Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Indian Troubles 1866

On May 4th, 1866, President Orson Hyde visited Mount Pleasant and read to the people a proclamation from the First Presidency, addressed to the people of Sanpete, Sevier, Piute and other settle ments which were not safe from the Indians. The Presidency begged the people to be of good cheer, and advised that all settle ments that had not over 150 families should move to larger settlements.

They should arm themselves. The stock should be guarded so that the Indians would not be able to steal any more. If the Indians desired peace and came into the settlements, they should be treated with kindness, for if a peaceable Indian was killed it was just as much murder as if it had been a white man.

Quoting R. N. Bennett: "David Candland was sent with the epistle for the people of Fairview to move to Mount Pleasant, the people of Fountain Green to Moroni, and the people of Spring City to move to Ephraim. John L. Ivie and myself were sent as Candland's body guards. After these families had moved, the minute men of Mount Pleasant and other settlements had to go as guards for the men while they did their work."

Soon after President Hyde's visit, the people of Mount Pleasant sent teams to Fairview to help the people move. The move of the people to Mount Pleasant took place in one day. They were lo cated within the fort, and with families outside the fort. During the time they were living at Mount Pleasant, men went to Fairview to build a fort for their protection and in August, when the work was completed, they were prepared to return. President Hyde came to Mount Pleasant and held a meeting with the citizens of Fairview, and released Andrew Petersen, the acting bishop, and ordained Amasa Tucker, of Mount Pleasant, to act in his stead.

In Mount Pleasant, it was now found necessary, in order to protect the cattle, to erect a fort. Some, today, claim this was never completed, yet we find recorded in Andrew Madsen's Journal, "On June 4th the wall was commenced, and the fort, the same size as the one erected in 1859, was completed on June 19th, 1866."

The walls enclosed the block consisting of a little more than five acres, lying directly north of the old fort. (This block is now known as the North Sanpete High School Block.) Andrew Rolph states that the east, north and west walls were the same height as those of the old fort, but that the south wall was only about half as high, and there was a gate in the center of it. In due time four herders, who were paid so much a head for herding the cattle had been appointed. The tingling of the many cowbells was a familiar sound as the herd was taken out at seven o'clock every morning. One man was assigned as gate keeper, and after the cattle were accounted for and claimed by the owners, the gate was locked.

  Horses for the guards were always on hand. He further states that the first break in this fort wall was made near the northeast corner by Thomas Fuller, who used the rocks to wall up a ditch which passed in front of his mother, Mrs. Sarah Scoville's, place, which was opposite on the north side of the street.

General Daniel H. Wells and escort visited Mount Pleasant June 19th, and gave the people timely advice in regards to protecting themselves against the Indians.

The minute men were often called to scout about without finding the enemies. The country was sparsely settled, the raids day and night of so frequent occurrence, the scanty crops must be harvested, the wood must be hauled, and other preparations for winter be made, so that it was impossible for men to attend to their farms and stock and other duties, and fight the Indians day and night without some assistance.

Previous to this, Colonel O. H. Irish had called on General Doty asking Military assistance from Fort Douglas, but bad been informed by the commander at the fort that the settlers must take care of themselves.

The people of Salt Lake and Utah Counties, learning the real condition with their friends in the south, made preparations for the re-enforcing of the military power. A little later Captain P. W. Conover, with fifty men from Utah County, reported to Gen eral Snow for orders. Colonel Heber P. Kimball, having a com pany of fifty men from Salt Lake County, reached Manti. Colonel E. B. Page took command of the forces under Captain" Conover, and with such an additional force, the citizens felt secure and proceeded to their daily duties in comparative safety. The Indians kept away from the troops but managed to continue their depredations.

June 20th, 1866, Indians under Chief Black Hawk made a raid on the stock of Scipio. During the skirmish Henry Wright and James R. Ivie, the father of Colonel J. L. Ivie, were killed. It will be remembered that in 1859 James R. Ivie had been chosen at Ephraim as leader for the company of pioneers who settled Mount Pleasant, and that he faithfully filled that position until W. S. Seeley was chosen bishop of the colony. A short time after the killing of Mr. Ivie, a son of Ivie, in retaliation for the killing of his father, killed a friendly Indian. This enraged the Indians and they entered more vigorously in to the bloody work of massacre among the white settlers.his father, killed a friendly Indian. This enraged the Indians and they entered more vigorously in the bloody work of massacre among the white settlers.

