SERIOUS DROUTH—GOING TO CAMP—MISDIRECTED BY THE SAINTS—GRAND SCENERY—THE VOLUNTEER BATTALION.
From Our Special Correspondent.
CAMP FLOYD, Cedar Valley, U. T.,
July 15, 1858.
I started from this city on Monday morning toward the Camp, intending to pass a day or two with some friends and then return, but a series of mishaps, some of them ludicrous, some of them serious, will detain me from my journey back to Zion till to-morrow. Briefly—I took Mormon ad-vice concerning my road, and was misdirected; on arriving at the camp I was summoned to attend a Court Martial as a witness; and on attempting to return I discovered that my pony, once the prop-erty of Brigham, had taken a strait chute across the country from his herd-ground toward the Prophet's stables.
Ever since the middle of June the only hours out of the twenty-four suitable for anybody except a Hottentot, to travel, have been the two directly after sunrise and the three directly after sunset. During the remainder of the days the heat has been intense, although a strong wind usually begins to blow down from the mountains about 9 o'clock and lasts until 5. Sometimes it blows in eddies, and spreads the salt smell of the Great Lake all over the country, or fills the lower part of the city with a sickly odor from the hot sulphur springs. It is rarely that a drop of rain falls upon the center of the valleys from the beginning of June till the end of September. Now and then, during the af-ternoons, we can gee a dark cloud beyond the mountains which bound the horizon on the south from the city. One or two streaks of lightning and a distant rumbling of thunder fell us that there is rain on Mount Nebo, but never a cloud disturbs the hot, blue sky above us. The soil has become parched and friable all throughout the valleys, and the wind sifts it into every crevice of every house,
Undeterred by all these meteorological considera-tions, I mounted my pony last Monday morning about 9 o'clock, shoved a pair of revolvers into my holsters, and started for the camp. By the great main road the distance would have been nearly fifty miles, but there is a cut-off across the mountains, leading up a kanyon on the east and down a kanyon on the west of the Oquirrh range, which was said to reduce the distance to only thirty miles. This cut-off I resolved to travel, and having received ample directions how to find the kanyon on the east, I struck out toward the mountains, across the Jordon, over the level, arid bottom of the Great Valley. Three settlements, or "forts," as the Mormons call them, lay at distances of six or seven miles from each other along my road. They were the most disconsolate abodes for human creatures that I ever saw. A thick mud wall, inclosing a square about three hundred yards in diameter, one-storied, battered adobes and rickety log houses fining it, a ditch outside the wall in which was a thread of water so clogged with mud that it seemed to crawl rather than to flow, a group of squaled white-headed naked children tumbling over one another like pointer-dogs at play, a dozen pet sheep closely shorn, a flock of geese, some oxen and cows, a goat being milked by a bronze-faced, hard-fisted woman; one or two wagons roasting in the sunshine, the tires dropping off the shrunken felloes—imagine these and group them, and you have the picture. The land around these forts, and indeed across the whole valley, is entirely unsusceptible of cultivation, for there are no means of irrigating it. The only fields enclosed and tilled are patches along the base of the moun-tains in the neighborhood of brooks which flow down the kanyons. I rode past the last of the forts about 1 o'clock, and into the mouth of the Rose Kanyon. It was very hot and dusty, and my pony was very tired. Satisfied that I should reach the camp in time for a late dinner, I let him jog along nibbling off the tops of the higher tufts of grass which some-times were so tall that they nodded above the horn of my saddle. Wherever a scythe could have fair sweep along the strip between the road and the aiders on the bank of the brook, the Mormons had been mowing, and in a little while I met a wagon piled with hay and surrounded by Saints on horse-back. Desiring to confirm my belief that I had struck Rose Kanyon. I asked them whether I was on the right road to reach Cedar Valley across the moutains. They replied politely that I was not, that I must turn back and take the next kanyon to the north; and they were kind enough to show me the way. I followed their advice, and felt under special obligation to one of them who rode with me across the slopes, at least a mile, to ensure my making no mistake. The sense of obligation was so great that I even lent him my pocket-flask and a plug of tobacco, the first of which he returned to me half emptied, and the se-cond he did not return at all. I trotted gratefully into the kanyon, which he pointed out, cut a switch from a scrub-oak, and thrashed the pony into a gal-lop, and speculated on what I should get for dinner. At last it occurred to me that I had been