At Sword's Point, Part 1
A Documentary History of the Utah War to 1858
Published by: University of Oklahoma Press
Imprint: The Arthur H. Clark Company
556 Pages | 6 x 9 | 31 b&w illus., 1 map
The Utah War of 1857–58, the unprecedented armed confrontation between Mormon Utah Territory and the U.S. government, was the most extensive American military action between the Mexican and Civil wars. At Sword’s Point presents in two volumes the first in-depth narrative and documentary history of that extraordinary conflict.
William P. MacKinnon offers a lively narrative linking firsthand accounts—most previously unknown—from soldiers and civilians on both sides. This first volume traces the war’s causes and preliminary events, including President Buchanan’s decision to replace Brigham Young as governor of Utah and restore federal authority through a large army expedition. Also examined are Young’s defensive-aggressive reactions, the onset of armed hostilities, and Thomas L. Kane’s departure at the end of 1857 for his now-famous mediating mission to Utah.
MacKinnon provides a balanced, comprehensive account, based on a half century of research and a wealth of carefully selected new material. Women’s voices from both sides enrich this colorful story. At Sword’s Point presents the Utah War as a sprawling confrontation with regional and international as well as territorial impact. As a nonpartisan definitive work, it eclipses previous studies of this remarkably bloody turning point in western, military, and Mormon history.
“This monumental work reflects a half-century of far-reaching research by the acknowledged expert on the Utah War. William P. MacKinnon’s wealth of knowledge is exhibited in the relevant choice of documents and lively commentary provided in Parts 1 and 2. Highly recommended.”—Richard E. Turley Jr., coauthor of Massacre at Mountain Meadows