LATE NEWS FROM THE UTAH ARMY.
From Our Own Correspondent.
FORT BRIDGER, Utah Territory,
April 11, 1858.
We are now kept in a state of daily excitement by the arrival of our friends from different quarters, bringing us news of interest. On the 9th inst. Abel Gilbert, esq., of the firm of Gilbert & Gerrish. Salt Lake City merchants, arrived here from Cali-fornia, having passed through the whole chain of Mormon settlements and visited Brigham Young. He left Los Angeles, California, on the 9th day of March, and arrived in Salt Lake City on tha 2d inst. He was accompanied by a gentleman who was anxious to join the army here, and they traveled up with the Southern mail from California. In his passage through the settlements Mr. Gilbert, being well acquainted with a good many of the Mormons, had a good opportunity to discover the true senti-ments of the population. He says that they have all received orders to pack up their effects and move as rapidly as possible from their settlements. Their destination as near as he could ascertain was the valleys on the western elope of the White Moun-tains, which extend to the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada Bange. The White Mountains, from the south-western rim of the Great Salt Lake Basin and their northern extremity, drop or end in the Great Desert west of the Salt Lake. The point at which the Mormons contemplate crossing these mountains is about 125 miles due west from Fill-more City. The greater portion of this distance, about 90 miles I am informed, is a perfect desert, destitute of grass and water, it being the southern extremity of the Great Desert. As to the resources of that portion of the Territory included between the White Mountain and the Sierra Nevada but little is known, it never having been explored to any extent except by the Mormons: they have been sending out exploring parties into that country every Summer for several years past, but these have al- ways reported it to be a barren, desolate region. This might have been done, however, with a view of deceiving the world as regards their future hiding place. Mr. G. thinks that the mass of the people are opposed to this movement and are desirous that the army should enter the valley in time to prevent it, although they dare not nor have any idea of resist- ing it themselves, but, on the contrary, are prepar-ing to obey the mandate of their leaders, and are actually starting at the rate of from two to three hundred wagons daily. There are also a large num-ber who say that they are really opposed to Brig-ham and will probably resist his orders and attempt to join the troops, but this fact is to be received with allowance, for it has been the practice of Mormons for a year or two past to deceive Gentiles in this particular. Mr G. met an im-mense train of wagons already on the road with the wives, families and effects of the leaders, among who he met Brigham Young and Heber Kimball; Brigham himself, however, re-turned to the city before Mr. G. left. The design of the leaders, it seems, is to move their families out of the way, and then to remain with the fight- ing men and resist to the last moment the progress of the troops. When they are free of the incum-brance of wives and children they will be enabled to do us incalculable mischief. No crops had been planted this Spring in the valley, but they had more than a year's supply of provisions, grain, &c., on hand, which they were taking with them. It was also reported that crops had already been planted in tbe White Mountain Valleys. On his way up Mr. G. heard it rumored among the people that Governor Gumming was on his way to Salt Lake City to make a compromise, and the general im-pression seemed to be that everything was to be settled, and that they were to be allowed to move out peaceably. Upon reaching the city he found a room prepared and all ready for the reception of the Governor at the house of Mr. Staines, the caterer of Brigham Young. A room had also been decora-ted and arranged for the purpose of feasting the Governor; his arrival was daily expected.
Two weeks since some ninety head of choice horses, which the Mormons were keeping as a sort of reserve, were stolen from the herd ground in Tuilla Valley, by, as the Mormons themselves state, the same band of Indians who attacked the Salmon River settlement and whom they report are headed by a young man named Powell, who has been in the mountains among the Indians for the last three years. Three different parties started in pursuit of Powell but returned without succeeding in over-taking him.
Brigham gave Mr. Gilbert a pass to come out to the army but refused to allow his companion to leave the city.
Notwithstanding the arrangements which had been made for the reception of Gov. Cumming, Brigham last Sunday stated to the people that he would not receive him; he also spoke most abusive-ly of the Administration and declared that he should bum and destroy everything when he finally left the valley. The impression of the people, however, seemed to be that the Governorwas to be well re-ceived and that a compromise was to be effected.
