The Mormon Battalion Enters Tucson, 16 December 1846
Near this site on December 16 - 17, 1846, the U.S. 101st Infantry ("Mormon") Battalion under the command of Colonel Philip St. George Cooke peacefully occupied the Presidio San Agustin del Tucson.
Organized in Council Bluffs, Iowa, to reinforce General Stephen Watts Kearny's Army of the West during the Mexican - American War, the battalion marched 2,000 miles to San Diego, probably the longest march in the U.S. military history.
By the time the battalion reached Tucson, it was reduced in numbers and sorely in need of provisions. Despite the fact that this was Mexican territory, the opposing military forces avoided hostilities, agreeing instead to a peaceful barter.
Buttons, clothing, and other items were traded for Mexican grain and salt. The United States Flag, the first to fly over Tucson, was posted briefly on December 16, 1846.
The following day, the battalion continued its march northward toward the Gila River.
The figures depicted on this monument represent the "Mormon" Battalion and residents of Tucson. They personify the uncommon dedication, courage, and desire for peace that was demonstrated here. In addition, they symbolize the harmonious blend of cultures in what is now the City of Tucson.
Dedicated December 14, 1996 on the sesquicentennial of the event. This memorial sculpture is a gift to the people of Tucson from Tucson Mormon Battalion Monument Foundation
through the support of many individuals dedicated to preserving and honoring Arizona's historical heritage.