault, creating a noticeable surface offset.
  6. Aftershocks:
    • A series of aftershocks followed the main event, further contributing to the seismic activity in the region.
  7. Impact on Landscape:
    • The earthquake caused visible changes in the landscape, with the ground surface breaking along the fault line.
  8. Historical Significance:
    • The Fort Tejon earthquake is significant in understanding the seismic history of California.
    • It provided valuable information about the behavior of the San Andreas Fault and the potential for large earthquakes in the region.

It’s worth noting that the Fort Tejon earthquake occurred when the population in the affected area was relatively low, which helped mitigate the impact on human lives. The earthquake remains an important event in studying California’s seismic activity and understanding earthquake hazards in the region.