Nauvoo Legion Senior Officers, December 1841–April 1842

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 state militia elected the general officers of the legion. A document titled “Officers of the Nauvoo Legion,” drafted by sometime in 1841, indicates that additional positions were created and staffed in the ten months following the formation of the legion. A 12 March 1842 court-martial made further changes to the staffs of the various generals and added a fourth regiment to the legion.
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 terminated by resignation, death, or cashiering out of the Nauvoo Legion.
The following chart identifies the lieutenant general, major general, and brigadier generals of the Nauvoo Legion, and their staffs, on 12 March 1842; it does not note the colonels, majors, and captains who commanded the legion’s regiments, battalions, and companies. The order in which the ranks are presented reflects the order in which they appeared in the minutes of the 12 March 1842 court-martial.
12 March 1842
Lieutenant General Joseph Smith
Lieutenant General's Staff
Inspector General (Major General):
Drill Officer (Colonel):
Judge Advocate (Colonel):
Four Aides-de-Camp (Colonels):
Guard of Twelve Aides-de-Camp (Captains):
Herald and Armor Bearer (Captain):
Adjutant General (Colonel)
Major General
Major General's Staff
Surgeon General (Colonel):
Cornet (Colonel):
Quartermaster General (Colonel):
Commissary General (Colonel):
Paymaster General (Colonel):
Chaplain (Colonel):
Two Assistant Inspectors General (Colonels): John Bills
Four Aides-de-Camp (Colonels): Carlos Gove
George Schindle
War Secretary (Colonel):
Quartermaster Sergeant (Major):
Sergeant Major (Major):
Sergeant Major (Major):
Chief Musician (Major):
Four Musicians (Captains):
[filled 19 Mar. 1842]
William Pitt [filled 2 Apr. 1842]
Herald and Armor Bearer (Captain): Samuel Hicks
First Cohort Second Cohort
Brigadier General
Brigadier General's Staff
Two Aides-de-Camp (Lieutenant Colonels)
Assistant Quartermaster General (Lieutenant Colonel):
Assistant Commissary General (Lieutenant Colonel): Robert Ivins
Surgeon (Lieutenant Colonel):
Six Assistant Chaplains (Majors)
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

    Minutes, 12 Mar. 1842.  

  6. 6

    Minutes, 12 Mar. 1842.