troops advanced into the city they should " be sheared down."
The reader has but to imagine himself in a sparsely settled
desert country, " a thousand miles from everywhere," from
which there was no possibility of escape without the loss of
everything, and the risk of life itself, and his indignation
against the Mormon people for their rebellion will soon change ,
^ The brethren made but rough soldiers, although they had
/ been drilled as well as their situation, arms, and the ability of
their instructors permitted. They were immediately sent out
into Echo Canon, a narrow defile between the mountains about
twenty -five miles in length, through which the troops were ex-
pected to pass. There, on the east side, the high rocks were
swarming with men engaged in building dry stone walls as a
* Deseret News, November 18, 1857.
THE BULWARKS OF ZION. 363
protection for the riflemen, and on the sloping sides of the
western mountains trenches were dug for the same purpose.
On the east side, at the base of the overhanging mountains,
was the ordinary road through the canon. The Mormon
engineers had constructed dams for the purpose of throwing a
great body of water on to the west of the road, among the wil-
lows and scrub-trees, so that the army would be forced to take
the east side of the canon, where the Saints were prepared for
On the overhanging rocks large quantities of boulders and
masses of rocks were placed, so that, as the army passed by, a
small leverage would be amply sufficient to hail them down /
upon the soldiers. It may be hardly fair to smile at this prim-
itive arrangement, but in these days of rifles and long-range
Echo CanonThe Mormon Defences.
shells the critical unbeliever can hardly refrain from compar-
ing such defensive operations to the process of " catching birds
" by putting salt on their tails ! " As the traveller in the luxu-
rious Pullman cars of the Union Pacific Railroad passes through
that canon to-day, it is edifying to raise the eyes and see still
standing the dry stone walls the " bulwarks of Zion."
The officers of the " invading army " had little conception
of the importance of their mission, and were taken by surprise
when, for the first time, they learned what kind of a reception
364 THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SAINTS.
awaited them. Instead of lead and bullets they anticipated a
repetition of the hospitable reception extended to Col. Steptoe
and his command three years before, and had supplied them-
selves with lavender and " cream kids " for the parties in the
Social Hall. The little trinkets that speak of thoughtfulness
for the fair sex, and the kindly interchange of social courtesies,
were not forgotten by the younger aspirants to fame and ladies'
graces. In brief, they started West on the best of terms with
themselves and the acquaintances they expected to make.
Major Van Vleit reached Washington in the middle of No-
vember, and made the following report to the Secretary of War:
" In explaining to Governor Young the object which the Government
had in view in sending troops to Utah, I told him that the Territory of
Utah had been organized into a separate military department the same as
Florida, Texas, Kansas and other portions of the United States had been,
and the troops crossing the plains had been simply ordered to take post
in it. I told him further that I had seen the orders which were to govern
the commanding officers of the troops, and that they contained no intima-
tion whatever that the troops would or could be used to molest or inter-
fere with the people of Utah. I explained that the troops could only be
called upon to interfere when the authority of the Government was set at
defiance, and only then as a posse comitatus on the requisition of the Gov-
ernor of the Territory, the same as then obtained in the Territory of Kansas.
"I also told them that I was convinced that the intentions of the Gov-
ernment towards the people of Utah were of the most pacific nature, and
that the past was forgotten, and that as the Constitution of the United
States guaranteed to each one entire freedom in religious matters, I was
certain that Governor Cumming would have no instructions that could
in any way interfere with the Mormons as a religious people. I stated
that I had seen Governor Cumming just before I left the frontiers, and
had he had any such instructions I would have been made acquainted
" In making these statements to Governor Young and other citizens of
Utah, I was governed by a desire to allay if possible the hostile feeling
which I plainly saw existed towards the United States, and to place be-
fore them the action of the Government in its true light. I was soon con-
vinced, however, that Governor Young had decided upon the course he
intended to pursue, and could I have laid before him the most pacific in-
tentions of the Government, over the signature of the President himself,
it would not have turned him from it.
" At present Governor Young exercises absolute power, both temporal
and spiritual, over the people of Utah, both of which powers he and the
people profess to believe emanate directly from the Almighty. Hence the
THE NEW GOVERNOR TO BE SENT BACK. 365
opposition of the people to a new Governor, and the remark of Governor
Young that, should Governor Gumming enter the Territory, he would
place him in his carriage and send him back.
