Believing Mormons were rebelling against the laws of the United States, President James Buchanan dispatched 3,500 troops, nearly one-third of the entire U.S. Army, to suppress the rumored rebellion in Utah. No rebellion or war ever took place in Utah. However, the army stayed to monitor the Mormons, explore the western frontier, and provide safety for immigrants moving west to California, Oregon, and Washington. Camp Floyd, named in honor of Secretary of War John Floyd, was built by the army with the help of local citizens, providing a financial boost to the local economy. At their height, Camp Floyd was the largest military installation in the United States. The population of Camp Floyd and the town of Fairfield grew to 7,000, making it the third largest city in the Utah Territory. In 1861, tensions between the north and south resulted in civil war. Troops were ordered back East for the emergency, including a "who's who" of would-be Civil War generals such as Johnston, Buford, Reynolds, and Heth. Nearly all the buildings erected by the army were dismantled or demolished before their departure. Today, the only remnants are the cemetery and the Commissary building.

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