riding quite long enough to have begun to see the summit of the ridge, and although the flowering shrubs around me were very fragrant, and the brook was very noisy, and clear and cooling, and the scenery was very picturesque, I was not so far diverted from the ob-ject of my journey as to forget to look at my watch. That told me that it was already after 4 o'clock; but still I jogged along. At last the road dwindled into a wood-trail, with but faint signs of having ever been traveled by wagons. This narrowed into a horse-path; and that at last disappeared among the grass in the center of a clump of pine trees. I had been ascending abruptly for two or three miles, and now a few hundred yards above me I could see patches of snow and ledges of rock and the line of the summit of the ridge against the sky. It was just after sunset when my pony stood knee-deep in a snow-bank, and from his back I could look down into Tuilla Valley, I believe that I shall receive pardon here and hereafter for any expressions I may have used at that moment derog-atory to the character of my Mormon friends who were so kind. There was no alternative except to trot down the mountain as I had trotted up. That I proceeded to do, and between 9 and 10 o'clock I reached a farm-house on the plain, where I was allowed to remain, wrapped in an old coverlid, on the floor, with a Saint, his two wives and seven children, ranged in rows around the walls of a sin-gle room. I fell asleep while my host (who was sweltering in a feather bed) was in the middle of an argument intended to convince me that Moses and Elias were to be the associates of Bro. Brigham in glory; that Bro. Brigham was their superior in inspiration, as well as in close intercourse with the Divinity, and that the North American Indians are the descendants of the Jews. His harangue was interspersed with pithy pieces of advice to the two older boys, who got into a fight in bed, and lamenta-tions over the bad prospects of his crop of wheat. In justice to the old man, I must say that I believe he is a sincere fanatic, and also that, according to his limited means, he treated me very kindly. His charge, the next morning, for "entertaining" me and my horse was 12 1/2 cents. I put a gold dollar into his hand, and he put it into his pocket and blessed me fervently.
Then I rode away upon my old road into kanyon No. 1, crossed the dividing ridge, and reached the camp in Cedar Valley before breakfast. I have already described the central location of the Valley in respect to the line of Mormon settle-ments. It possesses also two requisites for a good camp, in abundance—wood and grass. Extensive groves of cedar skirt the base of the hills throughout its entire circumference. The camp is situated near one of these groves, and almost every tent opens into a bower of cedar branches carpeted with fra-grant twigs. Their appearance reminds one of the copper-plate engravings in antique Bibles, of the Jewish Feast of the Tabernacle. The dust, how-ever, especially in the dragoon and artillery camps, is almost intolerable. While I have been writing, this tent has been blown half down by a little whirlwind, and this very sheet swept off the table and twirled through the air in company with a pack of envelopes, a cravat, and a pile of newspapers, in a cloud of dust, till it lodged among the branches of an old cedar fifty yards off.
The scenery of the Valley is very grand, particu-larly on the east and the southeast, where the eye can follow the snowy ridge of the Wasatch range more than sixty miles. In an interval between two hills, and directly at the foot of the snowy moun-tains the blue basin of Lake Utah, lies glimmer-ing in the sunshine.
The volunteer battalion will be marched to Fort Leavenworth to be paid off and disbanded, starting on the 19th. It will be accompanied by its com-mander, Capt. Bee, of the 10th Infantry, and his Adjutant, Lieut. James H. Hill, of the same regi-ment. About 80 of its members who wish to re-main in Utah or to go to California, will be mus-tered out of the service before the battalion starts. The term of enlistment of three of the companies which it comprises, will expire in August, that of the fourth company at the close of the present month. In the order for the march, which was published last evening, Gen. Johnston speaks of the battalion as follows: "The Commanding General congratulates the offi-cers upon the marked efficiency to which they have brought the battalion, sad the good discipline which has been established and maintained. He also thanks the members of the battalion for their almost univer-sal good conduct, and cheerful and faithful discharge of all duties required of them. Though only for a short period connected with the military service, their career has been creditable and honorable to them-selves and beneficial to their country; and they will receive in civil life, as well as from Government, that appreciation of their services which is justly due all who answer the call of their country in her trials, who honestly and faithfully serve her."
