In late February 1842 JS, , , and —generals of the —issued orders for their respective staffs and all soldiers in the Nauvoo Legion to assemble at ten o’clock in the morning on Friday, 11 March, for parade and review. Although technically an “independent military” body, the legion was ultimately responsible to the governor of , and its members were required to “perform the same amount of military duty” as regular Illinois militia units. For most soldiers, this mandatory duty consisted primarily of periodically mustering for reviews, parades, and training exercises throughout each year. While Illinois statute dictated the parade’s appointed ten o’clock assembly time, it did not require the militia to hold a company parade on the second Friday in March. Parades were traditionally scheduled for the first Saturdays in April, June, August, and October of each year. However, the law allowed unit commanders to schedule additional activities as needed. Under the four orders featured here, the entire legion was required to assemble. It is unclear when JS and the other legion generals determined they would hold a parade on 11 March 1842, as the minutes of all Nauvoo Legion court-martial proceedings between 9 March 1841 and 12 March 1842 were lost by the end of 1843.
The orders were published in the 1 March 1842 issue of the ’s newspaper, Times and Seasons, and no handwritten manuscript is extant. While all four generals stipulated that their staffs were to assemble at their respective residences, according to JS’s journal entry of 11 March 1842, the legion met at “their usual place of parade. below the .” This was likely the “usual place” to which the notices for the legion’s two cohorts refer.
The officers of my staff are required to assemble at my residence, on Friday, the 11th day of March, 1842, at 10 o’clock A. M. armed and equipped according to law.
’s Office, Nauvoo Legion,
City of , Feb. 25, A. D. 1842.
My staff, accompanied by the band, is required to rendezvous, at my quarters, on Friday, the 11th day of March, proximo, at 10 o’clock, A. M., armed and equipped as the law directs.
Frst Cohort, Nauvoo Legion,
Feb. 27, A. D. 1842.
All the battalions of the 1st Cohort, residing within the Precinct, are required to assemble for battalion parade, at the usual place of rendezvous, on Friday, the 11th day of March, at 10 o’clock A. M.—all officers, and troops will take notice and govern themselves accordingly. My staff will appear at my residence at the same hour.
Brigadier General, & Brev. Maj. Gen.
Second Cohort, Nauvoo Legion,
Feb. 27, A. D. 1842.
The officers and privates, of the 2d Cohort, are required to rendezvous, for battalion parade, at the usual place in this , on Friday, the 11th day of March, at 10 o’clock, A. M.—all persons concerned, therefore, will take notice, and govern themselves accordingly. My staff will congregate at my residence, at the same hour.
A 3 February 1841 city council ordinance organized the legion and specified that the lieutenant general’s staff consist of “two principal Aids-de-Camp, with the Rank of Colonels of Cavalry, & a guard of twelve Aids-de-Camp, with the Rank of Captains of Infantry, & a drill officer, with the rank of Colonel of Dragoons, who shall likewise be the Chief Officer of the Guard.” (Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 3 Feb. 1841, 2; see also “Nauvoo Legion Senior Officers.”)
According to the ordinance that organized the legion, the major general’s staff was to include “an Adjutant, a Surgeon in Chief, a Cornet, a quarter Master, a Pay Master, a Commissary, & a Chaplain, with the Rank of Colonels of Infantry; a Surgeon for Each Cohort, a quarter Master Sergeant, Sergeant Major, & Chief Musician, with the rank of Captains of light Infantry; & two Musicians, with the rank of Captains of Infantry.” (Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 3 Feb. 1841, 2–3; see also “Nauvoo Legion Senior Officers.”)