Utah was settled in 1847 by a religious community of people generally known by the name of Mormons, but they style themselves, "The Latter-day Saints of the Church of Jesus Christ."

In the great valley of a vast inland sea, the existence of which was unknown to the world seventy-five years ago, whose surroundings were a desert in the most rigid definition of the term, a great commonwealth has been established unparalleled in the history of its origin by that of any of the civilized countries of the world.

Out of the most desolate of our vast arid interior areas, in less than half a century has been evolved not only a magnificent garden spot, but a great city with all the adjuncts of our most modern civilization. Rich in its architecture, progressive in its art, with a literature that is marvellous when the conditions from which it has sprung are seriously considered, the Mormon community meets all the demands of our ever advancing civilization.

Neither the love of gold, nor the cupidity of conquest, those characteristics which have subordinated other portions of the New World to the restless ambition of man, were the causes that have revolutionized both the physical character and the social conditions of the now wealthy and prosperous state of Utah. As Bancroft very forcibly states: Utah was settled upon an entirely new idea of God's revelation to the world. Old faiths have been worked over and over; colonies have been built upon those tenets, but never before have any results comparable to those which characterize that of the Mormon faith been attained, in founding a community, based as it is upon an entirely new religion.

Originating east of the Mississippi, perhaps no sect in modern times has been so persecuted as was that of the Mormons in their early days. So great and unbearable had this persecution become that it was determined by their leaders to seek some remote spot where they could worship according to their own ideas, without fear of molestation.

The Mormon emigration to Utah was seriously considered by Brigham Young years before 1847, the date of their exodus. It is claimed that he was but carrying out the plans of Joseph Smith, who early in 1842 said that his people "would yet be driven to the Rocky Mountains, where they would be able to build a city of their own free from all interference."

In confirmation of this the following extract from Heber C. Kimball's diary shows that a migration to some point west of the Rocky Mountains was contemplated: Nauvoo Temple, December 31, 1845 - President Young and myself are superintending the operations of the day, examining maps with reference to selecting a location for the Saints west of the Rocky Mountains, and reading the various works which have been written and published by travellers in those regions.

When it had been determined to leave for the Great Basin, winter quarters were established on the Elk Horn River; and on the morning of the 9th of April, 1847, the migration began, but was not fairly inaugurated until the 14th. The party were allowed a wagon, two oxen, two milch cows, and a tent, to every ten of their number. For each wagon there was supplied a thousand pounds of flour, fifty pounds of rice, sugar, and bacon, thirty of beans, twenty of dried apples or peaches, twenty-five of salt, five of tea, a gallon of vinegar, and ten bars of soap. Every able-bodied man was compelled to carry a rifle or musket. His wagon served for bed and kitchen, and was occasionally used as a boat in crossing the streams. A day's journey averaged about thirteen miles, with a rest at noon to dine and to allow the cattle to graze.

For the benefit of those who were following them, the first party of Mormons adopted some curious devices to inform their friends among the latter how they were progressing. For post-offices, they used the bleached buffalo-skulls found on the prairie, which, after the letters were placed inside, they suspended from the limbs of trees along the route. For guide-posts and to indicate their camping-places, they painted on the bald fronts of other buffalo-skulls the date and number of miles they had made.

After over three months of hardship and suffering, this party of pioneers reached the portals of their destination. On the 19th of July, 1847, two of the number started from the advance camp soon after sunrise to make a reconnoissance of the road, which left Canyon Creek and ran along through a ravine to the west. The ascent was gradual for about four miles, when the dividing ridge was reached. Here the two pioneers tied their horses, and on foot ascended a near-by mountain, Big Mountain by name, to obtain a glimpse of the country. Previously, from the peaks of that neighbourhood, the pathfinder of the pioneer band had been met by a series of towering, snow-capped mountains, piled seemingly one upon the other, ever greeting his tired vision as he gazed eagerly westward, looking for the Promised Land. But this time a different view was exposed. To the southwest, through a vista of gradually-sloping mountains, through an opening in the canyons, the light blue and the fleecy white clouds above seemed to be sinking into a plain of gold. Two small portions of a level prairie were visible, and beyond rose a series of blue mountains, their peaks tipped with snow. It was the Valley of the Great Salt Lake!

