THE FATEFUL DAY - JUNE 26TH
The soldier's feelings differed from thos of the settlers. Most of them had spent a cold winter with substandard rations, indequate clothing, and poor shelter. And the Mormons were to blame, as they saw it. Yet, they were marching into this valley almost as if they were the losers in the campaign just ended. Worse than that, they had been ordered to stay in ranks and do no harm to anything or anyone. That order had come from an officer they respected and also knew he would impose severe punishment on any that violated it. They didn't know that the commander, Bvt. General Albert Sidney Johnston, had said he would give his Texas plantation for the privilege of bombarding the city for just fifteen minutes. Of course, "his" Texas plantation was no longer his. He had sold it to his son as he could not pay off the debts against the property.
Some of the participants and spectators left us their feelings in journals and letters:
"Bro. Andrew Moffatt brought information that Col. Johnston and his army passed G. S. L. City, in the strictest order and discipline. They passed over the river Jordan and camped in the Church pasture. A guard was placed at the bridge to keep the gamblers and blacklegs from following them. While the army was passing through the city there was not a lady to be seen. Col. Philip St. George Cooke passed through with his head uncovered as a token of his respect for the Mormon Battalion. The army was supposed to number 1500 rank and file." [The number was actually closer to 2,500.] (History of Brigham Young, 1858: 734.)
"Gen. Robert T. Burton (Nauvoo Legion), on guard in Salt Lake City on this date journalized . . . “At 10 a.m. troops commenced passing through until 12:30 when those in the rear halted. At 2 p.m. again commenced to pass through until 5:30 p.m.. There are reported to be 600 wagons, 6000 head of animals and 3000 men. They camped over Jordan, west of the city."
Andrew’s Journal, June 27, 1858: “The armey came to S.L. Citty marched thro past over Jorden and camped. Jentile merchants came in with there stores Brigham told the brethren to not trade with them till there was some arangements made between us and them.”
When he wrote this, Andrew was at a temporary camp on the west side of Utah Lake as the Saints had moved to be out of the way of the army. He had spent from September 26th 1857 to November 27th in the Fort Bridger area doing all possible to delay the troops until they went into winter camp near Bridger. He had been on general alert all winter in case the army decided to move toward the valley before spring. There were just a few Mormon scouts in the Echo Canyon area watching the troops. One of these was 19-year-old Joseph F. Smith.
When peace had been re-established, young Joseph helped the displaced families move back from Utah County.