Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Utah War 1857-1858

An artist's sketch of the army marching past the Lion House on its way through Salt Lake City  (DUP photo Collection)


     In two and a half years after arriving in the Salt Lake Valley Charles and Sarah Ann will have to evacuate  their home, moving south.
  My  second Great -Grandparents Thomas and Mary Hepworth who came into the Valley in 1852 would also be among the great evacuation in 1858.
   I am just realizing the significance of the Utah War or (aka) The Buchanan Blunder, (or in my mind should be titled The Utah War Stand-off)  had on my Great Great-Grandparents  lives; the sacrifices they would have to make but, there are no stories written or orally handed down by any of them.  Oh, how I would love to know their feelings about this event.
      In 1857 the Johnston Army was given orders by President Buchanan to go out west and "put down a supposed Mormon rebellion and replace Young as territorial governor"
  "President Young announced on March 23, 1858,  that all settlements in northern Utah must be abandoned and prepared for burning if the army came in.  The evacuation started immediately...........about 30,000 people moved to Provo and other towns in central and southern Utah.    There they remained in shared and improvised housing until the Utah War  was over."
   (Source; Encyclopedia of Mormonism,p 1500) 
Historians [Mr.] Allen and [Mr.] Leonard write:
     "It was an extraordinary operation.  As the Saints moved south they cached all the stone cut for the Salt Lake Temple and covered the foundations to make it resemble a plowed field.  They boxed and carried with them twenty thousand bushels of 'tithing' grain, as well as machinery, equipment, and all the Church records and books.  The sight of thirty thousand people moving south was awesome, and the amazed Governor Cummings did all he could to persuade them to return to their homes.  Bringham Young replied that if the troops were withdrawn from the territory, the people would stop moving......"
The history of this event is worth reading about.
Below is the link to more information:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utah_War#December_1857-March_1858:_winter_intermission