Historians now agree that the initial attack on the wagon train started September 7, and the final attack was on September 11,1857
In the days of those long and strenuous journeys across the western portion of the continent the emigrants were wont to drive their wagons into a circle with the tongues on the inside for convenience in getting into and out of the wagons. The arrangement served admirably for a fort in case of attack, and formed a corral into which the work animals were driven and held while being yoked or harnessed.
That the emigrants had no suspicion of danger is proved by the haphazard position of their wagons when the first attack was made, and by the other fact that no guards were with their animals. The evidences of the feeling of security aid in disproving the charge that they were guilty of unprovoked acts of aggression and violence in Cedar City.
The morning of September 13 found the men, as usual, early astir. On the east side of the wagons several camp fires were sending up their cheery light, thus relieving the darkness that precedes the early dawn.
The forms of men were distinctly outlined against the bright light from burning cedar and sagebrush. There was no premonition of danger. Jets of flame, followed by the cracking of rifles and the fierce war whoops from the throats of more than a hundred Indians startled the men from their fancied security. Seven men fell dead or mortally wounded.
The triumphant yells of the Indians were mingled with the screams of women and the cries of children suddenly awakened to the peril that menaced them. In the excitement, confusion and terror the men secured their arms and, guided by the pandemonium on the hillside, returned the fire with such precision that three Indians were killed and several wounded.
The redskins had been promised an easy victory over the white men, and that none of them would be injured by the "enemies of the Lord." Very naturally, the reds were surprised as well as frightened at the result, and hastily withdrew, carrying with them their dead and injured over the brow of the hill.
The disgusted braves held an impromptu powwow, and immediately dispatched a messenger over the east range to John D. Lee, at Harmony, and his presence demanded at the Meadows. (See appendix.) On Lee's arrival the dead and wounded Indians were pointed out to him as the disastrous results of the attack.
According to Lee's statement, the Indians insisted that he at once lead them to victory, or, failing, they would wreak vengeance on the Mormons because of their duplicity in the matter of promised divine protection.
Lee avers that he believed the emigrants had been "sufficiently punished," and that, in order to gain time and to quiet the frenzy of the Indians, who were from Cedar and Parowan, he told them that he would go down to the Santa Clara and hurry up the Indians who were presumed to be en route to the Meadows.
After some parleying Lee was permitted to depart. When some sixteen miles distant he met about one hundred Indians from St. George and the Santa Clara under the direction of Carl Shirts and Oscar Hamblin.
With the Indians were some fifteen white men from St. George and the outlying hamlets. As it was then evening the white men went into camp at the upper crossing of the river, while the reds went on to the Meadows.
From Lee's story of the massacre, the truth of which has not been challenged by any defender of the Mormon faith, we are induced to believe that the first intimation that he had that white men were to participate in the butchery was when he met those fifteen men, whom he names, at the upper crossing of the Santa Clara.
The camp fire talk of those men removed the last doubt of the intention of the priesthood of the Parowan stake of Zion to blood atone the emigrants. Lee's statement that he spent the night in tears and in supplications to God for some manifestation or sign that the contemplated sacrifice was approved of heaven is at once sincere and pathetic.
EMIGRANTS' HEROIC DEFENSE
Immediately after the first attack the emigrants drew their wagons into a circle and chained the wheels together. A rifle pit, large enough to protect the women, children and wounded, was dug in the center of the corral.
A few feet northeast of the rifle pit a circular excavation about six feet in diameter, and at present about two feet deep, is a pathetic witness that the emigrants made an abortive effort to obtain water by digging, and which remains as evidence of their desperate plight.
During the forenoon of the 14th Lee and the other white men rode from the Santa Clara to the Meadows. Lee immediately sent a dispatch to Haight, which closed as follows: ''For my sake, for the people's sake, for God's sake, send me help to protect and save these emigrants."
From a careful analysis of the evidence and statements of those present at the tragedy, and from an inspection of the topography of the Meadows, it is certain that the Indians were camped at a spring about a half mile below the camp of the emigrants, and that the white men camped on the small rivulet to the northeast of "Massacre hill," or in the depression which has been described as being over the "low rise of ground," some fifty to sixty rods northeasterly from the camp of the emigrants.
Some time during the afternoon Lee crossed diagonally over the meadow to the northwest, for the purpose, as he claims, "to take a look at the situation." The emigrants recognized him as a white man, and immediately displayed a white flag. Charley Fancher, son of the captain, and another boy were sent out to interview Lee.
But, as he asserts, he hid from the boys, because he had not received word from Haight regarding the final disposal of the emigrants. After a close search for Lee the boys returned to camp. They were not fired upon, which is the only gleam of light in the darkness of the infamous details.
Toward evening the Indians made a detour from their camp to the west, and among the ridges and foothills of the Beaver Dam range approached the basalt ridge to the west and northwest of the improvised fort of the emigrants, and began the second attack on the beleaguered strangers.
Lee heard the screams of the women and children, and accompanied by Oscar Hamblin and another man ran across the meadow for the purpose of quieting the redskins. Before reaching the shelter of the ridge, as Lee asserts, he received two bullets through his clothing and one through his hat.
The incident has not been disputed by those who appear to think it their duty, in the interest of their church, to blacken the memory of John D. Lee. Aided by Oscar Hamblin Lee quieted the Indians by pleading with them to desist until word could be received from the big Mormon chief at Cedar City.
ASSEMBLING OF WHITE ASSASSINS
Whether or not Lee's message was received by Haight prior to dispatching a number of the elders to the Meadows is uncertain as well as immaterial. Certain it is that during the 14th William C. Stewart, a high priest and member of the Cedar City council;
Bishop Klingensmith, Samuel McMurdy and about thirty-five other white men, under command of Major John M. Higbee, arrived at Leachy spring, in a canyon descending to the east in the range that divides Cedar City from Pinto, and about seventeen miles from the Meadows, where they camped for the night.
Some time during the night of the l3th William A. Aden and two other young men left the camp of the emigrants, and after eluding the white men and Indians started toward Cedar for the purpose, if possible, of obtaining assistance.
Arriving at Leachy spring they were challenged by Stewart, to whom Aden stated the nature of their mission. Stewart and another night guard replied with their guns, and the young artist from Tennessee was the first victim of those blood atoning priests, who shot him in the back. One of Aden's companions was wounded, but, with the other emigrant, escaped and succeeded in reaching their camp.
Until the return of Aden's companions no doubt the emigrants hoped that none other than Indians were concerned in the assault upon them. The cowardly murder of Aden was sufficient to convince them that the redskins were merely the allies and tools of the white men, and that they were face to face with annihilation.
Even if any of them could escape in the darkness they would surely perish on the desert. Within their inclosure they had buried seven of the brave defenders of the women and children, and others were wounded - even then dying.
