A LITTLE CHASING, A LITTLE SHOOTING, NO HITTING . . .
(Posted 22 Oct 2007)
Journal History, BRIGHAM YOUNG
, 24 Oct 1857: “The United States have spent three m
illions of dollars this season to fit out an army to destroy us and it has done us no harm. But if I were going to destroy this people, I should have let them have their post office [the federal government renegged on the mail contract the Mormons had bid on and won, on the pretext they had not acknowledged the notice, even though it was never delivered.] and made one million of dollars of appropriation and given them all they asked for; then spent another million in carrying Gentiles and merchandise and kept this up yearly until I had filled the country with Gentiles; but the Lord would not let them do this, but I know that I could not conquer them by force and they will find it out.” Tabernacle meeting, Sunday, 25 Oct 1857, “Colonel Alexander accuses us of what he terms a very uncivilized method of warfare. If we are to do as they do, we shall have to get drunk, to swear, to quarrel, to lie and believe in lies and indulge in many other like traits of civilization in order for us to get as they do.”
, NAUVOO LEGIONAIRE, 25 Oct 1857: “At noon our ten was called out to to the soilders cam
p lead by Thomas Abbott.” 26 Oct 1857: “Soon after day light we saw a smoke in the distance and after we started we soon found the company [other Mormon scouts], they directed us in the direction of where the soilders was, also where the picket guard was the day before, . . . we stopped and got our guns free from our saddles and capped them and then started on the run scattered out, but he soon led us toward a hollow where there was about 40 men [soldiers] secreted about one half on foot and the other mounted when some of us got within 150 yards of them they raised and fired on us. I was the third nearest to them, we each turned as fast as we could making distance as fast as we could but the bullets flew around us like hail plowing in the dust and cutting off the sage brush but through the blessings of the Lord none of us was hit nor none of our horses nor was no sign of any bullet in our clothing, they followed us for some little distance slowly . . . “
ANDREW JACKSON ALLEN
, NAUVOO LEGIONAIRE, 22 Oct 1857: “To day we lurned the soaldiers camp
moved down the river ten miles.” 25 Oct 1857: “The soaldies say they are waiting for the Jeneral to come from the states with some dragoons.” 26 Oct 1857: “Our boys when scouting around came acrost some soaldiers out to and the soaldiers fierd at them, this ware the second time they fierd at our boys and no hurt done, we acknowledge the hand of the lord in this (our boys had instructions to not fier at them if they could avoid it.)” [It is interesting that the army was so poor in marksmanship. The high percentage of recent, relatively untrained recruits would answer for part of it. For the larger part, we'll accept Andrew's comment.]
CAPT. JESSE GOVE
, 10th Infantry, letters to his wife, On Ham’s Fork on the march back down the crek after their com
mander (Col. Alexander) gave up on the Bedar River route. 22 Oct 1857: “Camp No. 3 of the retreat. Today we have made about 8 miles. Very good marching for the condition of our animals.” 23 Oct 1857: “Still in camp. Col. A. will wait until he hears from Col. Johnston. .. . It is evidently the intent of Col. Johnston to winter at Henry’s Fork.” [Henry’s Fork runs southeastward from Fort Bridger and has wide grassland valleys along its course.] 26 Oct 1857: “Lieut. Grover is just in with a scouting party of 20 men. Saw 8 Mormons on splendid horses, fired on them at about 300 yards, and thinks he hit one of them. [He didn’t.] Had the I’s [Gove’s company; he was always bragging about his company.] been with him I do not think they would have got off so well.”
WHO IS BURIED AT CAMP FLOYD?
See cemetery link. 150 years ago: Over the past few weeks, the rigors of the march in severe weather and diseases had taken the lives of soldiers including Pvt. William Brutkuhl of the 10th Infantry who died 12 Oct 1857 on Ham’s Fork; Sergeant John McDonnell of the 10th Infantry, 17 Oct 1857, of bilious colic; Pvt. Morris Rillman of the 10th Infantry, 7 Oct 1857; and Pvt. Gotlieb Sander of the 10th Infantry, 10 Oct 1857. Causes of deaths are often not given in the military records.
These men were all buried at the place of death - along the army's trail that ended for the winter at Camp Scott near Fort Bridger. Their markers at the Camp Floyd cemetery are really just memorials.