In a letter, William Rogers writes that the emigrants were fooled by (fake) white flag of truce and killed by Mormons.

Jul 21, 1859
William H. Rogers

William H. Rogers, Letter, June 6, 1859, rep. “Details of the Mountain Meadows Massacre in Utah—Rescue of the Children—Escape of the Murderers,” Painesville (Ohio) Telegraph, July 21, 1859, in David L. Bigler and Will Bagley, eds., Innocent Blood: Essential Narratives of the Mountain Meadows Massacre (The Mormons and the American Frontier Volume 12; Norman, Oklahoma: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 2008), 214-15

Painesville (Ohio) Telegraph
John Cradlebaugh, William H. Rogers
Reading Public

They corralled their wagons and were three days in quietness, 25 miles from any settlement, when, early on the morning of the 4th day, they were attacked, as they supposed, by a large party of Indians. The Indians fired on the emigrants and killed and wounded several. After this the emigrants set their wagon wheels in the ground, and threw the earth up against the bodies, making a snug defense. The Indians fought them for five days, having previously run all their stock off. The emigrants were within ten yards of as fine a spring as you ever saw, but could get no water, for whenever one came out to get it, he was shot down. The spring has a high bank, a deep ravine makes off from it, and in this the Indians were concealed. After fighting for five or six days, a party of Mormons approached the corral with a white flag in hand, to show the emigrants that they were friends. The emigrants directly dressed a little girl in white and placed her at the mouth of the corral. The Mormon party then came in, sat down, and talked to he head man of the train for more than a hour, telling him that they had come as friends of the party to escort them back to Cedar City, about 350 miles behind, provided they would give up their arms, and leave all they had behind. They promised to protect them from the Indians. They marched the party in front of them back on the road about 2,500 yards, where they had to pass through some sedge bushes—the Mormon escorts gave a signal, and all at once the Indians raised in the bushes—the Mormon escort fired first and killed all the men—then they went to work on women and children. The sport can still speak for itself. When I first passed through the place I could walk for near a mile on bones, and skulls laying grining at you, and women and children’s hair in bunches as big as a bushel. Judge Cradlebaugh and myself have the names of sixty white men who participated in this affair. It was done by council from Bishops in the Mormon Church. The Bishops were the head killers. They did not leave one to tell the tale. The oldest of the children is between seven and eight years of age. We have seventeen here. They are getting ready to send them to their friends in Arkansas, as there was $10,000 appropriated by Congress for that purpose—so you can see by what means the Mormons have lived and supported their Church. This was the richest train that ever passed through this country, and after killing all the party except 17 little children, they took cattle, wagons and hroses back to Cedar City and sold them at public sale. The children were divided out to different ones—some who had no children took two. All the above has been sworn to before Judge Bradlebaugh. He has issued warrants for all parties but they fly to the mountains. W.H. Rogers

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