Wednesday, June 25, 2008


THE 26TH DAY OF JUNE 1858 is a day of significant importance to the history of Utah. Yet, a very small number of Utahns could tell you why it has any importance. A few might guess it was just fourteen years ago that the Prophet Joseph, his brother Hyrum, John Taylor and Willard Richards were in the Carthage Jail and that the next day, Joseph and Hyrum were murdered. Perhaps some of the settlers in the Salt Lake Valley thought about that. But essentially all of them were very nervous because another military group, much larger than the one that attacked the Carthage Jail, was marching into the Valley with apparently malcious intent. The settlers had abandoned their homes, willing for them to be burned rather than let the foe occupy them.
The illustration above is of the troops marching through the streets of Salt Lake City, probably in front of Brigham Young's home. It is captioned: "Triumphal Passage of United States Troops through SaltLake City." It is from an autobiography of Johnston by his son, written in 1879. It is a bit biased as is the caption.

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:

CAPTAIN JESSE GOVE, 10TH INFANTRY, letter to his wife: "26th (June). Left camp early. I am rear guard of our own regiment. . . . We found the city evacuated, all had gone to Provo except a few men left to burn the city if ordered. The city is 50 per cent better in structure and situation than I expected. It is beautifully laid out and watered at every street. . . . Brigham’s palace is a magnificent structure. His apartment for his wives is attached so that it is easy of access. It is said that the inside is furnished in the most elaborate style, furniture imported, two or three pianos, etc.."

CAPTAIN ALBERT TRACY, 10TH INFANTRY, Journal: June 26, 1858 (riding down Emigration canyon.) “Opening out from the last rough gorge, we entered upon a broad plateau, or bench, and Salt Lake City lay at our feet. We are surprised and refreshed with its general appearance of neatness and order.”


"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.


As soon as future Church President returned from his mission to Hawaii, he joined the Nauvoo Legion and was sent up to Echo Canyon to help keep watch over the army’s Camp Scott bivouac. He was on hand when Thomas L. Kane escorted the new Governor, Alfred Cumming, to Salt Lake City in April.

When peace had been re-established, young Joseph helped the displaced families move back from Utah County.

Monday, November 12, 2007


CAPT. JESSE A. GOVE, 10th Infantry, letter to his wife, Maria, 11 Nov 1857 - "Man in Capt. Gardner's company accidentally killed today by a man shooting beef cattle. Ball missed the beef and glanced into a tent and passed directly through his head, killing him." [The man was pvt. James Curren, Company B. Gove mentions in the same letter that Curren was buried the next day. There is a marker in the Camp Floyd Cemetery for Curren, His is one of about forty markers for soldiers not buried in the cemetery. See cemetery link below for details of the cemetery and its markers, etc.]

GOVE, letter, 10 Nov 1857 - "The 5th [regiment] came up last night. very cold. I nearly froze in my tent last night. . . . Animals died last night by fifties."

GOVE, letter, 12 Nov 1857 - "Thermometer 14 [degrees F]. Horribly cold. [By this time, Col. Johnston had caught up with the troops at Ham's Fork and ordered them to Fort Bridger. This march was accompanied by constant blizzard and cold. It is amazing there were no deaths among the soldiers during this march except the one mentioned above. ]

ANDREW J. ALLEN, Nauvoo Legion, 13 Nov 1857 - "Clear and cold. Nov 14, ice on the river bare a horse our provisions runing low nothing but bread. The boys went out hunting killd too chickens."

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


NEWTON TUTTLE, 2 Nov 1857 – “Ephram Hanks with 30 men went Down to soldiers. They shot at Warren Snows men & hit some of there blankets &c. Just at night we moved up Blacks fork a bove the Fort 2 or 3 miles and campt.” 4 Nov 1857: “Snow & rain in camp. Warren Snows company have took 105 head of cattle from the enemy. Gosbeck & his company have Started in.” 5 Nov 1857: Snowy in camp all day. John Thomson & his men got back from the Mudy.

ANDREW JACKSON ALLEN, 4 Nov 1857– “Started the stock [about 300 head of cattle] toward Bridger, we got word the soaldiers camp ware moving toward Bridger, and we started amediately for Bridger. We sent an express to Bridger a head of us when we got out on the high land we could sea the soaldiers camp moving. We stopt at sun set and got supper, snow on the ground 4 inches deep and falling fast here one of our boys came up from the states and sais they intend to come into the valley.”

