Nauvoo Legion Senior Officers, September 1842–February 1843

The charter for the city of , Illinois, enacted in December 1840 to take effect in February 1841, allowed for the formation of a unit of the state militia in Nauvoo. On 3 February 1841, the city council passed an ordinance officially organizing the . On the following day, JS and other commissioned officers of the Illinois state militia elected the general officers of the legion. Additional positions were created and staffed in the ten months following the legion’s formation.
The Nauvoo Legion comprised two brigades, or “cohorts,” each headed by a brigadier general. The first cohort consisted of cavalry and the second of infantry and artillery troops. Enlisted men served in one of these two brigades, which were subdivided into regiments (commanded by a colonel), then battalions (commanded by a lieutenant colonel or a major), and then companies (commanded by a captain). Officers retained their rank unless they were terminated by resignation, death, or cashiering out of the Nauvoo Legion.
Extant records suggest that only two changes in the organization of the Nauvoo Legion occurred between 1 September 1842 and 28 February 1843. On 1 September 1842, both and resigned their commissions as aides-de-camp for . Records do not indicate if or by whom they were replaced.
The following chart identifies the staffs of the lieutenant general, major general, and brigadier generals of the Nauvoo Legion during the period covered by this volume; it does not note the colonels, majors, and captains who commanded the legion’s regiments, battalions, and companies. In cases where offices went unfilled or for which there is no extant record of who filled the position for the dates shown, the offices are marked “vacant.”
1 September 1842–28 February 1843
Lieutenant General Joseph Smith
Lieutenant General’s Staff
Inspector General (Major General)
Assistant Inspector General (Colonel) George Schindle
Drill Officer (Colonel)
Judge Advocate (Colonel)
Aides-de-Camp (Colonels)
Chief Chaplain (Colonel) [vacant]
Guards of Aides-de-Camp (Captains)
Herald and Armor Bearer (Captain)
Major General
Major General’s Staff
Adjutant General (Colonel)
Assistant Adjutant General, First Cohort (Colonel)
Assistant Adjutant General, Second Cohort (Colonel)
Surgeons General (Colonels)
George Cooke
Assistant Surgeon General (Colonel) Abel Underhill
Cornet (Colonel)
Quartermaster General (Colonel)
Commissary General (Colonel)
Paymaster General (Colonel)
Chaplain (Colonel)
Assistant Chaplain (Colonel)
Assistant Inspector General, First Cohort (Colonel)
Assistant Inspector General, Second Cohort (Colonel) John Bills
Aides-de-Camp (Colonels) Carlos Gove
George Schindle
Amos Dean
J. M. Binelo
War Secretary (Colonel)
Quartermaster Sergeant (Major)
Sergeant Major (Major)
Chief Musician (Major)
Musicians (Captains)
William Pitt
Herald and Armor Bearer (Captain) Samuel Hicks
First Cohort Second Cohort
Brigadier General [vacant]
Brigadier General’s Staff
Aides-de-Camp (Lieutenant Colonels) [vacant]
Adjutant (Lieutenant General) George W. Thatcher
Sergeant Major (Lieutenant General)
Quartermaster Sergeant (Colonel) [vacant]
Assistant Quartermaster General (Lieutenant Colonel)
Assistant Commissary General (Lieutenant Colonel) Robert Ivins
Surgeon (Lieutenant Colonel)
Assistant Chaplains (Majors)
Brigade Inspector (Major) John Bills
Herald and Armor Bearer (Captain) William Whitmarsh
  1. 1

    Act to Incorporate the City of Nauvoo, 16 Dec. 1840.  

  2. 2

    Minutes, 3 Feb. 1841.  

  3. 3

    Minutes, 4 Feb. 1841.  

  4. 4

    “Officers of the Nauvoo Legion,” 1841, Nauvoo Legion Records, CHL.  

    Nauvoo Legion Records, 1841–1845. CHL. MS 3430.

  5. 5

    Resignation of Alexander McRae, 1 Sept. 1842; Resignation of Amasa Lyman, 1 Sept. 1842, Nauvoo Legion Records, CHL.  

    Nauvoo Legion Records, 1841–1845. CHL. MS 3430.