Any attempt to describe the efforts of those heroic men to comfort their wives and to calm the terror of their children would be as fruitless as unprofitable, Out on the desert, with the stars looking down on the final sepulchre of the emigrants, we are compelled to leave them to their reflections.
Not until those men, women and children meet their destroyers and the Mormon "prophets" before the bar of eternal justice will the whole truth of the tragedy be known. And not until then will the story of what transpired in the camp of the emigrants be told.
Higbee and his companions arrived at the Meadows the morning after the murder of Aden. Haight's orders were handed to Lee. The nature of those instructions need not be stated. Lee claims that his entire being revolted, but he knew the consequences of refusal.
Why the emigrants did not inclose the spring at the time of forming their corral is inexplicable except on the theory of the excitement that accompanied the attack. Prior to the 15th they secured water during the night time. It appears, however, that on the 15th the supply was exhausted.
Two men went out to the spring, and while a rain of lead spattered around them, filled their pails and reached the fort in safety. On another occasion two men went out after wood and, while the bullets whistled by and tore up the ground around them, coolly chopped the wood and returned to the enclosure.
The foregoing is the tribute paid to the courage of those men by John D. Lee. That those shots were fired from the top of Massacre hill, within fifteen rods of the Mormon camp, is proved by the fact that the spring was sheltered from attack from miscreants on the ridge to the northwest by the intervening wagons, and the other fact that all other points were unprotected from the return fire of the emigrants.
The evening of the 15th again witnessed the assembling of the Indians behind the basalt ridge. Again they poured volley after volley into the improvised fort, and were answered with energy and precision. One of the Santa Clara Indians was killed and three others were wounded. Disgusted with the second failure of divine protection, some of the reds rounded up a bunch of the emigrants' cattle and returned to their camp on the Santa Clara river.
The Mormons were astir early on the morning of the 16th. The ruddy glow of a dozen camp fires lighted up the small depression and cast weird shadows as the men walked to and fro or squatted around the fires while preparing the morning meal.
While yet dark the men were summoned to prayers. Under the blue vault of heaven, from which the angels must have looked down with infinite sorrow on the hellish scene, those wretched victims of unquestioning obedience, of superstition and fanaticism, knelt in the form of a "prayer circle."
With heads bowed in abject servility to an alien god, and each right arm raised in the form of a square, those unhappy dupes listened while one of the "servants of the Lord" asked the blessing of their god upon the deeds they were about to enact, and for divine protection while they were "avenging the blood of the prophets who died in Carthage jail," and the martyrs who perished in Missouri and Illinois. The invocation ended, the brethren convened in "council."
It has ever been the boast of the Mormon priesthood that all questions of importance to the church are submitted to the Saints and are decided by "common consent," and which, being interpreted, means consenting to the will of the Mormon god's vicegerents, or, failing, they "lie in the presence of God."
And because of that rule the "council meeting," convened for the ostensible purpose of debating the measures embraced in Haight's program for the disposal of the emigrants was a burlesque. The fate of the emigrants had been predetermined by Isaac C. Haight, who was the direct agent of the "holy" vicegerents who resided at Salt Lake. The "council" was merely a ratification meeting. Some there were who had the courage to oppose the infamous measures, but their voices were feeble in the presence of "the leading priesthood."
Jacob Hamblin brother of Oscar Hamblin, and a trusted missionary to the Indians, owned a ranch some two miles northeasterly from the Meadows, and near the junction of the roads from Modena and Cedar City to the Meadows.
At the time of the massacre Hamblin was not at home. But Samuel Knight, from the Santa Clara, was temporarily ranching near the Hamblin place. During the forenoon of the 16th a messenger arrived at Hamblin's and requested Knight to go with his team over to the Meadows. Knight must have known of the attack on the emigrants, and very likely suspected the reason for the request.
He pleaded the illness of his wife. The request was then made for the use of his team. Knight explained that his horses were only partly broken, and that if the demand were imperative he would go with them. Such, in brief, was Knight's testimony at the second trial of Lee.
Unless it was the natural dread that nearly all men feel when conscience rebels at the vision of treachery and carnage, there is no explanation of the postponement of the final arrangements for the massacre until 2 p.m.
At about that hour William Bateman, carrying a white flag, and, accompanied by Lee, appeared on the low rise of ground which separated the camp of the Mormons from that of the emigrants. Bateman went on to within a short distance of the corral, where he paused and awaited some sign of recognition.
A man named Hamilton went out to Bateman, and after a short parley the former returned to the corral. Within a few minutes Hamilton again went out and told Bateman that the emigrants would put themselves under the protection of the flag of truce. Bateman waved his flag, and the curtain was lifted on one of the most inexcusable and atrocious crimes of all the centuries.
Lee hastened down to the corral, followed by two teams driven by McMurdy and Knight. The emigrants drew aside one of their wagons, thus opening the corral. McMurdy, followed by Knight, drove into the inclosure. The emigrants were burying two men who had just died of their wounds. Conditions within the camp can best be described in the words of John D. Lee.
"As I entered the fortifications, men, women and children gathered around me in wild consternation. Some felt that the time of their happy deliverance had come, while others, although in deep distress, and all in tears, looked upon me with doubt, distrust and terror."
Describing his sensations, Lee continues: "My position was painful, trying and awful; my brain seemed to be on fire; my nerves were for a moment unstrung; humanity was overpowered, as I thought of the cruel, unmanly part I was acting....
I knew that I was acting a cruel part and doing a damnable deed. Yet my faith in the godliness of my leaders was such that it forced me to think that I was not sufficiently spiritual to act the important part I was commanded to perform.... I delivered my message, and told the people that they must put their arms in the wagon, so as not to arouse the animosity of the Indians.
I ordered the children and wounded, some clothing and arms, to be put into the wagons." In speaking of the defensive condition of the camp, Lee says: "If the emigrants had had a good supply of ammunition they never would have surrendered, and I do not think we could have captured them without great loss, for they were brave men and very resolute and determined."
Continuing, Lee says: "Just as the wagons were loaded (Adjutant) Dan McFarland (of St. George) came riding into the corral and said that Major Higbee had ordered great haste to be made, for he was afraid the Indians would return and renew the attack before he could get the emigrants to a place of safety."
In the meantime the militia, nearly fifty in number, moved over the low ridge and proceeded close down to the emigrant camp and, in single file and about six feet apart, took positions on the southeast side of the road. The Indians, some two hundred strong, secreted themselves in the rank sage and behind cedar trees in the near vicinity of the Mormon camp.
Nephi Johnson's horse had learned the trick of untying his halter rope when it was carelessly fastened. Johnson, as I have been informed by his intimate friends, carelessly tied his horse to a cedar tree, then stepped back and watched the intelligent brute untie the knot and scamper up the hillside to the south. Johnson obtained permission from Major Higbee to go after his horse, and took a position on the point of the bench from which he had an unobstructed view of the entire field.
