Mountain Meadows Massacre Historical Accounts

This is their story, but the truth doubtless was the Youngs, Hatch and Coleman, had followed up the man; had found him beyond the Muddy, brought him back, and then set the Indians upon him. The fate of these three men seems to close the scenes of this terrible tragedy on all the grown people of that fine train which was seen journeying prosperously forward at O’Fallons Bluffs on the 11th of the preceding June. There were doubtless atrocious episodes connected with the massacre of the women, which will never be known. Mr. Rogers, the deputy marshal, told me that Bishop John D. Lee is said to have taken a beautiful lady away to a secluded spot. There she implored him for more than life. She too, was found dead. Her throat had been cut from ear to ear.

The little children whom we left this John D. Lee distributing at Hamblin’s house after that sad night, have at length been gathered together and are now at Indian Farm, 12 miles south of Fillmore City, or at Salt Lake City in the custody for Dr. Forney, United States Indian agent. They are 17 in number. Sixteen of these were seen by Judge Cradlebaugh, Lieutenant Kearney, and others, and gave the following information in relation to their personal identity, etc. The children were varying from 3 to 9 years of age, 10 girls, 6 boys, and were questioned separately.

The first is a boy named Calvin, between 7 and 8 [John Calvin Miller, 6]; does not remember his surname; says he was by his mother [ Matilda ] when she was killed, and pulled the arrows from her back until she was dead; says he had two brothers older than himself, named James and Henry, and three sisters, Nancy, Mary and Martha.

The second is a girl who does not remember her name. The others say it is Demurr [Georgia Ann Dunlap, 18 mos.].

The third is a boy named Ambrose Mariam Tagit [, 4]; says he had two brothers older than himself and one younger. His father, mother, and two elder brothers were killed, his younger brother was brought to Cedar City; says he lived in Johnson County, but does not know what State; says it took one week to go from where he lived with his grandfather and grandmother who are still living in the States.

The fourth is a girl obtained of John Morris, a Mormon, at Cedar City. She does not recollect anything about herself [ Mary Miller, 4].

Fifth. A boy obtained of E. H. Grove [William “Joseph” Tillman Miller, 1], says that the girl obtained of Morris is named Mary and is his sister.

The sixth is a girl who says her name is Prudence Angelina [ Prudence Angeline Dunlap, 5]. Had two brothers, Jessie [Thomas J., 17] and John [John H., 16], who were killed. Her father’s name was William [Lorenzo Dow Dunlap], and she had an Uncle Jessie [Jesse Dunlap, Jr.]

The seventh is a girl. She says her name is Francis Harris, or Horne, remembers nothing of her family [Sarah Frances Baker, 3].

The eighth is a young boy, too young to remember anything about himself [Felix Marion Jones, 18 mos.].

The ninth is a boy whose name is William W. Huff [William Henry Tackitt, 19 mos.].

The tenth is a boy whose name is Charles Fancher [Christopher “Kit” Carson Fancher, 5].

The eleventh is a girl who says her name is Sophronia Huff [Nancy Saphrona Huff, 4].

The twelfth is a girl who says her name is Betsy [Martha Elizabeth Baker, 5].

The thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth are three sisters named Rebecca, Louisa, and Sara Dunlap [Rebecca J.Dunlap, 6; Louisa Dunlap, 4; Sarah Elizabeth Dunlap, 1]. These three sisters were the children obtained of Jacob Hamblin.

I have no note of the sixteenth [Tryphena D. Fancher, 22 mos.].

The seventeenth is a boy who was but six weeks old at the time of the massacre [William Twitty Baker, 9 mos.] Hamblin’s wife brought him to my camp on the 19th of this month. The next day they took him on to Salt Lake City to give him up to Dr. Forney. He is a pretty little boy and hardly dreamed he had again slept upon the ground where his parents had been murdered.

These children, it is said, could not be induced to make any developments while they remained with the Mormons, from fear, no doubt, having been intimidated by threats. Dr. Forney, it is said, came southward for them under the impression that he would find them in the hands of the Indians.

The Mormons say the children were in the hands of the Indians and were purchased by them for rifles, blankets, etc., but the children say they have never lived with the Indians at all. The Mormons claimed of Dr. Forney sums of money, varying from $200 to $400, for attending them when sick, for feeding and clothing them, and for nourishing the infants from the time when they assumed to have purchased them from the Indians.

Murders of the parents and despoilers of their property, these Mormons, rather these relentless, incarnate fiends, dared even to come forward and claim payment for having kept these little ones barely alive; these helpless orphans whom they themselves had already robbed of their natural protectors and support. Has there ever been an act which at all equaled this devilish hardihood in more than devilish effrontery? Never, but one; and even then the price was but “30 pieces of silver.”

On my arrival at Mountain Meadows, the 16th of this month, I encamped near the spring where the emigrants had encamped, and where they had entrenched themselves after they were first fired upon. The ditch they there dug is not yet filled up.

The same day Captain Reuben P. Campbell, United States Second Dragoons, with a command of three companies of troops, came from his camp at Santa Clara and camped there also. Judge Cradlebaugh and Deputy Marshall Rogers had come down from Provo with Captain Campbell, and had been inquiring into the circumstances of the massacre. The judge cannot receive too much praise for the resolute and thorough manner with which he pursues him investigation. On his way down past this spot, and before my arrival, Captain Campbell had caused to be collected and buried the bones of 26 of the victims. Dr. Brewer informed me that the remains of 18 were buried in one grave, 12 in another and 6 in another.

On the 20th I took a wagon and a party of men and made a thorough search for others amongst the sage brushes for a least a mile back from the road that leads to Hamblin’s house. Hamblin himself showed Sergeant Fritz of my party a spot on the right-hand side of the road where had partially covered up a great many of the bones. These were collected, and a large number of others on the left-hand side of the road up the slopes of the hill, and in the ravines and among the bushes. I gathered many of the disjointed bones of 34 persons. The number could easily be told by the number of pairs of shoulder blades and by lower jaws, skulls, and parts of skulls, etc.