        From the summit of the Big Mountain, they gazed long and earnestly on the glorious view. First they looked upon the high walls surrounding their position at the time, but ever would their eyes turn longingly to that little panorama of life and colour which appeared through a gap in the mountains, the yellow and green of the valley, the blue and white of the sky, with a foreground of dark mountains clothed in darker shrubbery. The Oquirrhs rose majestically in the centre of the picture, and far beyond them a dim, shadowy outline of the Onaqui range, which completed the glorious landscape.

Previous to their arrival in the valley, on the 23d of June, the Mormons met Jim Bridger and two of his employees en route to Fort Laramie. Bridger was told that he was the man of all men whom they had been looking for, upon which he advised them to camp right where they were, and he would tell them all he knew about the country and the region around the Great Basin. Camp was accordingly made, Bridger took supper with Brigham Young, and the information he had to impart was given in the old trapper's usual irregular way. Learning that the destination of the Mormons was in the Desert of the Salt Lake Valley, Bridger offered to give one thousand dollars for the first ear of corn raised there. "Wait a little," said the president of the Mormons, "and we will show you." In describing to Brigham Young the Great Salt Lake, which he called "Sevier Lake," he said that some of his men had spent three months going around it in canoes hunting beaver, and that the distance was five hundred and fifty miles.

In 1856 thousands of European converts to the new religion emigrated to Utah. On their arrival in this country, however, they had very little spare cash. It was therefore decided by those in authority that they should cross the plains with hand-carts, in which was to be hauled their baggage. Wagons were provided for tents, provisions, and those who were not able to walk.

In a circular published in Liverpool by the Presidency of the British Isles, among other things it recited that "The Lord, through his Prophet, says of the poor, let them gird up their loins, and walk through, and nothing shall hinder them."

Iowa City was the point where the poor emigrants were outfitted and received their hand-carts. These were somewhat primitive in construction: The shafts being about five feet long, and of hickory or oak, with crosspieces, one of them serving for a handle, forming the bed of the cart, under the centre of which was a wooden axletree, the wheels being also made of wood, with a light iron band, and the entire weight of the vehicle about sixty pounds. Better carts were provided in subsequent years.

To each one hundred persons were furnished twenty hand-carts, five tents, three or four milch cows, and a wagon with three yoke of oxen to convey the provisions and camp equipage. The quantity of clothing and bedding was limited to seventeen pounds per capita, and the freight of each cart, including cooking utensils, was about one hundred pounds.

One of the companies reached the old winter quarters near the middle of August, and there held a meeting to decide whether they should continue the journey or encamp for the winter. They had yet more than a thousand miles to travel, and with their utmost efforts could not expect to arrive in the valley until late in November. The matter was left with the elders, all of whom, excepting one named Levi Savage, counselled them to go forward and trust in the Lord, who would surely protect them. Savage declared that they should trust, also, to such common sense as the Lord had given them. From his certain knowledge, the company, containing as it did so large a number of the aged and infirm, of women and children, could not cross the mountains thus late in the season without much suffering, sickness, and death. He was overruled and rebuked for want of faith. "Brethren and sisters," he replied, "what I have said I know to be true; but seeing you are going forward, I will go with you. May God in his mercy preserve us." The company set forth from their camp on the 18th, and on each hand-cart was now placed a ninety-eight pound sack of flour, as the wagons could not carry the entire load. At first they travelled about fifteen miles a day, although delays were caused by the breaking of wheels and axles. The heat and aridity of the plains and mountains speedily made many of the cart-wheels rickety and unable to sustain their burdens without frequent repairs. Some shod the axles of their carts with old leather, others with tin from the plates and kettles of their mess outfit; and for grease they used their allowance of bacon, and even their soap, of which they had but little. On reaching Wood River the cattle stampeded, and thirty head were lost, the remainder being only sufficient to allow one yoke to each wagon. The beef cattle, milch cows, and heifers were used as draft animals, but were of little service, and it was found necessary to place another sack of flour on each hand-cart. The issue of beef was then stopped, the cows gave no milk, and the daily ration was reduced to a pound of flour, with a little rice, sugar, coffee, and bacon, an allowance which only furnished breakfast for some of the men, who fasted for the remainder of the day.

