A Young Folks' History of the Church
might be averted; but if not, then, said President Young, and the people were with him,
their homes, fields, and gardens would be destroyed by fire and the Saints would flee to
The army continued its march towards Utah. Col. R.T. Burton was now ordered by Gen.
Daniel H. Wells, commander of the Utah militia, to take a small body of men and guard
the emigrant trains that were coming in. The militia to the number of 2,500 men was
called into service, and in September, 1857, Gen. Wells and staff went to Echo canyon
and there made their headquarters. Active preparations were now made to stop the
enemy. Echo canyon, through which the troops would have to pass, was fortified by
trenches and the loosening of rocks on the hill sides.
By this time the army was in what is now Wyoming, and was making for Echo canyon.
Small companies of Utah men were sent out to meet them. They were instructed to annoy
the invaders as much as possible, to burn the grass, drive off their cattle, etc., but they
were to shed no blood if it were possible to prevent it. These orders were followed, and
many exciting encounters and narrow escapes took place. Major Lot Smith, with a small
company of men, at one time rode up to a large wagon train carrying supplies for the
army. After capturing the drivers, they set fire to and destroy the whole train. Herds of
cattle were driven off to Salt Lake valley, where they were kept during the winter and
taken back to the soldiers in the spring.
Winter came early that year, and in the mountains where the armies were, the weather
became very cold, with snow and sleet. The government troops made but little progress.
They tried hard to reach the valley; but at last they were compelled to stop for the winter
in the mountains of western Wyoming.
This was all the Utah leaders wanted. Now there would be time for finding out the truth.
Most of the militia returned home, leaving fifty men as a guard in Echo canyon.
When the government at Washington heard the news from the seat of the "war" there was
considerable excitement, and Congress voted to send another army to aid the first one.
Meanwhile the people of Utah were anxiously waiting for spring and preparing for the
conflict which they thought must then come.
Topics.—1. Character of some territorial officials. 2. The army for Utah. 3. What the
"Mormons" thought of the army. 4. How the army was stopped.
Questions and Review.—1. Who was Judge Drummond? 2. What report did he make to
the government about Utah affairs? 3. What led President Buchanan to send an army to
Utah? 4. What was the object of sending this army? 5. When did the Saints first hear of
it? 6. What did the "Mormons" resolve to do? 7. Why could they not trust the army? 8.
What did the Utah militia do? 9. What was the object in annoying the troops? 10. What
hindered the troops from entering Salt Lake valley that year?