" I heard elder John Taylor, in a discourse to a congregation of over
four thousand Mormons, say that none of the rulers of the earth were en-
titled to their positions unless appointed to them by the Lord, and that
the Almighty had appointed a man to rule over and govern his Saints,
and that man was Brigham Young, and that they would have no one else
to rule over them."
When the order was given for the march of the troops to
Utah, no one could have divined that such terrible misfortunes
were in store for them as those which they experienced before
the close of the year. The force consisted of two regiments of
infantry the Fifth and Tenth ; one regiment of cavalry the
old Second Dragoons ; and two batteries of artillery Keno's
and Phelps's. There was nothing forgotten in the equipment
of the expedition, and the chief officers were gentlemen of
thorough military education and eminently qualified for the
position which they held. The probabilities then were all
against Brigham, should he conclude to oppose the advance of
the army ; but, before the end of 1857, a more unfortunate ex-
pedition could not well be conceived. The troubles originated
at the beginning of the march. Kansas at that moment was
supposed to require the presence of General Harney and the
Second Dragoons. The General, therefore, never took com-
mand of the Utah expedition, and the dragoons were absent
from the Plains at the time when they were most required.
General Persifier F. Smith was assigned to the command
in place of General Harney, but he fell ill and died at Fort
Leavenworth. The infantry and artillery, with all the quar-
ter-master and commissary stores, were then on the plains, and
the command of the expedition, by seniority of rank, devolved
upon Colonel Alexander, of the Tenth Infantry. The expedi-
tion was, therefore, without any instructions from the Govern-
ment ; all that its commander knew was its destination.
As the army passed the boundary iine of Utah, Brigham'sTl
declaration of September 15th was forwarded, together with
another missive, dated September 29th, for the perusal of " the
" officer commanding the forces now invading Utah Territory,"
the gist of which was that Brigham was still Governor, as the
366 THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SAINTS.
Act of Congress organizing the Territory provided that the
chief executive should hold his office for four years, or " until
" his successor should be appointed and qualified, unless sooner
" removed by the President of the United States." Brigham
asserted that no one had been legally appointed and qualified
to succeed him, that he himself had not been removed by the
President, and hence he was still Governor and Superintendent
of Indian Affairs, and Commander-in-chief of the militia of
the Territory. The remainder of the document, as a gem of
Dogberryism, is worthy of notice :
r~ " By virtue of the authority thus vested in me, I have issued and for-
warded you a copy of my proclamation forbidding the entrance of armed
forces into this Territory. This you have disregarded. I now farther direct
that you retire forthwith from the Territory by the same route you entered.
Should you deem this impracticable, and prefer to remain until spring in
the vicinity of your present position at Black's Fork or Green Kiver, you
can do so in peace and unmolested, on condition that you deposit your
arms and ammunition with Lewis Robinson, Quarter-Master-General of the
Territory, and leave in the spring as soon as the condition of the roads
I will permit you to march. And should you fall short of provisions, they
I can be furnished you upon making the proper applications therefor."
The Mormon "warriors" now set to work vigorously to
fulfil the instructions of their leaders, to hamper and impede
the advance of the army, and the detention of the Second Dra-
goons in Kansas was now felt to be not only a serious blunder,
but an irreparable loss, for there was no proper force to prevent
the Mormon cavalry from plundering the supply-trains, or do-
ing whatever else they pleased.
Meanwhile, a new commander had been appointed at Wash-
ington in the person of Col. Albert Sidney Johnston. He was
a brilliant soldier, but at the date of Brigham's proclamation
was still at Leaven worth, twelve hundred miles from the army
to which he was appointed. His command had as yet heard
nothing from him, and, without instructions and fearing every-
thing, Col. Alexander concentrated his forces at Ham's Fork,
until some course could" be resolved upon by a council of the
officers.^ It was then the latter part of September ; winter was
^approaching, the stock of forage was rapidly decreasing, and
the country was altogether unfitted for winter-quarters. Every
day's delay was disastrous, and threatened the very existence
THE MORMON STYLE OF WARFARE. 367
of the expedition, for the mountains were already draped with
snow, and the Mormons were constantly harassing the supply-
trains. The troops began to show signs of demoralization ;
Lieut.-General D. H. Wells.
they were in a bleak and barren desert, with an enemy sur-
rounding them that knew every inch of the ground, and who
to all appearances could easily destroy them without sheddingy
a drop of their own blood.