Two wounded men and a number of children, "too young to tell tales," were placed in Knight's wagon which emerged from the corral preceded by Lee and McMurdy's wagon. Following Knight's wagon were the women and children old enough to "tell tales."
When the women reached a point about one hundred yards northeasterly from the corral, the male emigrants, in single file, and about six feet apart, were permitted to begin the line of march. When they were opposite the militia the latter stepped forward and, keeping a few feet to the right of the emigrants, joined in the death march - following the women and children.
The horses driven by Samuel McMurdy were unusually fast walkers, and Lee, who had charge of the first division of the emigrants - the women and children, was forced to repeatedly admonish McMurdy not to travel so rapidly.
The respective localities had been carefully selected for the slaughter of the men and women, and it would not do to have McMurdy pass the point where the Indians were secreted until the word was given to begin the carnage. The arrangements were made and carried out with all the precision of a legalized execution.
There can be not the slightest doubt that the men knew the meaning of the peculiar formation of the procession. If there were danger of an attack by the Indians why was it, they thought, that they were not permitted to retain their firearms and aid in the protection of their wives and children?
Through unparalleled treachery, they were then powerless, and there was probably the hope that those so dear to them might be spared. That no word of protest was spoken is the strongest commendation of their heroism and evidence of their resignation.
Major Higbee was mounted and occupied a position on the summit of the low elevation over which the wagons and women and children must pass. The advance section of the procession passed over the elevation and were partially, if not entirely, hidden from those in the rear, when Higbee gave the command: "Do your duty!"
Terrified by the explosion of firearms and yells of the Indians, Knight's horses reared and plunged. He leaped from the wagon, caught his horses by the bits, and turned his face from the awful scene. One of the wounded men in Knight's wagon was holding his companion in his arms.
While Knight was quieting his frightened horses McMurdy ran to Knight's wagon, raised his gun and exclaimed: "O, Lord, my God, receive their spirits: it is for thy kingdom that I do this!" The gun exploded and the bullet killed both men. Samuel McMurdy had surely "kept alive the spirit of the reformation"; he had vindicated his right to hold the "holy" Mormon priesthood, and to be first counselor to Bishop Klingensmith. According to Nephi Johnson less than three minutes were consumed in the work of death.
During the excitement and confusion attending the massacre, two girls, Rachel and Ruth Dunlap, made a desperate attempt to escape the carnage.
From the evidence, and from a careful study of the ground, the girls must have been on the north side of the group of women and children when the attack was made. Running to the east on the north side of Knight and McMurdy's wagons, they turned to the south and sped toward the bench, where clumps of oak bushes seemed to invite them to a temporary refuge.
Clambering down the steep side of the gully they crept into the oaks on the opposite brink. They were then about thirty rods from the scene of death, over which the smoke from exploding firearms hung in a hazy cloud from which there no longer issued protesting cries of women and the pitiful screams of children.
During a few brief minutes Rachel and Ruth Dunlap believed they were saved from the white and red butchers. Very likely no thought entered their minds of the fate that awaited them on the desert - the thirst and hunger that surely lurked for them amid the inextricable maze of hills and desert canyons.
They dreamed not that if they escaped to some habitation the occupants, under pain of death, must surrender them to the blood atoning priests because, forsooth, they were old enough to tell the story of the massacre. Their only hope was to see the setting of the sun and to feel the sheltering mantle of night descend upon them.
One or more of the assassins must have seen the terrified girls as they raced toward the gully and reported the fact to the chief from Parowan, who found the girls and dragged them from their hiding place.
The Indian sent for Lee, and on his arrival asked what should be done with them. When informed that they were beyond the age limit prescribed by Haight, the chief pleaded that they were "too pretty to be killed."
Divining the sentence pronounced by Lee, the elder girl dropped to her knees and with clasped hands cried out: "Spare me, and I will love you all my life!" But she died, as her sister had died, and at Lee's hands. Lee vehemently denied the awful charge. For pitiful story of attempt by Hamblin's Indian boy to save the girls, see appendix.
Note.- Since the massacre, rumors have been persistent to the effect that prior to their death those girls were outraged by those who murdered them. The charge was so terrible, so diabolical and inhuman that, as a Mormon, and later on an "apostate," I could not believe the rumor - it appeared to be just another Mormon canard to further blacken the memory of John D. Lee.
There was, however, something in the terms of the girl's appeal that is inexplicable when considered apart from the rumor. Last winter (1910) I met a devout Mormon woman in southern Utah, who was a girl at the date of the massacre, and she assured me that the rumor is entirely trustworthy; that she remembers hearing the women of St. George discuss the awful fate of the Dunlap girls. "And," the lady concluded "we Mormons have never been accused of charging crimes to our people when the accusations were not true."
Jacob Hamblin was on his way from Salt Lake to his ranch near the Meadows when the massacre was perpetrated. Hamblin's Indian boy, Albert, who was about sixteen years old, and whom the former had adopted, was present at the massacre and witnessed the ravishment of the Dunlap sisters and the cutting of their throats.
On Hamblin's arrival at the ranch the boy conducted him to the clump of oak brush where the bodies of the girls, nude and bloated, furnished ghastly evidence of the truth of the young Indian's story. Subsequently, Hamblin interviewed the Indian chief, who was Lee's partner in that special crime, and who verified the young redskin's story, and repeated the words used by the elder girl when pleading for her life.
The above is the substance of Hamblin's testimony on that incident as given at Lee's second trial..We will draw the curtain on the scene, leaving those religion-crazed fanatics to the judgment of a merciful God, and the logic and lessons to the public.
On the old camp ground of the emigrants Major Carleton of the United States army and other kindly hands reared a monument of boulders which cover the remains of Captain Fancher and his company, which, the spring following the massacre, were buried by Jacob Hamblin in the rifle pit digged by the emigrants.
Major Carleton also erected a rude cross upon which he carved the legend: "Vengeance is mine, and I will repay, saith the Lord." Some miscreant destroyed the cross.
Easterly and westerly the monument is about twelve feet long by six feet wide. The west end is now about four feet high, and the east end is a foot or so above the ground. From the east end of the grave the earth descends to the bottom of a deep gully, made by floods during recent years, and unless protective measures are soon taken the spring and summer floods will eat away the last visible evidence of the Mountain Meadows massacre.
The once carpet of grass has vanished, and in its place is a dense growth of mountain sage. The spring that supplied the Fancher company with water now oozes up from a bog near the bottom of the gully. And all around the landscape is an indescribable desolation - a vista of gray sage and barren hills. Seemingly, the God of Justice has visited the locality with the withering blight of his displeasure - but Mormonism yet lives, aggressive, arrogant and defiant.
