By Joseph I. Lambert, Major, Second Cavalry
Copyright 1939 Commanding Officer, Second Cavalry, Fort Riley, Kansas
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us5e2cv61Leaving Camp Floyd, Utah, April 21, 1859, Company E, under Captain Campbell, now returned from sick leave, was ordered to march to Santa Clara as a protection to travelers to California and to investigate Indian depredations in that vicinity. Upon their arrival at Mountain Meadows, 150 miles south of Camp Floyd, they suddenly rode in sight of many skeletons of human beings scattered about on the prairie.

Assistant Surgeon Brewer gives us in his report a detailed account of his findings on this day from a doctor’s standpoint, and Captain Campbell reports the number found to be about 150. These people had been emigrants from Arkansas on their way to California the previous year. They were here attacked by the Mormons with their faces painted as Indians and led by John D. Lee, then a high dignitary of the Mormon church. After four days of fighting, Lee took the paint from his face, and going to the immigrants, told them he would give them protection from the Indians back to Cedar City if they would lay down their arms. After surrendering all weapons, men, women, and children were massacred, except for a few children too young to give an account of the occurrence. These were later found living among the Mormon families at Cedar City. After interring the remains of these unfortunate people, Company E proceeded on its mission.

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