CAPT. JESSE A. GOVE, letters to his wife: 3 Nov 1857, camp on Ham's Fork: "Col. Johnston arrived in camp about one mile below the 10th and about 2 miles below our division. " 4 Nov 1857: "What Col. J. intends to do no one knows. It is rumored, however, that he is going to Salt Lake City if it is a possibility. I hope so."

HENRY BALLARD, 4 Nov 1857: “In camp it was very cold. News came that our boys had taken some more cattle, and the soilders had moved 4 miles up Blacks fork toward Bridger.”

Special correpondent to the NEW YORK TRIBUNE (In the army camp) – 5 Nov 1857: “There is but one alternative. Either the laws of the United States are to be subverted and its Territory appropriated by a gang of traitorous lechers, who have declared themselves to constitute a ‘free and independent State’ or Salt Lake City must be entered at the point of the bayonet, and the ringleaders of the Mormon rebellion seized and hung. Whether the entrance can be effected this year is a matter of great uncertainty. My own opinion is that it cannot.”

Friday, October 26, 2007


If you want the facts about the cemetery at Camp Floyd, follow this link:

Monday, October 22, 2007


(Posted 22 Oct 2007)

Journal History, BRIGHAM YOUNG, 24 Oct 1857: “The United States have spent three millions 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.”

HENRY BALLARD, NAUVOO LEGIONAIRE, 25 Oct 1857: “At noon our ten was called out to to the soilders camp 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 commander (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.

Monday, October 15, 2007


For detailed information about the burials and non-burials at Camp Floyd Cemetery, hit this link


MARK HALL, NAUVOO LEGIONAIRE. Hall was an early pioneer to Utah and was one of a regiment from Ogden called upon to oppose "Johnston's Army" on the high plains of what is now southwestern Wyoming. He came within inches of being the only Nauvoo Legion casualty from army fire, as detailed below. [Other Nauvoo Legionares were fired upon, but no bullets fired by the army came quite this close.] He survived the "war" but the whereabouts of the "holey" hat is unknown. His descendants say it is in the hands of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, but extensive searching has not located it. It would be a great historical artifact. See the Andrew Jackson Allen entry below for an interesting situation involving both Hall and Allen.

LOT SMITH, Major in the Nauvoo Legion. He was responsible for much of the Legion's success in delaying the army in its march to Utah. He had been the youngest member of the Mormon Battlaion, being just 16 when recruited, and had become one of the more outstanding frontersmen in Utah Territory. He went on to servie with the Mormon Civil War group recruited at the request of President Lincoln to guard the mail routes to the east until U.S. troops could be made available for that service. Later, he moved to New Mexico (now Arizona) and was Stake President in the Tuba City area. He was killed by Navajo Indians during a dispute over grazing areas for their cattle. He was buried there but his body was later moved to the graveyard in Farmington, Utah.

CAPTAIN RANDOLPH BARNES MARCY, 5th Infantry. Marcy graduated from USMA in 1832. He was the solitary hero of the Utah Expediton, taking a detachment of troops, led by mountain men guides, to New Mexico in mid-winter 1857-58 to procure supplies and mules. Nearly perishing in the snows of the lower Rockies, he was led to Fort Garland by a Mexican guide and brought back a great herd of sheep and mules to replenish the army's meat supply and draft animal herd. If medals of honor had existed in 1857, Marcy and his men would have been deserving of the award. He had more personal knowledge of the western country than any other regular army officer of his day. His encounter with Lot Smith, which resulted in the hole in Mark Hall's hat, was one of three times the army gave "battle", although one-sided as far as shooting goes, in the "Utah War".

COLONEL EDMUND BROOKE ALEXANDER, USMA 1823, commander of the 10th Infantry and the advance brigade of the Utah Expedition. He was thrust into a position of command without adequate instructions or conflicting ones. His underlings, particularly Gove, were of little support when it became necessary to decide what action to take in view of the hit-and-run attacks of the Nauvoo Legion and the fortifications and reports of large bodies of opposing forces in Echo Canyon and elsewhere along the trail to the Salt Lake Valley. The back and forth communications with Brigham Young did not bolster his courage.