As the occasional visitor, with bared head, stands by the desert grave, his imagination recalls the death march up the valley. Through the silence of more than fifty years is heard the echoes of exploding firearms. The shrieks of women and children mingle with the frenzied cries of fiends incarnate, then the death like silence returns.
He seems to feel the touch of spirit hands, to hear the murmur of spirit voices pleading for remembrance of their wrongs, and for human justice for the false and criminal leaders of the system whose doctrines and example inspired their destruction, and who continue to traduce their victims as their only defense of the ruthless murder of those who surrendered under the sacred aegis of the flag of peace!
For the benefit of those who may still be disposed to doubt the guilt of Young and his Mormons in this transaction, the testimony is here collated and circumstances given which go not merely to implicate but to fasten conviction upon them by 'confirmations strong as proofs of Holy Writ:'
The evidence of Mormons themselves, engaged in the affair, as shown by the statements of Judge Cradlebaugh and Deputy U.S. Marshall Rodgers.
The failure of Brigham Young to embody any account of it in his Report as Superintendent of Indian Affairs. Also his failure to make any allusion to it whatever from the pulpit, until several years after the occurrence
The flight to the mountains of men high in authority in the Mormon Church and State, when this affair was brought to the ordeal of a judicial investigation.
The failure of the Deseret News, the Church organ, and the only paper then published in the Territory, to notice the massacre until several months afterward, and then only to deny that Mormons were engaged in it.
The testimony of the children saved from the massacre.
The children and the property of the emigrants found in possession of the Mormons, and that possession traced back to the very day after the massacre.
The statements of Indians in the neighborhood of the scene of the massacre: these statements are shown, not only by Cradlebaugh and Rodgers, but by a number of military officers, and by J. Forney, who was, in 1859, Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Territory. To all these were such statements freely and frequently made by the Indians.
The testimony of R. P. Campbell, Capt. 2d Dragoons, who was sent in the Spring of 1859 to Santa Clara, to protect travelers on the road to California and to inquire into Indian depredations.
Affidavit of Philip Klingon Smith - 1872
Daily Corinne Reporter – September 20, 1872
We give below the affidavit of Philip Klingon Smith one of the bishops who obeyed the orders of Brigham in the butchery of Mountain Meadows. The fearful story requires no comment, nor does it admit of a doubt.
MOUNTAIN MEADOWS MASSACRE.
State of Nevada, County of Lincoln ss:
Personally appeared before me, Peter B. Miller, Clerk of Court of the Seventh Judicial District of the State of Nevada, Philip Klingon Smith, who being duly sworn, on his oath says: My name is Philip Klingon Smith; I reside in the county of Lincoln, in the State of Nevada; I resided at Cedar City in the County of Iron, in the Territory of Utah, from A.D. 1852 to A.D. 1859;
I was residing at said Cedar City at the time of the massacre at Mountain Meadows, in said Territory of Utah; I had heard that a company of emigrants was on its way from Salt Lake City, bound for California; after said company had left Cedar City, the militia was called out for the purpose of committing acts of hostility against them;
Said call was a regular military call from the superior officers to the subordinate officers and privates of the regiment at Cedar City and vicinity, composing a part of the militia of the Territory of Utah; I do not recollect the number of the regiment. I was at that time the Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at Cedar City;
Isaac C. Haight was President over said church at Cedar City and the southern settlements in said Territory; my position as Bishop was subordinate to that of said President. W. H. Dame was the President of said Church at Parowan, in said Iron County, said Dame was also colonel of said regiment; said Isaac C. Haight was lieutenant-colonel of said regiment, and said John D. Lee, of Harmony in said Iron County, was Major.
Said regiment was duly ordered to muster, armed and equipped as the law directs, and prepared for field operations. I had no command nor office in said regiment on the expedition which resulted in said company's being massacred in the Mountain Meadows, in said County of Iron. About four days after said company of emigrants had left Cedar City, that portion of said regiment then mustered at Cedar City took up its line of march in pursuit of them.
About two days after said company had left Cedar City, Lieutenant-Colonel I. C. Haight expressed in my presence a desire that said company might be permitted to pass on their way in peace; but afterward he told me that he had orders to kill all of said company of emigrants except the little children.
I do not know whether said headquarters meant the [regional] headquarters at Parowan or the headquarters of the Commander-in-chief at Salt Lake City. When the said company had got to Iron Creek, about twenty miles from Cedar City, Captain Joel White started for Pinto Creek Settlement, through which the said company would pass for the purpose of influencing the people to permit said company to pass on their way in peace.
I asked and obtained permission of said White to go with him and aid him in trying to save life. When we got about three miles from Cedar City, we met Major J. D. Lee, who asked us where we were going. I replied that we were going to try to prevent the killing of the emigrants, Lee replied, "I have something to say about that." Lee was at that time on his way to Parowan, the headquarters of Colonel Dame.
Said White and I went to Pinto Creek; remained there one night, and the next day returned to Cedar City, meeting said company of emigrants at Iron Creek. Before reaching Cedar City we met one Ira Allen, who told us that "The decree had passed devoting said company to destruction." After the fight had been going on for three or four days a messenge[r] from Major Lee reached Cedar City, who stated that the fight had not been altogether successful, upon which Lieutenant-Colonel Haight ordered out a reinforcement.
At this time I was ordered out by Captain John M. Higby who ordered me to muster, "armed and equipped as the law directs." It was a matter of life or death to me to muster or not, and I mustered with the reinforcing troops.
It was at this time that Lieutenant-Colonel Haight said to me that it was the orders from headquarters that all but the little children of said company were to be killed.
Said Haight had at that time just returned from headquarters at Parowan, where a military council had been held. There had been a like council held at Parowan previous to that, at which were present Colonel Dame, Lieutenant-Colonel I. C. Haight and Major John D. Lee. The result of this first council was the calling out of said regiment for the purpose already stated.
The reinforcement aforesaid was marched to the Mountain Meadows, and there formed a junction with the main body. Major Lee massed all the troops at a spring and made a speech to them, saying that his orders from "headquarters were to kill the entire company except the small children." I was not in the ranks at that time, but on the side talking to a man named Slade, and could not have seen a paper in Major Lee's hands.
Said Lee then sent a flag of truce into the emigrant camp, offering said emigrants that "if they lay down their arms, he would protect them." They accordingly laid down their arms, came out from their camp, and delivered themselves to said Lee. The women and children were then, by the order of said Lee, separated from the men and were marched ahead of the men.
After the said emigrants had marched about a half mile toward Cedar City the order was given to shoot them down. At that time said Lee was at the head of the column. I was in the rear. I did not hear Lee give the order to fire, but heard it from the under officers as it was passed down the column. The emigrants were then and there shot down, except seventeen little children, which I immediately took into my charge.