On the 4th of October, Brigham's counsellor, D. H. Wells,
issued the following order :
" On ascertaining the locality or route of the troops, proceed at once
to annoy them in every possible way. Use every exertion to stampede
their animals, and set fire to their trains. Burn the whole country before
them and on their flanks. Keep them from sleeping by night surprises.
Blockade the road by felling trees, or destroying the fords when you can.
Watch for opportunities to set fire to the grass on their windward, so as,
if possible, to envelop their trains. Leave no grass before them that can
be burned. Keep your men concealed as much as possible, and guard
against surprise. Keep scouts out at all times, and communication open
with Colonel Burton, Major McAllister, and O. P. Rockwell, who are op-
erating in the same way. Keep me advised daily of your movements, and
every step the troops take; and in which direction.
" God bless you and give TOU success.
" Your Brother in Christ,
(Signed) "DANIEL H. WELLS.
THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SAINTS.
" P. S. If the troops have not passed, or have turned in this direction,
follow in their rear, and continue to annoy them, and stampede or drive
off their animals at every opportunity. D. H. WELLS."
These instructions were carried out to the letter. One of
the Government supply-trains was burned at Simpson's Hol-
low, ten miles east of Green river, and two trains were burned
on the Sweetwater ; in all seventy-five wagons containing pro-
visions, tents, tools, and clothing. At the same time those
who burned them ran off a large number of cattle.
Burning Government Trains.
The Prophet had given orders that no blood was to be shed
under any temptation or provocation, save only in the extrem-
ity of self-defence, but the army was to be " wasted away."
The teamsters, wagon-masters, and attaches of the trains were
corralled, furnished with an outfit of provisions, and their faces
turned eastward. Of that entire host of civilians it is stated
that not a dozen of them reached the frontiers. They perished
by the way, from exhaustion, cold, and the attacks of Indians.
On the 10th of October the officers of the expedition held
a council of war and determined that the army should advance
from Ham's Fork, but to change the route of travel and make
Salt Lake Yalley, if they could, ma Soda Springs, a distance
of nearly three hundred miles, and at least a hundred and fifty
THE FEDERAL TROOPS IN GREAT TROUBLE. 369
miles farther than the route through Echo Canon. The order
was issued, and next day the troops commenced a dreary march.
Early in the morning the sky was surcharged with dark,
threatening clouds, and as they started the snow fell heavily.
A few supply-trains were kept together and guarded by the
infantry, but the travel was slow, vexatious, and discouraging.
The beasts of burthen were suffering from want of forage, as,
in anticipation of this movement, the grass had been burned
all along that route. The animals were completely exhausted,
and, before they were a week on the new route, three miles a
day was all the distance that could be made.
Another council of war was held, but the only topics of
discussion were the suffering, disaster, and heavy losses of the
company. The soldiers were murmuring, and dissatisfaction
reigned everywhere. Some gallant officers were desirous of
forcing an issue with the Mormons, cutting their way through
the canons, and taking their chances of what might come.
This course might have afforded some gratification to individ-
uals, but to the company at large it was impracticable : every
effort was necessary to save the expedition from total ruin.
In this forlorn condition the new commander was heard
from, and the troops were instantly inspired with new life.
Colonel Johnston comprehended the situation and. ordered the
expedition to retrace its steps. The snow was six inches
deep, the grass all covered, the animals starving. The advance
had been slow, the retreat was simply crawling. On the 3rd
of November they reached the point of rendezvous, and next i
day Colonel Johnston joined them with a small reinforcement)
and the remainder of the supply-trains.
The morale of the army was restored by the presence of
an efficient commander with instructions in his pocket, but
the difficulties of the expedition were increasing every hour.
The supply-trains were strung out about six miles in length,
the animals worrying along till, thoroughly exhausted, they
would fall in their tracks and die.
