Sidney Rigdon, Appeal to the American People, 1840, Second Edition

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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sacred honor of these Generals. We generally expect to find men of  so high office, abide by their word, even at the risk of life, confessed, that the persons thus betrayed, were to be let  return, the next morning. Let so much suffice for their word and  their sacred honor.
The next day after they were betrayed into the camp, order ed all the persons in the County of , to give up their arms.  After the arms were given up, the men were kept under guard; and  all property holders, compelled to sign a Deed of Trust, signing away  all their property, to defray the expenses of the war; and they were  all commanded to leave the , under pain of extermination, be tween that and corn-planting the next spring.
At the time of giving up the arms, there again followed another  scene of brutality. The troops ran from house to house, taking all  the arms they could find, from old men, that never thought of going  into the field of battle; but there must not be left a single gun in the  ; so the troops ran as before described, like a parcel of raven ous wolves; but their great object, in the pursuit of guns, was, to  find plunder. They wanted to get into the houses, to see if there  was not something they could carry off. Thus they plundered  until they got satisfied. To secreet their property from their ravages,  the people had to go and hide it in the bushes, or any where they  could find a place of concealment. The troops found some of the  property that had been hid. This, produced another savage opera tion. Those wild creatures, tearing like mad men under hay-stacks,  tearing up floors, hunting, pretendedly after arms; but the abundance  of property plundered, testifes that they had another object in view.
While the troops were thus engaged, the officers were busi[l]y  employed in forming some plan to dispose of those whom they  had betrayed into their camp. Seventeen preachers and nine teen commissioned officers met with Generals and  and held a court martial. The prisoners were never admitted  into it at all—they were not allowed to plead, introduce evidence,  or any thing else. Finally, the august body came to a decision;  and that was, that at eight o’clock the next morning they should  be taken into the public square, in the presence of their families,  and shot. Who among the military characters of the day will  not say that is fit to command an army, when  he was at the head of such a court-martial as this?
At these high-handed and lawless measures  demurred—he told them that there was not one of them in the  least degree acquainted with the military law, and understood  nothing about court-martials; and, for his part, if they were  going to pursue that course his hand should be clear of it—and he  forthwith ordered his brigade to prepare, and he marched them  off. This deterred the others, seeing was the only  lawyer in their number. We presume they would have carried  their design into effect had it not been for ’s leaving  them. We had this account from the lips of himself.
Our families had been apprised of their intentions, and were  waiting in awful suspense, the arrival of the fatal hour. How [p. 37]
sacred honor of these Generals. We generally expect to find men of so high office, abide by their word, even at the risk of life, confessed, that the persons thus betrayed, were to be let return, the next morning. Let so much suffice for their word and their sacred honor.
The next day after they were betrayed into the camp, ordered all the persons in the County of , to give up their arms. After the arms were given up, the men were kept under guard; and all property holders, compelled to sign a Deed of Trust, signing away all their property, to defray the expenses of the war; and they were all commanded to leave the , under pain of extermination, between that and corn-planting the next spring.
At the time of giving up the arms, there again followed another scene of brutality. The troops ran from house to house, taking all the arms they could find, from old men, that never thought of going into the field of battle; but there must not be left a single gun in the ; so the troops ran as before described, like a parcel of ravenous wolves; but their great object, in the pursuit of guns, was, to find plunder. They wanted to get into the houses, to see if there was not something they could carry off. Thus they plundered until they got satisfied. To secreet their property from their ravages, the people had to go and hide it in the bushes, or any where they could find a place of concealment. The troops found some of the property that had been hid. This, produced another savage operation. Those wild creatures, tearing like mad men under hay-stacks, tearing up floors, hunting, pretendedly after arms; but the abundance of property plundered, testifes that they had another object in view.
While the troops were thus engaged, the officers were busily employed in forming some plan to dispose of those whom they had betrayed into their camp. Seventeen preachers and nineteen commissioned officers met with Generals and and held a court martial. The prisoners were never admitted into it at all—they were not allowed to plead, introduce evidence, or any thing else. Finally, the august body came to a decision; and that was, that at eight o’clock the next morning they should be taken into the public square, in the presence of their families, and shot. Who among the military characters of the day will not say that is fit to command an army, when he was at the head of such a court-martial as this?
At these high-handed and lawless measures demurred—he told them that there was not one of them in the least degree acquainted with the military law, and understood nothing about court-martials; and, for his part, if they were going to pursue that course his hand should be clear of it—and he forthwith ordered his brigade to prepare, and he marched them off. This deterred the others, seeing was the only lawyer in their number. We presume they would have carried their design into effect had it not been for ’s leaving them. We had this account from the lips of himself.
Our families had been apprised of their intentions, and were waiting in awful suspense, the arrival of the fatal hour. How [p. 37]
Page 37