THE UTAH EXPEDITION
Indians to Camp—Supplies to the Army—Mormon Prisoners—The Return of Governor Cumming from Salt Lake City-Present State of the War Question-The Terms upon which the Mormons will submit-Charity of the Soldiers towards Mormon Fugitives—Interesting Army News.
From our own Correspondent.
FORT BRIDGER, Friday, May 28,1858.
The camp has been filled for several days with Indians belonging to the different bands of Utes, Bonnacks and Sho-sho-nees, who have assembled in the neighborhood at the request of the Superintendent of Indian Affairs, in order that they might see and appreciate the strength of the Government.
Of these Indians, the Utes have been camped with us all winter, but the Bonnacks and Sho-sho-nees have just returned from a buffalo hunt in the country lying east of the Wind River Mountains. They are, as is usual with all the Indians who subsist upon the buffalo, a very fine, warlike looking set of fellows, and are, in realiiy, the most independent Indians in the Territory of Utah.
On the 12th inst., they all assembled in a grand council, to reiterate to the present Superintendent, Dr. FORNEY, their sentiments of loyalty to the Government, and of Kind feeling to their Great Father, whom they designate as WASHINGTON; and also to establish, if possible, more peaceable and amicable relations among themselves than has hitherto existed. The Utes and Sho-sho-nees have been hostile towards each other for years, and although they have made several treaties of peace, these treaties have invariably been broken, either by one party or the other.
Dr. FORNEY addressed them in council, setting forth the views of their Great Father in sending them out here, and expressing his pleasure at finding them, contrary to his expectations, true and loyal to the Government, and finished by entreating them to live at peace with each other, and forever bury the hatchet of war.
At the conclusion of the Doctor's address, the pipe of peace was lit and with much ceremony passed around, first to the different chiefs, and then to all the assembled braves.
WHITE EYE, the Council Chief of the Utes, then spoke at length, expressing his great desire to make peace with all his red brethren.
He was followed by WASHAKEE, the Chief of the Sho-sho-nees, who in a most eloquent manner made an interesting speech, in which he stated that he gloried in the fact that not a drop of white man's blood stained the land of his people, and that they had never been guilty of shedding the blood of any with whom they were at peace, and who were their friends. He expressed his willingness to make peace, as that had always been his wish, and concluded by begging that the same privileges might be extended to them which had been to the Utes, of learning how to farm and cultivate their lands.
The Bonnack Chief then briefly stated his concurrence in the views of those who had preceded him in the Council; but wished, however, to know how he should act towards his sworn enemies, the Crows and Black Feet, who annoyed him continually on his buffalo hunts.
Dr. FORNEY, in reply, expressed to them his gratification at the friendly spirit which had marked their deliberation, and its happy result, and promised to discuss with them on another occasion the policy which they should pursue towards their enemies residing outside of the Territory. He also told the Bonnacks, whose lands lie partly in this Territory and partly in Oregon, that for the present at least, he would take them in his charge.
In the afternoon presents were distributed among them, to their great satisfaction. On the 16th and 17th instants they moved away, the Utes starting back to the vicinity of the Indian farm in Utah Valley, and the Snakes and Bonnacks to their hunting grounds among the mountains north and east. We have recently been kept in a measure supplied with some few luxuries in the shape of vegetables, butter, eggs, &c., by an Indian Chief named BEN SIMONDS, who has been permitted to bring them into camp for our comfort, and which he obtains for this purpose from Salt Lake City.
Our market prices are as follows: Butter, $1 50 per pound; Cheese, $1 per pound; Eggs, $1 50 per dozen; Potatoes, $6 per bushel; Onions, $8 per bushel; Bacon, $1 per pound; and Flour, $25 per 100 pounds. But, even at these prices, the demand far exceeds the supply. Beef sells readily at 30 cents per pound, that being the price now charged by the Commissary Department to such civilians as purchase from it their rations.
