James Mangum, “The Spanish-American and Philippine War,” in Nineteenth-Century Saints at War, ed. Robert C. Freeman (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2006), 155–193
The Church and the Spanish-American War
James Mangum is an instructor for the Church Educational System and earned his master’s degree from Brigham Young University with an emphasis on military history.
When Senator Joseph Rawlins stood on the Senate floor discussing Cuban affairs, he represented the feelings of many of his constituents in Utah. After the senator had laid out the nation’s relationship with its Caribbean neighbor, he urged his colleagues to declare war on Spain without waiting for the actions of President William McKinley. Senator Rawlins’s actions were prompted, at least in part, by the destruction of the USS Maine, a U.S. battleship docked in Havana Harbor. Additionally, his argument pointed to the plight of Cubans who were facing incredible atrocities under the oppressive Spanish regime. Although the resolution was not passed at that time, President McKinley addressed Congress six days later and received the authority to end the Spanish rule of Cuba with military force.
With the United States at war, Utah was expected to take its place among military ranks. Since much of the state’s population consisted of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Church leaders took a definite interest in supporting members involved in the hostilities. The fighting in this war affected the entire Church, even after the soldiers returned home. This influence was apparent in the attitudes of General Authorities toward the war, the success of the battalions that consisted mainly of Latter-day Saints, the attempts of continued missionary work, and the lives of future Church leaders who served during the war.
The Church Takes a Stand
At the turn of the nineteenth century, Latter-day Saints were in a delicate position, one that divided the opinions of its members. Since the 1840s, they had struggled for statehood only to have their petitions repeatedly rejected by the federal government. Finally, in 1896, Utah received statehood, and only two years later the “baby state”—as the newest state was known at the time—was part of a nation on the brink of war. Like other Americans, individual Latter-day Saints held differing views of the impending conflict. Some felt it was time for the Latter-day Saints to help fight for the liberties of others. This opinion may have been influenced by the inflammatory newspapers of the day, but it did reflect the thoughts of many Latter-day Saints. Conversely, other Saints felt that their years of toil in the Rocky Mountains had earned them isolation from the violence of war. This seclusion had previously allowed them to avoid the destruction of lives that had occurred in the Civil War, and some felt that they could also avoid the present looming conflict. Saints on both sides of the issue eagerly awaited instructions from the Lord’s prophet in the upcoming spring general conference.
The April conference of 1898 began ten days after the naval court of inquiry found that a submerged mine had destroyed the Maine as it was moored in Havana Harbor. During this time, Congress debated the nation’s course of action in Cuba and with the Spanish government. The intense political situation inevitably permeated the addresses given in conference. President George Q. Cannon, First Counselor in the First Presidency, broached the subject by listing many of the current struggles in the world and their accompanying anxiety. He then explained that while Utah was part of the nation, Latter-day Saints did not share the fear exhibited by others throughout the country. His reason for the security felt by the Latter-day Saints was that they had God’s prophet leading them. President Cannon then testified that “if there is any danger threatening us we shall be prepared for it. The Lord will inspire His servants and His people so that they will not be found unprepared.” His assurances were only the beginning of the discussion on the Church’s stance on the war with Spain.
The next morning, Apostle Brigham Young Jr. provided another perspective on the subject of war. He exhorted the Latter-day Saints to worry more about spiritual preparation than about military preparation. He stated that one sign of the Savior’s Second Coming was that every nation would be at war except for the people of Zion. Elder Young then wondered aloud about the traits of Zion that would allow it to remain at peace and then suggested that current practices among Church members did not reflect those traits. He counseled that “we have no time to spare; that the time is now when we must prepare ourselves, that when those who desire peace flee unto us they will not find us wanting.” Elder Young apparently felt that the Second Coming was imminent; therefore, he urged Saints to use all of their strength to prepare Zion, instead of wasting that strength on war.
One strong reason for peace among the Latter-day Saints was the need for the continued work of missionaries. An international conflict would obviously hinder missionary work. Not only would potential missionaries have to risk their lives in battle, but missionaries already abroad would encounter increased hostility because of their nationality. B. H. Roberts, one of the Presidents of the Seventy, commented on how the Lord had opened the doors to missionary work throughout the world. He also suggested that the Latter-day Saints ought to retain their ability to do this work rather than involving themselves in the sin of war. Elder Francis M. Lyman would later concur with Roberts’s statements by adding, “We want peace, because we are a peaceable people, and we want to preach the Gospel. . . . That is our mission, and we don’t want war.”
With the subjects of Zion and missionary work now on the minds of the members, President Wilford Woodruff arose on the third day of conference and gave a short speech that showed his insight into the fate of the Church and the world. President Woodruff related an experience he had not long after he had joined the Church. Parley P. Pratt had approached him and encouraged him to join the march of Zion’s Camp. Just prior to leaving for Missouri, the Prophet Joseph Smith gathered the priesthood brethren together for a meeting. The Prophet instructed a few of the other brethren to share their testimonies of the work of the Lord. After listening to these witnesses, Joseph stood and said, “Brethren I have been very much edified and instructed in your testimonies here tonight. but I want to say to you before the Lord, that you know no more concerning the destinies of this Church and kingdom than a babe upon its mother’s lap. You don’t comprehend it.” President Woodruff related that he was rather taken aback at the time, but then the Prophet continued, “It is only a little handfull of Priesthood you see here tonight, but this Church will fill North and South America—it will fill the world.” As President Woodruff looked at the body of Saints sitting before him in 1898, he knew that this prophecy of Joseph Smith had not yet been fulfilled. Still, he explained that it was currently being fulfilled because the Rocky Mountains were filling with Saints. However, he could not overlook that the Church had not yet “filled the whole earth” (Daniel 2:35). In his own way, Woodruff had taught that the Second Coming could not happen yet because there was so much missionary work still left to do.
President Woodruff’s subtle comments took a stand on the imminence of the Second Coming but left open the question of war. Throughout the rest of the conference, other speakers explained their understanding of how the members of the Church should view the world. Even in the last session, the Brethren had apparently not yet reached a consensus. Elder Franklin D. Richards stated, “It seems as if the human family were anxious to become drunk with blood and imbrue their hands in each other’s blood. And what a work will it be when peace is taken from the earth! Let us cultivate peace.” He was followed by President George Q. Cannon, who as a member of the First Presidency likely understood the views held by President Woodruff. He quoted Book of Mormon passages that promised the settlers of this land a continent without kings as long as the settlers remained righteous. He saw this war with Spain as an opportunity to rid the western hemisphere of an additional European monarch and thus fulfill God’s word. As two of the last three speakers in the conference session, Elder Richards and President Cannon still represented the opposite ends of the spectrum on this issue, perhaps mirroring the sentiments of Church members sitting in the pews.
