Military History Of Cache County
The first settlers of Cache County found that large and beautiful valley and the mountains surrounding it, swarming with Indians. They existed in different bands, but were all known by the general name of Shoshones. It was but natural these ignorant natives should look upon the settlers upon what they claimed as their country, their hunting and fishing grounds, as trespassing upon their rights; and that they should revenge themselves for the scaring away or taking of their game, by killing the cattle and stealing the horses of the settlers, or even by murder, should occasion serve.
One of the first and most urgent necessities therefore, was the adoption of an efficient system of self-defense. With that aptitude and genius for organization so remarkably developed among the Mormon people, the settlers immediately organized as a military body, under command of Ezra T. Benson as colonel, and Thomas E. Ricks as major in command of a body of mounted men known as “minute-men,” so called because they were expected to be ready for service at any moment, day or night. They were organized in companies, each consisting of five “tens.” Each “ten” consisted of a second lieutenant, sergeant, nine privates and a teamster, with team and wagon for hauling the baggage and provisions of the “ten.” Every man provided himself with necessary arms, ammunition, blankets, provisions and cooking utensils; and the “minute-men’ in addition, kept on hand horses, saddles and bridles.
The militia thus organized, were frequently drilled in military exercises by Adjutant William Hyde, and James H. Martineau, captain in the corps of topographical engineers, both of whom had seen service in the United States Army in the Mexican War; and frequent Indian alarms served to keep the people continually on the alert.
But while the militia were required to be always ready to defend themselves and property from the Indians, they were strictly enjoined by President Brigham Young to give the natives no cause of offense. The whites were enjoined not to kill the game nor take the fish, which the Indians claimed as theirs, but to buy what they needed of them. This would give the natives means of subsistence without begging or stealing from the whites. The settlers also must always treat the natives justly and regard their rights sacredly as their own. But while they were to treat the natives kindly, they were to be treated firmly and kept at arms length— Not to be allowed to trample on the rights of the settlers. President Brigham Young always maintained that it was “cheaper” —financially— “to feed the Indians than to fight them” and the history of Utah fully substantiates the assertion. The above summary of Brigham Young’s Indian policy is here introduced as a key to that pursued by the settlers, not only of Cache County but of all Utah; and it may be remarked in passing, that while this policy was pursued no trouble of any moment ever arose between the settlers and natives.
By the years 1859 and 1860, strong settlements were planted at Wellsville, Mendon, Hyrum, Millville, Providence, Logan, Hyde Park, Smithfield, Richmond and Franklin. At this time and for several years after, Franklin was supposed to be in Utah, the line separating Utah and Idaho not having yet been located.
To impress upon the Indians the fact that the settlers were always read for service, frequent musters and drills were held, and parties of minute-men often patrolled the country. Sometimes indeed, it was necessary in order to recover stolen cattle and horses, but a minute account of all the expeditions of the whites and of Indian raids, would occupy too much space in this article. A brief notice of the most important only, will therefore be noticed in this paper.
On the 22nd of July, 1860, a fight occurred at Smithfield, in which two whites were killed and two wounded and two Indians were killed. The Indians sought to liberate one of their number who had been captured for stealing horses, but in the melee the guilty Indian and another was killed. Pervious to this time, the Indians made a similar attempt at rescuing another, at Logan; but the whites rallying quickly and in force, defeated the attempt.
About the middle of June, 1861, a large body of Indians from Oregon, more than one thousand in number, entered the valley and avowed their intention to clear the country of whites. They encamped on what is now known as the Brigham Young College Lands, in a position well chosen to guard against surprise. The value of the military organization now became evident. The infantry of each settlement were underarms night and morning and prepared with teams, wagons and supplies for instant service at any threatened point. Strong guards watched the herds by day and protected each settlement by night. The battalion of minute-men was kept ready for service at a moment’s warning; and a body of fifty picked men, commanded by Major Ricks, with George L. Farrell as aid and James H. Martineau as adjutant, were posted about a mile from the Indians as a crops of observation, occupying that position about two weeks. During this time the minute-men kept close watch of the movements of the invaders, often sending out scouting parties. The Indians also sent out parties, seeking a vulnerable point of attack, but finding none, and the whites everywhere, ready for them, gave up the enterprise and returned to Oregon. But they did not go empty handed. In spite of the utmost vigilance they took away many horses. The substantial result, however, was a victory for the whites, whose firm attitude preserved them from a bloody and expensive warfare, in which many men, women and children must have found bloody graves. The closing scene of this drama occurred the following winter, when Peads-wick, chief of the invading Indians, together with about forty of his principal braves, perished in a snow-slide in a mountain gorge in Idaho.