While encamped on the North Fork of the Platte the emigrants were overtaken by another party of elders, returning from foreign missions, who gave them what encouragement they could. "Though it might storm on their right and on their left the Lord would keep open their way before them, and they would reach Zion in safety." After camping with them for one night, the elders went on their way, promising to leave provisions for them at Fort Laramie if possible, and to send them aid from Salt Lake City. On reaching Laramie no provisions were found, and rations were again reduced, men able to work receiving twelve ounces of flour daily, women and old men nine ounces, and children from four to eight ounces.

As the emigrants travelled along the banks of the Sweetwater, the nights became severe, and their bed-covering was now insufficient. Before them were the mountains clad almost to the base with snow, where already the storms of winter were gathering. Gradually the old and infirm began to droop, and soon deaths became frequent, the companies seldom leaving their camping-ground without burying one or more of the party. Then able-bodied men began to succumb, a few of them continuing to pull their carts before they died, and one or two even on the day of their deaths. On the morning when the first snow-storm occurred, the last ration of flour was issued, and a march of sixteen miles was before them to the nearest camping-ground on the Sweetwater. The task seemed hopeless, but at noon a wagon drove up, containing Joseph A. Young and Stephen Taylor, from Salt Lake City, who told them that a train of supplies would reach them in a day or two. Thus encouraged, the emigrants pushed forward. By doubling their teams, and by the strongest of the party helping the weak to drag their carts, all reached the camping-ground, though some of the cattle perished, and during the night five persons died of cold and exhaustion.

In the morning the snow was a foot deep, and there remained only two barrels of biscuits, a few pounds of sugar and dried apples, and a quarter of a sack of rice. Two of the disabled cattle were killed, their carcasses issued for beef, and on this and a small dole of biscuits the emigrants were told that they must subsist until supplies reached them. The small remnant of provisions was reserved for the young children and the sick. It was now decided to remain in camp, while the captain with one of the elders went in search of the supply-trains. The small allowance of beef and biscuit was consumed the first day, and on the second day more cattle were killed and eaten without biscuit. On the next day there was nothing to eat, for no more cattle could be spared. Still the supplies came not, being delayed by the same storm which the emigrants had encountered. During these three days many died and numbers sickened. Some expired in the arms of those who were themselves almost at the point of death. Mothers wrapped with their dying hands the remnant of their tattered clothing around the wan forms of their perishing infants. The most pitiful sight of all was to see strong men begging for the morsel of food that had been set apart for the sick and helpless.

It was now the evening of the third day, and the sun was sinking behind the snow-clad ranges which could be traced far to the west amid the clear, frosty atmosphere of the desert. There were many who, while they gazed on this scene, did not expect to see the light of another day, and there were many who cared for life no longer, having lost all that makes life precious. They retired to their tents and commanded themselves to their Maker, lay down to rest, perchance to die. But presently a shout of joy was raised. From an eminence near the western portion of the camp covered wagons were seen approaching, with the captain at their head. Immediately about half of the provisions, together with a quantity of warm clothing, blankets, and buffalo-robes were distributed to the companies. The remainder was sent forward under charge of Grant for the use of another company.

But the troubles of the hand-cart emigrants were not yet at an end. Some were already beyond all human aid, some had lost their reason, and around others the blackness of despair had settled, all efforts to rouse them from their stupor being unavailing. Each day the weather grew colder, and many were frost-bitten, losing fingers, toes, or ears, one sick man who held on to the wagon bars to avoid jolting having all his fingers frozen. At a camping-ground at Willow Creek, a tributary of the Sweetwater, fifteen people were buried, thirteen of them having been frozen to death. Near South Pass another company of the brethren met them, with supplies from Salt Lake City, and from the trees near their camp several quarters of fat beef were suspended - "a picture," says Chislett, who had charge of one of the companies, "that far surpassed the paintings of the ancient masters." From this point warm weather prevailed, and fresh teams from the valley constantly met them, distributing provisions sufficient for their needs, and then travelling eastward to meet the other company.

