At Sword's Point: A Documentary History of the Utah War to 1858

At Sword's Point: A Documentary History of the Utah War to 1858

by William P. MacKinnon

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At Sword's Point: A Documentary History of the Utah War to 1858 by William P. MacKinnon

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.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780870623530
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
Publication date: 04/28/2008
Series: Kingdom In The West
Pages: 544
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author


William P. MacKinnon is an independent historian who lives in Santa Barbara, California. A widely recognized authority on Utah’s violent territorial period and the U.S. Army’s western campaigns, he is the author of numerous journal articles and the author-editor of At Sword’s Point, Part 1: A Documentary History of the Utah War to 1858.

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