James Henry Carleton's survey of the remains at Mountain Meadows Massacre.

May 25, 1859
Government Document
James Henry Carleton

Brevet Major J.H. Carleton, Special Report on the Mountain Meadow Massacre, 57th Congress, 1st Session, Document No. 605, 25 May 1859, 4

James Henry Carleton
James Henry Carleton
Reading Public

The Indians have told me that they made an attack on the emigrants between daylight and sunrise as the men were standing around the camp fires, killing and wounding 15 at the first charge, which was delivered from the ravine near the spring close to the wagons and from a hill to the west. That the emigrants immediately corralled their wagons and threw up an entrenchment to shelter themselves from the balls. When I first saw the ditch, it was about 4 feet deep and the bank about 2 feet high. The Indians say they then ran off the stock but kept parties at the spring to prevent the emigrants from getting to the water, the emigrants firing upon them every time they showed themselves, and they returned the fire. This was kept up for six or seven days. The Indians say that they lost but one man, killed and three or four wounded. At the end of six or seven days, they say, a man among them who could talk English called to the emigrants and told them if they would go back to the settlements and leave all their property, especially their arms, they would spare their lives, but if they did not do so they would kill the whole of them. The emigrants agreed to this and started back on the road toward my ranch. About a mile from the spring there are some scrub-oak bushes and tall sage growing on either side of the road and close to it. Here a large body of Indians lay in ambush, who, when the emigrants approached, fell upon them in their defenseless condition and with bows and arrows and stones and guns and knives murdered all, without regard to sex or age, except a few infant children, seventeen of which have since been recovered. This is what the Indians told me nine days after the massacre took place. From the position of the bodies this latter part of their story seems to be corroborated, and I should judge that the women and children were in advance of the men when the last attack upon them was made. When I buried the bones last summer, I observed that about one third of the skulls were shot through with bullets

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