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Amasa Lyman
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Amasa Lyman's History
Latter-day Saints' Millennial Star 27 (1865):
472-73, 487-89, 502-504, 519-21, 535-37, 552-53

Amasa Lyman's History, p.504 - 521

Thus attired in our grotesque and uncouth garb, we started across the country to the Missouri River, at a point somewhere above the ferry crossing the Lexington, we reached the river, and when the mantle of night was over us we commenced our search for a canoe, in which to pass down the river; in this, however, we did not succeed, and when the signs of the coming day were discoverable in the east, we found shelter under the edge of a stack of hay by the way, and catched [caught] an hour's sleep, and then were up and away; and travelling down the river we found a Brother Benjamin Jones, who gave us some breakfast, after which we passed over the ferry, replenished our bottle and passed on through the town, passing several parties who were engaged in discussing the common topic of the day--the Mormons and their enemies.

From this place we passed down the river some twelve miles, where, near the close of the day, we secured a canoe, in which we passed down the river, until the darkness of night rendered our navigation rather unsafe, we landed, kept ourselves warm with a fire, which we supplied during the night. In the morning we resumed our way and landed at DeWitt about noon; but the Saints had all gone, save a few who had been prevented by the loss of stock. Of these were Zenos H. Gurly and Brother Simons.

We took dinner with some of the mob residents of the place, and were told by them that being strangers we might be suspected of being Mormons, and consequently unsafe in the place. Acting upon the suggestion we left the town, on the road leading to Carleton, and found lodging with Mr. Thomas, in the morning we were early on the way, got breakfast with a citizen who lived near the point where the trail made by the brethren when they left DeWitt diverged from the old road to the right. This trail we were travelling as fast as we could walk, when on turning abruptly around the point of a low ridge, we found ourselves in close proximity to two men on horseback, with arms. They were questioning a Brother Clark, as we subsequently learned, who was a stranger in the country, and was on the hunt for stock, a short distance ahead were some twenty men who were armed and mounted, the two dismissed Brother Clark and rode to the company, and returned to us with an addition to their number of some half a dozen, and made prisoners of us, asking who we were. We found in the company some men we had seen before in Daviess.

They had, in a wagon, a six pounder, which they were transporting to the north, at a cost of ten dollars per day. On this cannon, in the wagon, they allowed us to ride, at night we helped take the cannon from the wagon and secrete it in the hazel thicket, to prevent a surprise from the "Mormons," and then they placed a guard of four men with us, and in this way they kept us four days.

On the morning of the fifth, they told us we could go, but not to our friends, who were within seven miles of where we were. They forced us back on the road we came. We travelled some forty miles, in a light snow, and waded through Grand River. About nine o'clock at night we reached Brother York's on Shoal Creek. They fed and refreshed us, and in the morning we started for Far West, where we arrived the next day.

I went directly to Daviess County, where I found the cannon, on which Brother Dunn and myself had rode [ridden] during our captivity, the brethren having captured it soon after our release. While here, we heard that the mob were gathering on the southern borders of our county. On the receipt of the news I repaired to Far West, where I borrowed a horse of some brother whose name I have forgotten.

A company of spies were raised, composed of ten men, and I was appointed to take charge of them. We repaired to Crooked River, and quartered with Brother Pinkham.

From this point I went, taking with me Brother John Scott, to reconnoitre the country, leaving the residue of the company to keep a watch in the vicinity of their quarters.

We extended our search as far as the mouth of Crooked River, where we found Father Cutler and family, we gave to him and the brethren in that region the best instruction we could in the then existing emergency.

After spending a few days here, the night preceding the battle on Crooked River, I slept at Father Cutler's, about the dawning of day, I awoke Brother Scott and told him that the brethren had had a battle, for I had seen it. We arose and saddled our horses and rode ten miles, and stopped with Brother Ewing to get some breakfast. While here, the news of the battle was brought by two of the mob residents, who came to advise Brother Ewing to give up his arms, but the presence there of myself and Brother Scott rendered the difference in our number rather against them. Our breakfast over, we secured the services of a guide, and we travelled directly across the country to Far West.

When the light of day was gone, we were furnished with light from the burning prairie.

We arrived in Far West early on the morning of the 29th of October. I called at Brother Rigdon's where I saw Brother O'Banion who was dying of his wound, received at Crooked River. Some hours later, in the morning of the same day, the corpse of Brother David W. Patten was brought into town.

On this morning a company of men, under the command of Colonel Hinkle, of which I was one, started out into the country, hearing that there was a large force in the vicinity of Crooked River. When some five or six miles on the way, we learned that there was an army making their way to Far West. On the receipt of this intelligence we commenced our retreat, in a circuitous route, to Far West, passing the rear of the enemy while they passed in, on the south of the city, within one mile of which they encamped, while we entered it from the east near night, and joined our brethren, already formed in line of defence on the south of the city.

While the mob were making their way towards the city, they made a prisoner of Father John Tanner, whom they brutally treated, by striking him on the head with a rifle. From the bleeding of his wounds he was besmeared from head to foot. He was kept one night, and then turned out to carry to his friends the corpse of the murdered Carey.

On the night of the 30th of October, we were engaged in preparing for defence, in, and about the city, by throwing up a barricade made of cabin logs, fence rails, wagons, which were around the city.

 

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