These talks set the stage for President Woodruff to give his final address at general conference, in which he made an effort to reunite the Church on this issue. Modeling the principles taught in Doctrine and Covenants 121, President Woodruff shared another experience from his long life.
In April, 1838, while in the town of Kirtland, in walking across the street I met two men who held the Apostleship. They said to me, “Brother Woodruff, we have something that we want you to join us in.” Said I, “What is it?” “We want another Prophet to lead us.” “Whom do you want?” “We want Oliver Cowdery. Joseph Smith has apostatized.” After listening to them, I said to them: “Unless you repent of your sins you will be damned and go to hell, and you will go through the fulness of eternal damnation, and all your hopes in this life will pass before you like the frost before the rising sun. You are false. Joseph Smith has not apostatized. He holds the keys of the kingdom of God on earth, and will hold them until the coming of the Son of Man, whether in this world or in the world to come.” I am happy to say that those men did repent pretty soon, turned to the Church, and died in it.
He then turned the subject to the Apostles sitting on the stand that day and remarked, “I do not believe the day will ever come—it is too late in the day, in my opinion—when any Elder in this Church will be called to stand before any two of the Apostles with us today and give unto them the declaration that I gave unto the two Apostles I have referred to. . . . I have faith to believe that these men who bear the Apostleship will hold it and live their religion. . . . I do not think that one of them will apostatize. I believe they will be with you and with this Church while they stand in the flesh, true and faithful to God.” These words give insight into the nature of Apostles and other General Authorities. Each individual had incredible leadership skills; such traits are necessary to lead the Lord’s Church. President Woodruff knew the integrity of his colleagues and the strength of their characters, but he also needed them to support him even if he had different instructions. “By gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned” (D&C 121:41), President Woodruff reminded all Church leaders of their loyalty to the office which he held.
The prophet then took a stand on the subject of loyalty to the nation. He bore testimony of the righteousness of the Founding Fathers and described them as the best men that God could find on the earth. He stated that the Lord inspired these leaders, including George Washington, to establish this nation. At that moment, President Woodruff, as future actions would also show, allied the Church with the United States of America. There was no more need to argue over where the Church would stand.
Still, the need for unity did not stop at the leadership of the Church, so President Woodruff turned his remarks to the general membership. “I feel,” he announced, “as though the day has come when every Elder and every Latter-day Saint ought to stop and consider the position he is in and the covenants he has entered into. Is there anything on the face of the earth that will pay you to depart from the oracles of God and from the Gospel of Christ?” President Woodruff, who had taught that “the Lord will never permit [him] or any other man who stands as President of the Church to lead you astray,” was once again urging them to follow the Lord’s servants, even if they needed to change their opinions to do so. Indeed, President Cannon had been correct in stating that the Lord’s prophet would lead them.
Although President Woodruff had thrown the Church’s lot in with the American government, his remarks did not explain just how the Church would show its loyalty. The need for clarity on that subject came only two days after the conference ended. On April 11, 1898, President McKinley went to Congress to ask for authorization to send troops to Cuba. His goal was to end Spanish rule there. On April 22, 1898, the U.S. Navy blockaded Cuba, and on April 25, Congress passed a bill that declared war on Spain. As citizens of the United States, the Latter-day Saints were at war.
In the midst of these circumstances, Elder Brigham Young Jr. spoke in the Tabernacle on April 24. He taught that the Saints could show their patriotism in ways other than throwing away the lives of their sons. He suggested that the Saints raise money to pay for the war rather than send soldiers. In his speech, he stated that he was worried about the ravages of disease on Mormon men, whose constitutions were accustomed to the climate of the mountains of the West and not the swamps of Cuba. He was certain that these illnesses would have more devastating consequences than the war itself.
President Woodruff attended Elder Young’s speech and the next day recorded the following response in his journal: “Mon[day] Ap[ril] 25 At the office [,] . . . I expressed my feelings in regard to Bro B. Youngs remarks at the Tabernacle yesterday as being unwise, as we are now a State & must take part either in peace or war and requested John Q Cannon to write a piece for publication in the Deseret News expressing my feelings, which he did.” President Woodruff was able to see the big picture of the growth of the Church and it required the help or at least the nonresistance of the U.S. government. Furthermore, he saw the speech given by Elder Young as a threat towards the recently acquired peace between the Church and the United States. To solve the problem, Woodruff met with three members of the Young family: Elder Young; his brother, Major Willard Young; and their nephew, Captain Richard W. Young. The latter two were both members of the Utah National Guard. “The apostle was chastised for speaking without authorization and was told not to oppose the enlistment of Mormon volunteers.” To his credit, Elder Young fell in line with the instructions of his leader. Months later he would take particular interest in the soldiers and, through the help of Captain Young, would institute a program to maintain the soldiers’ spiritual strength.
That same day, the First Presidency sent out several other letters that explained the Church’s stance on members enlisting in the armed services. First, a letter was sent to Governor Heber M. Wells. In that letter, the presidency explained that the Church was against war and that its responsibility was to proclaim peace. Yet in the current circumstances they also felt it their duty to support the war effort. Next, President George Q. Cannon wrote a letter to all of the stake presidents of the Church. President Cannon instructed these leaders not to impede the work of recruitment among their members. Conversely, they were to encourage the enlistment of Latter-day Saint soldiers for the conflict. By sending their message out on several fronts, Church members no longer had to guess at the Church’s position on the war.
Involvement of the Church in the Spanish-American War followed a precedent set by previous latter-day prophets. While individual Saints were allowed their own opinions, the needs of the Church were studied and the course of action that would best serve the mission of the Church was chosen. Then the President of the Church would come forward and lead the Saints in the way the Lord would have them go. In the case of the Spanish-American War, President Woodruff encouraged the Saints to be loyal to their nation.
The Saints Join the Fight
With the nation at war, over five hundred Latter-day Saints stepped forward to fight for a cause that they thought was just. For example, Stephen Bjarnson, a youth from Spanish Fork, explained to a friend that he joined the army not because he was thirsty to shed blood. Instead, he explained that the Spanish had shed innocent blood for centuries and that this continued with their oppression of the Cubans. So he felt it was his duty as a free person to step forward and protect the liberty of others.
Willard Call, from Bountiful, Utah, also stepped forward to offer his services. He went to his wife to learn her opinion on his decision. She felt that she could support him in his decision if they had the Church’s blessing. With that in mind, they went to visit President George Q. Cannon and ended up meeting with the entire First Presidency. President Wilford Woodruff gave his support, saying, “If you go, you will go with our blessings and the blessings of the Lord will attend you.” With this encouragement Willard joined the United States Volunteers that very day.
