The State of Deseret was a provisional state of the United States, proposed in 1849 by Mormon settlers in Salt Lake City. The provisional state existed for slightly over two years and was never recognized by the United States government. In 1896, a rump territory centered around Salt Lake City was admitted to the Union as the State of Utah.
Deseret in The Disunited States of America
Deseret in Southern Victory
Deseret was the Mormon name for an independent nation which the followers of that religion claimed for themselves within the borders of the United States. Its borders were roughly equal to those of the state of Utah, which at one time had a Mormon majority. It never achieved recognition from any established nation.
The Mormons launched uprisings to force the US to recognize Deseret in 1857, 1881, 1914-15, and 1941-3. The last three took place during wars between the United States and the Confederate States, and were supported by the Confederates. In 1942 Jake Featherston promised to grant Deseret diplomatic recognition by the Confederate States if the Mormons could make convincing gains against the US, but by 1943 they had not done so.
Each rebellion was fought more desperately than the last. During the Great War, the Mormons fought ferociously, requiring the efforts of several US infantry divisions to suppress the revolt. They managed to achieve a notable victory against US forces at one point by digging a massive tunnel network behind their lines, loading the tunnels with explosives, and then detonating them when the advancing US army reached the area over the tunnels. This destroyed most of a division, nearly collapsed the southern front of the US ring around Deseret, and was a severe setback in the career of Irving Morrell. However, the Mormons were eventually defeated after most of their towns had been reduced to rubble, due to their inability to match the US's superiority in artillery and air power.
In 1941, the Deseret rebellion was less effective at holding territory but, if anything, more ferocious. The Mormon rebels were the first group during the war to make use of people bombs- individuals who strapped explosive fragmentation devices to their bodies and detonated them when they reached a place they considered a target. The first people bomb attack was made by a Mormon woman against a US military R&R facility. Later attacks occurred around the globe, as the tactic was copied by other desperate groups such as black rebels in the CSA (who had already invented the 'auto bomb'), various separatist movements in Austria-Hungary, and other underdogs in nations involved in the Second Great War.