I do not know the total number of said company as I did not stop to count the dead. I immediately put the little children in baggage wagons belonging to the regiment and took them to Hamlin's ranch, and from there to Cedar City, and procured them homes among the people;
J. Willis and S. Murdy assisted me in taking charge of said children. On the evening of the massacre W. H. Dame and Lieut. I. C. Haight came to Hamblin's, where I had said children, and fell into a dispute, in the course of which said Haight told Colonel Dame, that, if he was going to report of the killing of said emigrants he should not have ordered it done.
I do not know when or where said troops were disbanded. About two weeks after said massacre occurred said Major Lee (who was also an Indian agent) went to Salt Lake City and, as I believe, reported said fight and its results to the commander-in-chief:
I was not present at either of the before-mentioned councils, nor at any council connected with the aforesaid military operations or with said company. I gave no orders except to those connected with the saving of the children, and those, after the massacre had occurred, and said orders were given as bishop and not in a military sense. At the time of the firing of the first volley I discharged my piece.
I did not fire afterwards, though several subsequent volleys were fired. After the first fire we delivered I at once set about saving the children. I commenced to gather up the children before the firing had ceased. I have made the foregoing statements before the above-entitled Court for the reason that I believe that I would be assassinated should I attempt to make the same before any court in the Territory of Utah.
After said Lee returned from Salt Lake City, as aforesaid, said Lee told me that he had reported fully to the President, meaning the commander-in-chief, the fight at Mountain Meadows and the killing of said emigrants. Brigham Young was at that time the commander-in-chief of the militia of the Territory of Utah; and further deponent saith not.
(Signed) PHILIP KLINGON SMITH.
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 10th day of April A.D. 1871.
Copy of Seal -- District Court, Seventh Judicial District, Lincoln County, Nevada.
Note 1: Although two Justices of the Utah Territorial Supreme Court certified Mr. Klingensmith's statement, the text published by the Corinne Daily Reporter appears to have dropped out a few lines and words, here and there, (none of which changes the explicit import of his testimony.
Valley Tan - February 29, 1860
STATEMENT OF MR. WM. H. ROGERS.
To the Editor of the Valley Tan. --
I have observed on the part of one or both of the Mormon newspapers published in this city, an evident purpose to treat with a light and cavalier manner the statement that has been many times made, that the Mormons were concerned in the Mountain Meadows massacre.
By their references to the matter, they would evidently produce the impression, that the whole story in regard to the Mormons being in any way concerned in the transaction, is one that has been framed for the purpose of increasing the prejudice and dislike with which they are already regarded by the great body of the people of the country.
As I have never seen a published statement of the facts connected with that wholesale butchery, so far as the facts in regard to it have been brought to light, I have determined to supply this omission, by a statement of facts and circumstances in relation to it, gathered during a trip which I made with Dr. Forney, Superintendent of Indian affairs for Utah Territory, into the region where the massacre occurred, in the Spring of 1859.
Dr. Forney left Camp Floyd in the last of March, 1859, to go down to the Santa Clara settlement, 350 miles south of Salt Lake City, to obtain and bring back with him the children saved from the Mountain Meadows massacre, who had been collected, and were then in charge of Mr. Jacob Hamblin. Dr. Forney, having some time previously employed him to collect the children and take care of them till he could take them away.
On this trip Dr. Forney employed me to accompany him as an assistant, and I first joined him at the town of Nephi, 80 or 90 miles south of Salt Lake City. From Nephi we proceeded through Fillmore to the Indian farm on Corn Creek, 15 miles south, where we distributed some goods to the Indians; from thence we proceeded to Beaver, Parowan, Cedar City, and Painter creek. The latter is a small place in the immediate vicinity of the Mountain Meadows, where the celebrated massacre occurred in September 1857.
In passing through each of the towns named, the Doctor and myself made diligent inquiry concerning the massacre of this party of emigrants; the number of persons composing the emigrant party, and other matters deemed of interest in relation to them. We however, ascertained but little. The number of emigrants was generally estimated at from 120 to 140; but no one professed to have any knowledge if the massacre, except that they had heard [that it] was done by the Indians.
At Painter creek, an Indian guide that had been sent to us by Jacob Hamblin, already referred to as the man that Dr. Forney had employed to collect and take charge of the children saved from the Mountain Meadows massacre, came with us. This guide conducted us to the scene of the massacre.
The small valley known as the Mountain Meadows, in which it occurred and which will hereafter impart to its appropriate and once inviting name a sad and horrible history, is situated about 6 miles south of Painter Creek, a small Mormon settlement in Iron county. The valley is about 5 miles in length. and in the widest part does not exceed a mile in breadth.
It is covered mostly during the summer with rich and luxuriant grass, and is nearly the last place where grass can be found on the southern road to California, before striking the desert. On the north end of the valley, near where the road enters it, a ranch has been constructed for the purpose of herding and taking care of the cattle brought there during the summer to graze.
This ranch is owned by Jacob Hamblin. He lives there only during the summer months and spends the winter with his family at the Santa Clara settlement, some distance south of the Mountain Meadows. This ranch was unoccupied at the time that our Indian guide conducted us into the valley. The immediate locality of the massacre of the emigrant party is about four miles from the ranch on the road leading south. The valley at the place slopes gently toward the south; a small ravine runs parallel with the road on the right hand side at the spot.
When we arrived here in April, 1859, more than a year and a half after the massacre occurred, the ground for a distance more than a hundred yards around a central point, was covered with the skeletons and bones of human beings, interspersed in places with rolls or bunches of tangled or matted hair, which from its length, evidently belonged to females.
In places the bones of small children were lying side by side with those of grown persons, as if parent and child had met death at the same instant and with the same stroke. Small bonnets and dresses, and scraps of female apparel were also to be seen in places on the ground there, like the bones of those who wore them, bleached from long exposure, but their shape was, in many instances, entire.
In a gulch or hole in the ravine by the side of the road, a large number of leg and arm bones, and also of skulls, could be seen sticking above the surface, as if they had been buried there, but the action of the water and digging of the wolves had again exposed them to sight. The entire scene was one too horrible and sickening for language adequately to describe.
From this spit we proceeded south about one mile to a large spring, where the emigrants were encamped when the attack was first made upon them previous to the massacre. Here, within a few yards of the spring, we could distinctly define the form and size of the corral which they made, from a number of small holes, forming together a circle in the shape of a corral.
These holes were dug for the purpose of lowering the wheels of their wagons in them, so as to form a better protection, after the attack began. On the center of the corral a pit some twenty feet long, and four or five wide and deep, was dug for the purpose, no doubt, of placing the women and children in order to protect them from the fire of the assailants.
To the left of this corral, and about in hundred and fifty or sixty yards distant, on a small mound or knoll, a number of stones were still piled up in a way to form a partial breastwork or protection against the fire which the emigrants no doubt returned for several days against their assailants.