BRIGHAM YOUNG, Great Salt Lake City, meetings in the Tabernacle [the old, smaller, frame tabernacle, not the one we know now], 18 Oct 1857: “Col. Alexander complains of our mode of warfare. They have two or more field batteries of artillery with them, and they want us to from a line of battle in an open plain and give them a fair chance to shoot us. I did not tell the Colonel what I thought, but if he had a spark of sense he must be a fool to think that we will ever do any such thing. I am going to observe the old maxim –
“He that fights and runs away, lives to fight another day.”

[Those who have studied the Civil War know that the officers of
Alexander’s generation learned only this European mode of frontal attack in their training at West Point. The result was the great slaughter of that war of brother-against-brother.]

CAPT. JESSE A. GOVE, letters to his wife, 16 Oct. 1857, on Ham’s Fork: “Capt. Marcy’s command returned. My company and Capt. Gardner’s were ordered to go down the creek to have a brush with Lot Smith and some 60 Mormons who were approaching our trains. We went about five miles, saw then well mounted, but not near enough to do any execution. Capt. Marcy saw the same party and had a parley with their commander. Capt. Marcy dismounted his command, brought them to a ready, and then met their commander. Had a long talk which resulted in their giving no particular account of themselves. Col. Alexander gave Capt. M. positive orders not to fire unless they commenced it, hence his hands were tied. Shameful, but what else could you expect of the “old woman” [Alexander]? He is insane if there ever was one.” [Gove and his fellow officers were grossly insubordinate of Alexander. This may explain why he writes nothing of the shots fired by Marcy although he surely knew all about it.]

HOSEA STOUT at the mouth of Echo Canyon, 18 Oct. 1857: “…It appears that Lott and his company were met by Capt Marcy and a Company of Mule Horse men just at day light both parties met unexpectedly and halted the captains meeting in the centre they talked friendly a short time & Marcy declining a twist (tobacco?) as Lott says they parted when Marcy’s Co fired on Lott’s unawares but no body hurt.” [One wishes Hosea Stout had found a photographer that could have kept him calm and relaxed. The photos make him look about ready to tear into someone. Knowing some of his descendants, this writer knows the mean look did not pass to his posterity.]

NEWTON TUTTLE, NAUVOO LEGIONAIRE, 16 Oct. 1857. near the army camp on Ham’s Fork: “they rode on to a company of the enemy under the command of Capt Marcy, Lot had a talk with him & then Lot made a retreat. I went on to a bluff & Had a good view of the enemys camp with the glass when Lot came up to us with the Pack mules we all made our retreat over the Hills when we were a going down a bluff they came up on us and & shot at us, one ball hit Mark Halls hat & one hit a horse on the Leg.”

CAPT. JOHN WOLCOTT PHELPS, Commander, Light Battery "B", 4th Artillery, Journal: 18 Oct 1857 on Ham's Fork: "One of the first sergeants of the 10th Infantry died yesterday (of the bilious colic*) and was buried this evening. The funeral procession reached the hillside where his grave has been dug; the dirge like notes of the march had ceased and the ceremonies were being performed just as the last rays of the sun were gilding the eastern hills. The wintry coldness of the scene, the land being covered with snow; the good character of the deceased and the suddenness of his death all contributed to render the spectacle particularly desolate and lonely." [McDonnell's death was one of more than one hundred fatalities among soldiers of the Utah Expedition--mostly from disease, but some from suicide, murder, accidental deaths and unknown causes. Yet, it is called a "Bloodless War".]

* Bilious colic was a term used for any severe stomach pain. McDonnell's sudden death may point to a ruptured appendix, n ailment for which the army surgeons then had no treatment.]