On reaching Salt Lake City on the 9th of November, it was found that sixty-seven out of a total of four hundred and twenty had died on the journey. Of the six hundred emigrants included in Martin's detachment, which arrived there three weeks later, a smaller percentage perished. The storm which overtook the party on the Sweetwater reached them on the North Platte. There they encamped and waited about ten days for the weather to moderate. Their rations were reduced to four ounces of flour per head a day, for a few days, until relief came. On arriving at Salt Lake City the survivors were received with the utmost kindness.

On their arrival at Devil's Gate on the Sweetwater, twenty men belonging to the other company were left in charge of stock, merchandise, and baggage, with orders to follow in the spring. The snow fell deep, and many of the cattle were devoured by the wolves, while others perished from cold. The rest were slaughtered, and on their frozen carcasses the men subsisted, their small stock of flour and salt now being exhausted. Game was scarce in the neighbourhood, and with their utmost care the supply of food could not hold out until spring. Two of the men, with the only horses that remained, were sent to Platte Bridge to obtain supplies; but the animals were lost, and they returned empty-handed. Presently the meat was all consumed, and then their only resource was the hides, which were cut into small pieces and soaked in hot water, after the hair had been removed. When the last hide had been eaten, nothing remained but their boot-tops and the scraps of leather from their wagon. Even the neck-piece of a buffalo-skin which had served as a door-mat was used for food. Thus they kept themselves alive until spring, when they subsisted on thistle-roots and wild garlic, until at length relief came from Salt Lake City.[17]

On the 5th of December, 1857, John B. Floyd, then Secretary of War, in his report to James Buchanan, President of the United States, states that the people of Utah implicitly obeyed their prophet, and that from the first day of their settlement in the territory it had been their aim to secede from the Union. He says that for years they had not even pretended obedience to Federal authority, and that they encouraged roaming bands of Indians to rob and massacre the emigrants bound for the Pacific coast.

Previous to the assembling of any troops for duty in Utah to enforce obedience to the laws of the government, an opinion was asked of General Winfield Scott, then commanding the army, as to the feasibility of sending an armed expedition into the territory. Scott's decision was most emphatically against the proposition to send troops there so late in the season. The general's advice was not heeded, however, and in May orders were promulgated that the Fifth and Tenth Infantry, the Second Dragoons, and a battery of the Fourth Artillery should assemble at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, with the Valley of the Salt Lake as their objective point.

In June, 1858, more than six thousand troops were mobilized for Utah, and the command was given to Brigadier-General W. S. Harney.

In the whole military history of the country, before the Civil War, no expedition had ever been better equipped and rationed than that which was to be called "The Army of Occupation in Utah." Thousands of cattle and immense supply-trains were started across the plains in advance. The price for the transportation was twenty-two cents a pound.

These exorbitant contracts made the lucky individuals who had secured them very wealthy. By a little political wire-pulling he who had secured the flour contract obtained permission to provide the troops with Utah flour. It cost him but seven cents a pound, but he received the twenty-two cents which it would have cost to have transported it from the States.

This large army was stationed in Utah Territory for nearly four years. It is stated on good authority that the private soldiers asked of each other, "Why were we sent here? Why are we kept here?" while the common people wondered whether the authorities at Washington kept them there to make the contractors rich.

At that time the people of the territory were in a starving condition in consequence of the failure of crops and the unusually severe winter of 1856-1857. There were thousands who for over a year had never realized what a full meal meant; children by the hundreds "endured the gnawings of hunger until hunger had become to them a second nature"; yet despite this condition of affairs the orders issued to General Harney from Washington display a lamentable ignorance, or a determination to compel the Mormons to feed the troops on the basis of the miracle of "the loaves and fishes." His instructions were as follows: It is not doubted that a surplus of provisions and forage, beyond the wants of the resident population, will be found in the Valley of Utah, and that the inhabitants, if assured by energy and justice, will be ready to sell them to the troops. Hence, no instructions are given you for the extreme event of the troops being in absolute need of such supplies, and their being with-held by the inhabitants. The necessities of such an occasion would furnish a law for your guidance.