Nothing of moment occurred after Peads-wick’s invasion, except that drills and musters were frequent, the settlers keeping in mind Cromwell’s celebrated advice to his soldiers to “Trust in God and keep their power dry.”
On the 17th of July, 1861, a strong party of minute-men under Colonel Ricks with George L. Farrell as sergeant of the guard, James H. Martineau, topographer, and Israel J. Clark as interpreter, started on a reconnaissance of the country lying east of Cache Valley. They crossed the main range of the Wasatch Mountains, explored the Bear Lake country and mountainous region east of that valley, returning by way of Soda Springs and Marsh Valley, Idaho. The expedition was absent eight days, encountered no hostile Indians and reported that country eligible for settlement although lying at an altitude of about six thousand feet above the sea.
On Sunday, September 28th, 1862, while the people of Logan were at church, word came that a band of northern Indians had run off a band of horses from a point about two miles from Logan. Meeting was instantly dismissed; and volunteers called for to pursue the marauders and recover the animals, if possible, the Indians having about twelve hours the start. James H. Martineau, Thomas E. Ricks, John B. and Moses Thatcher, with about twenty others, hastily took their horses and arms, and in twenty minutes were in hot pursuit of the Indians. The pursuers waited not for dinner, neither took any food or blankets with them, knowing the importance of time in all such enterprises. The party went north, being reinforced by minute-men at Hyde Park and Smithfield. Bear Hunter, who was then at Hyde Park, a chief of a local band of Indians, sent runners ahead to apprise the hostiles of the force in pursuit, which ultimately enabled them to escape with eighteen horses out of thirty with which they first started. The party pressed the hostiles vigorously, over mountains, rocks and defiles and when in the mountains east of Franklin, detached J. E. Hyde to go to that place, get provisions for the party and overtake them as soon as possible. The pursuers caught up to the Indians just at dark, on Cub River, having ridden since noon about twenty-five miles, and having lost considerable time in hunting the trail in rocky and other unfavorable ground, the Indians trying as much as possible to conceal it. While the foremost pursuers were waiting for the rear to come up, some of their horses being much jaded and the Indians offering battle, night suddenly threw a pall over the scene, it became so dark neither party could move and both were compelled to camp, which they did in close proximity.
The day had been very cold and the men were chilled through; and to make their position worse, a cold, sleety rain began to fall, accompanied by a furious wind which continued at intervals all the long anxious night. The men had no bedding, but lay on the cold wet ground, covered as much as possible from the driving storm by their saddles and saddle cloths, —without food or fire, not daring to make any on account of the known proximity of the hostiles. During the night one of the guard thought he heard some one passing by, but thinking it an Indian, kept still waiting further developments. It after word appeared that the footsteps were those of Hyde and two men from Franklin, with two horses packed with provisions, who were searching for the party, but who not only missed their friends at this time but passed through the very camp of the Indians. The latter did not molest them, fearing the main party, whose sentinels were only a few rods from their own. We may here say that these three men with the provisions did not find the main party until the third day, wandering all that time among the mountains, but happily without falling in with any hostiles. Three others of the pursuing party, who became separated from the main body in the pitch darkness, sat all night long holding their horses by their bridles, exposed to the pitiless rain and piercing winds, only rejoining their comrades when the morning light revealed their position.
