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On September 11, 2011, flags flew at half-mast at the memorial site. We merely await a call from your great new president! The only members of the original party remaining were those children judged to be under eight years old, numbering about 17 persons. One participant, John D. Lee, was found guilty of murder in federal court after twenty years and two trials. The long hiatus between the massacre and Lee's trial is one of the factors which some feel supports the accusations of an institutional cover-up. "I do not believe that we will. As the Baker-Fancher train camped at Mountain Meadows, some of the residents of Cedar City and the surrounding areas determined that some action needed to be taken against the emigrants. Despite the efforts of Buchanan to keep the advance of the army secret, Mormon mail runners notified Brigham Young, the incumbent territorial governor, the very next month that the troops were on their way to Utah. The Mormon Battalion was the only religiously based unit in United States military history, [1] and it served from July 1846 to July 1847 during the Mexican-American War.The battalion was a volunteer unit of between 534 [2] [3] and 559 [4] Latter-day Saints men led by Mormon company officers, commanded by regular US army officers. Lee was the only person ever brought to trial for his involvement in the massacre. Accusations of any more substantial cover-up, either by the Mormon Church as an institution, or by its highest leaders, are not supported by the available evidence. One person was arrested Tuesday that officials initially believed was connected to the attacks. Photo by Kenneth Mays. To assure the main body of the group benefited from the men's wages, Young sent Orson Pratt to see that the men handed over the pa… Mountain Meadows massacre The widely publicized Mountain Meadows massacre of September 11, 1857, during the Utah War, was a mass killing of about 130 emigrants, mostly from Arkansas and heading for California. The LeBaron family has previously been the victim of drug cartel violence in Mexico. The claim that it was the worst massacre in American history is a common one; accusations of direct complicity on the part of Brigham Young, of subsequent institutional cover-up or of the "scapegoating" of John D. Lee, are common. Many years later, José Lugo reported that perhaps a hundred Luiseños were killed, but no other evidence has been found to support his claim. Isaac C. Haight was the commander of the Second Battalion in the Iron County militia with the rank of major, and Colonel Dame's second-in-command. In 1850, Royce Oatman, his wife Mary Ann, and their seven children joined a wagon train traveling west toward Yuma. 1 The order sought to put a quick end to the conflict by calling for the Mormons to be “exterminated or driven from the State if necessary.” 2. Massacre, "the bloodiest battle of the Mexican War in California." The heightened anxiety brought on by rumors swirling about the train, the advancing federal troops, the drought that many had suffered through for the year, and the memories of violence in Missouri and Illinois all combined in an explosive atmosphere, yet the residents were unclear on what action they should take. Kendra Lee Miller, whose sister-in-law Rhonita Maria Miller was killed in the attack, said, "cartels have taken too many of our family members" and those killed yesterday were not the first. How could such news factor into the decision to massacre the emigrants? Thus it was that on September 11, a flag of truce was carried to the Baker-Fancher party by William Bateman. Great Salt Lake City was built, and under Brigham Young's direction satellite settlements were established north, south, and west of the city. William H. Dame was, at the time of the massacre, the commander of the Iron Military District with the militia rank of colonel. These Saints were the first vanguard of Church members who had been driven from Nauvoo, Illinois, by angry mobs. Haight's role in the massacre was a complex one; he was involved in its planning, but also made some efforts to stop or at least delay the actions against the emigrants. Comments: Elise Boxer 1 When efforts to sell the Nauvoo Temple and other Church properties faltered, Church leaders dispatched Jesse Little, a leader of the branches of the Church in … Regarding Oatman Massacre Site. There were remarks from Elder Marlin K. Jensen of the First Quorum of the Seventy, Church Historian, and representatives of the groups of survivor descendants. Three of the children have very serious injuries but the two others could be discharged soon, Jessop said. This amnesty was issued at the behest of U.S. President James Buchanan, and covered all hostile acts against the United States by any persons in the course of the Utah War. "Women and children (between 14 years old and 10 months) were massacred, burned alive," LeBaron said. Mormon Battalion Cover—July 2007. This effort began almost immediately, with John D. Lee's report to Brigham Young. In 1850, Utahwas established as a U.S. territory, with Brigham Young as its first governor. The weather could also be dangerous, with winter coming early to the high country and sudden storms occurring during all seasons of the year. Unfortunately, the messenger arrived back in Cedar City two days after the massacre, on September 13, 1857. Legion reformation in Utah [ edit ] Two memorial quilts have been crafted, with one residing in Cedar City, Utah, and the other in Arkansas, embroidered with healing phrases of forgiveness and hope. ormon Battalion Association™ Our theme is a repeating upward spiral of heritage, service, and legacy.To only retrospectively honor the heritage of the original Mormon Battalion is but a hollow sham if we learn nothing from their humble sacrifice. The Battalion boys played some role in