THE MORMON WAR.
The following letter which we find in the New York Herald, furnishes the fullest and best account of the present state of affairs at Nauvoo that we have seen.
MISSISIPPI VALLEY, Aug. 28, 1846.
The Mormon War---Preparation for Battle---The Petticoat Guards, &c.
I suppose it would not come amiss to you, or t- hc readers of the Herald, to hear a little of what is going on up and down “the Father of Wa-ters." They may be especially so now, when the war spirit appears to be up, and all, of all classes and grades, appear to be full of "blood and thun-der,"
Well, I suppose you are familiar with the anti-Morman war, which has been waging in Hancock county, Illinois, for the last eight or twelve months. As you know, an armstice, some time last fall, was entered into between the two "high contracting parties." the Mormons and anti-Mor-mons, negotiated, on the one side by the "Elders" of the "Latterday Saints," and sundry high po-litical characters of both political parties on the other, in which it was stipulated and agreed that the Mormons should leave Nauvoo, the Mecca of this devoted vet deluded people, and Hancock county, and Illinois, generally, early last Spring. Upon these articles being signed the sound of war died away, as it seems, like a spent volcano; but all the while there was accumulating material, within the womb of the then future, for an explo-sion more violent, more fearful, and more dis-graceful than the first.
At the time above alluded to, last fall, the Mor-mons in and about the city, numbered 12,000 strong; and here it may be proper to add, for the information of your readers, that a large majori-ly of them being democrats, the whigs of Han-cock county became clamorous for their expul-sion; first, in hopes, the county would thereby be-come whig; and secondly in hopes that a drain so large might materially, or wholly change the politics of the State. However, as soon as the above stipulation had been made, the Mormons, I have no doubt in good faith, betook themselves to making ready for their departure, Whoever could, sold their property and their effects; some at a greater and some at a less sacrifice, and ma-ny almost gave away their property, to get in re-turn a team or wagon, and oxen or horses, suffi-ciently capacious to take them away Before the time arrived at or before which they were to start, something like five thousand or six thousand had crossed the Mississippi, with comparatively noth-ing but heads of families and their children, with the aforesaid teams, and not half provisions enough to last them over the Stony mountains whither they were tending ; and a great majority of these had left without disposing of their real estate. Before the time came round, however, it became evident to all, that thousands of them would not get away, & to the sober, it was quite as evident they could not. The old citizens were relentless, and began to make preparations to ex-pel them from the city. And here, for want of time and space, I must pass over a long and in-teresting portion of their history, simply saying, that those who had remained became so alarmed, that some fled with nothing, scarcely, but what God and Nature had given them, and dwelt in tents and covered wagons, like Israel in the wit-ness, with this difference—that while God presi-ded over the destiny of the latter and defended them, He, apparently, and certainly man, beasts and the elements, were pursuing, with scorpion lash, these poor, wretched, religious maniacs.—Affairs finally came to such a crisis, that proper-ty, and more particularly, real estate, could be bought for a song—for a wagon and four oxen, worth a hundred dollars or more, one could, and very frequently did, buy property which before the Mormon war would have fetched one thou-sand dollars in cash.
This soon became noised abroad, and there was a rush made to Nauvoo, by persons, of limited means, to buy property.
That you may have the facts, I will state here that these new purchasers were composed of old Mormons, who had, up to that time, not been known in Hancock county; another class com-posed of dishonest rowdies, and another who were, and now are, honest men. There is not much doubt, however, but a large majority of those who have purchased at the aforesaid reduc-ed rates, are Mormons, some more and some less tinctured with Joe Smithism. Yet it is quite certain, a set of men took the places of those who had left, more shrewd, more bold, more determin-ed, and therefore better calculated to consummate evil practices. This class of men took to them-selves the name of the "new settlers." and are now known by that appellation. Under their auspices a paper was started, called the Hancock Eagle, conducted with considerable ability by one Dr. Matlack, who is now dead. As you have been apprised a "guerrilla war" has been raging this season, and the "new settlers" have carried it into Africa, making arrests of the "regulators" to the astonishment and dismay of the old citi-zens—whether for good or for evil, I cannot say, as the two parties differ as to motives. The old citizens complained of certain persons of Nan-voo, and warrants were put into the hands of the officer to arrest them, but resistance was made by the new settlers, backed up by the remnant of the old Mormons. So the flareup I am about to give you an account of, arose more immediately on ac-count of this fact, The officer who bad been re-sisted, called upon the county for a posse comitatus alleging the object to be merely to execute his writs, while the authorities of the Holy City, call upon all of Navoo to arm in defence of the city, alleging the object of the other party to be to burn Nauvoo, and expel its inhabitants.