The initial request from the military was that Utah enlist men to be organized into two artillery batteries and one troop of cavalry. These three organizations would be made up of five hundred men. However, so many men wanted to fight for their country that another troop of cavalry was organized. The governor received special permission to maintain the second cavalry force. In addition, Utah provided a third artillery battery, a troop of supply packers, and various other soldiers to the regular army. The three Utah units were mostly made up of Latter-day Saint soldiers. The national newspaper Harper’s Weekly reported, “About two-thirds of the men in the [Utah] batteries are Mormons—members of leading families in the Church.” Once the Church had put forward their stance on the war, the members of the Church joined the army in great numbers.
The Reluctant Chaplain
The outbreak of the Spanish-American War found Elias S. Kimball (younger brother of Elder J. Golden Kimball of the Seventy) in Tennessee. He was serving as the president of the Southern States Mission and was enjoying great success. He had instituted a program where his missionaries would travel without purse or scrip, forcing them to rely on the mercy of the Lord in their work. It was later remarked that “Elder Elias Kimball . . . was a very pronounced believer in the idea that a missionary’s usefulness did not commence until he had been deprived of every human prop and support, and had been compelled to place his trust solely in the strength of God.” The Lord would test Kimball’s trust with a call to become the first Latter-day Saint chaplain.
Ironically, the day that the call to the chaplaincy arrived, Elias Kimball and his older brother J. Golden had spent the morning in Chattanooga watching the soldiers parade in the streets. On returning to the mission office, Elias found the letter from Church headquarters. This letter began by releasing Elias from his position as mission president and then extended another call: “The Presidency had been invited by [Colonel] Willard Young of the 2nd Regiment Volunteer Engineers to name the Chaplain for his regiment, and the question was considered at to-day’s meeting. It was unanimously decided to recommend you for that position, and Col. Young was informed of this by telegram to-day. He is at present at Washington, D. C., and you are requested to report by letter to him, care of Senator [Frank] J. Cannon, if you feel to accept of the appointment.” While the new assignment was a shock to Kimball, he was more surprised by his release as mission president. He knew that the release was coming, but he had not expected it to happen until the autumn of that year.
J. Golden Kimball tried to comfort his younger brother. He explained that Elias was lucky to have received another calling at the time of his release because his testimony would not be allowed to stagnate because of disuse. Elias tried to take this encouragement to heart, but he found it difficult to leave the work in which he was engaged.
That evening Elias had his first experience with military ignorance of Latter-day Saint customs. Elias and J. Golden went back into town to eat supper and discuss the new call as chaplain. While at the restaurant they started a conversation with a couple of army officers. Elias inquired about the position of chaplain and explained that he was going to become one. While explaining the position, they repeatedly mentioned that the position was for ordained clergy. That evening Elias had been wearing a light-colored coat, not the black coat with white collar that the officers expected. From the beginning, Elias Kimball knew he would have to teach others about priesthood authority and the absence of a paid clergy in the Church.
The next day, Elias sat at his typewriter and composed a couple of letters, signifying his obedience to the call. First he sent a letter to Church headquarters to say that he accepted his new assignment. Next he wrote to Colonel Young and shared the same message. Although Elias was not excited about the change, he was now committed to serve as the first Latter-day Saint chaplain in the U.S. Army as long as the commission had been made by President William McKinley.
In the time between the call from the First Presidency and the letter of appointment from the president of the United States, Elias took his family home to Mendon, Utah. The official appointment letter was slow in coming, and Elias ended up getting a sales position—selling Studebakers—while he waited. However, a short time later, a reporter from the Salt Lake Tribune arrived at his home. The reporter had received a cable that President McKinley had appointed Elias to serve as a chaplain, and now the reporter wanted to interview the new appointee. Elias gave him a life sketch, and the man drew Elias’s likeness, which appeared in the Tribune on June 19, 1898. When a telegram from Colonel Young confirmed the appointment, Kimball remarked, “This information dispelled all doubt as to my going. Shall go Saturday or Sunday.” In addition, Elias’s journals show that he had hoped that the president would not make this appointment. He would rather have stayed in Utah and sold Studebakers. However, since he had been called by a prophet and appointed by a president, Elias prepared to go to war.
To get to Illinois, Kimball had to board a train in Salt Lake City. The nervous recruit wanted to be set apart in his new calling, so he went to Church headquarters. Under the direction of President Joseph F. Smith, Elder Franklin D. Richards set Elias apart. That night he recorded portions of his blessing in his journal: “Bro. Richards was mouth and gave me a most excelent [sic] blessing. . . . Brother Richards . . . said that I should prove a great blessing to the 2nd Regiment and those [that Kimball] blessed should be blessed and that Col. Young and the officers and men would feel blessed by my presence among them.” Kimball shared that he was glad because much of the blessing echoed a blessing written by his older brother. With these blessings in his mind, Elias began his military experience.
After arriving in Illinois, Kimball was introduced to Colonel Young’s staff, and within a few days he was in uniform. The colonel pulled Kimball aside before the latter’s first sermon and explained how to give a sermon to soldiers. The message had to be nondenominational, and it had to be short; otherwise the chaplain might lose his audience. The colonel then gave Kimball twenty minutes to share his message. The chaplain responded, “I did not intend to preach anything not contained in the scriptures, but . . . follow the direction of the holy Spirit.” Kimball was so nervous of overstepping his bounds that he took less than twenty minutes. This was not the last time that military dictates prescribed how the chaplain performed his duties. As Young’s unit of engineers moved to Florida and later to Cuba, more Sundays than not would pass without a message being shared.
A few months later, Kimball voiced his frustration about the obstacles that prevented him from doing his job. He shared that irritation by quoting from a news article written by Reverend Sam Small, another chaplain. The article explained that chaplains were members of military units by name only. They had no authority and could not do much to decide when a religious meeting should be held. Even when meetings did occur, the attendance was sparse. Kimball explained that he wholeheartedly agreed with Small’s sentiments.
Kimball filled out the rest of his service in this manner. The reluctant chaplain was more than ready to return home when the time came. In his short service, Elias S. Kimball helped to open a new door for the Church: Latter-day Saint chaplains were now a part of the military, and they did not necessarily need to be attached to a unit from Utah. Future military conflicts would see a growth in the number of Latter-day Saint chaplains.
