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Reed Peck
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History of Reed Peck
(1839)
[NOTE: Typescript copies are available at various Utah and Western libraries.]

History of Reed Peck, Internally Paginated

On Sunday 14th Oct the day after the Mormons returned from Dewitt a company of Militia, passed through Far West to take their stand in Daviess Co [p. 77] to oppose the Mobites that were marching from Dewitt On Monday 15th nearly all the male inhabitants of Caldwell County were congregated in Far West by Order of the presidency, armed for war and burning to execute vengeance on their enemies. Joseph Smith addressed them and after capitulating the vexations to which the church had been subject and the persecutions they had endured in Missouri, informed them of the answer of the Governor to their petition [p. 78] and in continuation said the law we have tried long enough, who is so big a fool as to cry the law! the law! when it is always administered against us and never in our favor I do not intend to regard the law hereafter as we are made a set of outlaws by having no protection from it We will take our affairs into our own hands and manage for ourselves We have applied to the Gov. and he will do nothing for us, the militia of the county we have tried and they will do nothing, all are mob the Governor is mob [p. 79] the militia are mob and the whole State is mob

We have yielded to the mob in Dewitt and now they are preparing to strike a blow in Daviess, but I am determined that we will not give another foot and I care not how many come against us, 10 or 10000 God will send his angels to our deliverance and we can conquer 10000 as easily as 10 The manner of supplying the army in the expedition to be undertaken was [-] artfully bandied in their [duties] as to superseede the necessity of observing to clear himself [p. 80] from unjust imputations That "Some may go from here and report that I taught you to steal," but I distinctly toll you all not to steal when you can get plenty without" and closed by relating an anecdote of a dutch man and his potatoes which I will speak "A colonel quartered near an old-dutchman, the owner of a patch of fine potatoes, is offered to purchase some for his men but was refused At night when relating the circumstances to the Regiment The Colonel said "now don't let a man of you be caught stealing [p. 81] that old dutchmans potatoes In the morning there was not a potatoe in the old man's field" He was followed in his address by Sidney Rigdon who spoke in a strain of virulance not describable against a certain Jew in the County that had Said he "remains at home cryin O don't! O don't! you are breaking the law you are bringing ruin on the Society &c. while others are out on expeditions to other counties doing all in their power to Support the cause While we are away that class are at home finding fault with our movements and thereby [p. 82] enacting divisions and disturbances among the brethren when a perfect union is requisite in order to stand against the enemy That all might become one he proposed to the meeting that blood should first run in the streets of Far West that those traitors among them who had always opposed their doings should be slain and then the remainder could act in union No answer being made to this he next proposed that those persons should be forced to take their arms and march with the band on the morrow to Daviess [p. 83] county and if they refused they should be pitched on their horses with bayonets and placed in front of the battle" The latter proposition was answered with a hearty Amen from the congregation Should these traitors attempt to leave the county their lives should be the forfeit and their property confiscated for the use of the army 

Monday Evening a company of horse and two companies of footmen were organised consisting of about 300 men and before morning the company of horse reached Adam-ondi-Ahman Tuesday morning the two companies of [p. 84] footmen were early wending their way across the prairies and arrived in 'Diahman at Sunset John Corrill W. W. Phelps John Cleminson Reed Peck and several other AntiDanites had the honor of being enrolled in one of these companies and under the bayonet resolutions marched to Daviess county where we Saw the character or principles of the Danites fully exemplified

On Wednesday 17th Oct in consequence of a heavy snow fall an unusual occurrence at that season of the year most of the Mormons remained inactive in camp, only a sufficient number were out [p. 85] to procure the necessary supply of hogs cattle honey &c for the use of the army which they took as on former occasions from the range and plantations of the citizens (Missourians)