At the earliest dawn the whites mounted in pursuit, but the Indians had also taken the trail; and not until noon did the pursuers begin to come up with them. At that time a favorite horse belonging to Moses Thatcher, which had somehow escaped the Indians, was recovered, and unmistakably manifested his joy at again meeting his master. From this time until the pursuit was finally abandoned, horses that had given out were retaken, covered with foam and trembling in every fiber. The Indians gained time by concealing their trail whenever practicable and the time spent by the pursuers in finding it again was used to the best advantage by the marauders. The pursuers followed along rocky defiles, and up mountains so steep that each rider dismounting, and clinging to his hors’s tail, with difficulty accomplished the ascent —and again descending with almost as much difficulty and greater danger, they kept their tireless way. Some of the men whose horses were exhausted, followed with such animals as were overtaken from time to time, abandoned by the raiders. Indians in such cases generally shoot the animals or prisoners they are compelled to abandon, but in this case they feared to reveal their position by discharging their guns. The pursuit, which begun Sunday, was untiringly kept up until Tuesday night, when the Indians, finding themselves unable to escape in a body, separated in every direction to again meet in some distant and safe locality. They scattered in a dense pine forest, which utterly precluded pursuit. A hurried council was held, in which the men said they would willingly go another day without food —the fourth— if they might recapture all the animals stole, but as there was no possibility of this, they reluctantly turned homewards. It was afterwards ascertained that at this time the hostiles were so near, they saw the council held, and lay in ambush, determined, if longer followed, to fight to the last.
About midnight of the 30th the party accidentally met the provision escort. The night was intensely dark, but both partied happened to be on the same trail, and each hearing the others’ tread and supposing the others to be Indians, halted and prepared for fight. The main party hailing, a glad response proved the others friends and —best of all— with food for the company which had now been about three days without anything to eat except a few handfuls of dried rose buds, plucked by the way. The party reached home without further incident, having recovered eleven out of thirty horses, one horse having been shot by them at the start.
This account is given in so much detail, to show the prompt and decisive manner in which the militia treated Indian raids. We may here remark that it also exemplifies the practical working of the military system of the whole Territory from its first settlement. As it is also a type of scores of similar expeditions, others of the same kind will not in this article, be specially described.
Without such quick and decisive action of the settlers, they could not have maintained themselves as they did in an Indian country, for no assistance was ever rendered them by the United States troops stationed in the Territory, except that given by General Connor, which will be spoken of hereafter.
On Wednesday, October 1st, 1862, word was received at Logan that the Bannock Indians were mustering at Soda Springs, Idaho, for a raid upon Cache Valley in strong force. Preparations were made for their reception, and twenty-five men were sent to Franklin to reinforce that place. But the Indians finding by their scouts that the people were read for them abandoned the enterprise. During the remainder of the year Indian alarms were quite frequent and parties of twenty-five to fifty minute-men were frequently sent out to patrol the country and show the natives that the settlers were ready for them. It was well known that Indians will never, unless circumstances are greatly in their favor, attack those who are prepared for them; and thus a thorough state of preparation for an Indian war will often prevent one from occurring.
On Sunday, November 23rd, 1862, seventy U. S. Cavalry from Camp Douglas had a fight with Bear Hunter’s band of Indians at the mouth of Providence Canyon, near Providence, which lasted forty-five minutes but without loss of life on either sides. The Indians were posted among rocks and cedars, and finding the troops making ready for a charge, yielded up a white child, said to have been taken in a massacre of whites in Oregon, and the rescue of which was the object of the expedition. Some of the whites in Cache Valley had seen the child with the Indians, and although the latter had painted its face to resemble themselves, its light hair and blue eyes betrayed its race. The whites tried to get the child, but the Indians refused to let it be ransomed and finally kept it secreted. Colonel Connor, being made aware of this, sent his men, who, as before started, accomplished by force what could not be done by peaceful means. On Monday, the 24th, the troops returned to Camp Douglas.
The following day, November 25th, the Indians mustered in strong force near Providence and made hostile demonstrations against the inhabitants, who being not a hundred strong, desired assistance. The hostile charged the people with sheltering and feeding the troops and thus showing themselves hostile to the Indians. About seventy men quickly started from Logan to assist the people of Providence, when the Indians seeing themselves unable to cope with the militia, sent an interpreter, desiring a “talk.” They demanded two beef cattle and a large quantity of flour as a peace offering; and Colonel Ezra T. Benson and Bishop Peter Maughan, considering it the best and cheapest policy, finally acceded to their demands. The citizens of Logan furnished the supplies required.