The Famous Battery Boys
In the decades prior to the turn of the twentieth century, the distinctive practices of the Latter-day Saints, including plural marriage, often fell under intense national scrutiny. When criticized for their beliefs, Church members defended their position and, as all people who truly cherish their ideas, held on to them even more fiercely. This, however, only earned the Saints a reputation of peculiarity and isolationism. This reputation stayed with the Church even after Utah was accepted into the Union. Yet, when the United States declared war on Spain, members of the Church had an opportunity to change the nation’s attitude toward them by participating in the military. The actions of these men influenced the way that others viewed Utah and the Church.
The majority of Latter-day Saint soldiers who saw battle did not face their foes in Cuba. Instead, they traveled thousands of miles to represent their country in the Philippines. Yet one may wonder how the battle for the liberation of Cuba included the Pacific islands. Shortly after the declaration of hostilities between the two countries, U.S. commodore George Dewey received instructions to sail to the Philippine Islands. His orders included the following directions: “Commence operations particularly against the Spanish fleet. You must capture vessels or destroy. Use utmost endeavour.” Dewey’s small fleet of ships had astounding success in Manila Harbor, as they succeeded in destroying all of the Spanish ships stationed there. Yet, having taken the harbor, Dewey did not have the manpower to capture the city. After receiving Dewey’s request for more soldiers, the United States military prepared to send men to the Philippines, including Utah’s A and B Light Infantry Batteries..
The caliber of these units, primarily composed of Latter-day Saints, was exhibited by their leaders—Captain Richard W. Young and Captain Frank A. Grant. While Captain Grant was not a member of the Church, he was highly praised by those who served under him. He did not act like many other officers but seemed to understand the needs of his men. Young also commanded respect. Wesley E. King, who served under Young’s command, fit the common stereotype of a soldier as being crisp and cold. He then explained that Young was not this way but that his men could see his warm heart in all that he did. While the captain could perform all the stiff actions of an officer, he led in a way that exhibited gentleness and kindness. King remembered one time when Young reprimanded him. He said, “That rebuke was filled with such kindness, such a tenderness of feeling toward me that I could not but bless him for it, and I did. His rebuke showed me at once the impossibility of such a thing being repeated and at the same time the pain to him in having to mention it.” With such leadership, it is not surprising that Utah’s batteries were so successful.
After arriving in the Philippines, these soldiers took part in not only removing the Spanish army but also in putting down the Filipino insurrection. The conditions on the battlefield were dangerous, and the Utahns were able to distinguish themselves while performing their duties. On August 7, 1899, the Salt Lake Herald listed several of the heroic deeds performed by Utah Latter-day Saints. For example, Battery B Sergeant Andrew Petersen was fatigued from crossing two miles of jungle and swamp while fighting, yet he was still able to put his cannon to good use. Another artillery soldier, Corporal J. W. Meranda shot his cannon so well that it sent a large group of Filipinos running. Adding to the difficulty of this battle, it was reported that so many bullets were flying during that particular battle that one “might have swung a cup around and got it filled with lead.” It was the bravery and skill shown in these times of great distress that caused the military to promote many of the Saints in the Utah batteries.
Such deeds may have stood out by themselves, but these were not the only battles in which Latter-day Saints fought. When the war broke out, the government had reviewed their artillery units and had found them to be severely lacking. Most units only had a handful of outdated cannons left over from the Civil War. Utah, however, was in a different position. When the state first entered the Union, the leaders of the National Guard were able to make use of surplus government funds and purchase their own guns. So, when the war started in Cuba, Utah’s state-of-the-art artillery batteries were needed in the field. When they finally arrived in the Philippines, they spent every evening in the trenches because they were the only artillery units on the island. Without the artillery support of the Utah units, the battle for Manila and the surrounding areas could not have been won.
In addition to the bravery shown in the destruction of enemy combatants, Latter-day Saint soldiers also performed actions that saved the lives of many of their fellow Americans. A soldier from Oregon remembered the heroism of one of these soldiers, Harvey Dusenberry:
Dusenberry saved 100 Oregon soldiers from death and mutilation. The Oregonians . . . had been caught in an ambuscade where they were exposed to murderous fire from three sides. They could not extricate themselves, nor could they see their enemy. All that was permitted them was to stand up like American soldiers and blindly fight a concealed foe so long as life remained to them.
Dusenberry, then a corporal of Battery B, saw the terrible position of the Oregonians from an elevation. He secured help and drew up a Hotchkiss gun on the hill, whence he was able to pour a fire into the treacherous Filipinos. He kept up the cannonade for two hours, all the time exposed to a galling return fire. Fortunately he escaped unhurt, and was able to extricate the Oregon men from their dangerous position.
The newspaper reporter then conceded that there were probably scores of similar actions unreported, but these soldiers “with that modesty which is characteristic of the hero . . . have refrained from telling their stories of adventure.” The story of Corporal Dusenberry may have met the same fate if it had not been for the report made by the grateful Oregonian he had rescued.
For all of the fame won by members of the Church on the battlefield, the desire for fame was not the reason these young men had come to the Philippines. They had a duty to perform and they knew that others needed them to succeed. Frank T. Gines explained this duty in a song he wrote called “Battle Song of Utah.”
Clear the guns for action boys, we are brave and strong and true,
Rouse and do the noble deeds you came so far to do.
Strike a blow of vengeance for our murdered boys in blue,
While we are fighting at Manila
Hurrah! Hurrah! for Utah and her crew,
Hurrah! hurrah! for Pennsiylvania [sic] too.
We’ll give them what we said we would, when first we donned the blue
While we are fighting at Manila.
Yet despite their desire to simply do their duty, others noticed their gallantry. Shortly before the two batteries returned to Utah, the Deseret Evening News interviewed Captain Frank Jennings, who had recently returned from duty in the Philippines. When asked about Utah’s volunteers, he became quite enthusiastic and praised the work they had done. He explained that these soldiers had won a great deal of respect from their fellow soldiers in the Pacific. “In all the time he was on the island, he never heard the mention of our batteries, but what a response came breathing out the highest praise and love. Civilians and soldiers, officers and privates, regulars and volunteers, vie with each other in lauding Utah’s valorous sons; they look upon them as a band of dauntless heroes, whose only watchword is duty, and in whom the element of fear has been expunged.” Jennings then explained that the state of Utah could not honor these men too much because they had given the state a remarkable reputation.