ensuring the transition of California from Mexican to American control. The Mormon Battalion only ever fought one battle. The Mormons stood guard to prevent further bloodshed while the Luiseño people gathered their numerous dead into a common grave. This terrible massacre occurred at what is now known as “Oatman Flat,” about 100 miles east of Yuma, Arizona. It's called Massacre … CNN's Madeline Holcombe and Ray Sanchez contributed to this report. A memorial ceremony was held there, with the commemoration conducted by Assistant Church Historian and Recorder Richard E. Turley, Jr. When the Saints were forced to leave Nauvoo in 1846, one of the biggest challenges they faced was financing the migration. The night of September 10 and the following morning the white men debated what to do. The extermination order is the name commonly used to refer to an executive order signed on October 27, 1838, by Lilburn W. Boggs, the governor of Missouri during the Mormon-Missouri War of 1838. The Luisenos asked the battalion to guard them as they buried the dead. The new memorial was a rendition of the original rock cairn constructed at the site by a military expedition under the direction of Major James H. Carleton about two years after the massacre. The Attorney-General for the neighboring state of Chihuahua, Cesar Peniche Espejel, said he believes the newly-formed "Los Jaguares" cartel, an off-shoot of the Sinaloa cartel, may be behind the massacre. Cutting the first wagon trail from Santa Fe to the Pacific, the Battalion's efforts forged the Southern Emigrant Trail, the Butterfield Stage Coach route, and the route for the Southern Pacific Site of Tragedy Spring. "The only thing they were activists for was their children, the education of their children and their homesteads," Langford said. We have all the water we could ever need.". This trial ended with a hung jury. That hasn't stopped some people, for polemical reasons, from using a broad brush to denigrate the Church and its early leaders relative to the crimes of September 1857. The mood in the territory was grim and determined. Scandals arose over the behavior of some of these men, who left the territory in disgrace. On September 15, 1990, many of these descendants gathered together at Mountain Meadows to dedicate a memorial and marker to those who died there. IRA HATCH: IRA HATCH , a MORMON SHOOTER and CLUBBER; In 1857 Hatch was a private in one of the militia platoons attached to John D. Lee's 4th Battalion in the Iron Military District. Haight joined in the Mormon exodus into Iowa territory. In a series of meetings, the seeds of trust were planted and a hopeful sense of accord started to bloom. In the wake of the attack, US President Donald Trump called for war against the drug cartels in a. A spokesman from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly known as the Mormon Church, said the victims were not members. In the words of B.H. Lee was the only Mormon found guilty of murder after the massacre. He was present at the massacre and subsequently turned state's evidence, but his testimony was of no real help to the authorities. Some have concluded that Brigham Young, himself, was involved in a cover-up, but others argue that the evidence does not support such a conclusion. Persecution and mob violence had made it impossible for them to stay. He did not participate personally in the massacre, but was, by the standards of military justice applicable both then and now, administratively responsible for the actions of officers and soldiers under his command. The Mormon Battalion, the only religion-based unit in United States military history, served from July 1846 – July 1847 during the Mexican–American War of 1846–1848. Haight enlisted in the Mormon Battalion and was elected a captain of Ten. After the massacre, local leaders attempted to portray the killings as solely the act of Indians. However, the governor maintained that if whites were involved, they would be pardoned under the general amnesty granted by the governor to the Mormons in June 1858. (2) Sally Denton, American Massacre: The Tragedy at Mountain Meadows, September 1857. The story of the Mormon Battalion began in early 1846 as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints prepared to abandon their city of Nauvoo, Illinois. They were camped on this spot when a group of Yavapai Indians approached and asked for food. Many Mormon settlers vividly remembered the hardships of being forcibly (and violently) expelled from Missouri and Illinois, and were resolved not to be driven from their homes again. In the 1980s descendants of the victims and the perpetrators met together to start bridging the divide and make peace with the past. In 1858 John Butterfield used a similar route in his establishment of the Butterfield Overland Mail service. The old Cookes spring that supplied water for the fort is still intact and pointed out on the map. After much hardship the Mormon Battalion arrived in California where the Mexican-American War was still on. The leaders decided that they needed to ask Brigham Young what to do, so they dispatched a fast rider to Salt Lake City with a message to that effect. Lee's second trial occurred the following year; the prosecutor was U.S. District Attorney Sumner Howard, and Boreman was again the presiding judge. The construction of … But former Mexican Foreign Minister Jorge Castañeda told CNN on Tuesday evening two attacks in two places by the same group makes it more likely that they were targeted. A few scattered signs can be found that will provide additional information about this historic area. While there were no doubt many honest public … Though it is our understanding that they are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, our love, prayers and sympathies are with them as they mourn and remember their loved ones.". Lucas arrested Joseph Smith and a