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The Film Project

Too often, storytellers are forced into taking funds (and creative input) from those with very different perspectives and agendas. This film project, with input from Fort Moore Garrison Team Members can change this dynamic.

The battle for the soul of any project starts and stops with a well-developed and inspiring script. It is the “creative marching orders” and the financial blueprint for the entire endeavor. With your generous support, the end result of this film project will launch a high-quality, documentary film that highlights rather than avoids, the heroic and admirable components of the Mormon Battalion. For those of us who honor our nation’s military and US history, there will be no compromises made as to the quality of the art or the entertainment and educational value that audiences will no doubt appreciate!

The Story

The Battalion’s story is legendary in its own right and equally instructive. At the nadir of its fortunes, hounded across the Mississippi River in the dead of winter, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints turned to new leader Brigham Young for answers. He had two—first, an exodus to the Salt Lake Valley, then part of Mexico; second, a request for aid and protection from the federal government in Washington. President James Polk, who badly needed mobilized men in the West, promised money and peace for the LDS in exchange for a detachment of soldiers. Soon began the short and fateful career of the Mormon Battalion.

They marched to Ft. Leavenworth in Kansas, 500 strong and ill at ease with their fellow enlisted countrymen. The U.S. Government hadn’t lifted a finger to prevent brutal persecution of the Mormons, and to many soldiers in the Army, the exotic and pious Mormons themselves were simply heretical fanatics.

Yet the Mormon Battalion commenced and completed one of the longest overland military infantry marches in American history, from Leavenworth through the breadth of Mexican desert territory stretching from present-day Oklahoma to Los Angeles. Beyond the sheer physical travail of the journey, they braved other hazards, from a stampede of wild bulls to germs and disease that thinned their ranks and left them under the command of a harsh and hated West Point lieutenant. It was a trek that marked the passage of the United States from a country that still faced the Old World to one that faced the whole world. The Battalion needed guides, and it found them, including renowned trapper Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, born to Sacagawea on the 1805 Lewis and Clark expedition. It set the stage not only for the Gold Rush—Battalion members were there at Sutter’s Mill when the bonanza began—but for the whole of transcontinental American commerce.

Honor is given to the forces that converged on Southern California to secure the territory in the Mexican-American War: The Army’s First Dragoons, New York Volunteers, and the only unit of soldiers organized by religion in the history of the United States: The Mormon Battalion.

Key People

Our creative team and key representatives who are involved with this film project, have a proven track record of industry success. In addition, they have a robust network of contacts at top-tier production companies and major studios who will be leveraged in order to successfully sell this script.

Robert J. Moeller – Producer

  • No Safe Spaces (2018) – documentary starring Dennis Prager and comedian Adam Carolla
  • Projects in Development:
    • Motor City – the story of John and Horace Dodge, the men who built Detroit
    • Munich Rising – the German and American soldiers who worked together to bring about the only successful internal revolt against the Nazis of WWII

Sherman L. Fleek – Historical Advisor

  • Author of numerous books and articles on the Mormon Battalion, including:
    • History May Be Searched in Vain: A Military History of the Mormon Battalion
    • Called to War:  Dawn of the Mormon Battalion
    • War in the Far West:  March of the Mormon Battalion
  • Currently Command Historian at the U.S. Military Academy, at West Point, New York
  • Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.), Pilot, and Army Special Forces Officer.

Paul A. Hoffman – Advisor, Fort Moore Garrison

  • Attorney and General Counsel for Fort Moore Garrison, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation
  • Co-author (with Marilyn Mills) of Fort Moore Pioneer Memorial: The History
  • Long-time historical reenactor and organizer of historical events at the Fort Moore Pioneer Memorial
  • Full-time California attorney practicing in Mission Viejo, California