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Johnson's Army
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Q. Do you know who the President of the USA was when Johnsons army was sent to destroy the temple. I seem to think it was Andrew Johnson, hence Johnsons army, however no body seems so know if this is correct or the year Johnsons army came [to Salt Lake City].

A. In July of 1857, U.S. President James Buchanan sent an army of 2.500 men to Salt Lake City to "restore order and forcibly install a new governor to replace Brigham Young."[1] Apparently, President Buchanan had received biased reports regarding the early Saints from federal officials who had deserted their posts. However, the army was delayed and chose to winter at Fort Bridger, Wyoming, waiting until spring to resume their journey.

In March 1858, upon hearing of the army's threat, Brigham Young ordered the 30,000 Saints residing in the Salt Lake Valley to move South. He also ordered that the foundation of the Salt Lake Temple be completely covered with dirt and then tilled to resemble a freshly plowed field.

When the armies arrived and saw that the Saints were prepared to burn the city to the ground rather than relinquish it to the government, they left the area satisfied that the reports they had received regarding the Saints' disorderly conduct were false. Two months later, the Saints returned to their homes.

Fearing that the troops would return, Brigham Young did not order the uncovering of the temple foundation until the spring of 1860. This took two years to accomplish. When the task was completed it was discovered that there were cracks in the foundation Brigham Young ordered the entire foundation be dug up and replaced with a new, stronger foundation. It then took the Saints' another two years to remove the original foundation stones. It wasn't until 1867 that the temple walls finally rose above the ground for the first time.

I believe the army was called Johnson's army after Albert Sidney Johnson.

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