John Lee claims that Isaac C. Haight was the dominating personality, in spite of William H. Dame’s superior military position.

John Doyle Lee

John Doyle Lee, Mormonism Unveiled; or, The Life and Confessions of the late Mormon bishop, John D. Lee (St. Louis: Bryan, Brand & Company 1877), 245-47

Bryan, Brand & Company
William H. Dame, John Doyle Lee, Isaac C. Haight
Reading Public

I soon learned that Col. Dame, Judge Lewis of Parowan, and Isaac C. Haight, with several others had arrived at the Hamblin Ranch in the night, but I do not know what time they got there. After breakfast we all went back in a body to the Meadows, to bury the dead and take care of the property that was left there. When we reached the Meadows we all rode up to that part of the field where the women were lying dead. The bodies of men, women and children had been stripped entirely naked, making the scene one of the most loathsome and ghastly that can be imagined. Knowing that Dame and Haight had quarreled at Hamblin’s that morning. I wanted to know how they would act in sight of the dead, who lay there as the result of their orders. I was greatly interested to know what Dame had to say, so I kept close to them, without appearing to be watching them. Colonel Dame was silent for some time. He looked all over the field, and was quite pale, and looked uneasy and frightened. I thought then that he was just finding out the difference between giving and executing orders for wholesale killing. He spoke to Haight and said: “I must report this matter to the authorities.” “How will you report it?” said Haight. Dame said, “I will report it just as it is.” “Yes, I suppose so, and implicate yourself with the rest?” said Haight. “No,” said Dame. “I will not implicate myself, for I had nothing to do with it.” Haight then said, “That will not do, for you know a d—d sight better. You ordered it done. Nothing has been done except by your orders, and it is too late in the day for you to order things done and then go back on it, and go back on the men who carried out your orders. You cannot sow pig on me, and I will be d—d if I will stand it. You are as much to blame as any one, and you know that we have done nothing except what you ordered done. I know that I have obeyed orders, and by G—d I will not be lied on.” Colonel Dame was much excited. He choked up, and would have gone away, but he knew Haight was a man of determination, and would not stand any foolishness. As soon as Colonel Dame could collect himself, he said: “I did not think there were so many of them, or I would not have had anything to do with it.” I thought it was now time for me to chip in, so I said: “Brethren, that is the trouble between you? It will not do for our chief men to disagree.” Height stepped up to my side, a little in front of me, and facing Colonel Dame. He was very mad, and said: “The trouble is just this: Colonel Dame counseled and ordered me to do this thing, and now he wants to back out, and go back on me, and by G—d he shall not do it. He shall not lay it all on me. He cannot do it. He must not try to do it. I will blow him to h—l before he shall lay it all on me. He has got to stand up to what he did like a little man. He knows he ordered it done, and I dare him to deny it.” Colonel Dame was perfectly cowed. He did not offer to deny it again, but said: “Isaac, I did not know there were so many of them.” “That makes no difference,” said Haight, “you ordered me to do it, and you have got to stand up for your orders.”

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