In camp Pork beef & honey were denominated Bear Buffalo & Sweet oil

On Thursday (18) pursuant to an arrangement made the evening before by J & H Smith and Lyman Wight, D. W. Patten at the head of 40 men made a descent on Gallatin the county seat of Daviess, burned the only store in the place and brought the goods to 'Diahman and consecrated them to the bishop Joseph [p. 86] having taught that the ancient order of things had returned and the time had arrived for the riches of the Gentiles to be consecrated to the house of Israel (Mormons) There were about 20 men in Gallatin who fled at the approach of Capt Patten and his company and these were all that the Mormons saw during the campaign excepting an occasional straggler more ventursome than his fellows

The sitizens had universally fled leaving their all at the mercy of a merciless foe 

On the same day a company of 50 men called the First [p. 87] company commanded by Capt Dunhaw (In camp Cap Black Haw) made their triumphal entry into 'Diahman laden with feather beds, quilts, clothes Clothes, clock's, and all varieties of light furniture <taken from the deserted dwellings> making the most uncouth appearance I ever beheld and were greeted as they passed with three deafning hurras from the whole camp On the same day Seymour Brunson Alexander McRae and about 20 others rode 15 or 20 miles to one of the branches of Grand River and called on an old gentleman whom they found at home with his family and after the custom [p. 88] ary salutations McRae observed that it was a "dam'd cold day" and introduced the company as a party of mobites come from Carroll county to drive out the Mormons The unsuspicious old man invited them to come in and warm amd ordered dinner as he could not furnish them with whiskey which they pretended to be most anxious for After receiving their dinner and a treat of excellent honey they departed slyly taking the old gentlemans great coat a silk Handkerchief some woollen sheets woolen yarn a powder horn Gun lock some knives and forks [p. 89] and many other articles as a means I suppose of informing their host whom he had entertained The next night A. McRae and a small party went to Gallatin and stripped the best furnished house of all its valuable furniture which they drew to 'Diahman and burned the dwelling to the ground All the property taken from the store in Gallatin and from private habitations was deposited with the bishop of Diahman and afterwards distributed among theSsociety The Fur company and those parties were constantly bringing in plunder and reducing the [p. 90] dwellings to ashes and for ten days the Mormons were employed in this way without opposition, pillaging houses harvesting the corn and collecting the horses, cattle and hogs of the frightened citizens making 'Diahman their place of rendezvous and depository of their ill gotten riches, foolishly flattering themselves that no notice would be taken of these transactions. while a few Some heads among them were wondering that men from other counties were not flocking in by hundreds to stop their mad career in the beginning The Militia that passed through Far West for the [p. 91] protection of the peace in Daviess had returned home having been informed by the Mormons that their presence was not necessary The citizens of Daviess, men women and children fled through the snow in wagons on horseback and on foot after the plundering & burning was commenced as precipitately as though they had been invaded by a hostile band of Indians, but with this flood of testimony their calamitous report was not generally credited in other counties until men specially appointed for the purpose had visited Daviess county and returned with a confirmation of their Story

[p. 92] The pacific disposition manifested by the Mormons on former occasions, their ready acceptation of dishonorable terms of peace in Jackson county, their willing compliance with the requisition of the people in removing from Clay county their recent troubles in Dewitt where on the demand of a hostile mob they again sacrificed their constitutional rights to obtain a peace, all combined to impress the community with the belief that the Mormons would never act only upon the principle of Self defence

The citizens of Daviess had complained of the Mormons before but unluckily for [p. 93] themselves could not establish anything against them more than was known to the public so when they fled in distress their cry was heard at first with as much indifference as the boy's who cried "the Wolf! the Wolf!" By Express the Governor was informed of the depredations of the Mormons and flight of the inhabitants of Daviess and it Seems he issued an order to Maj Genl Clark to raise 400 mounted men and reinstate the citizens of Davies in their homes 

Previous to the 25th of Oct a great part of the Mormons [p. 94] residing in Caldwell county had returned home with their dividend of plunder 

The Mormons continued their system of spoliation till their returning senses hinted to them the probable consequences when they commenced the creation of a small fort or Block house in 'Diahman in preparation for a Seige