Other praise came from those a little closer to home. Reed Smoot, U.S. Senator and member of the Quorum of the Twelve, gave a glowing review of the soldiers on the Senate floor in Washington DC. The hardest-won compliments came from the editor of the Salt Lake Tribune, Judge C. C. Goodwin. Even with his anti-Mormon bias, Goodwin had nothing but admiration for the Utah batteries, despite the number of Latter-day Saints in their ranks. In addition to local praise, the heroic acts of these batteries were found in the pages of the National Tribune, Harper’s Weekly, and other national newspapers. Of particular note, the New York World made this statement about the state of Utah: “Our latest state has borne its share in adding to the glory of the nation. In the battle of Malate the Utah light artillery, whose guns were dragged through deep mud to send shrapnel into the Spaniards’ ranks, showed itself deserving of all honor. Utah has had its troubles in the past, but when she sends such a contribution to the nation we wipe out the memory of all troubles.” Even the national press recognized that Utah, and therefore the Latter-day Saints, could make a major contribution to the welfare of the nation.
The reputation earned by Latter-day Saint artillery batteries began to change the way that the nation viewed the Church. The soldiers in the Philippines had an opportunity to learn about the Latter-day Saints, which, as Captain Jennings reported above, was a favorable experience. It also served to put the nickname of the Church, the Mormons, in print, and usually in positive circumstances. This positive press exposure helped change many Americans’ attitudes toward the Church.
The Mutual Improvement Association of the Far East
Leaving the boundaries of Utah did not mean leaving the Church behind. While serving their country, these men did not forget their religion but looked for ways to maintain their beliefs while abroad. They even attempted to operate key programs like those at home in order to ease their separation from friends and loved ones.
Shortly after they finished their training in their home state, the Utah batteries went to California in preparation to depart to the Philippines. While camped in Presidio, they were visited by Ephraim H. Nye, president of the California Mission. While visiting with the Latter-day Saint soldiers, he encouraged them to start up a group to help them live their religion. Obviously President Nye was not the only one who desired to see an organization put together for the spiritual growth of the Latter-day Saint soldiers. Before the units even reached Hawaii, Major Young called George A. Seaman into his quarters on the transport ship. The officer had a letter in his hand from Brigham Young Jr. instructing him to have some sort of organization put together for religious purposes. Major Young called Seaman to organize that group. While Seaman felt overwhelmed, he told Young that he would do it. Before they reached the Philippines, thirty-seven men had agreed to the idea.
After the Battle of Manila and before the Filipino insurrection, the Latter-day Saint soldiers lived in the barracks, allowing George Seaman to finally organize a group to facilitate the soldiers’ spiritual growth. On September 21, 1898, Seaman and a few others met together and created what was referred to as the “Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association of the ‘Far East.’” This group met together almost every week until the Filipino insurrection broke out in the early months of 1899.
While in the islands, the members of the MIA attempted to follow many of the programs used by the MIA in the United States. The main focus was on the study of the scriptures, particularly the Acts of the Apostles. The MIA committee assigned passages to be read and then discussed them the following week, either as a group or as a lesson taught by one of the association members. In addition, they found several men to give speeches on various topics. The topics ranged from the history of the Philippines and Spain to aspects of Christianity and Islam. In keeping with the practices of their associations at home, membership was open to members and nonmembers alike. Many commended this open-door policy and joined the organization.
The MIA had another class that served as a motivation to join the association. Corporal George S. Backman, a student of the Spanish language, offered to teach a class on that subject. The only stipulation for attendance was that students be members of the MIA. This class was also successful enough that it lasted the several months prior to the insurrection.
The MIA eased the lives of the men in Manila. Private Charles R. Mabey related that “after the singularities of his new surroundings had ceased to be uncommon he began to look about himself in search of other amusement.” For a bored soldier, the Philippines offered many ways to get in trouble, from cock fights to local women to alcohol. These behaviors worried general Church leaders and motivated them to have a spiritual group organized. While the meetings occurred only once a week, they had a long-lasting effect on some of the men in the batteries. In his journal, Mabey confided that his experiences in the association—both in listening and preparing presentations—helped increase his understanding of the scriptures. He also spoke of the personal growth he felt from attending the MIA.
The Church did not send out these men without ecclesiastical direction. Interviews with Willard Call and George A. Seaman relate that both of these men were set apart as missionaries to the Philippines on May 5, 1898. Seaman was set apart by Elder Owen Woodruff. This explains why Young would single out Seaman to set up a Church organization among his men. Willard Call was set apart by Elder John Henry Smith of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. In his diary, Call declared, “I claim the distinction of being the first Mormon Elder to preach the Gospel among those Roman Catholic people in the Philippine Islands. I preached in Cortel de Mesic about August 30th 1898.” Through the work of these two men, both with the MIA and missionary work, the restored gospel was first taught in the Philippines.
The Philippine Supreme Court
Near the end of 1898, newly promoted Major Young received a new assignment from the U.S. government. A new government was needed once the Philippines had been defeated, and the army was not prepared to provide one. Instead, General Elwell S. Otis searched the ranks of the military for men who could fill the needed positions. He chose Young, a Columbia-trained lawyer, to help with many of the legal matters. Young had even spent a period of time before the insurrection as the judge of the Superior Provost Court.
After the end of the war, the government of the United States asked for Young’s service again. This time they appointed him to the supreme court of the Philippine Islands. His particular position on the bench was president of the Criminal Division, where he authored General Order 58. This order gave defendants in Filipino courts the “basic rights and procedures of an Anglo-Saxon Criminal Law.” This replaced the inquisitorial practices of the Spanish government with a system that respected the rights of the accused. Within a few years, every lawyer in the islands was familiar with this document, and many applied it in behalf of their clients. In a unique manner, Major Young was able to help obtain freedoms for the people of the Philippines.
Justice Young’s work in the Philippines produced another unexpected benefit for the Church. General Otis was replaced as governor-general by a man with aspirations to the U.S. Supreme Court, William Howard Taft. Despite differences in political affiliations, Young was able to win the respect and trust of Governor Taft. President Heber J. Grant later remarked that “William H. Taft . . . ever afterwards was a friend not only of Richard W. Young, but of the Mormon people.” Such close ties helped the Church years later when Taft was elected president of the United States.
Much has been said about the accomplishments of Latter-day Saint men during this conflict, but it is also important to look at the work of compassionate women during this time. The men would not have lasted long without the encouragement of their loved ones. As previously mentioned, it was the support of his wife that allowed Willard Call to enlist and then serve as a soldier and a missionary in the Philippines. This support continued in the Philippines as the men received letters from home. Charles R. Mabey recalled the “magic of that one word ‘Mail!’” These acts of service bolstered the men and allowed them to do their duty.