Thus being conversant of the state of the par-ties, you can better appreciate the rest of the nar-rative. The call of the officer ran like wildfire all over, and out of Hancock. The farmer laid aside his plough, the mechanics his tools, the law-yer his pen, and the women their spinning wheels. There was an object lacking in both parties, arms and ammunition. But the parties dispersed to hunt up these, and you would frequently find in the same town, Mormons and anti-Mormons, new settlers and old, enquiring for arms and ammuni-ion. On Saturdsy last, Burlington, Fort Madi-son, Keo Kuk, and other large towns on the riv-er were canvassed, guns obtained, washed out, scoured up, and carried away by both parties pre-paratory to the conflict, which was expected to come off the first of this week. They were de-liberate about it, and would coolly invite persons to come and look on to see the fight. A build-ing was broken open at Quincy, in the night, the, State ordnance taken, and hauled to Carthage in open day-light On each side here are six pieces of cannon, besides both are armed to the hilt with muskets pistols, side arms, and dirks. Yesterday, which was Thursday, there were assembled 600 men at Carthage, and about 350 at La Harpe, all Anti-Mormons. All the week Nauvoo has been under martial law, the whole city, old and new settlers, Mormons and all, doing military duty as regularly as though they were forces of the Uni-ted States. And what is astonishing, and shows the desperation of the parties, is, there is under arms, on active drill, and armed to the teeth, a company of women, eighty strong, who are in uniform, and who, if an attack is made upon the sacred city, are to be placed in the front ranks, each one being sworn to die on the ground before the Anti's shall enter the city. While this is a desperate move, it is also artfully devised, as you see, if eighty of the fair should be shot down by men, the inevitable tendency would be to raise a flood tide of sympathy for the defenders of Nau-voo.
But you may ask, why all this delay? Why does not the bloody battle come off? Why do they not, in the language of his Excellency, Gov-ernor Ford, "fight it out?” They probably would before, this, had It not been for the follow-ing :—some of the new settlers, taking alarm at the martial appearance of the Antis, and trem-bling for the result, as it would be emphatically a war for blood—a war of extermination, posted off to Gov. Ford, and demanded assistance. So his Excellency now assumed that the war was now between citizen and citizen, and not between citi-zen and Mormon, as when he left them "to fight it out," which, by the way, was just the right pol-icy to pursue ; for if they could kill some 500 on each side, they might be then satisfied ; and if not they would soon after be put down in earnest by the universal people ; and upon the aforesaid as-sumption, the Governor ordered Major Parker with ten men, to repair to Nauvoo and keep the peace of the county and State, empowering him to receive volunteers to any amount sufficient to disperse any disturbance, and instruct-ing him at the same time to assist any officer in the execution of all legal processes, wheth-er in Nauvoo or out. The volunteers, however, were to be of no expense to the State. This was putting the Nauvooites just where they wanted to be. All were at the Major's service, so that if any conflict ensued, the demi-Mormons, for such we consider the present population of Nauvoo, would have the law on their side, while the Antis would have no excuse to enter now, with an arm-ed force, under the pretext of arresting, and would have to do it, if at all, in violation not on-ly of the Statute but the common law, and the express order of the Governor and his officer in command at Nauvoo. The commanding officer sent the Governor's proclamation to the Antis head quarters, by which he had been appointed, &c.; but the Antis heeded it not, but abused the messengers, and sent them away, not exactly “half dead," but frightened out of their senses. The officer next sent a messenger and proclama-tion of his own, with the names of the messen-gers on it, ordering the Antis to disperse in a spe-cified time, or in default, to be considered by him in the act of riot. This order has not yet been obeyed. Bitter communications have been inter-changed between the officer leading on the fracas at Carthage, and the government officer at Nau-voo. What will come out of it I cannot tell.—The Anti forces swear roundly that they will en-ter the city, while those in the city, and the petti-coat guards, say they shall walk over their dead bodies first.
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