This review suggests the long-standing bias that the saints being altruistic
when the US military came begging them to support the war with Mexico, even
though the nation was kicking them. There may have been individuals who felt
that way, but the idea of the Battalion was Brigham Young's--not the
federal government. He sent representatives to Washington DC to lobby the war
department to organize this group--and he suggested many more than the
government finally allowed. Ever the pragmatist, he saw this as a way to help
finance the initial western migration, as pointed out in this review. I hope the
true genesis for the battalion is outlined in the book, and that the suggestion
of the bias is in the reviewers mind, not in the authors.
“RationalPlease,” I reviewed this book. Yes, you'll find the
book to be very accurate. Chapter 2 gives an account of the events you refer to.
However, as you probably realize, only so many words are allowed in a book
review. I didn’t include the details explaining Jesse C. Little’s
visit to Washington, DC, as a representative of the church, to ask for
assistance in their move west. Nevertheless, the Mormons in Mount Pisgah who
were the first approached by Captain James Allen were unaware of this and were
suspicious of his motives. It wasn’t until Allen took the 160-mile trip
west to Council Bluffs and met with Brigham Young that things turned around.
President Young did see this both as an opportunity to assist the church and for
the church to do a great work for the nation. Once President Young became a
strong advocate of the battalion, the people began to fill the ranks. I simply
chose to tell it quite briefly from the perspective of the Saints, which is also
documented in the book. I hope you’ll read the book. You seem to be
someone who enjoys history.
It is well to note the positive aspects of the journey of the Mormon Battalion.
It is appropriate to mention the role of the Prophet Brigham in bringing the
Battalion into being.But it should also be made clear in any such
book that the Mexican War, of which the battalion's journey was a part, was
overall an act of aggression against the people of Mexico. As argued at the
time by Abraham Lincoln, President James K. Polk "lied us into war".
Then he forced the US Army to go beyond the disputed border and send the Marines
to "the halls of Montezuma" - over the objection of the general in the
field. With US cannons trained on the Mexican legislature in Mexico
City, Mexico was forced to agree to "sell" us the Southwest.The Mormon Battalion was blessed to avid conflict. The Church was blessed for
their efforts. But the Mexican War itself was a travesty.