Utah and the Civil War

The Civil War Monument was erected in 1961 to honor the Utah men who served in the Civil War by protecting precious mail and telegraph lines.








Monument honoring Latter-day Saint soldiers who fought in the Civil War. Photo by Robert L. Hall

In 1857, Congress funded a biweekly mail service between San Francisco and the eastern United States. This was followed by a formal mail route, which facilitated regular contact between Salt Lake City and cities in the East and the West.

The Overland Mail Company became the information lifeline. Without mail delivery to Utah, the LDS Church would have had no contact with missionaries serving abroad. Pioneer converts from overseas would have had to travel from port to Salt Lake City alone, with little assistance from the main body of the Saints.

Lot Smith led Latter-day Saint soldiers west to protect mail and telegraph lines. Photo Courtesy Daughters of Utah Pioneers

There would have been no means of communication to forewarn and prepare the Saints to help those in trouble on the westward frontier trails. On October 8, 1861, telegraph lines were finally completed, linking the eastern and western portions of the United States.