The Burning of the Government Trains—Brigham Young Hostile Attitude—The Hand-Cart Mormon Immigration—Inter-esting Intelligence.
From the St. Louis Republican, Nov. 11.
Highly important intelligence has just been re-ceived at Fort Leavenworth, by express from Fort Laramie, with advices of Oct. 22. Lieut. Col. COOKE'S command of 2d Dragoons were four miles this side and had encountered a snow-storm five days previously. Col. ALBERT S. JOHNSTON was last heard from two hundred and thirty miles beyond Fort Lara-mie, and snow was seven inches deep one hundred miles this side of where the express left him. Owing to the slim supply of corn, and entire absence of grass, the teams of the entire command and the horses of the 2d Dragoons were failing rapidly.
News had reached Laramie that the Mormons had burnt three Government trains (seventy-five wagons) near Green River, ninety miles behind Col. ALEXAN-DER'S command, (10th Infantry,) which constituted the van-guard of the army. It was rumored that the 10th and 5th Infantry and the Batteries of Artillery would go over and take possession of a Mormon vil-lage on Bear River, for Winter quarters. It is said that the Dragoons had a month's supply of corn, at half allowance, and not a particle of grass. With snow on the ground at that, it seems like madness for them to proceed beyond Laramie—certainly such a step could only be justified in view of the prospect of actual hostilities this Winter, of which no one at this distance can judge.
There was probably never before, any portion of our army subjected to such privations and to whom the future presents such a gloomy picture as is the use at present with the "Army for Utah." And it can be said, without disparagement to others, that no portion of our army could have been better selec-ted to battle with the hardships of a campaign, width more than all others proves the soldier, than the "Army for Utah." The commander. Col. AL-BERT S. JOHNSTON, of the Second Cavalry, stands among the first in ability in the army, with the inde-fatigable Major FITZJOHN PORTER at his elbow. Un-der his command, and emulating him in the patriotic zeal of warriors, are the respective commanders of the Tenth Infantry, Col. ALEXANDER, and the Fifth Infantry, Lieut.-Col. WALTE, while the trying duty—the almost hopeless task of conducting the "rear guard" (the six companies of Second Dragoons) through a snowy path to its distant goal, rests with Lieut.-Col. COOKE. No one familiar with the opera-tions of our army for the last twenty years will fear that any of these officers will prove recreant to the Important trusts confided to them. We may rest as-sured that, if upon Col. JOHNSTON'S arrival on the verge of the Salt Lake Valley, circumstances urge the propriety of immediate action, offensively to-wards the Mormons, it will be done with a bold and decisive hand. Certainly no act is better calculated to hasten the inevitable doom of Mormonism, than this attempt, on their part, to destroy the army sup-ples. Nothing should shield them from the just retritution of an outraged Government.
We doubt if Col. JOHNSTON will be able, when his whole force is concentrated, to muster over one thou-sand men for duty. Such an army so far from the base-line, is too small to cope long with vigorous re-sistance.
The threatening aspect of affairs on our Western borders at this moment, calls loudly for an increase of the army. Our wise Secretary of War and the President, it is earnestly hoped, will urge Congress to raise new regiments early in the approaching ses-sion. The strength of our army is by no means com-mensurate with the extensive line of defence, parti-cularly the Western portion. Should danger menace in Utah or Kansas—the troops in Florida, actively engaged in Indian warfare, must be transported ra-pidly to meet the new exigency, at an enormous expense, the change of climate and exposure operat-ing disastrously to its efficiency : whereas, should our army be adequately increased (and the condition of our Western defences argues strongly for several additional mounted regiments) by Congress this win-ter in time for organization for the field in the spring, the amount, annually saved in the transportation of troops from point to point, which would then be un-secessary, would go far towards supporting the increase. But the great desideratum thereby gained, would be security to emigration and protection to the hardy frontier settlers. Our army, if full, would not exceed fifteen thousand. Surely can't such a country as our afford 20,000?
From the St. Louis Democrat.
