Account of massacre written by Smith and McKnight at Cedar City. Much of the blame is put onto the Indians.

Aug 6, 1858
George A. Smith
2nd Hand

George A. Smith and James McKnight statement from August 6, 1858 in Journal History (September 11, 1857), 6-7, CHL

Journal History of the Church
William H. Dame, George A. Smith, James McKnight, Isaac C. Haight
Latter-day Saints, Regional

The Emigrant and Indian War at Mountain Meadows, Sept. 21, 22, 23, 24, and 25, 1857. On Tuesday, Sept. 22nd, rumor reached Cedar by Indians that an emigrant train had been attacked in camp by the Indians on Monday, 21, at day break, at Mountain Meadows, some 45 miles from Cedar; that several of the emigrants had been killed and that some of the Indians had been killed and wounded, and that the Indians were gathering in from various parts, in considerable numbers, with a determination to exterminate the emigrants, being exasperated in consequence of the poisoning of springs by those emigrants, thus causing the death of several Indians. Immediately upon the arrival of much intelligence, efforts were made to raise men to go and, if possible, conciliate the Indians; which party, with interpreters, left Cedar on Tuesday night about 9 o'clock. When they arrived the next morning, they found the Indians in a great state of excitement, in consequence of the killing and wounding of some of their men, and, when Nephi Johnson, an interpreter sought to conciliate them, they threatened him and his party with instant death if they did not either leave immediately or turn in help them, accusing them of being friendly to the emigrants or "Mericats" as they called them. The Indians said that, if they attempted to go to the emigrants' camp, they would kill every one of them. Finding that their services could avail the emigrants nothing, they returned to Cedar and reported the condition of the camp. On Friday evening, Wm. H. Dame, Isaac C. Haight and a party of men started out for the scene of hostilities to endeavor to put a stop to the fight, arriving there about day light on Saturday morning. The Indians had killed the entire company, with the exception of a few small children, which were, with difficulty, obtained from them. The Indians were pillaging and destroying the property and driving off the cattle in every direction, without respect to each others rights, each one endeavoring to get to himself the most plunder. When they had secreted one pack load in the hills they would return and get another, thus continuing, with the most unremitting energy, till everything was cached. They found the bodies of the slain stripped of their clothing, scattered along the road about half a mile. They obtained a few spades from Hamblin's Ranch and buried the dead as well as they could under the circumstances. The ground was hard and, being destitute of picks, and having a limited number of spades, the pits could not be dug to very great depth. From the appearance of the camp ground, the wagons were scattered promiscuously, but upon being attacked, the wagons were scattered promiscuously, but upon being attacked, they had gathered most of them into a close circle and dug inside two rifle pits. It appears that, on the fifth day, the Indians withdrew from the siege, and that, towards evening, the emigrants left their camp and started back towards Hamblin's Ranch, and after proceeding about a mile and a half, were again attacked and all slain except the children above mentioned. It was supposed that there must have been some 200 Indians engaged in this fight. A large number of the dead were killed with arrows; the residue with bullets, the Indians being armed with guns and bows. The Indians had also killed a large number of horses, mules, and cattle, which were lying scattered over the plain which was done in accordance with their tradition, requiring a sacrifice to be sent along with their departed warriors.

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