In January, 1863, Colonel Patrick E. Connor, with about 400 United States Troops fought the Battle of Bear River, about twelve miles north of Franklin. This action, though more properly belonging to the annals of the United States Army, we think should be noticed in this connation, as it had an immense influence in settling Indians affairs in northern Utah and especially in Cache County. Indians outrages against settlers and travelers had grown more and more frequent and audacious, until they became unbearable and Colonel Connor determined to put an end to them. Making forced marches from Camp Douglas to Franklin during an intensely cold winter and through deep snow, this command left Franklin some hours before daylight and after a march of twelve miles, found the Indians, numbering about 400 warriors, very strongly posted in the deep ravine through which Battle Creek enters Bear River. To attack this natural fortress the troops had to cross an open plain and half a mile in width, in plain view of the Indians, who were hidden behind the steep banks of the stream. The troops reached Bear River early in the morning of an intensely cold day. The river was full of running ice, but was gallantly forded, many of the men getting wet and afterwards having their feet and legs frozen.
As the troops advanced they met a deadly fire from the Indian rifles; but without wavering pressed steadily on and after a bloody contest of some hours in which the Indians fought with desperation, the survivors, about one hundred in number, fled. Pocatello and Saguich, two noted chiefs escaped, but Bear Hunter was killed while making bullets at a campfire. When struck he fell forward into the fire and perished miserably. For years he had been as a thorn to the settlers and his death caused regret in none. A simultaneous attack in front and on both flanks finally routed the Indians, whose dead as counted by an eye-witness from Franklin, amounted to 368, besides many wounded, who afterwards died. About ninety of the slain were women and children. The troops found their camp well supplied for the winter. They burnt the camp and captured a large number of horses. The troops suffered severely in killed and wounded, besides a great number who had their feet and legs frozen by fording Bear River. The morning after the battle and an intensely cold night, a soldier found a dead squaw lying in the snow, with a little infant still alive, which was trying to draw nourishment from her icy breast. The soldiers, in mercy to the babe, killed it. On their return the troops remained all night in Logan, the citizens furnishing them supper and breakfast, some parties, the writer among the number, entertaining ten or fifteen each. The settlers furnished teams and sleighs to assist in carrying the dead, wounded and frozen to Camp Douglas. In crossing the mountains between Wellsville and Brigham City the troops experienced great hardships. They toiled and floundered all day through the deep snow, the keen, whirling blasts filling the trail as fast as made, until, worn out, the troops returned to Wellsville. Next day Bishop William. H. Maughan gathered all the men and teams in the place and assisted the troops through the pass to Salt Lake Valley.
This victory was of immense value to the settlers of Cache County and all the surrounding country. It broke the spirit and power of the Indians and enabled the settlers to occupy new and choice localities hitherto unsafe. Peter Maughan, the presiding bishop of the Country, pronounced it an interposition of Providence in behalf of the settlers; the soldiers have done what otherwise the colonists would have had to accomplish with great pecuniary loss and sacrifice of lives, illy spared in the weak state of the settlements. This was the universal sentiment of the County. It made the flocks and herds and lives of the people comparatively safe; for though the survivors were enraged against the people of the County, whom they regarded as in a manner aiding and abetting the troops, they felt themselves too weak to forcibly seek revenge.