A friend has permitted us to publish the following extract from a private letter dated Fort Laramie, Oct. 22, 1857:
"An express from the army on Haws' fork reports that the Mormons have destroyed three Government trains (burnt them up). Brigham Young informed Col. Alexander by express, that be must not advance further into the territory. Col. JOHNSON is collecting the trains together at the South Pass, to escort them in. The Dragoons will be here to-morrow."
CONGRESS OF THE UTAH EXPEDITION.
10th Infantry, with a portion a command, consisting of about sixty-five men, and file, are encamped here for the night. Lieut, J. LEE, with fifty men, were at Laramie to escort Governor CUMMING on, when he comes that far. Our camp is thirty-five miles east of Pacific Springs, which the first that empty their waters on the west side the South Pass. An express has just reached us m Green River, bringing news to us as unexpected as it is important; and I avail myself of a halt to give you a succinct statement for the public. The Mor-mon problem is solved. They have seized upon the very first opportunity afforded them of perpetrating an act of war. On the night of the 5th instant, about 10 o'clock, they seized and destroyed seventy-eight heavily-loaded wagons, containing Government sup-piles for the army. The wagons and teams were the property of Messrs. RUSSELL & WADDLE, contractors. The trains were some forty miles distant from each other. This proves that there were more than one company of Mormons. My informant says that the notorious "Destroying Angel," BILL HICKMAN, com-manded one, and—LOCKSMITH the other party, of about 80 men each. One train of twenty-six wagon was destroyed 61 miles west of us and the other, of fifty-two wagons, was taken near Green River, thirty miles west of Colonel ALEXANDER’S train. There were no soldiers with these trains, and the teamsters of-fered no resistance.
For their docility in this respect, the Mormons gave them one wagon and some provisions, with which to make their way back to the States, and burnt the residue. They profess to have between the Devil's Gate, on this river, and the Mormon Ford on Green River, seven hundred men under arms. On hearing of the loss of the trains, Colonel ALEXANDER, who was encamped on the Ham's Fork, sent Captain MARCY, with four hundred men, back to Green River, and enable the teamsters to collect their cattle and take them on to head-quarters. He also sent on a Frenchman to us. On the next day they ordered a Mr FICKLIN, of Captain MCGRAW'S party prisoners. There were men sent by MCGRAW on to Salt Lake, to buy flour for his party.
Our express brought in his moccasin an order from Capt. MARCY, which I have been permitted to read, ordering the trains to halt until Colonel SMITH came up. We have three or four trains of twenty-six wagons each up with Colonel ALEXANDER—one a few miles in advance of us, and two behind us, and the road is lined with merchants' and settlers' goods for one hundred miles in our rear.
Colonel ALEXANDER has broken up his camp on Ham's Fork, and changed his course of the Bear River Route, and we are expected to collect and guard these trains to his camp near Soda Springs. There is yet plenty of provisions for us until Spring, except forage. We have no corn, hay or oats for our animals, and must rely upon grass. This the devil-saints may burn, unless the snow prevents it, and then our mules can profit little by it. Our force, rank and file, is about sixty-five men ; but I am in-formed that the teamsters will be armed to-morrow with rifles, and made to stand guard over their trains at night. Our expressman believes we shall have to fight for our trains in a day or two more, and it may be so. If attacked, Col. SMITH will fight to the last. There will be no surrender. One feeling pervades officers and men. Col. CHAPMAN, an old veteran in war, Lieutenants ELWOOD and KINSEL, and Judge ECKELS, Mr. BROWN and Mr. MCCORMICK, are with us, and will all use the rifle, if necessary. We shall do our duty. Will the people of the States do theirs? I believe they will send us men and supplies soon. California could give us soldiers even in Winter.
I think the Mormons will attempt to emigrate in the Spring to the Sandwich Islands or to Vancouver. Let a close lookout be kept for them.
This is no camp news. It is reliable, I believe. I re-gret I cannot write more particularly.
No civil appointee, except MOREL, Postmaster, and Judge ECKELS, of Indiana, have come on so far, as yet. When General HARNEY and Governor CUM-MINGS will come, no we knows. We shall go on to-morrow, come what may ; and with or without or-ders, if any party attacks Colonel SMITH, you will hear a good report of him and his gallant little band. He will fight. Your correspondent, KENTON.
