spirit of unity amongst you which will enable them to do so, you know better than I can know.
As to your military affairs I have already written to the Hon. concerning that subject and I refer you to that letter for my opinions at length, as to your military organization. Since I wrote that letter I have been advised of the movement at in relation to the Hon. , and also of the proceedings of the Carthaginians in removing the Cannon from . As yet I am ignorant of their design in this latter movement whether they intend it as a mere bravado, to keep up agitation and excitement until after the trials; or whether there is to be a general move; and renawal [p. ]
According to an extract of a letter published by the Illinois State Register, on 29 March 1845 the Carthage militia, known as the Carthage Greys, confronted Jacob B. Backenstos, the non-Mormon state representative for Hancock County, about his opposition to the legislature’s repeal of the Nauvoo charter. The Greys instructed Backenstos to leave the city within a week “under the penalty of the consequnces—which are well understood to be personal violence, or death.” The Register, the political organ of the Democratic Party in Illinois, condemned the Greys for this “most reckless, ill-advised, dastardly act” and argued that “the State arms should be at once removed from the hands of this military company.” As the deadline given by the Carthage Greys for Backenstos’s departure from Carthage approached, Almon Babbitt reported that the “Jack Mormons” (non-Mormons sympathetic to the Latter-day Saints) in Carthage were “gathering a company” to protect Backenstos. Though the deadline passed without incident, the Register reported that Backenstos and his supporters remained vigilant against possible attacks. Several days later the Ottawa, Illinois, Free Trader reported that Backenstos “had not yet left, and had no notion of doing it, and no attempt had been made to drive him away. It is understood that he is prepared to give all such as may approach him for the purpose of committing violence, a suitable reception.” (Editorial, Illinois State Register [Springfield], 4 Apr. 1845, ; “The Carthage Grays,” and “Latest from Hancock,” Illinois State Register, 11 Apr. 1845, ; Clayton, Journal, 5 Apr. 1845; “Notice to Quit,” Ottawa [IL] Free Trader, 18 Apr. 1845, .)
Illinois State Register. Springfield, IL. 1839–1861.