On September 14th, 1864 the small town of Franklin narrowly escaped destruction and massacre. A drunken Indian endeavored to ride his horse over a white woman, and to beat out her brains with a club. To save her life the woman was compelled to seek shelter under the horse’s body, though encountering thus a peril almost as deadly as that threatened by the war cub of the savage. A white man shot the Indian to save the woman and at once the whole band of savages flew to arms, threatening death and destruction to all unless the offending white man was delivered to them to be killed. The Indians, 300 in number, seized a white named Mayberry and for a long time threatened him with death from knives held at his throat and tomahawks shaken at his head. In a short time a messenger reached Logan and gave the alarm, while others warned the people of Oxford and Stockton in Marsh Valley, some twenty or twenty-five miles north. During the night about 300 minute-men arrived from Logan and other places, under command of Major Ricks, accompanied by Bishop Peter Maughan. The Indians were greatly astonished by this unexpected arrival of militia, having endeavored to prevent the settlers from making their danger known; and seeing themselves unable to cope with so formidable a force, were willing to “talk” and released Mayberry from threatened torture and death. An agreement was finally reached, and the Indians returned to Idaho. A singular incident transpired at this time. Just as the head chief was departing, he said to Bishop Maughan— “We have acted badly, but we don’t want you to talk to the Great Spirit about us. Don’t tell him to do anything to us— don’t tell him what we have done.” The Bishop answered that he talked to the Great Spirit every day and could not make the promise desired. The Chief urged his request again and again, but being firmly denied, went his way with a downcast look. Two days afterward, the Chief sent back a hundred horses they had stolen from the range, but kept about as many more stolen in the valley, saying they needed and must keep them. As by this time they were beyond pursuit, they escaped with their booty. The people were glad to get off so well and without loss of life; for had not help so quickly arrived, Franklin would have seen a desperate and bloody fight and many must have fallen. This sudden and unexpected Indian difficulty, so quickly arising and so suddenly and effectively averted by the militia, gives a striking illustration of the necessity and wisdom of its organization and the vast benefits resulting there from. And in fact, the history of the County from its earliest settlement demonstrates the pressing need of just such an organization of the settlers. Except the assistance rendered by General Connor in the case already noticed in this article, the settlers of Utah were never assisted by the United States troops, but were left to carry on long, expensive and bloody Indian wars as best they could. Our object in noticing this fact is not to complain, but to show that if the United States troops failed to protect the settlements and people, they must of necessity protect themselves, which they did— learning by experience an invaluable lesson of self-reliance.
August 5th, 1865, the militia were reorganized into a brigade, consisting of one regiment of cavalry, or more properly, mounted infantry and two of infantry. New settlers had been constantly arriving until their numbers justified the step. A general muster of the militia of the whole County was held at Logan, on what is now known as the “Temple Bench,” at which President Brigham Young and several officers from Salt Lake City were present. About 800 cavalry and infantry were present and unanimously elected the following brigade and regimental officers:
Ezra T. Benson, brigadier general; William Hyde, adjutant of brigade; Peter Maughan, brigade quartermaster; William K. Robinson, brigade color bearer.
|First Regiment Cavalry||First Regiment Infantry||Second Regiment Infantry|
|Thomas E. Ricks, colonel||Alvin Crockett, colonel||William H. Maughan, colonel|
|Sylvanus Collett, lieutenant colonel||S. M. Molen, lieutenant colonel||Robert Latham, lieutenant colonel|
|George L. Farrell, aid||D. P. Anderson, aid||Thomas Leavitt, aid|
|George O. Pitkin, commissary||H. K. Cranney, surgeon||Francis Gunnell, commissary|
|Richard Toozer, principal musician||W. H. Anderson, surgeon|
|Charles Bailey, color bearer|
|James A. Leishman, chaplain|
|J. H. Haslam, principal musician|
The cavalry regiment consisted of 317 men well mounted and well armed and was composed of men who had seen considerable Indian service. There were three battalions and six companies, each subdivided into “platoons” consisting of a second lieutenant, sergeant, teamster and ten privates, in accordance with Pace’s Military Tactics. The infantry regiments had a similar organization as to company officers and platoons, the first infantry consisting of six battalions and ten companies, aggregating 419 men; the second infantry having three battalions and eight companies, with a total of 342 men. The strength of the brigade was 1,094 men. Besides the men thus organized, there were several hundred not enrolled being over 45 years of age. In seasons of Indian difficulty, these men usually constituted a “home guard,” for the protection of the settlements where they resided and sometimes were known as “Silver Grays.”
After the election of officers, President Young admonished the milita not to relax their vigilance, but always remember the Indians were an ingorant, unreliable and excitable people; liable at any time to become hostile through unwise or thoughtless actions of the whites; that Indians always respect a brave and well armed people; and that being always ready for war was the best way to preserve peace with them; and to be always careful not to infringe upon their rights or give them a just cause of offense.
By Order No. 1, issued August 5th, 1865, David B. Lamoreaux was appointed brigade surgeon.
The first general three days’ muster convened at Logan on the 9th of November, 1865, in accordance with the following:
[Order No. 2.]
Headquarters Cache Military District
Logan, Oct. 15th, 1865
- There will be a general muster of the Cache County Brigade for drill and inspection of arms at Logan, on the 9th, 10th, and 11th of November, 1865; and all the members of said Brigade, except those legally excused, are required to appear on parade at noon, armed and equipped as the law directs, with three days rations and forage, for themselves and animals, and baggage wagons and tents for camping.