ANDREW JACKSON ALLEN, Nauvoo Legionaire, Journal entry, Oct. 19th 1857:
"Coald and windy snow ten inches deep, we here the soaldiers scouting tryed to surround some of our boys and fiard after them them when thay faled to accomplish there ame no one hurt, one of our boys had a ball pas thro his hat." [Lot Smith, with about forty of his scouts, had unexpectedly encountered Captain R. B. Marcy with a company of soldiers on mules a short distance from Ham’s Fork. The two commanders rode out parleyed for a short time, but Smith, seeing the soldiers preparing their rifles for action, rode back to his bunch, getting there just as the shooting began – all from the soldiers. The poor marksmanship of the troops paid off as one horse and one hat were the only impacts. The hat was that of Mark Hall of Ogden. By a great coincidence, Mark Hall's great-great-granddaughter met the great-great-grandson of Andrew Jackson Allen at BYU. They married and their children are descendants of those two legionaires that served together in that wintry effort to stop "Johnston's Army" from entering the Salt Lake Valley in 1857.]

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


If you want detailed information about the cemetery at Camp Floyd, select this link:


ANDREW JACKSON ALLEN JOURNAL, near Fort Bridger, 11 Oct. 1857: “Slight snow fell, we lerned the soaldiers camp had moved. Sent too men to see which way they had went by eight o clock we lerned thay had moved up Hams Fork, now there was 80 of our boys go to gether we started amediaty after them we over took them in traviling 20 miles found them in a scatterd condition, we cut off there cattle which ware behind them about seven hundred head and drove them 14 miles overnight us men.”

NEWTON TUTTLE, near junction of Black's Fork and Ham's Fork, 11 Oct. 1857: “rainy we got & drove up the fork 3 miles & got breakfast O. P. Rockwell & Thomas Rich Started for the enemys camp & Meet or came on to Lot Smiths camp. T. Rich came back and we started & went Down to Lot Smiths camp 4 or 5 miles above Hams fork & camped with them . . . Wm A. Hickman Sent his 2 brothers in to the enemys camp & they have not got back yet. [The Hickman brothers were made prisoners by the army but were soon released]. .” Monday 12 Oct. 1857: “ Snowed. Men came in to camp from Col Burton the two men we sent to see which way the enemy had gone they came in & said the enemy had gone up Hams Fork . . .”

HENRY BALLARD, at Fort Supply, 12 Oct 1857: “News came in that the soilders had moved some more up Hams fork and that 30 men was to be sent to their camp to reconnoiter.” 13 Oct 1857: “All left Fort Suply except 4 of us. I was some better but not able for duty, news came that O.P. Rockwell had taken 600 head of cattle and Wm Hickmans 2 brothers had been taken prisoners.”

[Henry Ballard is the ancestor of M. Russell Ballard, current member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.]

CAPTAIN JESSE A. GOVE 10TH U.S INFANTRY, letters to his wife, written on Ham's Fork, 13 Oct. 1857: “Tomorrow we strike the Oregon road which, I am told, is very good. It takes the Mormons perfectly by surprise that we have avoided their strongholds, Echo Can(y)on and Emigrant Can(y)on, Fort Bridger and Fort Supply. Our distance this way is nearly double than through the can(y)ons, but our progress cannot be stayed this way by any natural defences. If the Lord gives us 25 days of good weather we have them very tight.” [Captain Gove’s hope for providential 25 days of good weather would come to naught. Within four days, the snow was falling and Colonel Alexander had decided to give up the Oregon road and the route that would allow the army to have the Mormons “very tight.” In all, the army’s concern for the Mormon “strongholds”, vacillations and the futile Ham’s Fork venture cost them 18 days, more than enough time to go on into the Valley. Some historians belittle the Mormon resistance effort. But it obviously worked.]

HOSEA STOUT, Nauvoo Legion, in Echo Canyon, Sunday 11 Oct. 1857: “Like for a Storm this morning. 149 head of the captured oxen passed, look well. . . . The deserter a long slab sided Dutchman reports that many of the soldiers would desert if they believed they would be well treated here, also that they are dissatisfied with their officers and that the officers were divided in their councils what to do.” [The slab "sided" Dutchman was Carl Heinrich Wilcken, a former German soldier that was with Light Battery "B" of the 4th Artillery. He had joined the army when he was stranded in New York with no money to continue on to South America after leaving Germany to avoid a life in the army there. After deserting, he was sent into the valley and settled there, marrying a Mormon girl and becoming a bodyguard to Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff and other Mormon leaders. He is an ancestor of George W. Romney and of course, Mitt Romney.]