few other Mormon leaders and ordered their execution for the next day. The news of the approaching army spread quickly through the body of the Saints as preparations were made. It appears that one incident which factored into their eventual murderous decision was the killing, the night before, of one of the emigrants by white men. They got as far as the Bear River, and then decided to take the southern route. Rumor had it that some of the members of the train were among those who had participated in Pratt's murder, or that they bragged about his killing. As Haslam was leaving for Salt Lake City on September 7, the Indians' attack commenced. What impact could deplatforming Donald Trump have? This official failed to properly try the case against Lee, leading very little evidence against him, and instead focused upon an attempt to prove Brigham Young's complicity in the massacre. The content of the various polemical accounts of the massacre varies considerably, but the intent of them is always and everywhere the same: to explain the massacre as a consequence of the doctrine, beliefs, practices or culture of the Mormon Church, and thus destructive of its truth claims. He prepared to defend the territory against the approaching army by adopting a "scorched earth" policy. According to Lee's later court testimony, the Indians asked him to help with the attack. However, the record does not back this up. T The battalion was a volunteer unit of between 534 and 559 Latter-day Saint men, led by Mormon company officers commanded by regular U.S. Army officers. Some report thirty-three and still others report one hundred and twenty-five. The official correspondence shows that a reward was offered for the capture of Isaac C. Haight, William Stewart and John Higbee, all suspects in the planning and/or execution of the massacre, and that this reward remained on offer for at least seven years. Generally, the community practices a fundamentalist version of Mormonism, and one of the victim's family members told CNN that some practice polygamy. The FBI also has offered to assist Mexican authorities in the investigation, an FBI official said. Roberts stated that he. One of the most widely used wagon trails to California branched off the Oregon trail in Northern Utah, and ran almost due South through Salt Lake City to eventually join the Old Spanish Trail. Some noted that the weapons appear to be bolt action rifles not in use until about 50 years after the Battalion disbanded. It was also common knowledge that the train originated in Arkansas, where earlier in the year beloved apostle Parley P. Pratt had been murdered near the town of Van Buren. All family members were clubbed and left for dead except for Olive, 14, and Mary Ann, 7, who were taken captive. The battalion arrived at Fort Leavenworth on August 1. This book attempts to show that no Indians had anything to do with the massacre, but that every part of it was carried out exclusively by white men. Emigrants could purchase foodstuffs and other supplies from businesses in Salt Lake City and other towns, while their animals—both beasts of burden and any livestock—could find excellent grazing at a spot near Cedar City known as las Vegas de Santa Clara or the Mountain Meadows. Acting without benefit of an investigation, U.S. President James Buchanan appointed Alfred Cumming as territorial governor and, on June 29, 1857, ordered federal troops to escort Cumming to Utah. In 2009, Eric LeBaron was kidnapped and returned unharmed a week later. Within an hour he had an answer from Brigham and began the journey back to Cedar City. Three historians working with church records have published an official Mormon account of a 151-year-old incident that remains a PR nightmare for Mormons. San Diego Arrival Edit He said one of the women killed was an activist and there were frictions over water rights. [1]. Efforts to bring Haight and others to justice after the massacre proved to be fruitless. (Some historians are undecided as to whether Paiute Indians were actually involved in the massacre at all; some assert that it was white men disguised as Indians.) The decision was apparently made on the morning of September 11 to destroy those in the Baker-Fancher party who were over the age of seven. With the Mormon Battalion and onto Utah Nowlin experienced the "Mormon War" of 1844-45 and the expulsion of the Mormons in 1846 from western Illinois to Iowa Territory. "If Mexico needs or requests help in cleaning out these... monsters, the United Stands stands ready, willing & able to get involved and do the job quickly and effectively," he wrote. Facing down an army from the east might be bearable, but facing one from both the east and the west was unbearable. Painting depicting the skirmish between Missouri and Mormon militiamen at Crooked River. It was common for emigrant parties to camp there for several days or even weeks while their animals gained condition for the grueling desert crossings still to come. He sent small parties to harass the approaching troops with the intent of slowing their progress while he prepared the Saints for the very real possibility of imminent battles. The prosecutor was an even more notorious anti-Mormon named R. N. Baskin. Officials and family members believe that Mexican drug cartels carried out the attack, though there's a question of which cartel did so. When writing about the Mountain Meadows Massacre in his Comprehensive History of the Church, B.H. Mormon Battalion. Responding to the charges that whites were involved, Brigham Young urged Governor Cumming to investigate the matter fully. As mentioned earlier, Governor Alfred Cumming believed that the massacre was covered by the Utah Amnesty, thus making any investigation pointless. In April of that year, he married Amanda A. Thomas (1827-1909) in Iowa Territory. Several children survived. (The treaty ceded all