- The various commanding officers will leave a sufficient guard at the different settlements to protect the women and children and property of the citizens.
- The infantry of Clarkston, Weston and Oxford may drill upon their own parade grounds, but the cavalry of those places will rendezvous at Logan.
- All persons warned legally, failing to attend, will be liable to trial and fine by a court martial.
- Commanding officers are hereby required to make proper returns to these Headquarters as soon as practicable after the muster, of the strength, ammunition and arms of their respective commands.
By order of—
Brig. Gen’l E. T. Benson,
Com’g Cache Military District.
James H. Martineau
Asst. Adjt. Of Brigade.
The militia assembled as directed, with two brass and several martial bands and forming column by platoon, marched to Providence Bench and encamped in regular order. The three days were spent in regimental and brigade drill, under the direction of Adjutants William Hyde and James H. Martineau, ably seconded by the regimental and company officers. The various maneuvers were well executed, impressing the few Indian spectators present with a salutary fear of the military power of the settlers.
This muster was the first of many similar ones held annually and displayed a proficiency in drill and general efficiency worthy of regular troops. Company and regimental drills were held June 9th and 23rd and by order issued June 11th, 1866, captains of companies were required to drill their commands once a week and to see carefully to the protection of the lives and herds of the settlers from the Indians.
By an order issued June 23rd, 1866 Brigade Adjutant William Hyde was appointed first aide-de-camp. Assistant Adjutant James H. Martineau was appointed adjutant of brigade, and William. K. Robinson second aid-de-camp. The same order appointed a brigade muster to be held July 14th, 1866.
Previous to this, May 2nd, 1866, a beautiful little daughter of a Mr. Thurston, who lived about three miles from Wellsville, was captured by some of Pocatello’s band, and in spite of every exertion she was never recovered. She was about three years of age, idolized by her parents, and her loss was to them a dreadful blow— far worse, indeed, than her death would have been. She was never heard from with certainty again, except that she was dead. The Indians about this time openly threatened to capture other children and upon one occasion nearly succeeded in taking away a little boy, the son of Edwin M. Curtis of Logan. They had nearly reached a large body of willows on the Logan River with the boy, when Mrs. Martineau, who had been watching them some time, gave the alarm, and the child was rescued by two men who just then came near. When asked what she would have done had not help so opportunely arrived, the lady answered that she herself would have attempted the rescue and was ready to spring upon them from her covert, where she waited in ambush for their arrival.
At this time the Indians showed decided feelings of hostility against the settlers. They remembered with most revengeful feelings their severe chastisement at the hands of General Connor and his Californians and charging the Mormons with giving them aid and comfort, threatened revenge at the first favorable time and place. In consequence of this, Colonel Crockett was instructed in order No. 6, issued July 10th, 1866, to proceed to Millville and take measures to secure the horse and cattle herds belonging to the southern portion of the County and to detail men to assist in building strong enclosures or corrals in which they might be guarded.
At a brigade muster held July 14th, 1866, at Logan, General Ezra T. Benson directed every man to keep at least 300 rounds of ammunition constantly on hand, with good arms and equipments; and that a system of flag signals be adopted to warn settlers of danger; —a white flag to be the signal of danger, and a red one to indicate actual hostilities. For this purpose the liberty pole was removed from the public square in Logan to the bench east, some ninety feet higher, now known as the Temple bench. From this point a signal flag could be seen from Providence, Millville, Hyrum, Petersburg, Wellsville, Mendon, Hyde Park, Smithfield, Clarkston, and Weston. Other places were to be warned by couriers. General Benson also ordered all officers to keep a corps of mounted men continually on duty patrolling the County; and also that the settlements be carefully guarded by the infantry, day and night, as an Indian outbreak might occur at any moment. At this present date the stump of the old signal pole still remains in its place at an elevation of 4,648.49 feet above sea level.
The first court martial convened in the district, met at Logan, October 20th, 1866, for the trial of absentees from the general muster. No names were presented and the court dissolved the same day. It was composed of the following officers: President, Colonel William Hyde; members, Colonels Martineau, Ricks, Crockett and Maughan, with Major William Budge as judge advocate.
