Sunday, February 3, 1850 - Saturday, February 9, 1850
On Monday George D. Grant led a company of volunteers to Utah Valley. When they arrived at the Fort, Peter W. Conover reported that Indians were hiding in willows and gullies, preparing for an ambush. Martial law was declared and no one was allowed to leave the Fort.
On Friday skirmishes took place and three of the volunteers were wounded. The Indians were in a deep ravine protected from the Fort's artillery. One account of the battle reads, "A squaw was killed by a chain shot, however, during the progress of the fight. The Indians would make frequent sorties, and after delivering their fire, return to cover. Again, they would thrust their gun barrels through the snow lying deep upon the banks above them, and momentarily raising their heads high enough to take aim, discharge their broad-sides at the besiegers. They fought so stubbornly that all efforts to dislodge them for a time proved futile." A messenger was sent to Great Salt Lake City, to report on the battle.
On Saturday the troops battled with Indians who were firing from a log house near the fort. In the afternoon George Grant was determined to capture the log house. He ordered William H. Kimball to pick fifteen men who would charge on the house and take it. Among these men were, Robert T. Burton, Lot Smith, James Ferguson, John R. Murdock, Ephraim K. Hanks, A. J. Pendleton, Orson K. Whitney, Barney Ward, Henry Johnson and Isham Flyn.
"Kimball and his men proceeded up the river until directly opposited the log-house, which now intervened between them and the stream. They then turned to the left, facing the rear of the house, and the leader gave the word to charge. Dashing forward through a ravine that for some moments hid them from view, the horsemen emerged upon the flat and were within a few rods of the house, in the act of crossing a small slough, when a roaring volley from the log citadel met them. Isham Flynn was wounded and the charge was momentarily checked. Several swept on, however, and the Indians, hastily vacating the house, fled to their entrenchments."
The battle continued into the evening as the Indians opened a furious attack upon the position held by the troops. Finally the Indians withdrew. During the day, Joseph Higbee was killed and six other troops were wounded. No doubt many Indians were also killed and wounded.
On Saturday a messenger arrived from Utah Valley reporting on the battle with the Indians. Daniel Wells was appointed to reinforce the troops with additional men and take charge of the battle.
On Sunday evening the company led by Charles C. Rich camped at the deserted mission of San Miguel. On Tuesday they reached the San Antonion Mission. Addison Pratt wrote, "There are several families living at this mission, and among the rest, a young Irishman that came into camp in the evening. Some of our party went to his room in the mission, and he shewed them some specimens of gold that had been dug near the mission." On Wednesday they traveled over a spur of mountains, tried to hunt deer, and met a German man prospecting for gold. On Friday they traveled along the Salinas River and reached the Mission of St. Soledad.
Orson F. Whitney, History of Utah, Vol. 1, p.429 Brooks, On the Mormon Frontier, 2:360-61 Harwell, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 286 Ellsworth, The Journals of Addison Pratt, 424-25
Daniel H. Wells arrived at Fort Utah to take charge of the battle with the Indians. He prepared the men for an attack, but it was discovered that the Indians had retreated -- a small group had gone to Rock Canyon and the main group had headed toward Spanish Fork. The troops visited the Indian encampment and found the body of an Indian woman killed by a cannon shot, about seven others dead, and they also found several warriors with serious wounds. It was learned that Old Elk had been critically wounded, and that this was probably the reason for the Indian retreat.
Several men were sent to pursue the Indians in Rock Canyon. Daniel Wells led a company of cavalry toward Spanish Fork. They met some Indians at Peteetneet (present-day Payson), where some skirmishes occurred. On Thursday they overtook the main body of Indians near Table Mountain at the sound end of Utah Lake.
One history recorded:
Another battle ensued, and the Indians were practically annihilated. Most of the fighting took place on the ice, which was very slippery, making it extremely difficult for the horses to keep on their feet. The Indians, being shot at, would fall, as if dead, and then, as their pursuers drew near, rise up and fire. They killed several horses in this manner, but none of the cavalrymen were hurt. Night came down, and a bitter night it was. The soldiers were forced to take refuge in the wickiups vacated by the Indians on the bleak mountain side.
Scouts were sent around the west side of the lake, with instructions to cross over on the ice and to Provo. Daniel Wells returned to Fort Utah and received a report from those who went to Rock Canyon. They had found a few sick and wounded Indians and about ten who had died of wounds or the measles. Among the dead was Old Elk. In total, sadly about forty Indians were killed during the battles, about half of their forces. Efforts were made to take the Indian women and children into the fort to be cared for during the rest of the winter. Others were taken to Great Salt Lake City.
Sometime in February, Elder Lorenzo Snow passed through Nauvoo. He was on the way to his mission to Italy. He recorded these feelings:
I proceeded to Nauvoo -- I gazed upon its ruins -- the direful work of mobocracy. My heart sickened as I contemplated that once beautiful city, filled with the songs of rejoicing, and all that was good and virtuous. . . . But now; O how sad the change! The moss was growing upon the building, which were fast crumbling down; the windows were broken in, the doors were shaking to and fro by the wind, as they played upon their rusty, creaking hinges. The lovely Temple of our God -- once the admiration and astonishment of the world and the hope of the Saints, was burned, and it blackened walls were falling upon each other! . . .
