History, 1838–1856, volume E-1 [1 July 1843–30 April 1844]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 1646
image
<​July 1​> exceed three hundred men— that of , perhaps three times that number. I was no way connected with the militia, being over age, neither was Joseph Smith Senior. I went into the line formed by though unarmed, and stood among the rest to await the result, and had a full view of both forces, and stood there. The armies were within rifle shot of each other. About the setting of the sun ordered his army to return to the camp at the creek; they wheeled and marched off. After they had retired, it was consulted what was best to do— by what authority the army was there no one could tell, as far as I knew— it was agreed to build through the night a sort of fortification, and if we must fight, sell our lives as dear as we could accordingly all hands went to work, rails, house-logs, and wagons, were all put in requisition and the South line of the as well secured as could be done by the men and means, and the short time allowed; expecting an attack in the morning. The morning at length came and that day passed away and still nothing done; but plundering the cornfields, shooting cattle and hogs, stealing horses and robbing houses, and carrying off potatoes, turnips and all such things as the army of could get, for such in the event they proved to be. The main body being commanded by a Deacon in the Presbyterian church. The next day came and then it was ascertained that they were there by order of the .
A demand was made for Joseph Smith Senior, , , , and , to go into their camp with this demand we instantly complied and accordingly started. When we came in sight of their camp the whole army was on parade, marching toward the , we approached and met them, and were informed by that we were prisoners of war. A scene followed that would defy any mortal to describe, a howling was set up, that would put any thing I ever heard before or since at defiance. I thought at the time it had no parallel except it might be in the perdition of ungodly men. They had a cannon. [HC 3:459] I could distinctly hear the guns as the locks were sprung, which appeared from the sound to be in every part of the army. came riding up where we were, and swore by his maker that he would hew the first man down that cocked a gun, one or two other officers on horseback also rode up, ordering those who had cocked their guns to uncock them or they would be hewed down with their swords, we were conducted into their camp and made to lay on the ground through the night.
This was late in October— we were kept here for two days and two nights. It commenced raining and snowing until we were completely drenched and being compelled to lay on the ground which had become very wet and the water was running round us and under us— what consultation the officers and others had in relation to the disposition which was to be made of us. I am entirely indebted to the report made to me by as none of us were put on any trial. gave an account of which the following is the substance, as far as my memory serves me: “That they held a court martial and sentenced us to be shot at 8 o’Clock the next morning after the Court Martial was holden, in the public square in the presence of our families— that this court martial was composed of seventeen preachers and some of the principal officers of the army— presided— and said “that neither himself nor his brigade should have any hand in the shooting; that it was nothing short of cold blooded murder and left the Court Martial and ordered his brigade to prepare and march off the ground”. [p. 1646]
July 1 exceed three hundred men— that of , perhaps three times that number. I was no way connected with the militia, being over age, neither was Joseph Smith Senior. I went into the line formed by though unarmed, and stood among the rest to await the result, and had a full view of both forces, and stood there. The armies were within rifle shot of each other. About the setting of the sun ordered his army to return to the camp at the creek; they wheeled and marched off. After they had retired, it was consulted what was best to do— by what authority the army was there no one could tell, as far as I knew— it was agreed to build through the night a sort of fortification, and if we must fight, sell our lives as dear as we could accordingly all hands went to work, rails, house-logs, and wagons, were all put in requisition and the South line of the as well secured as could be done by the men and means, and the short time allowed; expecting an attack in the morning. The morning at length came and that day passed away and still nothing done; but plundering the cornfields, shooting cattle and hogs, stealing horses and robbing houses, and carrying off potatoes, turnips and all such things as the army of could get, for such in the event they proved to be. The main body being commanded by a Deacon in the Presbyterian church. The next day came and then it was ascertained that they were there by order of the .
A demand was made for Joseph Smith Senior, , , , and , to go into their camp with this demand we instantly complied and accordingly started. When we came in sight of their camp the whole army was on parade, marching toward the , we approached and met them, and were informed by that we were prisoners of war. A scene followed that would defy any mortal to describe, a howling was set up, that would put any thing I ever heard before or since at defiance. I thought at the time it had no parallel except it might be in the perdition of ungodly men. They had a cannon. [HC 3:459] I could distinctly hear the guns as the locks were sprung, which appeared from the sound to be in every part of the army. came riding up where we were, and swore by his maker that he would hew the first man down that cocked a gun, one or two other officers on horseback also rode up, ordering those who had cocked their guns to uncock them or they would be hewed down with their swords, we were conducted into their camp and made to lay on the ground through the night.
This was late in October— we were kept here for two days and two nights. It commenced raining and snowing until we were completely drenched and being compelled to lay on the ground which had become very wet and the water was running round us and under us— what consultation the officers and others had in relation to the disposition which was to be made of us. I am entirely indebted to the report made to me by as none of us were put on any trial. gave an account of which the following is the substance, as far as my memory serves me: “That they held a court martial and sentenced us to be shot at 8 o’Clock the next morning after the Court Martial was holden, in the public square in the presence of our families— that this court martial was composed of seventeen preachers and some of the principal officers of the army— presided— and said “that neither himself nor his brigade should have any hand in the shooting; that it was nothing short of cold blooded murder and left the Court Martial and ordered his brigade to prepare and march off the ground”. [p. 1646]
Page 1646