By order issued October 17th, 1866, a brigade muster was held on the plains west of Millville, October 24th, 1866. Section two of that order directs that a strong guard be kept at each settlement, for the safety of the women and children and herds of horses and cattle. A court martial followed this muster, composed of the same officers as the first, and fines were assessed aggregating about $160.00, but it does not appear that these were ever collected.
An order issued February 8th, 1867, requires constant vigilance to guard against possible Indian raids. By this time, the relations between the Indians and settlers, long unsettled, became so critical that the inhabitants of Clarkston, Weston, and Oxford abandoned those places, seeking temporary homes in Franklin, Richmond, and Smithfield. The Indians still charged the Mormons with having shown friendship towards the troops who had slain so many of their kindred at the Battle of Bear River, and from time to time raided the country, taking a considerable number of horses and inflicting other damage. Emboldened by success they meditated still more daring enterprises. In view of this threatening state of affairs, the following order was issued:
[Order No. 2.]
Headquarters Cache Military District
Logan, May 26th, 1867
- In view of threatened Indian hostilities, it is hereby ordered that the commanding officers in every settlement in this district immediately cause to be enrolled every man capable of bearing arms.
- The cavalry, infantry and music of each settlement shall muster for drill and inspection upon their own parade grounds at least once a week; and are imperatively required to be in readiness for service whenever called upon, each man provided with a good gun and one hundred rounds of ammunition.
- All officers are required to make themselves throughly acquainted with the conditions of their commands, in regard to numbers, arms, ammunition, equipment and genery efficiency.
- The commander of the First Regiment of cavalry is hereby directed to detail fifty efficent men for active service with ten day's rations, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Sylvanus Collett; and to see that the remainder of the regiment is ready for service when required, with ten days' rations and not less than one hundred rounds of ammunition per main.
- Commanding officers in settlements are directed to furnish from the infantry sufficient guards for cattle and sheep herds and for safety of the settlements.
- The cavalry and infantry of the various settlements will parade for drill and inspection on Saturday, June 1st, 1867, as follows: — at Logan at 4 o'clock p.m.; at Smithfield at 11 a.m.; at Richmond at 3 p.m.; at Franklin at 6 p.m.; at Providence and Millville at 10 o'clock a.m.; at Hyrum 2 p.m.; at Wellsville at 5 p.m.; at Clarkston, Weston, Oxford and Paradise at 5 p.m.; and at Mendon at 4 p.m. on Monday, June 3rd, 1867.
- The forces at Smithfield, Richmond and Franklin will be inspected by Brigadier General Benson and Major William Budge; at Logan by Brigade Quar. Peter Maugan and Colonel Crockett; and at Providence, Hyrum and Wellsville by Colonel Hyde and Adjutant of Brigade, James H. Martineau. In the remaining settlements the inspection will be conducted by the commanding officers of each settlement.
- Commanders of regiments are directed to forward full and complete returns of the muster and inspection with the number of rounds of ammunition and the number, kind and condition of arms, to these Headquarters within five days of said drill.
- Every man within this District is strictly enjoined to be careful and saving of ammunition, that it be not wasted, preserving at least one hundred rounds to each man.
By order of—
Brigadier General E. T. Benson,
Commanding Cache Military District.
James H. Martineau
This order, which so well indicates the condition of affairs, was energetically executed. Lieut. Colonel Collett with fifty picked men patrolled the country, kept track of the movements of the Indians, and materially tended to keep them in check; as it is well known they always prefer to strike an unarmed and careless foe.
The drills and inspections were held as directed and arms and ammunition procured as fast as possible. A good rifle, of the old muzzle loading kind, readily commanded $40 to $50. There were but few breech loaders and they were held a high figures.
We may here remark that the settlements abandoned this year were not again re-occupied until the following autumn, 1868.
During this summer and autumn, drills and musters were frequent, the most important of which was a three-days' muster held on the plains near Millville, beginning October 21st, 1867. This was attended by General Daniel H. Wells, General Burton, Brigadier General Brigham Young, Jr. and Colonels Winder and Joseph A. Young, from Salt Lake City. There was a good attendance and the inspecting officers were much pleased with the efficiency displayed by all. The militia excelled in light infantry and skirmish drill, being that most practiced by them, both on parade and in actual service.
