“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
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scene. When our men saw that they  were ambushed and attacked, they  found it too late to retreat, and orders  were issued to form along in the brush,  and under the cover of trees, which was  instantly done, while the enemy,  though unseen, were pouring in a dead ly fire upon our whole line. We soon  returned the fire, and charged upon  the enemy, the whole wilderness seem ed for a few moments as if wrapped in  a blaze of lightning; and overwhelmed  with the sharp crack of peals of thun der. The enemy were soon driven  from their ambush and completely  routed. Having a creek immediately  in their rear, many were seen forcing  their retreat through the stream, and  up to their arms in water. The firing  now ceased, and the whole battle  ground resounded with the watch word,  “God and Liberty.” Our forces which  had been thrown into some disorder,  were instantly formed, and their pieces  reloaded, while here and there over the  battle ground, lay the dead and wound ed. The enemy had left their horses,  saddles, camp and baggage, in the con fusion of their flight, which fell into  our hands. Their baggage waggon  was immediately harnessed to a couple  of horses, and the wounded were picked  up and laid in it upon blankets, while  every man saddled and mounted a  horse, and we commenced our retreat  to the place where we had left our  horses and guard, a distance of more  than a mile; here we halted, and laid  our wounded upon blankets, on the  ground, while we made arrangements  in the waggon for them to ride more  comfortably.— There were about six  of our men badly, wounded, among  whom was the brave , a  ball having entered the lower part of  his body. It was an awful sight to see  them pale and helpless, and hear their  groans. We had as yet lost but one  man, who was left dead on the ground;  his name was . The  enemy had one killed and four wound ed, as we afterwards learned. We  ascertained from the prisoners whom  we had rescued, and one whom we had  taken, that the enemy consisted of one   and his company, who  together with some volunteers from dif ferent neighborhoods, mounted about  60 men. Our party engaged, was  from forty to fifty in number at the  time of the engagement. There were  three of our fellow citizens prisoners in  their camp. Two of these ran away  and escaped at the commencement of  the firing, and the other was shot  through the body in trying to run to  our lines, but fortunately he recovered,  and is now a witness against them.
Having now arranged every thing to  the best advantage for the wounded, we  moved on slowly towards .—  When we came within five miles of the  city, our express had reached there  with the news of the battle, and we  were met by a surgeon and others for  our relief, and among others the wife  of the pale and dying .
Our wounded were now taken into a  house, and their wounds dressed; and  as Mrs. Pattan [Phoebe Ann Babcock Patten] entered the room and  cast her eyes on the pale and ghastly  features of her , she burst into  tears, exclaiming O God! O my ! how pale you look! He was  still able to speak, but he died that ev ening in the triumphs of faith; having  laid down his life as a martyr in the  cause of his country and his God. The  young , who was shot through  the body by the first fire of the ene my’s sentinel, also died about the same  time. Thus three brave men had fal len; and their blood cries against their  enemies for vengeance. The others I  believe recovered of their wounds.—  Having conveyed the wounded to this  place of hospitality, we hastened home  to , and delivered the horses  and spoils of the enemy to , the commanding officer of the Regi ment. These several defeats of the  mob in and , checked,  for a time, their ruinous ravages.—  They saw that it was impossible to con quer a people who were fighting for  their homes, and their wives and chil dren, unless they could come against  them with some show of authority, for  it was a well known fact, that the Mor mons never resisted authori[t]y, however  abused; therefore their next exertion  was to spread lies and falsehoods of the  most alarming character; such as the  Mormons were in a state of rebellion  against the Government, and that they  were about to burn , &c. This  flame was greatly assisted by several  in high authority who deserted from the [p. 114]
scene. When our men saw that they were ambushed and attacked, they found it too late to retreat, and orders were issued to form along in the brush, and under the cover of trees, which was instantly done, while the enemy, though unseen, were pouring in a deadly fire upon our whole line. We soon returned the fire, and charged upon the enemy, the whole wilderness seemed for a few moments as if wrapped in a blaze of lightning; and overwhelmed with the sharp crack of peals of thunder. The enemy were soon driven from their ambush and completely routed. Having a creek immediately in their rear, many were seen forcing their retreat through the stream, and up to their arms in water. The firing now ceased, and the whole battle ground resounded with the watch word, “God and Liberty.” Our forces which had been thrown into some disorder, were instantly formed, and their pieces reloaded, while here and there over the battle ground, lay the dead and wounded. The enemy had left their horses, saddles, camp and baggage, in the confusion of their flight, which fell into our hands. Their baggage waggon was immediately harnessed to a couple of horses, and the wounded were picked up and laid in it upon blankets, while every man saddled and mounted a horse, and we commenced our retreat to the place where we had left our horses and guard, a distance of more than a mile; here we halted, and laid our wounded upon blankets, on the ground, while we made arrangements in the waggon for them to ride more comfortably.— There were about six of our men badly, wounded, among whom was the brave , a ball having entered the lower part of his body. It was an awful sight to see them pale and helpless, and hear their groans. We had as yet lost but one man, who was left dead on the ground; his name was . The enemy had one killed and four wounded, as we afterwards learned. We ascertained from the prisoners whom we had rescued, and one whom we had taken, that the enemy consisted of one and his company, who together with some volunteers from different neighborhoods, mounted about 60 men. Our party engaged, was from forty to fifty in number at the time of the engagement. There were three of our fellow citizens prisoners in their camp. Two of these ran away and escaped at the commencement of the firing, and the other was shot through the body in trying to run to our lines, but fortunately he recovered, and is now a witness against them.
Having now arranged every thing to the best advantage for the wounded, we moved on slowly towards .— When we came within five miles of the city, our express had reached there with the news of the battle, and we were met by a surgeon and others for our relief, and among others the wife of the pale and dying .
Our wounded were now taken into a house, and their wounds dressed; and as Mrs. Pattan Phoebe Ann Babcock Patten entered the room and cast her eyes on the pale and ghastly features of her , she burst into tears, exclaiming O God! O my ! how pale you look! He was still able to speak, but he died that evening in the triumphs of faith; having laid down his life as a martyr in the cause of his country and his God. The young , who was shot through the body by the first fire of the enemy’s sentinel, also died about the same time. Thus three brave men had fallen; and their blood cries against their enemies for vengeance. The others I believe recovered of their wounds.— Having conveyed the wounded to this place of hospitality, we hastened home to , and delivered the horses and spoils of the enemy to , the commanding officer of the Regiment. These several defeats of the mob in and , checked, for a time, their ruinous ravages.— They saw that it was impossible to conquer a people who were fighting for their homes, and their wives and children, unless they could come against them with some show of authority, for it was a well known fact, that the Mormons never resisted authority, however abused; therefore their next exertion was to spread lies and falsehoods of the most alarming character; such as the Mormons were in a state of rebellion against the Government, and that they were about to burn , &c. This flame was greatly assisted by several in high authority who deserted from the [p. 114]
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