THE CITY OF THE SAINTS-MORMONS RETURNING BRIGHAM AS POWERFUL AS EVER—MONOPOLY OF PRODUCE.
GREAT SALT LAKE CITY, U. T.,
July, 16, 1858.
The week has passed without an event of gen-eral interest. The emigration still continues from the South, a great part of that which passes through this city, flowing into Ogden and the other north-ern settlements which were completely desertad. A considerable portion of the population of Great Salt Lake City will never return. The Church fur-nished transportation southward to many families (for a compensaton, and using for the purpose in part the cattle stolen from the Army) which do not possess the means of buying wagons and animals to travel back again. Half a dozen families were so enthusiastic as actually to bum their houses before they started; and at least twenty or thirty houses are standing in this city entirely dismantled of wood-work, the roofs, windows, doors, and flooring, all removed.
It is understood that Mr. Nixon, a Mormon gen-tleman who rented the store to Gilbert & Gerrish, which that firm occupy, has been sentenced to a distant mission because he had the audacity to dis-pose of his own property without having "taken" sufficient "counsel." A Mr. Townsend also, who undertook to open a boarding-house in opposition to the Church Restaurant, has been obliged to assign his property to the "Trustees in Trust," and to move out of his own house. I hope that no such misfortune will befall my landlord, who has opened the suite of rooms to me, to which I referred in a previous letter.
These are only specimens of hundreds of facts, which come daily to my knowledge, that prove that Brigham Young is as powerful as ever. He has lost only a title, and that title is the only appur-tenance of the office of Governor of this Territory which Gov. Cumming enjoys. By a "crook of his finger," as Judge Brocchus once expressed it, Young could rouse the population to instantaneous rebellion. The non-fulfilment of his prophecies is nothing to his followers. They say that God gave him "another revelation," and they rest content with that explanation of the inconsistency between his declaration that he would be Governor until the Almighty should say to him, "Brigham, you shan't be Governor any longer," and the fact that he has resigned the office nominally to Mr. Buchanan's appointee.
The Church is devising schemes for monopolising the market in respect to every kind of produce which the army will be likely to desire—wheat, corn, oats, barley, lumber, beef cattle, mules, & c. Its prohibition on trade with Gentiles has never been removed, although the violation of it is tacitly acquiesced in. Very many poor people have suf-fered severe pecuniary loss on account of having to exchange their flour, &c., for American gold at reduced prices; for the Gentile merchants will not take the paper shinplasters of the "Deseret Cur-rency Association," promising payment in "live stock." Trade is a necessity to a great part of the population. Six months more, and many of them would not have had a shirt to their backs.
Unless there is a total and radical change in the disposition of the Church dignitaries, or in the de-votion of the mass of the people to them, and that speedily, the condition of affairs will become as dis-gusting and discreditable as it is now ludicrous. The firm conviction of the most intelligent officers in the army is, already, that a systematic extradi-tion of the leaders of the Church, and such of the people as will wish to share their fortunes, is al-most the only scheme that remains available for the restoration of this Territory to the loyalty in tempo-ral matters which it owes to the Federal Govern-ment. By an ill-judged act of clemency, at an un-propitious moment, Mr. Buchanan has rendered the Utah Expedition a farce, and after expending $20,000,000 has not succeeded in modifying in the slightest degree the causes which led to the exodus of all his officials from this Territory in April, 1857.
There is not a civil officer, from Gov. Cumming around the whole circle of them to Judge Eckels, who might not as well be a Feejee idol, so far as concerns exercising extensive personal or even of-ficial influence in opposition to the Church without the interposition of military force.
No further news from Oregon has reached the city, but a party of emigrants from the scene of the disturbances is expected to arrive daily.
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