of what would become California, Nevada, and Utah, as well as parts of modern-day Texas, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Wyoming.). These claims caused quite an uproar in Washington, where the nascent Republican Party demanded that something be done about the Mormons. Howard Miller, the man in the black shirt, and the three children with blurred faces survived the attack. The Mormon Battalion arrived in San Diego on 29 January 1847 after a march of some 1,900 miles from Iowa. He served numerous missions for the Church and eventually moved to southern Utah in 1850 or 1851. But earlier Tuesday, a US official said a rival cartel called La Línea is being looked at in connection with the attack. The climate made overland travel a seasonal affair, as emigrant parties would try to complete their crossings during the warm months. And it wasn’t, as you might expect, against Mexican forces, but against a rampaging herd of bulls. Commencing at this point and through settlements to the south, there were complaints that the emigrants boasted of participating the violence against Mormons in both Missouri and Illinois, that they poisoned a spring, and that they threatened to destroy one of the Mormon settlements. Lee instead sent word to Cedar City on September 10, asking what should be done. The Mormon Battalion was a group of Nicholas Brian Shrum “Let the Son Go”: Religious and National Identity of the Women of the Mormon Battalion. Castañeda said there were long-standing tensions between the families and cartels. Dawna was one of the three mothers killed in the ambush. The route was used by groups like the Mormon Battalion (1847), the Oatmans (1851), and by the San Antonio and San Diego Mail Line (1857). The emigrants agreed, the wagons were brought forward and loaded with the wounded and the weapons, and the procession started toward Cedar City. Generally, the community practices a fundamentalist version of … Almost as soon as news of the massacre reached the eastern United States, enemies of the Church began exploiting it for polemical purposes. They were driving together for safety reasons, said Kendra Lee Miller, whose sister-in-law was killed in the attack. Because of its territorial status, the federal government retained the right to appoint officials at various levels, in addition to actual federal offices that existed within the territory. In addition, Buchanan ordered the cessation of all mail service to Utah in an effort to provide the advantage of surprise for the advancing troops. A brother, Lorenzo, 15, was gravely wounded but sur… If there is any truth to these rumors, it is clear that the travels of the Baker-Fancher train through southern Utah did not go unnoticed, as had been the case in northern Utah. It's Mexico's responsibility.". Led by John T. Baker and Alexander Fancher, the train was reported to have been well-stocked, with plenty of cattle, horses, and mules. The presence of the train did nothing to alleviate the tensions already present due to the Utah War. In 1851, they were attacked by Tolkepayas (Western Yavapai) Indians about 80 miles east of Fort Yuma along the Gila River. One of the two was killed, and the other was able to make his way back to the Baker-Fancher party. "We are heartbroken to hear of the tragedy that has touched these families in Mexico. This also repeats a nineteenth-century theme; Mark Twain in Roughing It implied that the Indian participants in the massacre were really white men "tricked out" as Indians. Shortly before July 24th, 1847, the first party of Mormon pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley. Lee described to them a plan to get them through the hostile Indians. By the mid-1840s it became known as the Gila Trail, known today as the Southern Emigrant Trail. Historic battles and associations with the Mormon Battalion occurred in this area. The Californio leaders of the massacre all died tragic deaths. His ecclesiastical position was stake president. In return for compliance with these terms, the white men would give the emigrants safe conduct back to Cedar City where they would be protected until they could continue their journey to California. An excellent summary of events in the days immediately preceding the massacre is provided by Robert H. Briggs, in his essay "Mountain Meadows and The Craft of History," published in Sunstone, December 2002. Such reasoning does not excuse, of course, the decision that the white men in the area then made; it is only offered as a way to understand some of the excitement and the hysteria that enveloped those in the area. He had not been officially notified that he was to be replaced, so he viewed the news—combined with the efforts to hide the movement of the troops—as an act of war by the United States government against the Mormons. Eventually, as more information came to light, some of the principal participants were excommunicated from the Church. ", "I will thank him for his support and we will discuss if we need assistance," he said. Philip Klingensmith was a bishop in Cedar City and an officer in the Iron County militia. The following year, the Black Hawk War broke out. Church leaders wanted to help support all Latter-day Saints, especially the poor, who wanted to gather. Following the discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill, former members of the Mormon Battalion continued eastward to find Brigham Young and the Saints who were working their way to Zion. Three women and six children, all with dual US-Mexican citizenship, were killed in the attack, Security Minister Alfonso Durazo said in a news conference Tuesday. The Utah Territorial Militia was known as the Nauvoo Legion and accused of perpetrating the 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre in which 120–140 non-Mormon settlers were murdered. 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