“A History, of the Persecution, of the Church of Jesus Christ, of Latter Day Saints in Missouri,” December 1839–October 1840

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 113
image
Installment 7, June 1840

Editorial Note
Times and Seasons, June 1840, 1:113–116. In this seventh installment, editors again drew from ’s History of the Late Persecution Inflicted by the State of Missouri upon the Mormons (1839), pages 33–40.

A HISTORY, OF THE  PERSECUTION, OF THE CHURCH  OF JESUS CHRIST, OF LAT TER DAY SAINTS IN  .
 
continued.
 
Soon after these things had transpir ed in , was  threatened from every quarter; and her  citizens assembled in , many  of them moving their wives and chil dren, goods, provisions, and even hou ses into the city; leaving their lands  desolate, in order that they might be  embodied and prepared to defend them selves and families to the last. , and, other commissioned offi cers, had the troops paraded night and  morning on the public square, and or dered them to be always ready in case  of alarm. When we were dismissed  at eve, we were ordered to sleep in our  clothes, and be ready at a moments  warning, to run together at any hour  of the night. During this state of alarm,  the drum was beat, and guns fired, one  night, about midnight. I ran to the  public square, where many had already  collected together, and the news was  that the south part of our , ad joining , was attacked by a mob,  who were plundering houses, threaten ing women and children, and taking  peaceable citizens prisoners; and tell ing families to be gone by the next  morning or they would burn their  houses over their heads. With this in formation, (to whom   had committed the com mand of the troops in , when  he himself was not present) sent out a  detachment under the command of the  brave . This company,  consisting of about sixty men, was sent  to see what the matter was on the lines,  and who was committing depredations,  and if necessary, to protect or move in  the families and property: and if pos sible, effect the release of the prisoners.
This company was soon under way,  having to ride some ten or twelve miles  mostly through extensive prairies.—  It was October, the night was dark,  and as we moved briskly on, (being for bidden to speak a loud word,) no sound  was heard but the rumbling of our hor ses hoofs over the wide extended and  lonely plains. While the distant plains,  far and wide, were illuminated by blaz ing fires; and immense columns of  smoke were seen rising in awful majes ty, as if the world was on fire. This  scene of grandeur can only be compre hended by those who are acquainted  with the scenes of prairie burning. As  the fire sweeps over millions of acres of  dry grass in the fall season, and leaves  a smooth black surface, divested of all  vegitation. The thousand meteors blaz ing in the distance like the camp fires  of some war host, through [throw] a fitful gleem  of light upon the distant sky, which  many might mistake for the Aurora  Borealis. This scene added to the si lence of midnight—the rumbling sound  of the prancing steeds—the glistening  of armor—and the unknown destiny of  the expedition—all combined to impress  the mind with deep and solemn thoughts;  and to throw a romantic vision over the  imagination, which is not often experi enced, except in the poet’s dream, or  the wild imagery of sleeping fancy.—  In this solemn procession we moved on  for some two hours, when it was sup posed that we were in the neighborhood  of danger. We were then ordered to  dismount and leave our horses in care  of part of the company, while the oth ers should proceed on foot along the  principal highway, to see what discov eries could be made. This precuation  was for fear we might be suddenly at tacked, in which case we could do bet ter on foot than on horse back. We  had not proceeded far when as we en tered the wilderness, we were suddenly  fired upon by an unknown enemy, in  ambush. First one solitary gun, as  was supposed, from some out post of the  enemy, brought one of our number to  the ground, where he lay groaning  while the rest of the troop had to pass  directly by his dying body. It was  dawn of day in the eastern horizon, but  darkness still hovered over the awful [p. 113]
Installment 7, June 1840

Editorial Note
Times and Seasons, June 1840, 1:113–116. In this seventh installment, editors again drew from ’s History of the Late Persecution Inflicted by the State of Missouri upon the Mormons (1839), pages 33–40.

A HISTORY, OF THE PERSECUTION, OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST, OF LATTER DAY SAINTS IN .
 
continued.
 
Soon after these things had transpired in , was threatened from every quarter; and her citizens assembled in , many of them moving their wives and children, goods, provisions, and even houses into the city; leaving their lands desolate, in order that they might be embodied and prepared to defend themselves and families to the last. , and, other commissioned officers, had the troops paraded night and morning on the public square, and ordered them to be always ready in case of alarm. When we were dismissed at eve, we were ordered to sleep in our clothes, and be ready at a moments warning, to run together at any hour of the night. During this state of alarm, the drum was beat, and guns fired, one night, about midnight. I ran to the public square, where many had already collected together, and the news was that the south part of our , adjoining , was attacked by a mob, who were plundering houses, threatening women and children, and taking peaceable citizens prisoners; and telling families to be gone by the next morning or they would burn their houses over their heads. With this information, (to whom had committed the command of the troops in , when he himself was not present) sent out a detachment under the command of the brave . This company, consisting of about sixty men, was sent to see what the matter was on the lines, and who was committing depredations, and if necessary, to protect or move in the families and property: and if possible, effect the release of the prisoners.
This company was soon under way, having to ride some ten or twelve miles mostly through extensive prairies.— It was October, the night was dark, and as we moved briskly on, (being forbidden to speak a loud word,) no sound was heard but the rumbling of our horses hoofs over the wide extended and lonely plains. While the distant plains, far and wide, were illuminated by blazing fires; and immense columns of smoke were seen rising in awful majesty, as if the world was on fire. This scene of grandeur can only be comprehended by those who are acquainted with the scenes of prairie burning. As the fire sweeps over millions of acres of dry grass in the fall season, and leaves a smooth black surface, divested of all vegitation. The thousand meteors blazing in the distance like the camp fires of some war host, through throw a fitful gleem of light upon the distant sky, which many might mistake for the Aurora Borealis. This scene added to the silence of midnight—the rumbling sound of the prancing steeds—the glistening of armor—and the unknown destiny of the expedition—all combined to impress the mind with deep and solemn thoughts; and to throw a romantic vision over the imagination, which is not often experienced, except in the poet’s dream, or the wild imagery of sleeping fancy.— In this solemn procession we moved on for some two hours, when it was supposed that we were in the neighborhood of danger. We were then ordered to dismount and leave our horses in care of part of the company, while the others should proceed on foot along the principal highway, to see what discoveries could be made. This precuation was for fear we might be suddenly attacked, in which case we could do better on foot than on horse back. We had not proceeded far when as we entered the wilderness, we were suddenly fired upon by an unknown enemy, in ambush. First one solitary gun, as was supposed, from some out post of the enemy, brought one of our number to the ground, where he lay groaning while the rest of the troop had to pass directly by his dying body. It was dawn of day in the eastern horizon, but darkness still hovered over the awful [p. 113]
Page 113