Thursday, May 2, 2013

Article Review: The Mormon War 1858

I have been studying the Utah war, because Isaac Wardle was a participant.  This article is identified as "A Special to the Tribune" by Ardis E. Parshall: The Utah War: Nearly bloodless, but still painful.  In the website where I found it it is not dated.  This is article is very good.  It does take a Tribune attitude to the story, but the insights are incredible.  It gives a brief background of the reasons for the war.  What I like is the references to the Nauvoo Legion, of which Isaac was a part.  Basically this is the militia, and men were taken from each community.  "The Nauvoo Legion - Utah's militia - took stock of its armaments, drilled its units and began fortifying Echo Canyon, the army's presumed route into the city."  Forward riders from the Legion harassed the oncoming troups, slowing their progress, and eventually forcing them into winter quarters.  This gave the opportunity for a negotiated peace.  After this, things were in a stalemate.  "
On the Mormon side, a few men were assigned to watch the federal encampment and report any unexpected movement. The rest of the Nauvoo Legion returned home to care for their families and thresh the heavy grain harvest. Salt Lake City was remarkably calm that winter, with the usual round of parties, theatricals and church services. Except for regular militia drills and the oft-expressed resolve not to submit again to the wrongs of Missouri and Illinois, Utah showed no sign of a people at war with an army encamped little more than 100 miles away."  A group of about 150 young men wintered in Echo Canyon, and the rest returned home. None of the histories of Isaac give an idea of which group he was with.  He was single, so would have been a good candidate to stay.

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