“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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church, and fell away to the robbers  because of fear, and also for the sake  of power and gain. These deserters  became far more false, hardened and  blood-thirsty, than those who had nev er known the way of righteousness,  insomuch that they were filled with all  manner of lying and murders, and plun dering. The who had long  sought some opportunity to destroy us,  and drive us from the ; now issued  an order for to raise  several thousand men, and march a gainst the Mormons, and drive from the  , or exterminate them if necessary,  etc. While was mus tering his forces for this murderous and  treasonable enterprize, , and ,  the old leaders of the con spiracy, being nearer the scene of ac tion, and wishing to immortalize their  names, put themselves at the head of  the old robbers, togeth er with the late forces of the robbers  who had all the while been embodied  against us, and turning out of the command, took the lead  of all the assembled forces of the up per country, consisting of three or four  thousand men, and with this formidable  force, commenced their march directly  for the city of , where they  arrived, while and his  forces were several days march in the  rear. In the mean time the ’s  order, and all these military movements,  were kept an entire secret from the  Mormons, and even the mail was with held from , thus cutting off  all intelligence. We had only heard  that companies of armed men were seen  in the south part of the : and  we had sent a white flag and a guard  of one hundred and fifty men, to make  enquiries. But while they were absent  on this business, an alarm came into  town that the whole to the south  of us was filled with hostile troops, who  were murdering, plundering, and tak ing peaceable citizens prisoners, in their  own houses, etc. On receiving this  intelligence, every man flew to arms,  for the protection of our city. It was  now towards evening, and we had  heard nothing of our white flag, and the  hundred and fifty men who went south  in the morning. While we stood in  our armor, gazing to the South in anx ious suspense, we discovered an army  advancing on horse back, over the hills,  at two miles distance from the town.—  We at first supposed it might be our lit tle company of a hundred and fifty re turning to us, but we soon saw that  there were thousands of men, with a  long trian of baggage waggons; we  then were in hopes that it might be  some friendly troops sent for our pro tection; and then we thought it might  be a troop of the robbers coming to  destroy us. At all events, there was  no time to be lost, for although our force  then present did not exceed five hun dred men, yet we did not intend that  they should enter the town without  giving some account of themselve[s].—  We accordingly marched out upon the  plains on the south of the , and for med in battle array, extending our line  of foot something like a half a mile,  while a small company of horse was post ed on our right wing on a commanding  eminence, and another small company  in the rear of our main body, intended  as a kind of reserve. By this time the  sun was near setting, and the advance  of the unknown army had come within  plain view, at less than one mile dis tant. On seeing our forces present a  small but formidable front, they came  to a halt, and formed along the borders  of the wilderness. And in a few mo ments both parties sent out a white flag,  which met between the two armies;  when our messenger demanded who  they were, and what was their inten tions? The answer was, that they  wanted three persons out of the city be fore they massacreed the rest. This  was a very alarming and unexpected  answer. But they were soon prevail ed upon to suspend hostilities till morn ing, when we were in hopes of some  further and more satisfactory informa tion. The hostile army under the com mand of , then commenced their  encampment for the night, and our lit tle army continued to stand to their  arms for fear of some treachery. Our  company of a hundred and fifty soon  returned, informing us that they had  been hemmed in through the day, and  only escaped from their superior knowl edge of the ground. We also sent an  express to , and by mor ning were reinforced by quite a number  of troops, with at ther [p. 115]
church, and fell away to the robbers because of fear, and also for the sake of power and gain. These deserters became far more false, hardened and blood-thirsty, than those who had never known the way of righteousness, insomuch that they were filled with all manner of lying and murders, and plundering. The who had long sought some opportunity to destroy us, and drive us from the ; now issued an order for to raise several thousand men, and march against the Mormons, and drive from the , or exterminate them if necessary, etc. While was mustering his forces for this murderous and treasonable enterprize, , and , the old leaders of the conspiracy, being nearer the scene of action, and wishing to immortalize their names, put themselves at the head of the old robbers, together with the late forces of the robbers who had all the while been embodied against us, and turning out of the command, took the lead of all the assembled forces of the upper country, consisting of three or four thousand men, and with this formidable force, commenced their march directly for the city of , where they arrived, while and his forces were several days march in the rear. In the mean time the ’s order, and all these military movements, were kept an entire secret from the Mormons, and even the mail was withheld from , thus cutting off all intelligence. We had only heard that companies of armed men were seen in the south part of the : and we had sent a white flag and a guard of one hundred and fifty men, to make enquiries. But while they were absent on this business, an alarm came into town that the whole to the south of us was filled with hostile troops, who were murdering, plundering, and taking peaceable citizens prisoners, in their own houses, etc. On receiving this intelligence, every man flew to arms, for the protection of our city. It was now towards evening, and we had heard nothing of our white flag, and the hundred and fifty men who went south in the morning. While we stood in our armor, gazing to the South in anxious suspense, we discovered an army advancing on horse back, over the hills, at two miles distance from the town.— We at first supposed it might be our little company of a hundred and fifty returning to us, but we soon saw that there were thousands of men, with a long trian of baggage waggons; we then were in hopes that it might be some friendly troops sent for our protection; and then we thought it might be a troop of the robbers coming to destroy us. At all events, there was no time to be lost, for although our force then present did not exceed five hundred men, yet we did not intend that they should enter the town without giving some account of themselves.— We accordingly marched out upon the plains on the south of the , and formed in battle array, extending our line of foot something like a half a mile, while a small company of horse was posted on our right wing on a commanding eminence, and another small company in the rear of our main body, intended as a kind of reserve. By this time the sun was near setting, and the advance of the unknown army had come within plain view, at less than one mile distant. On seeing our forces present a small but formidable front, they came to a halt, and formed along the borders of the wilderness. And in a few moments both parties sent out a white flag, which met between the two armies; when our messenger demanded who they were, and what was their intentions? The answer was, that they wanted three persons out of the city before they massacreed the rest. This was a very alarming and unexpected answer. But they were soon prevailed upon to suspend hostilities till morning, when we were in hopes of some further and more satisfactory information. The hostile army under the command of , then commenced their encampment for the night, and our little army continued to stand to their arms for fear of some treachery. Our company of a hundred and fifty soon returned, informing us that they had been hemmed in through the day, and only escaped from their superior knowledge of the ground. We also sent an express to , and by morning were reinforced by quite a number of troops, with at ther [p. 115]
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