Work continues at the University of Oklahoma Press
The Civil War Years in Utah
The Kingdom of God and the Territory That Did Not Fight
$39.95 Hardcover
$24.95 Paperback

In 1832 Joseph Smith, Jr., the Mormons’ first prophet, foretold of a great war beginning in South Carolina. In the combatants’ mutual destruction, God’s purposes would be served, and Mormon men would rise to form a geographical, political, and theocratic “Kingdom of God” to encompass the earth. Three decades later, when Smith’s prophecy failed with the end of the American Civil War, the United States left torn but intact, the Mormons’ perspective on the conflict—and their inactivity in it—required palliative revision. In The Civil War Years in Utah, the first full account of the events that occurred in Utah Territory during the Civil War, John Gary Maxwell contradicts the patriotic mythology of Mormon leaders’ version of this dark chapter in Utah history.

While the Civil War spread death, tragedy, and sorrow across the continent, Utah Territory remained virtually untouched. Although the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—and its faithful—proudly praise the service of an 1862 Mormon cavalry company during the Civil War, Maxwell’s research exposes the relatively inconsequential contribution of these Nauvoo Legion soldiers. Active for a mere ninety days, they patrolled overland trails and telegraph lines.

Furthermore, Maxwell finds indisputable evidence of Southern allegiance among Mormon leaders, despite their claim of staunch, long-standing loyalty to the Union. Men at the highest levels of Mormon hierarchy were in close personal contact with Confederate operatives. In seeking sovereignty, Maxwell contends, the Saints engaged in blatant and treasonous conflict with Union authorities, the California and Nevada Volunteers, and federal policies, repeatedly skirting open warfare with the U.S. government.

Collective memory of this consequential period in American history, Maxwell argues, has been ill-served by a one-sided perspective. This engaging and long-overdue reappraisal finally fills in the gaps, telling the full story of the Civil War years in Utah Territory.

About The Author
John Gary Maxwell is author of Gettysburg to Great Salt Lake: George R. Maxwell, Civil War Hero and Federal Marshal among the Mormons and Robert Newton Baskin and the Making of Modern Utah.

Reviews & Praise
“John Gary Maxwell’s deep research into the Civil War in Utah casts new light on forgotten history, revealing how Abraham Lincoln skillfully ended what an old cowboy ballad called ‘the glorious days when Brigham was our only Lord and King’—and brought Utah into a renewed American nation.”—Will Bagley, coauthor of The Mormon Rebellion: America’s First Civil War, 1857–1858

“John Gary Maxwell presents the most comprehensive and detailed work on any topic related to Mormon history. His understanding of original Mormon beliefs and straightforward explanation of how they influenced Mormon actions at the time place this work in a class by itself.”—David L. Bigler, author of The Forgotten Kingdom: The Mormon Theocracy in the American West, 1847–1896

Book Information
22 b&w illus.
492 Pages
Hardcover 978-0-8061-4911-0
Paperback 978-0-8061-6474-8
Kindle 978-0-8061-5526-5
e-pub 978-0-8061-5527-2
Published February 2016
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