Shortly after leaving Nauvoo, I visited another place of painful interest in the history of the Saints. If, on ordinary occasions, words are too weak to convey the feelings of the soul, where shall I find language to portray the thoughts that agitated my mind as I entered Carthage? There, but a few years before, was a scene over which my breast alternately glows and chills with horror and indignation. There an infamous mob were imbruing their hands in the blood of our beloved Prophet and Patriarch, Joseph and Hyrum. . . . Over that guilty place there seemed to hang the gloom of death, the emblem of the deed committed.
On Monday the Charles C. Rich company crossed the Santa Cruz River and traveled through an open valley flooded because of heavy rains. On Tuesday they camped within a mile of the Pueblo of San Jose. Addison Pratt went into the town and found Brother William Stout, who had traveled to California on the ship "Brooklyn." He also met William Eddy who had been in the Donner party. His five-year old son had been eaten by another man. William Eddy kindly loaned money to the company to help them buy provisions. On Friday the company split up. Some headed for San Francisco, others headed for the gold mines. On Saturday Addison Pratt was within three miles of the city, and spent the night with members of the Church, the Quartus Sparks family, who had been passengers on the "Brooklyn."
Orson F. Whitney, History of Utah, Vol. 1, p.430 Brooks, On the Mormon Frontier, 2:362 Harwell, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 286-87 Snow, Biography and Family Record of Lorenzo Snow, 112-13 Ellsworth, The Journals of Addison Pratt, 426-29
On Tuesday Daniel Wells and the troops returned from Utah Valley. They returned with twenty-six Indian women and children and thirteen captured horses. The brethren decided to give all the captured horses to the Ute Indians in Salt Lake Valley. The women and children were distributed among people who were willing to take them into their homes.
On Friday morning about three inches of snow fell, and in the afternoon a mild earthquake was felt in the valley. "The shock of an earthquake was sensibily felt in the valley to a great extent, causing houses to jar, and crockery and furniture to move."
On Saturday Congress discussed whether or not a territorial government should be provided for the Saints in the valley. John Wentworth from Illinois presented a petition from the citizens of Lee County asking Congress to "to protect the rights of American citizens passing through the Salt Lake valley, and charging, on the 'Mormon' leaders, among other things, 'a desire for a kingly government.'"
On Sunday Addison Pratt walked into San Francisco and went to the home of Samuel Brannan. Brannan was away in Sacramento, but his mother-in-law treated Brother Pratt kindly. Brother Pratt also called upon an old friend, Brother Lincoln. "His mind was wholey absorbed in money making, and he had no time to think of much else." Brother Pratt went to work to earn money for his ticket to his mission in Tahiti. Brother Pratt wrote, "San Francisco in my absensce had altered beyond all expectation. From seeing one or two, or even a half dozen vessels lying in the harbour at once, as when I was here before, you might now see 6-700 sail of square rigged vessels at anchor before the town, and were strewed all the way from the presidio to Sutter's landing. And the town had grown in proportion to the increase of the shipping and is the most celebrated place for gambling and riotous living, of any that I have ever seen or heard tell of."
Elder Wilford Woodruff received a pleasant visit from Elder Heywood and Woolley who had come from the Salt Lake Valley. Elder Woodruff wrote, "All the news all the brethren bring from the Valley is cheering to the soul. The time to favor Zion is in very deed come. The Saints are prospering in all things."
The ship "Josiah Bradlee" sailed on Monday with 263 Saints onboard. They were led by Elder Thomas Day. Elder Day later wrote, "During the voyage union prevailed in our midst, as much as we could expect, considering our condition. The cooking seemed to try our patience most, but according to the manner in which our company was organized, accompanied with the diligence of the presidents of each section, order and peace prevailed. . . . We had preaching twice a week and a church meeting every Sabbath, generally on deck, which was well attended by all on board, as the labors of the sailors were generally suspended during our services."
Harwell, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 287 Brooks, On the Mormon Frontier, 2:362-63 B. H. Roberts, Comprehensive History of the Church, Vol.3, Ch.89, p.419 THE CONTRIBUTOR, VOLUME 13, p. 280 - 281 Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:533 Ellsworth, The Journals of Addison Pratt, 429-30
On Thursday the legislature of the "State of Deseret" passed an ordinance to incorporate the University of the State of Deseret. "The powers of the University shall be vested in a Chancellor and Twelve Regents, the number of which regents shall be increased when necessary, who shall be chosen by the joint vote of both Houses of the General Assembly, and shall hold their office for the term of four years, and until their successors are qualified." The legislature also considered the criminal code and passed laws against murder and other crimes. On Saturday a bill passed for county records and another bill to establish an arsenal.
On Thursday evening Zina Young attended a party at the home of Joseph Hovey. She wrote about this event, "Very interesting and agreeable. Heber C. Kimball and family, President Brigham Young and three of his wives, and elegant supper was prepared. All things in order and a free flow of the spirit of the living God. Music, dancing, rejoicing, prayer, preaching & I sung a song of Zion & Brother Hovey danced the time."
Elder Wilford Woodruff celebrated his forty-third birthday. He recorded in his journal, "The Lord has blessed me & preserved my life and carried me through many dangers seen & unseen both temporal & spiritual for which blessing I feel to thank my Heavenly Father & pray that I may still be kept and that myself & family may live to see another birth day & that it may find me in the Land of Zion with my friends."
Orson F. Whitney, History of Utah, Vol. 3, p.200 Brooks, On the Mormon Frontier, 2:363 Diary of Zina D.H. Young, in Journal of Mormon History, 19:2:117 Wilford Woodruff's Journal 3:535