The company of dragoons who were sent to Green River to meet and escort the few head of beef cattle which had been purchased along the road for the use of the command, took in their charge a company of four Mormons who arrived there on the same evening. The names of three, as I am informed, are PETER CLINTON, JOHN WAKELY, LORENZO HATCH. They are missionaries returning to Zion from the States. Unfortunately, two of this party, Messrs. JOHN GREEN and SAMUEL RICHARDS, with a large mail for the Mormons in the Valley, had come on in advance, and passed the crossing of Green River some two days before the arrival of the dragoons.
Upon the arrival here of the four who had been captured, JOHN WAKELY was recognized as one of the party who had been engaged in the murder of a mountaineer named WILLIAM WALKER, on Green River, in the year 1853. He was accordingly arrested and brought before Justice BURR for examination; but upon finding that the witnesses for the prosecution were in the States, and could not be procured for several weeks, he was held to bail in the sum of $5,000 and, at his request, was bound over in this sum to appear and answer at the next session of the U. S. District Court. None others of the party were detained. We learn from the Indians that several parties of Mormon emigrants have passed into the Valley by the Northern route through Bear River Valley, and by way of the Soda Springs.
From the same source we also learn that the Mormons have been and are still busily engaged in fortifying Provo River, Spanish Fork, and Hobble Creek Canons, and all the approaches to the Utah Valley, to where they have moved all of their families. The Mormons tell the Indians that they intend to throw a medicine over the soldiers which will make them die like dogs, and also boast to them that it is BRIGHAM YOUNG'S powerful medicine which keeps the army from moving.
On the morning of the 16th inst., we were gratified by the arrival of Governor CUMMING from Salt Lake City. He was accompanied by Messrs. HOWARD EGAN, JOHN MURDOCH, VAN ETTEN, LEWIS WEST, GEORGE KNOWLTON and FAYETTE WORTHEN, a party of Mormons, who are on their way to the States for purposes the object of which we are unable to learn, and to whom the Governor had given a passport through the Camp. These gentlemen stopped here but a few hours, and proceeded immediately on their journey. Colonel KANE, who has been the Governor's constant companion during this rather perilous sojourn among the Mormons, also returned to the States with this party.
The Governor, we learn, was received throughout the Territory as Governor, and acknowledged as such by the Mormons generally.
He visited the greater portion of the settlements, and during his travels was accompanied only by Colonel KANE.
The seals of the Territory and of the United States Courts, were delivered up to him, as also all the records, &c. He found the Territorial Library and the Court Records, as far as he could judge, complete, as also the books, maps, &c., of the Surveyor-General's Office. All of these books, &c., belonging to the Government were packed away in a building which had been set apart for this purpose. There has been a misunderstanding in the mind of the public as regards the burning up and destroying of the Library of Judge STILES and T. S. WILLIAMS, Esq., for it is generally supposed that it was the Territorial Library which was destroyed. To correct this impression, I will state, tha I am most reliably informed that it was the Law Library of Judge STILES, not the Territorial Library which was burnt up, but that at the time some two hundred volumes belonging to the Territorial Library were in his Library, and these were all destroyed. Some of the records of the Court, which happened at the time to be in the office, were also destroyed, but these were only a few of the Court Records.
Gov. CUMMING addressed the people in the Mormon Tabernacle on Sunday, the 2d inst., as I have stated in my previous letters. He did so in order to be sure that the people should become acquainted with the object of his visit, and the policy which the Government intended to pursue towards them. He told them that an unconditional surrender to the civil authorities of all who had transgressed the laws of the country, was the only terms upon which any compromise could be made with them. He also pledged himself to protect all those who wished to leave the Territory, that they should be protected and allowed to do so unmolested, but he also pledged himself that all those who felt oppressed and grieved, and who would remain, should be fully sustained in their lights and have a full opportunity of redress. After concluding his speech he gave all and any of the congregation permission to ask any questions of him, and promised to answer them fully. Several of those present then rose up and, addressing the people in the most exciting strains, questioned the Governor in regard to their alleged wrongs, until the whole assembly became so agitated that BRIGHAM, fearing an outbreak, commanded them to keep quiet and respect their new Governor.
