Called the Sons of Dan, they are most commonly referred to as the Danites. As a formal group, it only lasts a few weeks, but stories about them continue for generations, and their existence reveals the absolute fanaticism of some of Joseph Smith's Mormon followers.
The Danites will play an important role in the 1838 Mormon War. Although Joseph Smith never identifies himself as a Danite, he does express approval of their militant actions. He writes in a journal:
"Thus far, according to the order of the Danites. We have a company of Danites in these times, to put to right physically that which is not right, and to cleanse the Church of every great evil which has hitherto existed among us inasmuch as they cannot be put to right by teachings and persuasyons. This company or a part of them exhibited on the fourth day of July…They come up to consecrate, by companies of tens, commanded by their captains over ten."