All this long line of wagons and beef cattle had to be
guarded to prevent surprise and the stampede of the animals.*
* About the middle of October, the Mormon " boys " drove 800 oxen from the
rear of the army into Salt Lake Valley. On the 5th of November they made another
THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SAINTS.
rThe snow was deep on the ground and the weather was bit-
terly cold. Many of the men were fatally frost-bitten and the
cattle and mules perished by the score. In Colonel Philip St.
George Cooke's command fifty-seven head of horses and mules
froze to death in one night on the Sweetwater, and from there
to Fort Bridger, where the expedition finally wintered, the road
was literally strewn with dead animals. The camp on Black's
Fork, thirty miles from Bridger, was named " The Camp of
" Death." Five hundred animals perished around the camp on
the night of the 6th of November. Fifteen oxen were found
huddled together in one heap, frozen stiff.
The Camp of Death
In this perilous situation the expeditionary army to Utah
made the distance to Bridger thirty-five miles in fifteen
days ! Often the advance had arrived at camp before the end
of the train had left. On the 16th of November, the army
reached their winter-quarters, Camp Scott, two miles from the
. site of Fort Bridger and one hundred and fifteen from Salt
I Lake City.
successful drive of 500 oxen, and literally fulfilled the words -of the popular song,
" Du dah," which the Mormons had adapted to their own views, and which had re-
ceived the approval of "the Prophet of the Lord."
" There's seven hundred wagons on the way,
Du dah !
And their cattle are numerous, so they say,
Dudah! Du dah day!
Now, to let them perish would be a sin,
So we'll take all they've pot for "bringing them in,
Dudah! Du dah day!
CHOBTTS. Then let us be on hand,
By Brigham Toung to stand,
Aid if our enemies do appear.
"We'll sweep them off the land."
THE TWO ARMIES. The Saints rejoice, and sing their Warlike Songs Tbe
Federal Troops in Camp Scott Brigham sends them a Present of Salt" The
Lord" is to destroy the Enemies of Zion Col. Kane arrives among the Mor-
mons and converts Brigham The Prophet concludes that he cannot "whip"
the United States He proposes Flight Means to take Care of Himself Col.
Kane visits Gov. Gumming and arranges a Basis of Prospective Peace He of-
fends Gen. Johnston A Duel imminent The Mormons flee from their Homes.
WHILE these misfortunes beset the Government troops, the
Mormons were the happiest of mortals. The calamities that
had befallen their own hand-cart emigrants only the year be-
fore were instantly forgotten, and the sufferings and privations
of the soldiers were regarded as the immediate and direct
judgments of the Almighty against those who would " fight
" against Zion."
As the snow had closed the passage through the mountain
canons, there was no longer any necessity for " defence," and
the brethren returned to the settlements to be greeted with
songs of victory. One of the paeans of the time was a " Wel-
" come to the returned warriors of Zion : dedicated to Lieuten-
" ant-General Wells and his co-champions in arms," which ex-
presses the view that the enthusiastic took of their situation :
"Strong in the power of Brigham's God,
Your name 's a terror to our foes ;
Ye were a barrier strong and broad
As our high mountains crowned with snows.
" Fear filled the myrmidons of war,
Their courage fell in wordy boast ;
The faith and prayers of Israel's host
Repelled the tyrant's gory car.
Then welcome ! sons of light and trutn.
Heroes alike in age and youth."
372 THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SAINTS.
That was the gayest winter ever known in Utah, and danc-
ing and theatrical representations were everywhere encouraged,
while the songs of the Mormon camps, adapted to the popular
negro melodies of the day, were brought into the city and were
heard in all the assemblies. The Sunday worship was enliv-
ened with the jovial chorus of " Du dah, r ' * and the " sweet
" singers of Israel" discoursed Mormon patriotic sentiments to
the air of " The Ked, White, and Blue." To fire the souls of
the Saints, one of the brethren, who is now an " apostate," made
a most excellent translation of the " Marseillaise Hymn," while
another of the elders sang the praises of the " warriors " in
verse that has immortalized him among the poets of the Tab-
ernacle. Nor were the sisters wanting in enthusiam. Sister
" E M " a delicate, petite English lady, whose heart
would have been m6ved at the violent death of a spider,
aroused with her eloquence " the defenders of Zion " to " gird
" on for the fight." She was "inspired."
