The Exodus of the Mormons.
It has been truly said that the flight of the Mormons from Utah, numbering some 40,000 people, is without a parallel in history, and greatly surpasses even the exodus of the Isra-elites from Egypt. Col. Kane, who left Salt Lake City on the 13th ult., furnishes reliable intelligence on this subject, and he reports in substance as follows:—
The evacuation of Salt Lake City com-menced shortly after Gov. Cumming arrived. Except around the guard-houses, the city is al-most a solitude. The Mormons had somewhat resented Gov. C.'s issuing a proclamation in-viting persons injured to apply to him for re-dress. For nearly a week they came in large numbers to his residence, where he had their narratives written down, and when he returned to Camp Scott, he carried the whole of them off with him.
The Mormon chiefs were particularly anx-ious that Gov. Cumming, when they surrendered to him the records and documents of the Terri-tory, should at once deposit them in a fire-proof safe. The reason of this soon transpired, with the discovery that extensive preparations had been skilfully made to give the city to the flames, a la the Russians at Moscow. Large quantities of dried fence-wood had been ar-ranged in many houses, which a match would have kindled to conflagration. Happily better councils prevailed among the leaders, and strenuous endeavors were successfully made by the major part of the population to prevent the catastrophe.
Having received the capitulation of Brigham, and taken efficient means to prevent the still dreaded burning of the city, Gov. Cumming deemed it proper, if possible, peacefully to pre-vent the migration southward, and set off after the trains. The whole population of the north-ern settlements were on the road—a few guards alone being left in the villages. The number of men, women and children could scarcely be less than 35,000. Many were far advanced, so that it was useless to pursue them.
The forward trains were 300 miles south-ward down the valley. The Governor counted seven hundred and fifty wagons laden with families. They were abundantly provisioned. Many hundreds had "hutted" by the way, i.e., had built adobe houses of the road mud. The cold and heavy rains had disappointed their expectations of the dry weather necessary to the permanency of such structures, and had washed away their walls. They were thus left exposed to the winds and rains. But there ap-peared no very serious suffering, though much and trying inconvenience. The attempt to procure a general abandonment of the march was of course futile.
There is uncertainty about the destination which the Mormon leaders now propose to themselves. They keep their own counsel in this respect with remarkable closeness. The suggestion that they were bound for Cedar City is rather discredited by the fact that they have driven large herds of their cattle much south-ward of that point. It is feared that they may coalesce with some of the Indian tribes of the south, which are already sufficiently vexatious, and thus give much trouble to the government. They themselves complain bitterly of the treat-ment of roving parties of Indians, who, find-ing them defenceless on the road, cannot resist the temptation presented by so much booty.— The Indians ridicule the Mormons, saying they are squaws, and can't fight.
The departure of the Mormons appears to be conceived by their leaders, and by those in the American camp, as probably the best course feasible. The coolness, address and firmness of Gov. Cumming in securing the adoption of this alternative to war, are strongly attested by the eye-witnesses of his conduct. His manage-ment of the army in its critical circumstances also elicits, and we doubt not deserves, warm encomiums.
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