Instructions from Lieutenant General Wells were received June 15th, 1869, requiring the adoption of Upton’s Military Tactics in the district and General Ezra T. Benson accordingly, by orders issued August 20th, 1869, directed their adoption. This change required a reorganization of the companies and regiments, which was effected by elections held in each regiment. The same order appointed a three-days’ muster to be held September 20th, 21st and 22nd, 1869, near the ford of Logan River, which convened at the appointed time and was well attended.
The following shows the reorganization of each regiment:
This was the last official act of Brigadier General Ezra T. Benson who died suddenly at Ogden, September 3rd, 1869. His remains were brought to Logan and interred with military honors. The body was attended to the cemetery by detachments of cavalry and infantry, brass and martial bands, Brigade staff as escort of honor, Regimental officers, Apostles Richards, Smith and Brigham Young, Jr. and by a great number of citizens. He was universally respected and loved for his kindness of heart and many sterling qualities.
Upon information being sent him, General Wells, assigned Colonel William Hyde to the command of the District until an election could be held.
The three days, muster appointed for September 20th, 21st and 22nd, 1869, was held at the time appointed, on Logan Island.
Regimental drills were held during the summer of 1870 and on the 28th, 29th and 30th of September, 1870, the annual brigade muster was held on Logan Island, at the close of which William Hyde was elected brigadier general; with James H. Martineau as brigadier adjutant; Sylvanus Collett, first aid; William B. Preston, second aide-de-camp; Peter Maughan, quartermaster; D. B. Lamoreaux, surgeon; Samuel Roskelly chaplain and George T. Benson, color bearer; the choice being unanimous.
Quartermaster Peter Maughan having died during the following year, an order issued December 4th, 1871, appointed William. B. Preston to that position; with M. D. Hammond as second aid.
An order having been issued by Governor Shaffer forbidding all military assemblages or drills, the people, after due consideration, determined to claim and exercise their right to keep and bear arms, as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States. Besides this their undoubted right, it was considered necessary to still keep up a military front with regard to the Indians— that they might not take advantage of the situation and renew their raids. The regular annual muster was therefore held as usual, on the 16th, 17th, and 18th of October, 1872, followed by another in 1873. This was the last at which General Hyde presided, he dying March 2nd, 1874, after a short illness. He was buried on the 4th.
On the death of General Hyde, Brigadier General Brigham Young, Jr., was assigned to the charge of the District until further orders and he immediately assumed command.
September 24th, 1874 the usual three-days, muster was held on Logan Island, followed by another near new Logan bridge, September 16th, 1875, and by one held the next year at the same place, beginning September 27th, 1876. These were all attended and a marked improvement manifested in drill and camp equipments. This was the last general muster held in the district. A great portion of the militia were absent, working on railroads. Added to this, there was a strong, though unfounded prejudice against military musters or drills being held in the Territory, among United States officials in Salt Lake City. Although conscious of their constitutional right to bear arms as a militia, in common with citizens of other States and Territories, the people of the district thought it better to waive for the present those rights rather than contend for them, trusting that a more patriotic and republican spirit might hereafter prevail. Here, for the present, may be said to end the military history of the County. The company, regimental, and brigade organizations still remain intact; but as danger from Indians has lessoned, so apparently, has the military spirit of the people. Whether any circumstance will ever arise with sufficient influence to again inspire the people with a military spirit, time alone can show.
From a perusal of this brief military sketch, for the correctness of which the writer can vouch, it will be apparent that under Providence, it was mainly owing to the admirable state of organization and efficiency of the militia, their readiness for instant service year after year and to their frequent displays of military power, that the settlers of Cache County escaped those bloody and costly Indian wars that so disfigure the history of other Territories and States.
An important factor in the preservation of peace between the settlers and natives was the scrupulous and adherence of the former to the principles of right and justice enunciated by President Brigham Young, in neither infringing upon the rights of the natives, for suffering them to disregard those of the whites with impunity.
May no occasion ever again arise in Utah that shall render necessary the employment of military power; but may peace henceforth prevail and Utah assume that high rank to which her position and resources entitle her.1
1. James H. Martineau, The Military History Of Cache County, Tullidge's Quarterly Magazine, 1882, page 123-131.