Exactly the reverse of what was intended by the authorities at Washington occurred in Utah. In another chapter it is shown how the Mormons stampeded the cattle of the supply-trains, and robbed them of their contents, so it will be perceived that the Mormons themselves subsisted on the rations intended for the troops, completely controverting what was implied in the orders to General Harney.

On the day after the departure from Salt Lake of the officers[18] sent on a special mission to investigate the condition of affairs in Utah, Brigham Young issued a proclamation declaring martial law in Utah, forbidding all armed forces to enter the territory under any pretence whatever, and ordering the Mormon militia to be in readiness to march at a moment's notice. It is probable that the Nauvoo Legion, which now included the entire military force of the territory, mustered at this date from four to five thousand men.

Though imperfectly armed and equipped, and, of course, no match for regular troops, the Mormons were not to be held in contempt. In July, 1857,[19] the Nauvoo Legion had been reorganized, the two cohorts, now termed divisions, having each a nominal strength of two thousand. The division consisted of two brigades; the brigades of two regiments; the regiments of five battalions, each of a hundred men, the battalions being divided into companies of fifty, and the companies into platoons of ten. Each platoon was in charge of a lieutenant, whose duty it was carefully to inspect the arms, ammunition, and accoutrements. All able-bodied males in the territory, excepting those exempt by law, were liable to military duty, and it is probable that the Mormons could have put in the field not less than seven thousand raw troops, half disciplined, indeed, but inured to hardship, and from the very nature of their environment splendid rifle-shots.

It was not the intention of the Mormons to encounter the army of Utah in the open field, or even behind breastworks, if it could be avoided. In order to explain their tactics a despatch sent by the lieutenant-general of the Nauvoo Legion to Major Joseph Taylor will make plain what they proposed to do.

        On ascertaining the locality or route of the troops, proceed at once to annoy them in every possible way. Use every exertion to stampede their animals and set fire to their trains. Burn the whole country before them and on their flanks. Keep them from sleeping by night surprises; blockade the road by felling trees or destroying the river-fords where you can. Watch for opportunities to set fire to the grass on their windward, so as, if possible, to envelop their trains. Leave no grass before them that can be burned. Keep your men concealed as much as possible, and guard against surprises. Save life always, when it is possible; we do not wish to shed a drop of blood if it can be avoided.[20]

When General Harney had joined his command and heard of the state of affairs in Utah, he said in his characteristic bluff manner: "I am ordered there, and I will winter in the valley or in hell!" Before he reached the portals of the territory, however, his services again being demanded in Kansas, Colonel Albert Sidney Johnston, then at Fort Leavenworth, was appointed to the command of the army of Utah, and during the interim Colonel Alexander assumed command of the forces.

About the middle of August, General Wells, in command of twelve hundred and fifty men, supplied with thirty days' rations, established headquarters at Echo Canyon. Through this canyon, the Mormons supposed, lay the path of the invading army, the only means of avoiding the gorge being by a circuitous route northward to Soda Springs, and thence by way of Bear River Valley, or the Wind River Mountains. On the western side of the canyon dams and ditches were constructed, by means of which the road could be submerged to a depth of several feet. At the eastern side stone heaps were collected and bowlders loosened from the overhanging rocks, so that a slight leverage would hurl them on the passing troops, and parapets were built as a protection for sharp-shooters.[21]

At this juncture a letter from General Wells was delivered to Colonel Alexander, together with copies of the organic act, the law of Utah, the proclamation forbidding the entrance of armed forces into the territory, and a despatch from Brigham Young. The last was a remarkable document, and must have been somewhat of a surprise to the colonel, who had proved himself one of the most gallant soldiers of the Mexican War. He was informed that he, Brigham Young, was still governor of Utah, who ordered him to withdraw by the same route he had entered. Should he desire, however, to remain until spring in the neighbourhood of the present encampment, he must surrender his arms and ammunition to the Mormon quartermaster-general, in which case he would be supplied with provisions, and would not be molested.