Leaving the city on the 6th instant, Mr. G. met the Governor in Echo Cafion on the evening of the 7th instant. He was escorted by a party of some thirty or forty Mormons, picked men, who were treating him with the utmost kindness, and paying him all due honors. His mules, with which he started from our camp, had been changed and replaced by fine, fresh ones. Mr. G. passed di-rectly through Echo Canon and saw all the forti-fications. The principal position of the Mormons is a sort of a breastwork at a sudden turn of the Canon. Above the bend an embankment or dam has been thrown up across the Canon, and a sluice gate placed in the bed of the stream, so that by closing it the water is damned up and thrown back so as to overflow the whole bottom of the Canon. In several places along the tops of the high cliffs which form the north-western side of the Canon, small breastworks of rocks have been constructed, and large piles of cobble-stones have been collected for the purpose of throwing down upon the army as it passes
An escort of six men came out with Mr. Gilbert as far as Bear River. The evening on which they camped there, a Mormon joined them, who had just arrived from our camp. Not knowing that Mr. G. was a "Gentile" be commenced stating that he had been a wagon- master in the employ of the army, and had obtained a pass from Col. Johnston to go to Fort Laramie, as also rations. He went on the Emigration road as far as Muddy Creek, an then turned back, up that stream, and made his way over to Bear River. This man's name was Lucas, and he was hired as an assistant wagon-master at Fort Laramie, last Summer. Col. John- ston, however, looked upon him as a suspicious Character, and has had him closely watched all Winter, in order to detect him, if possible, making communications with the Mormons.
The Mormon force between here and Salt Lake City amounts to about 1,000 well-mounted men. The Southern Mail route from Salt Lake City to California has been open all Winter, and the Mor-mons have taken advantage of it to supply them-selves with large quantities of ammunition.
Yesterday morning, the 10th inst., we were highly gratified by the return of Capt. Ficklin, with his volunteer scouting party, concerning whose fate we had become very anxious. He left bere last Fall for the Flathead country, in Washington Territory, for the purpose of obtaining horses and cattle for the use of the army. After a most severe and peril-ous journey, during which he came near losing his whole party from starvation, He reached Bitter Root Valley; but he was not successful in the object of his mission—a large number of the horses in that country having died during the past season from a sort of distemper. Mr. Towell, the mountaineer, whom the Mormons allege led the band of Indians who attacked their settlement on Salmon River, accompanied Capt. Ficklin on his return. Capt. F. contradicts this allegation of the Mormons, and says that Mr. Powell did not lead on the Indians, although he was in the neighborhood of the Salmon River Settlement at the time the difficulty occurred. Mr. P. is expected in camp during the course of the day, he having stopped to rest for a day on a stream about twenty miles from here.
When Gov. fumming left here for Salt Lake City, he was acompanied only by Col. Kane and two teamsters. He took with him a keg of to-bacco, 1,500 rations of sugar and coffee, as also several other articles of provision for his use in case he should be retained as a prisoner, as it is well known that the Mormons are entirely destitute of these necessary luxuries.
Before leaving, the Governor arranged all his private affairs so that in the event of his death they should be in order, and he also made arrangements so that if he was taken prisoner, his wife, whom he left here, should join him.
The district Court met here on the 5th inst. A Grand Jury was summoned, and Chief-Justice Eckels charged them most earnestly and decidedly in regard to their duties. In regard to polygamy he instructed them in substance as follows:
"It cannot be concealed, that certain domestic arrangements exist in this Territory destructive of the peace good order and morals of society; arrangements at viriance with those of all enlightened and Cnristian communities in the world, and that sapping as it did the very foundation of all virtue, honesty and morality, its imperative duty falling upon them as Grand Jurors diligently to inquire into this evil and make every effort to check its growth. It is not for you to inquire where this institution had its origin or when, or whit are the consequences which might result from it; it is sufficient for you to be satisfied that it was un-lawful, and to inquire by what statute, if any, it is punishable in this Territory. It is well known that all ol the inhabited portion of this Territory was ac-quire! by treaty from Mexico. By the law of Mexico polygamy was prohibited in this country, and the municipal law in this respect remained unaltered by its cession to the United States. Has it been altered since we acquired it ? After a most diligent search and inquiry we have not been able to find that any such change has been made, and presaming that this law remains unchanged by legislation, all marriages after the first; by this law, are illegal and void, If you were then satisfied that such is the fact, your next duty is to inquire by what law in force in this Territory are such practices punishable ? There is no law in this Territory finishing polygamy, but there is one, how-ever, for the punishment of adultery, and all illegal intercourse between the sexes, if either of the parties have a husbad or wife living at the time, is adulter-ous, and punishable by indictment. No consequen-ces in which a large proportion of this people may be involved in consequence of this criminal practice will deter you from a fearless discharge of your duty. It is yours to find the facts, and to return indictments, without fear, favor, affection, reward, or any hope thereof. The law was made to punish the lawless and disobedient, and society is entitled to the salutary effects of its execution."
Judge Eckels has thus boldly set forth the course which he considers it his duty to pursue in regard to polygamy.
On April 1, Justice Burr and United States Mar-shal Dotson made a descent upon the only remaining gambling establishment in camp, and arrested some fifteen men who were engaged in gambling, as also the keeper of the establishment. They were all heavily fined by Justice Burr, except the keeper of the house, who was sent up to the District Court for trial.
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