However, this was only the beginning of the service provided by Latter-day Saint women during the war. From the time the men began to assemble at Fort Douglas in Salt Lake City, the women of that city found ways to make the soldiers’ lives bearable. They provided fruits and vegetables to the men and then raised money, which they sent to the soldiers’ families to ease any hardships. This led to the organization of the Salt Lake chapter of the Red Cross. These hardworking women continued to look after the physical needs of the men. They made over “376 bandages and 71 comfort bags, containing buttons, white and black thread, pins, safety pins, needles, fine comb, knife, fork, spoon, etc.”
The women of other cities were not to be outdone and so other chapters of the Red Cross were also organized. From around Utah, Latter-day Saint women continued to donate money and goods. Then when the circumstances allowed it, they put on lunches for the men to give them a break from army food. Their work did not cease once the men had left the boundaries of the state but continued throughout the war. Additionally, when the men returned from the Philippines, they were treated to two separate receptions. After de-training in Ogden, the Red Cross put on a grand breakfast in Lester Park. For two hours, the men ate and rejoiced at being home. Then another homecoming party was organized at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City. The women of the Red Cross had supported their men in uniform from their first moments until their final return. They played a major part in helping the men to perform their duties.
Leadership from the Spanish-American War
The Spanish-American War did not only affect the Church during the years of actual conflict. It continued to touch the lives of Latter-day Saints after the soldiers returned home and took up positions of leadership both in the Church and in the community. These men had their lives and points of view changed during their time in the service, and they would use that perspective in future decisions. In addition to high-ranking military officers, ecclesiastical leaders and a future state governor would derive from the ranks of Latter-day Saint soldiers.
Stake Presidents. Two Spanish-American War officers were later called to serve as stake presidents. After his service as the Church’s first chaplain, Elias S. Kimball was called to serve as the first president of the Blackfoot Idaho Stake in January 1904. A few months later, on April 1, Richard W. Young was set apart as the first president of the Ensign Stake in Salt Lake City. At his funeral, his counselor John M. Knight described the leadership style of President Young: “He has been a friend to the friendless; he has been all that he could be to those who were in distress. I have seen him put his arms around a little waif in the street, whose feet were bare in the winter time, and take him to the great store, Z. C. M. I., and buy him shoes and clothing in order that he might be warm. I have gone with him to the home of a widowed mother, whose children had become wards of the juvenile court, and he put his arms around them and was endeavoring to make them live the lives of Latter-day Saints.” After the time these men spent in the service of their countries, the Lord saw fit to trust them with more of His kingdom.
Utah’s fifth governor. Along with their ecclesiastical service, Latter-day Saint veterans of the Spanish-American War worked as public officials. Two decades after returning home from the Philippines—and after service as a major in World War I—Charles R. Mabey ran for the Utah governor’s office. He had previously spent time as the mayor of Bountiful, Utah, and then later in the state legislature. The economic climate of the state and the nation helped to make Mabey the fifth governor of Utah. Latter-day Saint statesman Charles R. Mabey continued to make an impact in the lives of Church members after he returned home from the war.
When war broke out in Cuba in 1898, the Church was in the capable hands of inspired leaders. While these leaders held their own opinions, President Wilford Woodruff prophetically explained the path that Latter-day Saints would need to take during the United States’ involvement in this war. While he understood that many of the Saints were anxious for the coming of Christ, he also understood that the time was not yet near. His understanding is illustrated by his experience with several nervous members of the Church who had asked him when the Savior would return. President Woodruff reportedly answered, “I would live as if it were to be tomorrow—but I am still planting cherry trees!” While the time would come that the Latter-day Saints and every other lover of peace would need to flee to Zion, that time had not yet arrived. Church policy, when it came to the Spanish-American War, would reflect the need for patriotism and the supporting of one’s own country.
The Church’s stance on the war was reflected in the instructions given to Church leaders, both at the general and local levels. General Authorities were instructed on the Church’s position and were expected to support it. Local leaders were to encourage Saints to enlist. The Church even called the first Latter-day Saint chaplain, Elias S. Kimball, which spread the spiritual influence of the Church to the U.S. military. Kimball would serve as an example to subsequent chaplains, who would seek to bring the gospel of peace into the terrors of war.
The number of Utahns who enlisted in the armed forces exceeded the requirements made by the United States government. Members of the Church demonstrated their willingness to serve their country by enlisting in military service. Later, when Utah’s artillery battalions fought in the Philippines, they performed in such a way that improved the reputation of the Latter-day Saints nationwide. Off the battlefield, soldier-missionaries continued to spread the gospel through preaching and by the introduction of the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association. Through their behavior, the Saints improved their standing in the eyes of many.
The influence of the war did not stop with the welcome-home parade in Salt Lake City. Throughout the conflict, leaders had been trained to assume positions of responsibility. The examples can be seen in soldiers’ ecclesiastical and public service. The work of Major Richard W. Young and others had an international effect. Experiences during the Spanish-American War continued to impact the lives of Latter-day Saints for decades.
Soon after the battle-scarred veterans returned to Utah the Improvement Era ran a brief article on the experiences of these men. Written by President Joseph F. Smith, this editorial shows a belief that God had protected the soldiers. “What has been termed good luck, but what rather must be recognized as the blessing of God, has accompanied the Utah boys in their travels, in their battles, in their return. Free from storms of nature, and troubles among men, their transports crossed the seas in peace. Notwithstanding they were constantly at the front, their number in killed and wounded is phenomenally small. Out of the three hundred and fifty-four enlisted, only thirteen have died. Thus the Almighty has marvelously preserved them from both the fire of the enemy and the ravages of disease.” In addition to these miraculous events, Latter-day Saint soldiers performed miracles on the battlefield that helped boost the reputation of the Church. The Church demonstrated in a remarkable way that service in the military during wartime was in the veins of its people. To all fair observers, it was clear that Latter-day Saints could be counted on to stand by their nation. Since then, the Church has never looked back.
No Disloyalty Here
“The Latter-day Saints, leaders and people, have ever believed that a time would come when it would be their proud honor to defend and maintain the Constitution of the United States. They have been taught and universally believe that high Heaven inspired the fathers of the Republic. They have had the most exalted conceptions of the destiny of the Nation and of the profound and mighty part reserved to it among all the powers of the world. They are therefore absolutely loyal; their patriotism is not on a matter of practice and instinct—it is an essential feature of their religion, a part of their very life.