Colonel Alexander replied in brief and business-like phrase. He addressed Brigham Young as governor; stated that he would submit his letter to the commanding officer immediately on his arrival; that meanwhile the troops were there by order of the President, and that their future movements and operations would depend on orders issued by competent military authority.

In writing to brother officers en route to join their commands, Colonel Alexander said: No information of the position or intentions of the commanding officer has reached me, and I am in utter ignorance of the object of the government in sending troops here, or the instructions given for their conduct after reaching here. I have decided on the following points: First, the necessity of a speedy move to winter quarters; second, the selection of a point for wintering; third, the best method of conducting the troops and supplies to the point selected.

A council of war was held, and the point selected was Fort Hall, on Beaver Head Mountain, one hundred and forty miles from Fort Bridger. So little did the colonel know about the disposition of the command, that at the time and place when he expected to be joined by Colonel Smith, in charge of supply-trains, that officer was still at the South Pass, with an escort of two hundred men.

On the 11th of October the troops commenced their march. Snow was falling heavily, and for several days they were compelled to cut a path for their wagons through the dense brush, their trains being still of such unwieldy length that the vanguard had reached its camping-ground at nightfall before the rear guard had moved from its camp of the preceding day. Meanwhile bands of Mormons, under their nimble and ubiquitous leaders, hung on their flanks, just out of rifle-shot, harassing them at every step, seven hundred oxen being captured and driven to Salt Lake City on the 13th!

There was as yet no cavalry in the force. A few infantry companies were mounted on mules and sent in pursuit of the guerillas, but the Saints merely laughed at them, terming them jackass cavalry.

The grass had been burned along the route, and the draught animals were so weak that they could travel only three miles a day. When the point was reached where Smith's detachment was expected to join the army, the commander, disappointed and sorely perplexed, called a council of war, at which many of the officers were in favour of cutting their way through the canyons at all hazard.

At this juncture a despatch was received from General Johnston, who was now at South Pass, ordering the troops to proceed to Fontenelle Creek, where pasture was abundant, and a few days later a second despatch directed them to march to a point three miles below the junction of Ham and Black Forks, the colonel stating that he would join them there. On the 3d of November they reached the place of rendezvous, where Johnston arrived the following day, with a re-enforcement of cavalry and the supply-trains in charge of Smith.

Albert Sidney Johnston was a favourite officer, and had already given earnest of the qualities that he displayed a few years later in the campaigns of the Civil War, on the Confederate side. The morale of the army was at once restored, and each man put forth his utmost energy at the touch of this excellent soldier. But their troubles were not yet ended. The expedition was now ordered to Fort Bridger, and at every step difficulties increased. There were only thirty-five miles to be travelled, but excepting on the margin of a few slender streams the country through which their route lay was the barest of desert land. There was no shelter from the chill blasts of this mountain solitude, where, even in November, the thermometer sometimes sank to sixteen degrees below zero. There was no fuel but the wild sage and willow; there was little pasture for the half-frozen cattle.

The march continued on the 6th of November, and on the previous night five hundred of the strongest oxen had been stolen by the Mormons. The train extended over six miles, and all day long snow and sleet fell on the retreating column. Some of the men were frost-bitten, and the exhausted animals were goaded by their drivers until many fell dead in their traces. At sunset the troops encamped wherever they could find a particle of shelter, some under bluffs, and some in the willow copses. At daybreak the camp was surrounded by the carcasses of frozen cattle. Several hundred beasts had perished during the night. Still, as the trains arrived from the rear, each one halted for a day or more, giving time for the cattle to rest and graze on such scant herbage as they could find. To press forward rapidly was impossible, for it would have cost the lives of most of the draught animals; to find shelter was equally impossible, for there was none. There was no alternative but to proceed slowly and persistently, saving as many as possible of the horses, mules, and oxen. Fifteen days were required for this difficult operation.

