Other facts about Utah during the time of the Civil War
SBlt Daily life: The war had little impact on daily life in Utah, says Robert Voyles, director of the Fort Douglas Museum in Salt Lake City.
Although folks received news of the battles, "There were no sacrifices really being made because of the war effort or anything like that," he says. And wagon trains continued bringing new settlers across the prairies to the West.
"They were too far away from it ... it's kind of like us with the war in Iraq right now. We know it's going on ... but we're not directly involved in it," says Mark Trotter, manager of Camp Floyd/Stagecoach Inn State Park in Fairfield.
SBlt Loyalties: Utah stayed loyal to the Union during the war, although the territory was approached more than once about joining the Confederacy, Trotter says.
"There wasn't an opinion poll taken," says historian Craig Fuller of Salt Lake City, but, "I think probably more than anything here was indifference. I can't support that with documents."
The Mormon pioneers, who settled in Utah in 1847, saw the Civil War as the fulfillment of a prophecy by church founder Joseph Smith about a conflict to occur within the United States, Fuller adds.
Federal troops were sent to Utah at the time, in part, over worries about what the territory might do, Voyles says: "Were the Mormons going to sympathize with the Confederacy, were they going to stay neutral or were they going to be supportive (of the Union)?"
SBlt Slavery: Utah was a not a slave state, Voyles says, but the territory did not prevent settlers from bringing in slaves they already owned. The 1860 census reports about 30 African-Americans slaves here, he says.
The first company of pioneers arriving in 1847 with Brigham Young had slaves -- "less than half a dozen," says Fuller, associate editor of the Utah Historical Quarterly.
Congress abolished slavery in the territories -- including Utah -- in 1862.
SBlt National relations: Initially, Utah leader Brigham Young was not on friendly terms with President Abraham Lincoln, says Voyles. Lincoln was a member of the Illinois legislature and "hadn't done anything to protect the Mormons" when the Mormons were met with persecution in that state.
"Eventually (Young) came around to appreciate Lincoln," Voyles says, because Lincoln declared that if Brigham Young would leave him alone, he would leave the Mormons alone.
SBlt Polygamy: Before the Civil War began, one plank of the Republican party platform was to rid the nation of the "twin relics of barbarism" -- slavery and polygamy, the latter of which was based in Utah, Fuller says.
During and after the war, the Union cause was closely tied to this platform, Fuller says, and Union veterans like Gen. Patrick Edward Connor of Fort Douglas worked to abolish polygamy. A local group of the Grand Army of the Republic -- a national Union veterans organization -- was formed in Utah and became a voice speaking out on the issue in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere, he says.
SBlt Memorials: Some veterans of the Civil War are buried in Utah, including two Union generals -- one from Indiana and one from Michigan -- buried in Ogden's Aultorest Memorial Park.
Connor, the Union general who established Fort Douglas, remained in Utah after the war and is buried at the Salt Lake City fort. A monument to veterans of the Grand Army of the Republic stands in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.
Soldier Summit, a mountain pass in Wasatch County, is named for Civil War soldiers. The men were leaving Utah's Camp Floyd in July of 1861 to join the Confederacy and got caught in a snowstorm on the summit; some perished and were buried there.