“Jesse Gove wrote as his summary of the war: ‘Wounded, none; killed, none; fooled, everybody.’ But is disappointment at being deprived of a chance to shoot Mormons had made him incapable of forming a realistic evaluation of this chapter in the relations between the Latter-day Saints and the United States. In reality the great expenditure of money and energy on both sides had produced some good. As one of its objectives, probably its primary one, Buchanan’s Administration had set out to vindicate the authority of the Government over a far-away territory. . . . [I]t had in the face of a defiant sect peacefully placed a Gentile in the governor’s office and posted a sizable military garrison within the Territory. . . . For their part, the Mormons had also derived a few benefits from the proceedings, especially in the winning of some respect in the States. . . .
Although the danger of an armed clash between the Territory and the nation had passed . . . [t]he Mormon War . . . had solved few of the basic problems that had created trouble in the past. Many minor annoyances remained—Indian matters, land titles, the probate courts’ jurisdiction, poor political appointees. They were, in turn, only symptomatic of the primary cause of dispute, the Mormons’ angry insistence on the right to manage their own affairs, which to them included most of the temporal as well as religious business of the Territory, and their opponents’ antithetical desire to reduce the Church’s authority.”