Meanwhile Colonel Philip St. George Cooke, who arrived on the 19th by way of Fort Laramie, at the head of five hundred dragoons, had fared no better than the main body, having lost nearly half of his cattle.

On the 5th the command of Colonel Cooke passed the Devil's Gate. While crossing what he calls a four-mile hill, he writes as follows: -

        The north wind and drifting snow became severe; the air seemed turned to frozen fog; nothing could be seen; we were struggling in a freezing cloud. The lofty wall at Three Crossings was a happy relief; but the guide, who had lately passed there, was relentless in pronouncing that there was no grass. As he promised grass and shelter two miles farther, we marched on, crossing twice more the rocky stream, half choked with snow and ice; finally he led us behind a great granite rock, but all too small for the promised shelter. Only a part of the regiment could huddle up there in the deep snow; whilst the long night through the storm continued, and in fearful eddies from above, before, behind, drove the falling and drifting snow.

Meanwhile the animals were driven once more across the stream to the base of a granite ridge which faced the storm, but where there was no grass. They refused to eat, the mules huddling together and moaning piteously, while some of the horses broke away from the guard and went back to the ford. The next day better camping-ground was reached ten miles farther on. On the morning of the 8th the thermometer marked forty-four degrees below freezing point; but in this weather and through deep snow the men made eighteen miles, and the following day nineteen miles, to the next camping-grounds on Bitter Creek, and in the valley of Sweetwater. On the 10th matters were still worse. Herders left to bring up the rear with stray mules could not force them from the valley, and there three-fourths of them were left to perish. Nine horses were also abandoned. At night the thermometer marked twenty-five degrees below zero; nearly all the tent-pins were broken, and nearly forty soldiers and teamsters were on the sick list, most of them being frost-bitten. "The earth," writes the colonel, "has no more lifeless, treeless, grassless desert; it contains scarcely a wolf to glut itself on the hundreds of dead and frozen animals which for thirty miles nearly block the road."

At length the army arrived at Fort Bridger - to find that the buildings in and around it, together with those at Fort Supply, twelve miles distant, had been burnt to the ground by Mormons, and the grain and other provisions removed or destroyed. All that remained were two enclosures surrounded by walls of cobblestone cemented with mortar, the larger one being a hundred feet square. This was appropriated for supplies, while on the smaller one lunettes were built and mounted with cannon. A sufficient garrison was stationed at this point; the cattle were sent for the winter to Henry Fork in charge of Colonel Cooke and six companies of the Second Dragoons, and about the end of November the remainder of the troops went into winter quarters on Black Fork of the Green River, two or three miles beyond Fort Bridger, and a hundred and fifteen from Salt Lake City. The site, to which was given the name of Fort Scott, was sheltered by bluffs rising abruptly at a few hundred yards from the bed of the stream. Near by were clumps of cottonwood which the Mormons had attempted to burn; but the wood being green and damp, the fire had merely scorched the bark.

Though most of the beef cattle had been carried off by the Mormons or Indians, a sufficient number of draught animals remained to furnish meat for seven months during six days of the week, while of bacon there was enough for one day in the week, and by reducing the ration of flour, coffee, and other articles, they might also be made to last until the first of June. Parties were at once sent to Oregon and New Mexico to procure cattle and remounts for the cavalry. Meantime shambles were built, to which the starved animals at Fort Henry were driven, and butchered as soon as they had gathered a little flesh, their meat being jerked and stored for future use.

There was not an ounce of salt in the entire camp; a supply was proffered as a gift from Brigham Young, whom Johnston now termed, "The great Mormon rebel," which was rejected with contempt. Salt was secretly brought into the camp, but the commander would eat none of it, and the officer's mess was soon after supplied by the Indians at the rate of five dollars a pound!

Thus did the army of Utah pass the winter of 1857-1858, amid privations no less severe than those endured at Valley Forge eighty-one years before.