They had captured the cannon brought from Dewitt which they found buried in livingston county The people of Richmond in Ray county hearing that the Mormons were preparing to attack

[p. 95] Richmond removed their women and children across the river and kept a vigilent guard on the roads to Caldwell A company of 50 or 60 men was raised and recevd orders from Maj Genl Atchison to range the north line of the county to prevent an attack a surprise if an attack was meditated by the Mormons

On the night of the 24th Oct this company under command of Capt Bogart was encamped on Crooked River 12 miles South of Far West and two miles south of the line of Caldwell county [p. 96] Information was received in Far West about midnight that this company had taken some prisoners and burned some Mormon houses

David W. Patten was immediately placed at the head of 75 or 100 volunteers and proceeded within two miles of the militia or "mob" as the Mormons called them where they left their horses with a Small guard and march silently on foot till hailed by the Sentinal with. "Who comes there[?]" 

Capt Patten answered "friends," Sentinel "Are you armed[?] Patten: "We are -----" [p. 97] Sentinel. "Then lay down your arms" Patten to his men "Fire" Some of the foremost men attempted to shoot but their pieces "snapped"

The sentinel shot one of the "Friends" through the hip and ran into Camp closely followed by the Mormons

Day had just began to dawn when they rushed upon their enemies echoing their war cry "God and liberty." A few minutes decided the contest in favor of the Mormons The militia soon fled leaving their horses and baggage in camp [p. 98] One of their number was killed on the ground several wounded and one taken prisoner by the Mormons

Gideon Carter brother of Jared (6) was killed in the battle and David W. Patten and one other of eight that were wounded of the Mormons died the following day Early in the morning intelligence of this battle was received in Far West and the presidency and Lyman Wight rode out to meet the victorious Mormons and marched at their head back to town

The prisoner taken by the [p. 99] Mormons was released on their march back with instructions to follow a certain path which was pointed out to him but being suspicious of treachery he travelled in it but a short distance and left it for a Safer way in the woods Certain movements convinced him that an ambush had been placed to cut off his return and he no sooner left the path than he discovered a man in the act of shooting To save himself he "bent forward, ran crooked and dodged behind trees" but the cold hearted villain [p. 100] (I know him well) deliberately sent a ball through his hip and left him, thinking perhaps he had given him his death wound

The horses taken in the battle were distributed among the Mormons and receipted for to Coln Hinkel In Richmond the first information received of this battle was that the whole company of 50 or 60 men was massacred and before the report was corrected Amos Rees and Wily C. Williams were far on their way to the Governor with this intelligence 

Immediately after the [p. 101] battle of Crooked River nearly all Caldwell County were astir removing their families and effects to Far West as a place of Safety

On the 29th Oct Genl Doniphan was encamped on Crooked river with 1300 men and waiting for a reinforcement in order to march into Caldwell county

The Mormon forces had been ordered out by Coln Hinkel consequently the armed strength of Caldwell was concentrated and prepared to act

