OAKDALE, Calif. — When Oakdale resident Denny Hoeh retired from Stanislaus County a few weeks ago, he found himself with some extra time on his hands. A 32-year employee of the county, the former Department of Agriculture manager realized he would now have the time to pass along his love of history to local residents.
Partnering with the Oakdale Museum, Hoeh recently gave a presentation at the museum about the Mormon Battalion and their role in the 1846-1847 Mexican War.
The Mormon Battalion was a military unit organized for action in the Mexican War in 1846-1847. The battalion marched 2,000 miles from Council Bluffs, Iowa to San Diego, California. According to Hoeh, the Mormon Battalion is the only unit in US military history that was designated by a religious characteristic.
Although there has been much history written about the Mormon Battalion, one little known fact is their connection to the Oakdale area in 1947.