But meanwhile events occurred which promised a peaceful solution of the difficulty. The spirited resistance of the Saints had called forth unfavourable comments on Buchanan's policy throughout the United States and Europe. He had virtually made war upon the territory before any declaration had been issued; he had sent forward an army before the causes of offence had been fairly investigated; and now, at this critical juncture in the nation's history when there was a possibility of the disruption of the Union, he was about to lock up in a distant and almost inaccessible region more than one-third of the nation's war material, and nearly all of its best troops. Even the soldiers themselves, though in a cheerful mood and in excellent condition, had no heart for the approaching campaign, accepting, as they did, the commonly received opinion that it was merely a move on the President's political chess-board. In a word, Buchanan and the Washington politicians and the Johnston-Harney army must confess themselves hopelessly beaten, before a blow was struck. The army was powerless before the people they had come to punish. All that remained to do was to forgive the Mormons and let them go.

Through the pressure brought to bear, the President was induced to stop the threatened war. On the 6th of April he signed a proclamation promising amnesty to all who returned to their allegiance; and on the 26th of June, 1858, the army of Utah entered the Valley of the Great Salt Lake.

Thus ended this farcical demonstration on the part of the government - a war without a battle! There was, perhaps, no genuine basis of necessity upon which to organize the expensive and disastrous expedition against the Mormons. The real cause, perhaps, should be attributed to the clamour of other religious sects against what they held to be an unorthodox belief.

The City of Salt Lake, the capital of the Mormon settlement, was founded upon the arrival of that sect in the valley in 1847. It is situated in latitude 40 degrees 46 minutes north, and longitude 112 degrees 6 minutes west, (from Greenwich), at the foot of the western slope of the Wahsatch Mountains, an extensive chain of lofty hills, forming a portion of the eastern boundary of what is known in our geography as the Great Basin.

The growth of this delightful mountain city in its arid, desolate environment is a monument to the patience, industry, and devotion to a principle which has few parallels.

The corporate limits aggregate about fifty square miles; no city in the world, perhaps, possesses streets of such an extraordinary width. Through their whole vast length the magnificent trees which fringe them are irrigated by streams of pure water flowing from the several canyons in the vicinity. By this constant passage of these mountain streams, the air is deliciously cooled, and Salt Lake City made one of the most beautiful and charming places on the North American continent.

It is declared by the faithful that Brigham Young affirmed it was in a vision that the place was designated to him by an angel from heaven as the exact spot where the capital of Zion should be built.

By the requirements of an original ordinance each residence was to be located twenty feet in the rear of the lot, the intervening space forming a little park filled with flowers, trees, and shrubbery. By the same system of irrigation which flows through the streets to nourish the trees, the water runs into every garden spot, and produces a beauty of verdure in what was once the most barren of wastes.

Even in its infancy, Salt Lake City was the only charming spot between the Missouri River and the Pacific Ocean, for in the early days of the hazardous passage across the plains, the whole region with rare exceptions was conspicuous for the entire absence of trees. There was one monotonous blaze of sunshine, day after day, as the caravans and overland coaches plodded through the alkali dust of the desert. The weary traveller gazed upon nothing but seemingly interminable prairies and naked elevations, destitute of verdure, or as he entered the rock-ribbed Continental Divide, only rugged mountains relieved the eternal sameness of his surroundings. Salt Lake City, nestling in its wealth of trees and flowers, was a second "Diamond of the Desert." In its welcome shade, the dusty traveller, like the solitary Sir Kenneth, reposed his jaded limbs and dreamed of the babbling brooks and waving woodlands he had left a thousand miles behind him.

The temple and the tabernacle, of purely Mormon conception, are the most elaborate and attractive architectural structures in the city.

It is claimed by the faithful that the site of the temple was announced by Brigham Young to his people on an evening in July, 1847, a very short time after the arrival of the Mormon pioneers. The story runs that while roaming in company with some of his apostles, about the region of the camp, discussing and declaring that where they had halted was the very place on which to rear the new Zion, the prophet stuck his cane in the ground and said to those who were with him, "Here is where the temple of our God shall rise."

Of course there was no appeal from his dictum, and from the moment of his declaration that spot was regarded as sacred by all the people, who firmly believed that when their leader spoke it was through inspiration from heaven.