On Monday (29th) a party of 150 Mormons or more were Stationed three or four [p. 102] miles South of Far West to intercept any forces that Should attempt to march in The Mormons believed that the army on Crooked river was a mob collected to attack them without the authority of any public officer but being satisfied myself that they came as the Militia of the state and fearing that Serious consequenses would result from the rashness of the Mormons if the two parties should meet I volunteered to ride out and ascertain if possible what might be expected from the visit of so large an army [p. 103] I found it impossible to get into the camp unless I went as a prisoner but I learnd from one of the soldiers that they were under command of Genl Doniphan who gave the Mormons Some Satisfaction On the day following John Corrill and myself were dispatched by the presidency to see Genl Doniphan <with instructions to> and "beg like a dog for peace" but the army by a circuitous route marched to Far West while we were hunting their encampment and when we rode in at Sun Set we beheld them [p. 104] draw up a half mile from the line of the town A great part of the Mormons were formed in the Edge to the town fronting the militia, but others of them were going about with blank faces inquiring what should be done As soon as I alighted from my horse which I had rode hard I ran down to the Mormon lines and told Joseph Smith if he had any message to send Genl Doniphan I would carry it He expressed a wish for a compromise and got down from his horse to let me ride I mounted [p. 105] but not until I asked him if it was consecrated property as I did not think it safe to ride a borrowed horse where I might possibly meet the owner By the time I left the Mormons the militia had retired from line and were building camp fires and when I rode up to the campsite I was informed that the Genl would receive no communications that night I observed to the person addressing me that I [particularly] wished to See Genl Doniphan and if he would take my name on he would confer a special favor which he did reluctantly but soon returned and [p. 106] conducted me to the Genl's tent After delivering the message intrusted by Joseph I informed the Genl that there were many individuals among the Mormons who were as warmly opposed to the wicked transactions in Daviess County and the oppressive influence by which the church is led as any man in his army could be and that those men were now compelled to Stand in the Mormon rank where in the event of a battle their blood would flow in defence of measures to which they had ever been adverse Genl Doniphan was apprised of this fact and Swore that nothing should be done [p. 107] to endanger the persons or property of that class He also said that he was determined to have a complete reorganization of Society in the county before he returned and by the suffrages of the people it should be determined whether Caldwell would still be governed by priestcraft and if the party in favor of good order prove to weak he would protect them from the county if they desired it I found that the innocent had no cause to fear unless the Mormons in their blind enthusiasm should provoke the army to an attack which would [p. 108] have undoubtedly ended in an indiscriminate slaughter as there were then 10,000 men under arms against them and 3000 in the confines of Caldwell county wich without a reinforcement would have been Sufficient to subdue 700 Mormons On leaving Genl Doniphan directed that some of the principal men of Far West should meet him the next morning at a certain point between the army and Mormons to see what could be done John Corrill W W Phelps John Gleminson and myself were named by Genl Doniphan and Seymour Brunson [p. 109] and Genl Hinkel were added to the number by Joseph Smith The next morning we were informed that no steps could be taken towards a compromise until the arrival of the order from the Governor which was hourly expected (We faithfully reported to the presidency all that passed between us and Genl Doniphan J Smith said that a compromise must be made on some terms honorable or dishonorable) The Order did not arrive till late in the afternoon An hour or so before Sun Set Maj Genl Lucas of [p. 110] Jackson county commander in chief of all the forces then in Caldwell, with 4 or 5 Brig Genls rode up and delivered us a copy of the order and spoke in favor of a treaty not deeming it expedient to act with the rigor proscribed by his excellency the Governor 

 

History of Reed Peck, Internally Paginated

the drums beat, horns blew, men shouted and it seemed that nothing could prevent the effusion of blood should the Militia come within reach of the Mormon Rifles To prevent Serious confusion John Corrill and myself hastened forward and informed the officers of the advancing army that the men were close at hand. J Smith first arrived and plead with Genl Lucas for permission [p. 118] to remain over night with his family promising to comply with any terms he should name even if it were for the whole church to leave the state forthwith Genl Lucas told them that they must go to camp with him and bade them forward As they closed their heavy columns around these men the army made the welken ring with the most terriffic shouts that ever slated the ears of mortals The savage war cry of the Indians could not compare with their yells of triumph as they marched back to camp [p. 119] with five individuals under their guardianship and they only in the character of hostages On the same night about 80 or 100 of the Mormons who were engaged in the Crooked River Battle being suspicious or learning that they would in case of a surrender be called to answer as criminals for their conduct, took horse and fled across a part of the Indian Country into the state of Illinois Sampson Avard the instrument in the hands of the presidency for carrying into effect every measure of oppression in the church. the main [p. 120] actor in the organization of the Danites and while there was peace their thunder bolt of War, the scourge of every man that would not passively yield to but dared to oppose the principles of the new church government also fled leaving the people to extricate themselves from the difficulties into which they had plunged by following pernicious counsel and his examples of obedience to the will of the presidency

 

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