Numbers of the stones in this breastwork had bullet marks upon them on the side towards the corral, fully supporting the above construction as to its use. In places around the corral, human bones and imperfect skeletons were lying on the ground, indicating, with the corral and the breastwork on the knoll, that it was here, and not at the place spoken of where the great body of bines were found, that the work of slaughter began.
From this spring we proceeded on towards the settlement on the Santa Clara, for the purpose of obtaining the children from Mr. Hamblin, who resides there. -- On the same evening, after we had struck our camp for the night, a man drove up near us with an ox wagon, going also in the direction of Santa Clara. After turning out his oxen, he came to our tents and very soon informed us that he lived at Santa Clara, and that he was returning home from Cedar City with a load of flour, which he had been up to the latter place to obtain.
The conversation, after these personal explanations, turned very naturally, after what we had witnessed during the day, upon the Mountain Meadows massacre. And this man, whose name was Carl, or Carlie Shirts, informed us that he lived at the time the massacre occurred, at the ranch owned by Mr. Hamblin, at the north end of the Mountain Meadows. He was employed by Mr. Hamblin and making adobes at the time. He saw the emigrants when they entered the valley, and talked with several of the men belonging to it.
They appeared perfectly civil and gentlemanly. The train, he supposed, contained about forty wagons, and seven or eight hundred head of cattle, including those that were loose, besides a considerable number of horses and mules. The emigrants entered the valley on Friday, and the men with whom he conversed told him that they were anxious to stop a few days and rest and recruit their stock before entering on the desert, and inquired of him a good spot for this purpose.
He recommended the vicinity of the spring in the south end of the Meadows, as good water and plenty of grass abounded there. Following this advice, they proceeded there and encamped. The next morning he again saw some of the men, who informed him that they were looking for lost stock. In the evening he saw the men returning, driving some loose cattle.
He never saw any of the party afterwards. Early on Monday morning following, he stated that he heard the fire of a great many guns in the south, in the direction of the camp of the emigrants, he also saw on the hills around a good many Indians passing backwards and forwards, as if in a state of commotion or excitement.
His impression from hearing the guns and seeing the Indians at the time, was, that the latter had attacked the emigrants. On our inquiry why he did not go to Painter Creek and give the alarm if he thought so, he stated that he supposed the people knew about it. If not in the words, the foregoing is the exact substance of the statement made by Shirts.
On the day following, we reached the Santa Clara settlement and found in the possession of Mr. Hamblin, thirteen of the children preserved from the massacre, which, with one at Painter Creek, and two at Cedar City, was all that had then been heard of. These children were well with the exception of sore eyes, which they all had, and which prevailed at the time as an epidemic in the place [or] vicinity where they were.
After remaining a few days in Santa Clara in distributing some goods to the Indians, we set out with these children on our return. We did not take the same route by which we came down, but proceeding from Santa Clara direct to Harmony, leaving the Mountain Meadows some 15 or 20 miles to our left.
On arriving at Harmony Dr. Forney called on John D. Lee, who was at the time, as he may be at present, a bishop in the Mormon church. The Doctor had received information which led him to believe that Lee had a portion of the property belonging to these murdered emigrants in his possession, and his object in calling on him was to demand a surrender of the property. On the demand being made, bishop Lee denied having possession of any of the property, or any knowledge concerning it, further than that, he heard that the Indians took it.
I was not present when this demand was made, but was informed of it as recited by Dr. Forney on his return from Lee's house. Dr. Forney also informed me that, in a conversation with Lee concerning the massacre, he stated he was not at the massacre but reached there just after it ended. He also stated that Isaac Haight, who presided at Cedar City, and is another prominent dignitary in the Mormon church, holding an office styled "president," which is higher than that of a bishop, also arrived at the spot soon after him.
In the same conversation as related to me, Lee applied some foul and indecent epithets to the emigrants -- said that they were slandering the Mormons, while passing along, and in general terms justified the killing.
The day after this conversation with Lee, we started for Cedar City; Bishop Lee also set out with us for the professed purpose of going to see Prest. Haight and bishop Higby at Cedar City, and talking over with those men, in the presence of Dr. Forney, the circumstances in relation to the massacre, and the suspicions which had been expressed,
That they were concerned in it, either as actual participants in the deed itself, or as inciting the Indians to the crime, and, then sharing with them the spoils of the slain. Bishop Lee proceeded in company with us about half way from Harmony to Cedar City, when, from some unknown cause, he rode ahead and we did not see him afterwards.
On our arrival at Cedar City he was not there, or if he was, he kept secreted and out of sight. Dr. Forney met there President Haight and Bishop Higby, and made of these ecclesiastics the same demand that he did of Bishop Lee, and received about the same replies, from them that Lee gave. They did not, however, attempt to justify the massacre, on the ground of their slandering the Mormons.
On leaving Cedar City, on our way back, before arriving at Corn Creek, the Indian chief, Kanosh, who had been with us from the time that we left the Indian farm on Corn Creek, going south, informed Dr. Forney, that some Indians had told him on the way, that there were two more children saved from the massacre than Mr. Hamblin had collected. This information, though not deemed very reliable, the Doctor considered of sufficient importance to make an additional effort, in order to ascertain whether it was correct or not.
On meeting these troops, Dr. Forney furnished me with instructions, and directed me to return south again with the troops, and see if I could ascertain anything about the two children spoken of by Kanish. Judge Cradelbaugh, of the U. S. District Court for Utah, was also traveling with Capt. Campbell's command into the vicinity of Mountain Meadows, to see if he could obtain any evidence against persons who had been charged with participating in the massacre, that would justify him in arresting and holding them for trial.
On arriving at Corn Creek, we found there three companies of U. S. troops from Camp Floyd, under the command of Captain Campbell, who was on his way south to meet Maj. Prince, paymaster in the army, who was returning to Camp Floyd from California, with a large sum of money.
He was proceeding as a court inquiry or investigation simply; and informed me that he had authority from Gen. Johnston to retain a portion of the troops under Capt. Campbell, if he deemed it necessary, either to protect the court or to enforce its writs. Judge Cradlebaugh, on setting out was accompanied by deputy marshal, J. H. Stone, but the latter was compelled to stop near Nephi on account of sickness. Judge Cradlebaugh now requested me to take the place of Mr. Stone,
As I had been previously sworn in and acted as deputy U. S. Marshall at the U. S. District Court, held at Provo in the preceding month. As the duties of this post could in no way interfere with my search for the two children, said to have been left, and might enable me better to find them, I acceded to Judge Cradlebaugh's request to act as marshal.