“Where they will stand in any emergency where patriotism is called for in maintaining the Nation’s honor, can be no subject of doubt. This is their country—they are a portion of it, and in its defense none will be more ready to die if need be. Of the government they are a part, and as they love its institutions so will they sustain those institutions against every foe. An insult to that government is an insult to every true American, and in these mountain tops there is no lack of sturdy, God-fearing men ready to do their full and valiant duty in any such crisis whenever the call shall come. Not lovers of war, nor given to blood-thirstiness, they are nevertheless firmly and steadfastly with and for Our Country in every just cause—and he but poorly knows their heart and spirit who utters a word or harbors a thought that they are lacking in any element of the purest, staunchest and most enduring loyalty.” (Deseret Evening News, April 25, 1898, 4)
LDS Press Release: Utahns in Spanish American War Invent “Artillery Charge”
“The scene is the jungle depths of the Philippine island of Luzon; the time is February 6, 1899; a war is under way—Americans against the Filipino insurgents. Commanding the American forces is General [Arthur] MacArthur, father of the present general. An artillery duel is being waged, and, in another strange parallel to present events, American guns are hitting their mark with uncanny accuracy, pounding enemy breastworks, silencing enemy batteries.
“Feeding shells to the battery of light artillery are the veterans of Battery A of the Utah Volunteers, commanded by Major Richard W. Young of Salt Lake City. According to the files of the Utah Writers’ Project, gun crews were directed by Lieutenants George W. Gibbs and W. C. Webb, both of Salt Lake City.
“By 1:30 p.m. insurgent fire has almost ceased. American infantry receive orders for an advance on enemy positions. Lieutenant Webb swung to his men. ‘Come one,’ he said, ‘let’s go.’ [‘]Hay! Lieutenant Gibbs! Let’s go with the charge.’
‘And leave the guns?’ Gibbs called back.
‘Hell no, we’ll take ‘em with us! Come on men! Get on the wheels. Let’s roll down this hill!’
“An[d] then was enacted one of the most remarkable scenes ever witnessed on a battlefield; it was the first artillery charge in history, and likely the last, but it won the day! The Utah batteries wheeled their cannon along with the front line “stopping,” as Lieutenant Webb recorded, “now and then to fire on the natives to stat them running.” Horrified natives broke cover under the spray of close range artillery shrapnel, and the American infantry picked them off with rifle fire. The enemy breastworks were taken without the loss of a man from the batteries.
“According to all military rules and traditions, the place for the artillery was “in the rear.” It had probably never occurred in to any military man to lead a charge with a battery of light cannon. But Lieutenant Webb and the Utah boys thought it was the most natural thing in the world. Webb said later, “We just went along with the firing line.” Just like that, no heroics, no color; he merely thought it was part of the day’s work. This is the sort of thing which has been lauded as the heroic “initiative” of the American Soldier.” (Utah Writers’ Project, Press Release, January 23, 1942)
A General to His Men
Wars, by their very nature, cost a great deal of lives, both small and great. At the funeral of General Richard W. Young, Elder Melvin J. Ballard explained why some of the great Latter-day Saint soldiers are taken from this earth:
“He [Young] has been called to a greater field of usefulness and activity than that in which he could have engaged here, and it was burned into my soul that he died a great general and that assembled under the care of our Father and those with whom he is associated in the other world, were countless thousands, yea, hundreds of thousands of those brave soldiers who fell in this last great struggle. God wanted a great general among them; not only a lawyer and a soldier but a man like him, bearing the power and the authority of the holy priesthood, to preside over and minister among them, where he would be honored, where he would be recognized.” (Brigadier General Richard W. Young In Memoriam: Biographical Sketch, Funeral Ceremonies, Resolutions of Respect [Salt Lake City: n.p., 1920], 15).
Praise to the Valor of LDS Soldiers
“The necessities of the war made them ubiquitous; they were everywhere, on river, on land; and when a stronghold was to be stormed, their guns first cleared the way, until, in an army where all were heroes, the men of Utah made for themselves a conspicuous name. They earned it, for they never retreated, never lost a battle or a flag, never started for the foe that they did not scatter it as the wind scatters the chaff from the threshing floor. When their terms of enlistment expired they fought on, week after week, until their places could be supplied. The record of the volunteers is nowhere dimmed. They went away boys; they returned men. They made for themselves great names, and by their deeds exalted the name of their state. They have won for themselves an appreciative people’s gratitude, a nation’s praise” (Judge C. C. Goodwin, Salt Lake Tribune editor, as quoted in B. H. Roberts, Comprehensive History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1957], 6:458).
Almost an Apostle
“Heber J. Grant was ordained and set apart as the seventh President of the Church on November 23, 1918. As he and his counselors, Anthon H. Lund and Charles W. Penrose, considered filling the vacancy in the Twelve caused by President Grant’s ordination, they focused on Richard W. Young, grandson of Brigham Young and Heber’s lifelong friend. A retired general of the army, a lawyer, and a former stake president, he had every qualification to serve in the Twelve. Deciding he was the man, President Grant wrote Richard W. Young’s name on a slip of paper before going to the temple meeting where filling the vacancy was to be discussed. In the temple, he removed the paper with the name written on it, fully intending to present Richard W. Young to the council for approval. But for a reason he could never fully explain, he was unable to do so; instead, he presented the name of Melvin J. Ballard, president of the Northwestern States Mission, a man with whom he had had very little personal contact. This experience had a profound influence on President Grant. It taught him to heed the sudden flashes of insight that came to him in making decisions affecting the Church” (Francis M. Gibbons, Dynamic Disciples, Prophets of God: Life Stories of the Presidents of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1996], 169–70).
. See Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, April 5, 1898, 2, Church Archives, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City.
. See George J. A. O’Toole, The Spanish American War: An American Epic (New York: W. W. Norton, 1984), 12.
. Not every soldier in the Utah units was a Latter-day Saint; however, members of the Church made up the majority of their numbers.
. “Repeated efforts to obtain statehood had been made by Utahns since the conclusion of the Mexican War. Six proposed state constitutions (1849, 1856, 1862, 1872, 1882, 1887) had been submitted to Congress with petitions for statehood, only to be rejected or tabled indefinitely” (D. Michael Quinn, “The Mormon Church and the Spanish American War: An End to Selective Pacifism,” in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 17, no. 4 [Winter 1984], 21).
. George Q. Cannon, in Conference Report, April 6, 1898, 9.
. Brigham Young Jr., in Conference Report, April 7, 1898, 27.
. See Brigham H. Roberts, in Conference Report, April 7, 1898, 27–28.
. Francis M. Lyman, in Conference Report, April 8, 1898, 58.
. See Joseph Smith Jr. as quoted in Wilford Woodruff, in Conference Report, April 7, 1898, 57. Like other Latter-day Saints, President Woodruff did think the Second Coming was at hand. In that same talk, he said, “I will say here that I shall not live to see it, you may not live to see it; but these thousands of Latter-day Saint children that belong to the Sabbath schools, I believe many of them will stand in the flesh when the Lord Jesus Christ visits the Zion of God here in the mountains of Israel.”