IMMIGRATION ON THE PLAINS—THE MORMON HAND-CARTS.
From the Huron (Ohio) Reflector.
Mr. HENRY BUCHINGHAM, of Norwalk, Huron Coun-ty, who went to Oregon seven years ago, has returned by the overland route, making the journey by way of California in a little over one hundred days.
Mr. B. gives the following memorandum of the number of emigrants, cattle, horses, sheep and wag-ins that had passed the Devil's Gate this season, as kept at the Mormon mail station:
Horses and Mules, (about) …2,500
There were several large droves of cattle taken on speculation, but as a general using the emigrants took only what they thought they would need on the Plains, and for a good start when they got there. I noticed a few fine-blooded cattle.
About 50 wagons would have gone the Oregon route, but were afraid of the Indians. Nearly all the emigrants went by Soda Springs, to avoid Mormon-dom. There did not seem to be much love between Mormons and Missourians.
The Mormon emigration is not included in the list, which, Mr. B. thinks, did not exceed 1,000. thus describes the new propelling power which the Lord revealed unto the Latter-Day Saints by Prophet BRIGHAM" last year, whereby a Saint can become a "perfect hoss" on the Plains—a hand-cart train!
It was certainly the most novel and interesting sight I have seen for many a day. We met two trains—one of 30 and the other of 50 carts—averaging about six to the cart. The carts were generally drawn by one man and three women each, though some carts were drawn by women alone. There were about three women to one man, and two-thirds of the women single! It was the most motley crew I ever beheld. Most of them were Danes, with a sprinkling of Welsh, Swedes and English, and were generally from the lower classes of their countries ; scarcely one could speak English plain ; most could not understand what we said to them.
The road was lined for a mile or two behind the trains, with the lame, halt, sick and needy. Many were quite aged and would be going slowly along sup-ported by a son or daughter; some were on crutches; now and then a mother with a child in her arms and two or three hanging hold of her, with a forlorn ap-pearance, would pass slowly along; others whose condition entitled them to a first-class seat in a car-riage were wending their way through the sand. A few seemed in good spirits journeying to the promised land; but the majority thought "Jordan a hard road to travel."
The advance party of Surveyors of the Pacific Wagon Road was met at the South Pass, Aug 16. The main party were at Fort Laramie, Aug. 25, and it was expected they would winter at Fort Hall. The advance provision train of the Utah Expedition was met Aug. 20, at the Devil's Gate, and Mr. B. thinks I is intention to winter on Green River, or at For Bridger. He found settlements 100 miles up the Platte River, and where seven years ago it was a wil-derness, there are now, he says, fine houses and large fields of corn.
THE MORMON ATTACK ON THE GOVERNMENT TRAINS—FURTHER PARTICULARS. [BY TELEGRAPH.]
WASHINGTON, Saturday, Nov. 14.
Dispatches corobative of Judge ECHOLS were re-ceived this afternoon. They say the Mormons have opened the ball by burning three supply trains, two on Green River and one on the Big Sandy—the centre trains—consisting, in all, of 78 wagons. There was a council among the officers, and it was determined, after hearing the opinions of all the guides, in rela-tion to the country, to go round by Soda Springs, where the road forks for Oregon and California, and enter the Salt Lake Valley through an extensive val-ley, where the snow will not be an impediment. This determination, the Expressman says, was approved of by Col. JOHNSTON, who told him to say to everybody, “that he intended to winter in the Valley, or not at all."
The Mormons are congregated in large numbers even on this side of the mountain, burning the grass and are determined, it seems, to prevent the entrance of the troops into the valley any how. They are regularly enrolled in thousands, and if Col. JOHNSON enters the valley he can act only on the defense with his handful of men. The War Department is expecting dispatches from Col. JOHNSTON himself, sent through General SCOTT, at headquarters. Should there not arrive here to-morrow or by Monday morning the whole report will be discredited by the Department Col. JOHN-STON certainly never permitted an express to come back without sending official dispatches by him.
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