In the vicinity of Parowan and below Cedar City, where the command of Capt. Campbell encamped, the soldiers, while hunting for wood, discovered human bones scattered in the bushes, and at one place they brought an entire skeleton into camp -- the bones of which were still united and held together by sinews, showing that the person, whoever it was, could not have been a great while dead.
We had no knowledge at the time, and never received any, as to whose remains these were, or whether they were persons that had died from exposure, or starvation, or whether they were victims if treachery and murder. From the distance at which they were found from the place of the Mountain Meadows massacre, it is not presumable that they formed a portion of the party slain there.
On arriving at Cedar City, President Haight and Bishop Higby were not seen; but at the camping ground, a few miles beyond, Judge Cradlebaugh issued writs for their arrest, and also for the arrest of Bishop Lee if Harminy, and placed them in my hands for execution. These writs were issued, as I understand, on the authority of affidavits, charging these men with being concerned in the Mountain Meadows massacre, which were made before Judge Cradlebaugh before he set out to investigate the matter.
These writs were given to me when we were about four or five miles below Cedar City and about twelve or fourteen from Harmony; but as nothing had been seen of Haught or Higby in passing through Cedar City, I thought it best to proceed first to Harmony and try to secure Lee, and afterwards to return and try to arrest Haight and Higby, if circumstances gave promise of any success in doing so.
It is proper for me to say here, that not only Haight and Higby, but a large portion of the male inhabitants of the different Mormon towns, and settlements through which we passed, either fled or secreted themselves on the approach of the troops. The cause of this I do not know, unless from a consciousness of guilt of some kind, as the troops were certainly on no hostile expedition against the inhabitants, but were simply on their way to act as an escort to a paymaster of the army.
And Judge Cradlebaugh did not seek to interfere with the right or liberty of any man [unaccused of crime]. I summoned to attend me, and if necessary act as a civil power, in the arrest of Lee, eight Quartermaster's men who were traveling with Capt. Campbell's command; on their way to California. Accompanied by these men, I started for Harmony on the morning that I received the writs.
On the way thither we passed through or near a small settlement containing five or six houses. I stopped here to make inquiries about the two children. The residents of the place, men, women and children, mostly came out of their houses when I had stopped, but none of them professed to know anything about any children besides those that Mr. Hamblin had collected.
I told them that if the children were in the country at all, every house would be searched if they were not given up. At this, one of the men present, but who did not live in the place, but had arrived there just before me, stated that his wife had one of the children; that he lived at Pocketville, another small settlement forty or fifty miles distant, named from its location in the mountains.
He stated that the child was very young, and that his wife was very much attached to it, and that it would give me much trouble if I took it away, and seemed by all his remarks, to be anxious to retain it. I told him that I had no power to give the child away, and that I would send and get it in a few days. Mr. Hamblin went over and brought this child away in a few days after I discovered where it was. This child was a bright eyed and rosy cheeked boy, about two years old, and must have been an infant when the massacre occurred.
On being brought to Salt Lake City, and joining the other children, one of the oldest boys of the group, whose name was John Calvin Sorrow [sic - Sorel?], ran up to it, and kissing it remarked that it was his little brother; and that he did not know where he was. From this circumstance this child received the name of Sorrow, after that of the older boy, but whether it was their original name or not I do not know; it is, at all events, expressive of their sad history.
The second child said to have been left, I never heard of, although I inquired diligently after it. On arriving at Harmony, with the men accompanying me, I went to the house of Bishop Lee and inquired for him, but was informed by one of his wives, (I was told that they were thirteen in number,) that Mr. Lee had been absent two or three days in the mountains; that he was there looking for copper with the Indians.
Others besides his family of whom I inquired, also informed me that he had gone away. As he had thus played the same dodge that President Haight and Bishop Higby gave us at Cedar City, I deemed it useless to wait for his return, or to return myself to Cedar City under any expectation of finding Haight or Higby there. I therefore returned again to the camp of Capt. Campbell, and proceeded on with it to the Mountain Meadows, and encamped a second time by the spring in the south end of the meadows, where the emigrants were encamped before being butchered
From the Mountain Meadows, Capt. Campbell, with his command, proceeded to the Santa Clara, some four or five miles from the Mormon settlement on that stream, and there awaited the arrival of Maj. Prince. We waited here a week before Maj. Prince arrived. During our stay here some Indians in the vicinity came frequently to our camp, the same Indians that had been charged with [attacking] the emigrants at the Mountain Meadows.
These Indians admitted that a portion of them were present after the attack began at the corral, but denied they joined in it. One of these Indians stated in the presence of others of the same band, that after the attack was made upon the emigrants at the corral, a white man came to them and exhibited a letter, and stated that it was from Brigham Young, and that it directed them to go up and help whip the emigrants
A portion of the band went therefore, but did not assist in the fight, and gave as a reason for not doing so, that the emigrants had long guns and were good shots, and they were afraid to venture near. A chief of the band stated that a brother of his was killed by a shot from the corral at a distance of two hundred yards, as he was running across the meadow.
These Indians also stated that the Mormons who killed the emigrants were painted so as to resemble Indians. They denied that they received ably of the stock or property belonging to the emigrants, except a few of the old clothes. These Indians called Bishop Lee "Narguts," was there but would not venture near, being, like themselves, afraid. President Haight and Bishop Higby were also present, aiding in the attack.
Maj. Carlton, of the first Dragoons, came as the escort of Maj. Prince from California. On reaching Santa Clara where we were encamped, the two commands went together to the Mountain Meadows -- Maj. Carlton, to recruit his stock, before setting out on his return to California, and Capt. Campbell on his way to Camp Floyd. Leaving these commands both here, Judge Cradlebaugh and I proceeded forward to Cedar City, where the Judge intended to remain some time and make a thorough investigation if he could, concerning the massacre and persons engaged in it.
Owing to some disadvantages in the location of Cedar City, a large portion of the inhabitants that once dwelt there had moved away, and there was, in consequence, a good many vacant houses in the place. Judge Cradlebaugh obtained the use of one of these to stay in while he remained, and for the purpose of a court room.
As soon as it became known that Judge C. intended holding a court, and investigating the circumstances of the massacre, and that he would have troops to ensure protection, and enforce his writs if necessary, several persons visited him at his room, at late hours of the night, and informed him of different facts connected with the massacre. All these that called thus, stated that it would be at the risk of their lives if it became known that they had communicated anything to him; and they requested Judge Cradlebaugh, if he met them in public in the day time, not to recognize them as persons that he had before seen.
One of the men who called thus on Judge Cradlebaugh, confessed that he participated in the massacre, and gave the following account of it: Previous to the massacre there was a council held at Cedar City, which President Haight, and Bishops Higby and Lee attended. At this council they designed or appointed a large number of men residing in Cedar City, and in other settlements around, to perform the work of dispatching these emigrants.