. Franklin D. Richards, in Conference Report, April 9, 1898, 82.
. See George Q. Cannon, in Conference Report, April 9, 1898, 83–87.
. Wilford Woodruff, in Conference Report, April 9, 1898, 89.
. Woodruff, in Conference Report, April 9, 1898, 89.
. Woodruff, in Conference Report, April 9, 1898, 89.
. Woodruff, in Conference Report, April 9, 1898, 90.
. Official Declaration 1, Excerpts from Three Addresses by President Wilford Woodruff Regarding the Manifesto.
. See O’Toole, Spanish American War, 11–13; and Scott Kennedy, ed., Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 1833–1898 (Midvale, UT: Signature Books, 1983–84), 9:546.
. Young’s feelings about yellow fever came from personal experience. As a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, his duty was to travel the globe preaching the gospel and shoring up the strength of the Saints. In 1882 he traveled to Mexico to visit the Yacqui Indians. While there he fell sick with yellow fever and almost died. Fortunately, he was healed by the power of God (see Andrew Jenson, Latter-Day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia [Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1901], 1:121–26). Having experienced the awful effects of this illness, Young was not anxious to have his fellow Saints experience the same thing.
. See Journal History, April 24, 1898, 2. “A truism well recognized by medical men is that the soldier has much more to fear from the ravages of disease than the fire of the enemy. . . . In the Spanish-American War there was only one death from battle to 12.5 deaths from disease” (J. E. Greaves, “Some Fundamentals of Health Conservation,” Improvement Era, 1918, October 1918, 1051).
. Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 9:546.
. Quinn, “Mormon Church and the Spanish American War,” 28.
. See “The Mutual Improvement Association of the Far East” section of this chapter.
. See James R. Clark, ed., Messages of the First Presidency (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966), 3:298–99.
. See Lowell E. Call, “Latter-day Saint Servicemen in the Philippine Islands: A Historical Study of Their Religious Activities and Influences Resulting in the Official Organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Philippines” (master’s thesis, Brigham Young University, 1955), 86.
. Call, “Latter-day Saint Servicemen in the Philippine Islands,” 81.
. Richard W. Young, “Mormons at Manila,” in Harper’s Weekly, March 25, 1899, 297.
. See Prestiss, History of the Utah Volunteers, 29–30.
. Nephi Jensen, “The Extremity,” Improvement Era, April 1919, 525.
. Journal of Elias Smith Kimball, June 14, 1898, 3–4, Church Archives, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, UT.
. Journal of Elias Smith Kimball, June 14, 1898; 192, 1–2.
. Journal of Elias Smith Kimball, July 18, 1898, 60–61.
. Journal of Elias Smith Kimball, July 26, 1898, 80–81.
. See Journal of Elias Smith Kimball, July 24, 1898, 74–77.
. Journal of Elias Smith Kimball, August 4, 1898, 103.
. H. H. Caldwell, as quoted in O’Toole, Spanish American War, 174.
. See O’Toole, Spanish American War, 192–93.
. See Journal History, August 6, 1899, 6–7.
. Brigadier General Richard W. Young in Memoriam: Biographical Sketch, Funeral Ceremonies, Resolutions of Respect (Salt Lake City: n.p., 1920), 13.
. Journal History, August 6, 1899, 6–7.
. See Charles R. Mabey, The Utah Batteries: A History (Salt Lake City: Daily Reporter, 1900), 16.
. “It was Utah’s distinction to have been the only state that had men in those trenches every night during the siege, owing to the fact that Utah furnished the only available artillery in the corps” (Richard W. Young, “Last Hours of Dr. Harry A. Young,” Improvement Era, July 1899, 643).
. J. D. Mitchell, Song Book for Soldiers (n.p., 1898), PAM 14675, Utah State Historical Society Library, Salt Lake City, song 5.
. Journal History, August 5, 1899.
. See B. H. Roberts, A Comprehensive History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1930), 6:458.
. Scrapbooks full of newspaper clippings about the Spanish-American War can be found in the Richard W. Young Papers, MS 104, Box 8, Book 5, Special Collections, University of Utah, Salt Lake City.
. B. H. Roberts, “Progress of the War between Spain and the United States of America,” Improvement Era, December 1898, 131.
. George Seaman, “The ‘Far East’ Improvement Association,” Improvement Era, December 1898, 152.
. See Seaman, “The ‘Far East’ Improvement Association,” 154; and Call, “Latter-day Saint Servicemen in the Philippine Islands,” 92–97.
. Mabey, The Utah Batteries, 30. Mabey does speak of other activities that helped the soldiers past the time. For example, the organizations within the Eighth Army Corps each had their own baseball team. Utah played many of the other states, but in the end “Utah carried the trophy away to America.”
. Call, “Latter-day Saint Serviceman in the Philippine Islands,” 85. However, R. Lanier Britsch reports that both of these men were set apart by Elder John Henry Smith (From the East: The History of the Latter-day Saints in Asia, 1851–1996 [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1998], 318–19).
. Call, “Latter-day Saint Servicemen in the Philippine Islands,” 98.
. Appropriately enough, these two men had been set apart by Apostles, whose prerogative it is “to build up the church, and regulate all the affairs of the same in all nations“ (D&C 107:33).
. Louis Paul Murray, “The Life of Brigadier General W. Young” (master’s thesis, University of Utah, 1959), 108.
. Murray, “The Life of Brigadier General W. Young,” 114–18.
. Heber J. Grant, Gospel Standards: Selections from the Sermons and Writings of Heber J. Grant, comp. G. Homer Durham (Salt Lake City: Improvement Era, 1981), 272. President Grant also shared the following: “I rejoice in having had ex-President Taft say to me when I met him upon a trip to Washington: ‘Mr. Grant, you did not call on me the last time you were here. Now I want it understood that you are never to come to Washington without coming to see me. There is in my heart a warm feeling for your people. I have great respect for them, and I want you to call on me whenever you are here’” (Gospel Standards, 90).
. Mabey, The Utah Batteries, 32.
. Prestiss, History of the Utah Volunteers, 128.
. Prestiss, History of the Utah Volunteers, 131.
. See Mabey, The Utah Batteries, 99–100.
. See “Events of the Month,” Improvement Era, January 1904, 395.
. See Andrew Jenson, Church Chronology: A Record of Important Events Pertaining to the History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1914), 19.
. R. W. Young in Memoriam, 14.
. Richard L. Evans, in Conference Report, April 1950, 105.
. Prestiss, History of the Utah Volunteers, 30–31.
. Joseph F. Smith, “Editor’s Table,” Improvement Era, September 1899, 87.