The day following the one upon which Gov. CUMMING made this speech, his office was thronged with persons who came to set forth their grievances to him and to implore his protection in leaving the Territory. He registered in a book the names of 150 persons to whom he promised protection and a free pass from Zion.
These are already on their way out, the Governor having gathered them together and seen that they were safely started. We now expect their arrival in camp daily.
There is undoubtedly a very large proportion of the Mormons who are dissatisfied and anxious to get out of BRIGHAM'S clutches, but they have been reduced by the leaders to such extreme poverty that they are not able to raise the means to leave, or even to pay their debts; these poor people are suffering terribly. The city itself and all of the northern settlements are entirely deserted. The houses and fences are left in order, but in many instances the doors and windows have been taken out. Those people who were unable to raise the means to move away were furnished with teams by the church, and thus compelled to go. The bishops have, however, remained with a few persons in these deserted villages and the city, to protect the property and take care of the growing crops, or if so directed to burn and destroy all. The Governor has also stationed about 300 men in Salt Lake City, 70 In Ogden City, and others in the smaller villages, for the purpose of guarding the abandoned property.
The foundations of the Temple, which are built exceedingly solid and substantial, have been entirely filled up with dirt, and thus buried. BRIGHAM'S harem, commonly called the Lion House, is fastened up very closely, and the windows are all boarded up.
BRIGHAM YOUNG and HEBER KIMBALL are both building houses at Provo City. BRIGHAM'S house is about 200 feet long, and he has some 100 men busily engaged in its construction. The people are all concentrated in Utah, San Pete and Fillmore Valleys, and are actively engaged in planting and sowing grain and vegetables.
The people are well armed, and guns are offered for sale at low prices.
The printing-office of the Deseret News has been moved from Salt Lake City to Fillmore, and that newspaper is at present published there.
No compromise or peace has yet been effected, but in our opinion the Mormon question is thus resolved: The leaders have offered to give themselves up for trial, upon a pledge that they shall be tried by a jury chosen from among the Mormons, but they declare that they will never submit to a trial by a Gentile jury. They are still, as they declared from the first, willing to allow the civil officers and civilians to enter the valley and reside there, but they will not submit to have the Army quartered among them.
To these terms they will, I have no doubt, adhere, and will allow the civilians to come among them, but if the army attempt to move into the settlements, or an attempt is made to arrest those indicted for treason, unless it is upon the conditions which they have made, they will resist and fight to the last.
They are now prepared to fight, for they are well armed and equipped, and their families are concentrated.
Their force is variously estimated by those persons who have seen them this Spring, and who are entitled to credit, at from 10,000 to 25,000 fighting men, their numbers having been very largely increased during the Winter by emigrants and returning missionaries from all parts of the world, who have entered by way of California.
Delay is an object which they most earnestly strive to pain at present, for every hour lost by us strengthens them, and to secure this end they will use every imaginable subterfuge.
The mail from the States arrived here on the evening of the 17th inst., together with the Army Express. The former brought us dates to the 27th of March, the latter to the 10th of April.
Nothing affords us more pleasure than the news which it brings of the confirmation of the promotion of Colonel JOHNSTON to the rank of Brevet Brigadier-General.
He most certainly deserves such a reward for the skill and prudence with which he has successfully carried this army, crippled and disabled as it was, through an extremely rigorous Winter, on the borders of an enemy's country, and for the eminent wisdom and ability which he has thus far displayed in the discharge of the responsible duties which have beon intrusted to him.
We are also pleased to hear that Congress has at last made some provisions for our relief, and have passed QUITMAN'S bill, authorizing the organization of volunteer regiments for service in Utah.