The men appointed for this purpose, were instructed to report, well armed, at a given time, to a spring or small stream, lying a short distance to the left of the road leading into the meadows, and not very far from Hamblin's ranch, but concealed from it by intervening hills. This was the place of rendezvous; and here the men, when they arrived, painted and otherwise disguised themselves so as to resemble Indians.
From thence they proceeded, early on Monday morning, by a path or trail which leads from his spring directly into the meadows, and enters the road some distance beyond Hamblin's ranch. By taking this route they could not be seen by any one at the ranch. On arriving at the corral of the emigrants, a number of the men were standing on the outside by the camp-fires, which, from appearances, they had just been building.
These were first fired upon, and at the first discharge several of them fell dead or wounded; the remainder immediately ran to the inside of the corral, and began fortifying themselves, and preparing for defense as well as they could, by shoving their wagons closer together, and digging holes into which to lower them, so as to keep the shots from going under and striking them.
The attack continued in a desultory and irregular manner for four or five days. The corral was closely watched, and if any of the emigrants showed themselves they were instantly fired at from without. If they attempted to go to the spring, which was only a few yards distant, they were sure to fall by the rifles of their assailants. In consequence of the almost certain death that resulted from any attempt to procure water, the emigrants, before the siege discontinued, suffered intensely from thirst.
The assailants, believing at length that the emigrants could not be subdued by the means adopted, resorted to treachery and stratagem to accomplish what they had been unable to do by force. They returned to the spring where they had painted and disguised themselves pervious to commencing the attack, and there removed those disguises, and again assumed their ordinary dress. After this, Bishop Lee, with a party of men, returned to the camp of the emigrants, bearing a white flag as a signal of truce.
From the position of the corral, the emigrants were able to see them some time before they reached it. As soon as they discerned it, they dressed a little girl in white, and placed her at the entrance of the corral, to indicate their friendly feelings to the persons bearing the flag. Lee and his party, on arriving, were invited into the corral, where they staid about an hour, talking with them about the attack that had been made upon them.
Lee told the emigrants that the Indians had gone off over the hills, and that if they would lay down their arms and give up their property, he and his party would conduct them back to Cedar City; but if they went out with their arms, the Indians would look upon it as an unfriendly act, and would again attack them.
The emigrants, trusting to Lee's honor and to the sincerity of his statements, consented to the terms which he proposed, and left their property and all their arms at the corral, and, under the escort of Lee and his party, started towards the north in the direction of Cedar City.
After they had proceeded about a mile on their way, on a signal given by Bishop Higby, who was one of the party that went to the corral with Lee, the slaughter began. The men were mostly killed or shot down at the first fire, and the women and children, who immediately fled in different directions, were quickly pursued and dispatched.
Such was the substance, if not the exact words, of a statement made by a man to Judge Cradlebaugh, in my presence, who at the same time confessed that he participated in the horrible events which he related. He also gave Judge C. the names of 25 or 30 other men living in the region, who assisted in the massacre. He offered also to make the same statement in court and under oath, if protection was guaranteed to him. He gave as a reason for divulging these facts, that they had tormented his mind and conscience since they occurred, and he expressed a willingness to stand a trial for his crime.
We had been in Cedar City but two days when Capt. Campbell with his command arrived, and informed Judge Cradlebaugh that he had received an express from Gen. Johnston, directing him to bring back with him all the troops in his command, as reports were then current that the Mormons were assembling in armed bodies in the mountains, for what purpose was not known.
In consequence of this order, Judge Cradlebaugh was left without the means of either protecting witnesses who might be called on to testify in court, or of arresting any parties who might flee or resist his writs. Without assistance of this kind, he deemed it useless to attempt to hold a court, and we accordingly both left on the following day with Capt. Campbell, on his return to Camp Floyd. On our way there we were overtaken by Mr. and Mrs. Hamblin, on their way to Salt Lake City. They had with them the child found at Pocketsville.
I had employed Mr. H. to take it to the city, knowing that it would be out of my power to devote proper care to it, under the circumstances in which I was placed. Mr. Hamblin traveled in company with us for a day or two, and during this time Mrs. H. informed me that at the time of the massacre, she was living at the ranch at the north end of the Mountain Meadows, and that for several days before these children were brought to her house, or before she had even seen them, she saw several men loitering about in the vicinity of her house without any apparent object or business; this was an unusual circumstance.
On the day that the massacre took place, Mrs. Hamblin stated that the children were brought to her house, and there disposed of by Bishop Lee to different white persons who were there at the time. Lee professed to act as an agent for the Indians in disposing of these children. He pretended to barter them for guns, blankets, and ponies for the use of the Indians; but Mrs. H. stated that she was of the opinion at the time that the children were not really sold, and that the pretence of doing so by Lee was a mere sham.
Lee went through the form of selling or bartering off all the children but two. One if these was an infant whose left arm was nearly shot off above the elbow, the bone being entirely severed; the other was her sister, three or four years older. These two, Mrs. Hamblin stated, Bishop Lee gave to her, and assigned as a reason for doing so, the high esteem which the Indians had for Mr. Hamblin. I have omitted heretofore to state that Jacob Hamblin, the husband of this lady, who has been several times referred to in this narrative, was a "President" in the Mormon church, holding the same office as that of Isaac Haight.
From many interviews that I have had with Mr. Hamblin, and from all that I could learn from others, he was absent from home, and in Salt Lake City; when the massacre took place; and I have no evidence or reason to believe that he was in any way concerned, or even aware of the massacre, till after it was over.
It will be remembered that I employed Mr. Hamblin to go to Pocketville for the child which I heard of there. After his return with the child, Mr. Hamblin came to the camp of Capt. Campbell, on the Santa Clara, to inform me of the fact. -- While there he told me that he had heard more, and learned more about the massacre during his absence after the child, than he ever knew before; that he had been told of a number of men that he knew, who were concerned [with] it, that he never dreamed or suspected, or would have suspected of being concerned in it, but for what he had been told.
I inquired of him the names of these men, and he informed me that he was under a promise of secrecy not to divulge them to any one but Gov. Cumming; but that he [intended] to tell him who they were. Mr. Hamblin was in Salt Lake City not long after, but I was told by Gov. Cumming after he left, that he had revealed nothing to him in regard to the massacre or those concerned in it.
These are the principal and most important facts obtained in relation to this noted massacre during the trip to which I have referred. I have omitted many minor facts and circumstances corroborative of those given, on account of the additional length to which they would extend this article, which is already quite lengthy.
I have aimed at the narration simply of what I saw and heard, leaving the public to place any construction they deem proper upon the facts and statements given. And this would not have been done by me in this manner if I had seen from any one else a publication embodying these particulars, if this attempt had not been made to sneer away the evidence that exists of Mormon complicity in this horrid massacre, if not of their being the only persons concerned in it.
WM. H. ROGERS.