The Mormons—Their Persecutions, Sufferings and Destitution.
FORT LEAVENWORTH, Upper Missouri,
HORACE GREELEY, ESQ.—Dear Sir: I wish you could call public attention to the situation of the Mormons, who were driven out of Illinois not long since. They are above us here, West of the Mis-souri, about nine hundred miles from its mouth, in a position singularly exposed to aggression from the hostile Indians in their neighborhood. If it comes to open fighting, they can beat off whoever attack them, but it is likely that some of their women and children may be killed first; and at any rate they will be apt to lose their cows and neat stock upon which they principally depend for their sub-sistence daring the Winter. In this case, they would not have more to dread from death outright; since they are already on the very verge of starva-tion, and only calculate that they have food enough with their most careful husbandry, to keep soul and body together till next Summer.
You may depend upon it, Mr. Greeley, these poor creatures have been greatly wronged, and in noth-ing more than in the successful robbery which Slan-der has made of their good name. My own experi-ence shows me that the public mind has been abused concerning them to at least a very great ex-tent. I had a highly respectable man in my quar-ters the other day, who was at Nauvoo during the final sack of that pretty town, and who had acquaint-ances among the leaders of the mob, and he tells me that they none of them even pretended to believe the charges against the Mormons, and said their own beating, and robbing, and killing, and burning houses, was only "because there was no other way of clearing them out." My informant did not see anything of the Mormons himself, but I had good means of judging something of their real character during the presence here of what is called the Mor-mon Battalion, last July. In all the Army of the West dispatched from this post, I did not see a finer body, individually or collectively; and their deport-ment was the subject of universal admiration. They were in great part married men, it seems, and left families behind them; and they had a staid manner which was in queer contrast to that of some of our mad boys in the other regiments. Yet they were spirited fellows enough, and did their military duty scrupulously well by day, though at night they were sure to unite all in prayer and go to their rest like docile children. Their commander, James Allen, U. S. A. who became my friend when he resided at this station at the head of the 1st Dragoons, was very proud of them, and was fond of speaking of their society generally, from his ex-perience when among them recruiting the battal-ion. He described them as wonderfully pure and unexceptionable in their moral conduct, as frugal, industrious, and self-denying, and as manifesting a degree of patient heroism in the endurance of suf-fering, worthy the noblest Christian character. He was indignant at what he thought their outrageous persecution, and he told me and others here that it was his intention to vindicate them, particularly in a report which it was his purpose to make to the Secretary of War on the subject. But I think he never got anything done in it. He contracted the seeds of a mortal congestive fever in the unhealthy country where he found the Mormons, and only came among us here to die. He was a noble sol-dier and I loved him well; and when I think of his memory, I think also of those whom he called his poor friends, and whom to protect, had he lived, I know would now have been his chief pleasure.
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