“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 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 themselve[s].— 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]
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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