From the National Intelligencer of Saturday,
The Late Massacre on the Plains.
In the subjoined communication the reader will find the particulars of the late massacre by Indians of a portion of Capt. Gunnison's surveying party, on the Western Plains, which have been looked for with much interest:—
WASHINGTON, Dec. 9,1853.
Messrs. Gales & Seaton—Will you be good enough to give place in the National Intelligencer to a copy of a communication from Capt. R. M. Morris, United States Army, to his excellency Gov. Young, which you will herewith receive?
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN M. BERNHISEL, Delegate from Utah.
IN CAMP, NEAR EILLMORE, U. T.
October, 29, 1853.
GOVERNOR: Deeming that it may be of interest to you, I hasten to send you a succinct account of the late terrible massacre which occurred in this vicinity on the morning of the 26th inst. On the morning of the 25th instant Capt. J. W. Gunnison, with a por-tion of his scientific party, an escort of seven men, and Mr. Wm. Potter, of Manti, as guide, left our camp on Sevier for the purpose of surveying the lakes. The same morning I moved with the remain-der of my command fourteen miles up' the Sevier, there intending to await the return of the late Cap-tain Gunnison. On the morning of the 26th, at 11½ o'clock, the non-commissioned officer in charge of the escort came running breathless into camp, saying that their party had been surprised, and he believed all had been killed. I immediately proceeded to the fatal spot with all the troops I had, in hopes of sav-ing some of the party or rescuing the wounded. On my way I met three or more of my men who had es-caped, all of whom confirmed the sad intelligence, but knew not who had fallen.
Pushing rapidly on, I reached at dark the spot where three of the party had fallen. Their bodies were filled with arrow wounds, though not otherwise mutilated. I halted my command here for the night and waited until daylight, when I proceeded on.—Reaching the vicinity of the camp, I found the re-maining corpses of the party, all of which were stripped, and some mutilated. Capt. Gunnison was killed by fifteen arrow-wounds, and had his left arm cut off. Mr. Creutzfeldt had both arms cut off. The statement made by the survivors is as follows: That Capt. G, reached the first pond or lake at 3 P. M. on the 25th instant, and encamped between the lake and river and a bend of the river thickly fringed with willows; that the party arose at daybreak, and were in the act of breakfasting when a terrific yell was raised on their left, accompanied by a discharge of rifles and a shower of arrows. The escort seized their rifles, and some few shots were exchanged, when, finding that the Indians were rapidly closing around their little party, they all tried to reach their horses. Those who succeeded escaped, while those who failed fell. The lowest number of Indians is stated at sixty. The American party consisted of twelve men, all told.
NAMES OF THE KILLED—Capt. J. W. Gunnison, Corps of Top. Eng., U. S. A: Mr. Wm. Potter, guide, Manti, U. T.; Mr. R. H. Kern, topographer of the party; Mr. Creutzfeldt, botanist of the party; Pri-vates Caulfield, Liptrott, and Hehrteens, company A, mounted riflemen; John Bellows, employee.
The Indians secured eight rifles, two double-bar-rel shot-guns, seven pistols, and about one thousand rounds of cartridges or ammunition, all the scienti-fic instruments with the party, and some of the notes of the survey, all of those of the Wahsatch Moun-tains, and in fact most of the sketches and topogra-phy between the San Rafael and this point.
In concluding this hasty note, permit me to make known my obligations to Mr. Richards and President Call, of the city of Fillmore, for their kind assistance in enabling me to send an express with this intelli-gence to the General Government and to your Ex-cellency.
I am, sir, with much respect, your obedient serv't.
R. M. MORRIS,
Brevet Captain U. S. Army.
To his Excellency
Gov. BRIGHAM YOUNG, Utah Territory.
We add an extract of a letter from a member of the surviving party, addressed to his father in this city:—
FlLLMORE COUNTY, UTAH TERRITORY,
October 29, 1853.
It is with great pain I have to inform you of the murder of Capt. Gunnison, Mr. R. H. Kern, Mr. Creutzfeldt, captain's servant Bellows, and three riflemen by the names of Caulfield, Mehrteens, and Liptrott. They left our camp on Sevier river on Tuesday morning, 25th instant, for the purpose of surveying Sevier Lake. They had proceeded some fifteen miles, and camped on the river, when they were attacked by a party of Indians, supposed to be the Parvants, on Wednesday morning, a little before sunrise, as they were at breakfast. The party con-sisted of twelve, four of whom escaped, (riflemen.) We had moved our camp up the river, and intended to await their return where we received the account of the attack by one of the men between 12 and 1 o'clock.
As soon as the news was received, Captain Morris, with his men, proceeded as fast as possible to the spot, where he arrived at 5 p. m., but the Indians had fled. The bodies were found, Mr. Kern receiving only one ball, which passed through his heart, while Captain Gunnison received fifteen arrows; the rest of the men were cut and butchered most horribly. Capt. Morris returned on Wednesday evening to our camp at Cedar Springs. This place we left on Sunday, and returned, after receiving the news, as quick as possi-ble as we would be more secure from an attack than at our former position. We will remain at this place until Monday, and then proceed to Great Salt Lake City to await orders. I remain, yours affectionately,
JAMES A. SNYDER, Assistant Draughtsman.
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