Captain Kimball's company, under command of Captain A. P. Dewey, was stationed at Thistle Valley. Sunday, June 24th, Captain Dewey sent out two companies of scouts, four in each company, one company going north and the other south. Two of those who were going south had stopped at the warm springs on the west side of the valley. The members of the camp were not aware that Indians were at that time scattered through the cedars and ravines surrounding the camp. However, Horner Roberts and John Hambleton, being at the spring, saw them. Roberts succeeded in evading the Indians and took the report to Mount Pleasant and Fairview. Charles Brown, of Draper, and a companion who were in the cedars, also seeing the Indians, made their way towards camp. Brown was shot in the back and, upon falling, the Indians shot him with arrows. Some of the company at camp, seeing him fall, rushed out and brought him to camp where he expired. The Indians immediately surrounded the camp, which consisted of six baggage wagons that had been placed along with a wall of wood built around the camp for their protection. This enabled the company to keep out of sight of the Indians. However, the Indians shot into the camp, wounding Thomas Snaar of Salt Lake City. When the news of the attack reached Mount Pleasant, Colonel John L. Ivie and his company were in Pleasant Creek Canyon. At about 2 p. m., upon hearing three shots fired followed by five more, which they knew to be a signal, immediately left the stock they were helping to gather and rode down to the mouth of the canyon about four miles east of Mount Pleasant, where the message was delivered to them. They were ordered to get to the scene as quickly as their horses could carry them.

A cavalry consisting of about eighteen or twenty men, includ ing Colonel Ivie, George Tucker, Orange Seely, R. N. Bennett (Dolph), Martin Aldrich, Aaron Oman, Niels Madsen, and Peter Fredricksen started with great speed for Dewey's camp, at Fairview, others joined them.

They arrived in Thistle Valley about one hour before sundown, just in time to save the whole camp from being massacred. After a hard skirmish, the company succeeded in routing the Indians. Some Indians were killed and many wounded as they fled into the mountains; the Indians, as was their custom, taking their dead and wounded with them. A chase was taken up; after following them to Soldiers Summit at the head of Spanish Fork Canyon, the Indians resorted to their old tactics, that of separating and going in all directions, and the men were compelled to return. During the skirmish in Thistle Valley, Orange Seely and Dolph Bennett, seeing an Indian leave his horse and sneak into the wash towards camp, captured the horse, saddle, bridle, a buckskin jacket and a long lasso rope. Seely kept the horse for some time as a trophy of war. All horses, excepting five or six head of saddle horses were missing. These were hitched by the rescuing party to the wagons and the camp was moved to a more protected loca tion, where Indianola now stands. The body of Charles Brown was taken to Mount Pleasant for burial.

R. N. Bennett made the following statement concerning the attack: "June 24, 1866, Black Hawk warriors attacked Captain Peter Dewey's company at Thistle Valley, killing one man, Charles Brown, of Draper, and wounding Thomas Snaar, and driving off twenty or more head of horses. John L. Ivie, Orange Seely, George Tucker, myself and others went to recover the horses. We followed Black Hawk and his band nearly to the head of Spanish Fork River, going a distance of about forty or fifty miles, then follow ing down the Spanish Fork River, to about where Thistle Junction now is. During this engagement three or four Indians were killed, and a number wounded."

Three days after the attack on Captain Dewey's camp, the red skins raided Spanish Fork and killed John Edmonston, of Manti, and wounded another man, and drove away the stock. Settlers of Spanish Fork and Springville combined their forces and pur sued the Indians up the canyon as far as they dared, securing most of the cattle. The Indians continued on into Sanpete, then into Sevier County, and caught the unprotected points as places for attacks. They kept on the mountain when near Manti, or in the vicinity of the troops, thus avoiding engagements. About July 1st, 1866, General Y. Kimball Wells, obeying the instructions or President Brigham Young, issued an order for the abandonment of the settlements in Piute County, and the colonists moved to Sanpete County, most of them locating at Ephraim.

July 12th, Captain Bigler, with sixty men from Davis County, reached Manti, relieving the troops from Salt Lake County. Though new men soon had an opportunity for a conflict with the savages, for on the 27th, the Indians made a night raid on the cattle of Ephraim and Manti, driving away about 150 head of cattle. General Snow and Captain Bigler, with their commands, pursued the thieves into Castle Valley, but did not succeed in recovering the cattle, nor were they able to capture any Indians. This successful raid no doubt gave the Red Men enough beef for the winter. Few people had trouble with the Indians until the following spring. They managed to keep at a safe distance from the troops, enjoying the fruit of their many raids during the summer, and making their plans for the spring.

R. N. Bennett states: "About September 1866, the Black Hawk Indians drove off a herd of cattle, John L. Ivie, Orange Seely, myself and others, were with the company that followed them over the mountains east of Ephraim, via Joe's Valley, from there down Cotton Wood Canyon, on to Huntington River, where the town of Lawrence now stands, a distance of about seventy five miles. Then we came back to the Cotton Wood River, and then, camped and patrolled the valley two days, searching for Indians. We were gone from home about ten days."
 Taken from History of Mt. Pleasant by Hilda Madsen Longsdorf pp 110-115

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