We know not what to think of the appointment of Peace Commissioners to treat with the Mormons, at this stage of a rebellion so open and treasonable, but, knowing the reputation of the gentlemen to whom has been confided the responsibility involved, we trust that it will in reality only tend to a speedy settlement of the difficulties which seem to arise in the premises as to what does constitute treason.
On the evening of the 19th inst. three wagons belonging to a party of apostate Mormon families, who have been fortunate enough to make their way out of the friendly grasp of the Saints, arrived in camp. The name of the head of the largest family is YANCY; he was originally from Tennessee, and has resided in Salt Lake Valley for a little more than a year. The balance of the party consists of his sons and sons-in-law, and a family named GREEN. They resided near Ogden City, aud although they have a pass from Governor CUMMING to come out of the Territory, yet they were stopped and turned back twice whilst they were coming through the Canons. The second time they were turned back they were stopped under the pretence of mending their wagon until Governor CUMMING came up, when he again started them towards the camp, which they have finally succeeded in reaching. The utter destitution of these poor victims of an abominable delusion, was enough to melt into commiseration the hardest heart. One woman, with a child only six weeks old, was clad in nothing but a fragment of a man's shirt, and an old skirt, which she had received in payment for one year's services in the family of one of the leaders of the Church. Her husband received for a year's wages one shirt and a pair of buckskin pants. The remainder were not much better clad, and all were bare-footed.
I have never seen so great a sympathy manifested towards unfortunate people as has been shown by the soldiers of our army; they have brought to these persons their clothes, their pots and kettles, in fact everything which they needed. One poor soldier, named LEWIS, brought to Judge ECKELS $10, and told him it was all he had, but that he wished that invested for the benefit of these poor women.
It has afforded us an opportunity of witnessing the truth of the fact, that there is not a more humane and kind-hearted person than the American soldier. He has his faults, but he has virtues which completely hide them.
These families report that ninety-nine hundredths of the Mormon population are reduced to a poverty even greater than theirs, for they had the means to leave the Territory, and in this were rich. Many of the women are absolutely naked, and are obliged to clothe themselves like Indian squaws, in old quilts.
We learn from the lips of one of these persons that an old woman and her son, by whom she was supported, living in his neighborhood, were suspected of being "Gentiles;" that one morning, shortly before he left, the old woman was found lying in bed with her throat cut, and her son was found in the garden killed in the same manner. He says that he has repeatedly seen dead bodies, with throats cut, floating down the Jordan River.
They believe that Gov. CUMMING has been grossly deceived by the Mormon leaders. No one could leave the Territory, even with Gov. C.'s consent, un-less they had a pass from some Mormon official, and they themselves could not have passed out had it not been that they had a note from HEBER KIMBALL authorizing them to purchase provisions.
The Governor has given directions that the mail for the Mormons which has been accumulating in our post-office in Camp, shall be sent in immediately to the city; he has also requested General JOHNSTON that no hindrance shall be placed by the United States troops upon a free commercial and social intercourse between inhabitants of the Territory.
The scarcity of provisions in our Commissary Department has again become an object of anxiety to us, for we learn by the express that Col. HOFFMAN with the supply trains, has been delayed by a severe snow-storm, and cannot reach us before the 5th or 6th of June, and we have not provisions to last us beyond the 1st of June.
Where are all the cattle which were stolen from us by the Mormons last Fall? We see no signs of them coming?
Great indignation is felt towards Mr. BELL, of the firm of LIVINGSTON, KINKEAD & Co., by his acquaintances in this camp, at a communication made by and published in the New York Herald of the 23d of February, which they consider as a studied misrepresentation of the truth, made for the purpose of conciliating the Mormons, and of retaining their favor.
On the 20th inst. BEN. SIMONDS arrived in camp from Salt Lake City with another load of provisions. He reports that all of the families which the Governor had assisted in starting from the Territory, and to whom he had promised protection, have been turned back by the Mormon forces. A. B. C.
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