* This Mormon " Du dah " is a remarkable composition, but it is too lengthy to be
given entire. Two verses, however, will suffice to show the breathings of the Taber-
nacle, and the extent of the enthusiasm which then prevailed. After partaking of
the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, such a song as the following seems hardly in
harmony with the place and occasion :
" Old Sam has sent, I understand,
A Missouri ass to rule our land,
Dudah! Dudah day!
But if he comes, we'll have some fun,
Du dah !
To see him and Ms juries run,
Dudah! Dudah day I
CHORUS Then let us be on hand,
By Brigham Young to stand,
And if our enemies do appear,
We'll sweep them from the land.
" Old Squaw-killer Harney is on the way,
Du dah I
The Mormon people for to slay,
Du dah 1 Da dah day !
Now if he comes, the truth I'll tell,
Our boys will drive him down to hell,
Du dah ! Du dah day ! "
From such lyrical effusions as these, sung during " divine worship " in the Taber-^
nacle, the elevated tone of the sermons can be imagined. ( It is due to the better"
tiught of the people to add that they had no alternative but to submit to the
WARLIKE POETRY. 373
The following verses are illustrative of the warlike enthu-
siasm to which the preaching of the leading elders had brought
the people :
" Up, awake, ye defenders of Zion 1
The foe 's at the door of your homes ;
Let each heart be the heart of a lion,
Unyielding and proud as he roams.
Remember the wrongs of Missouri,
Remember the fate of Nauvoo :
When the Grod-hating foe is before ye,
Stand firm, and be faithful and true.
" By the mountains our Zion 's surrounded,
Her warriors are noble and brave ;
And their faith on Jehovah is founded,
Whose power is mighty to save.
Opposed by a proud, boasting nation,
Their numbers, compared, may be few ;
' But their union is known through creation,
And they've always been faithful and true.
" Shall we bear with oppression for ever ?
Shall we tamely submit to the foe ?
While the ties of our kindred they sever,
Shall the blood of the Prophets still flow ?
No ! The thought sets the heart wildly beating ;
Our vows at each pulse we renew,
Ne'er to rest till our foes are retreating,
While we remain faithful and true 1
" Though assisted by legions infernal,
The plundering wretches advance,
With a host from the regions eternal,
We'll scatter their hosts at a glance !
Soon * the Kingdom ' will be independent ;
In wonder the nations will view
The despised ones in glory resplendent ;
Then let us be faithful and true 1 "
Brother C. "W". Penrose, the author of this effusion, at this
date had nothing of the mountain bluster and boasting in his
disposition. He was a young man of very pleasant manners, a
missionary, with- a more than average mental cultivation. His
poetry only expressed the heart-felt convictions to which the
374 THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN SAINTS.
teachings of the priesthood had led him. He fully and unques-
tioningly believed, as indeed did all the Mormons, what Brig-
ham Young taught. With " the Lord " to fight their battles,
the few Saints were a match for the whole world. They knew
no fear ; they only awaited the word to arise and conquer, and
every mile that the United States troops advanced towards
their homes, only brought the hoped-for consummation more
pleasantly near to their longing souls. Many, doubtless, shared
the sentiments of Brigham, and his hatred of all authority out-
side of himself; but the masses have nothing of blood-thirsti-
ness in their character. As the United States army ap-
proached, they saw only the fulfilment of predictions, and
naturally longed to be the witnesses of the Lord's power.
From the pen of that same " C. W. P." flowed the sweetest
song that the Mormons ever sang. At all great gatherings a
little Scotchman with a warbling voice is certain to be invited
to sing " O Zion," in which the whole audience, contrary to
the usages of the Tabernacle services, burst forth in the chorus.
This effusion is sung to the sweet air of " Lily Dale " :
" In thy mountain retreat, God will strengthen thy feet ;
On the necks of thy foes thou shalt tread ;
And their silver and gold, as the prophets have told,
Skall be brought to adorn thy fair head.
O Zion ! dear Zion ! home of the free,
Soon thy towers will shine with a splendour divine,
And eternal thy glory shall be.
" Here our voices we'll raise, and we'll sing to thy praise,
Sacred home of the prophets of God ;
Thy deliverance is nigh, thy oppressors shall die,
And the Gentiles shall ~bow ^neath thy rod.
O Zion ! dear Zion ! home of the free,
In thy temples we'll bend, all thy rights we'll defend,