Friday, May 3, 2013

Isaac's History: Chapter Eleven: Utah War

Chapter Eleven: In Utah
Took an active part in the Echo Canyon trouble.

A Song for 1858 (to the tune “a man’s a man for a’ that”)

Who in all Deseret’s afraid
Of Uncle Sam of a’ that?
His wond’rous power, his great parade
Of soldiers, arms and a’ that;
And a’ that, and a’ that,
His wisdom, wealth, and a’ that;
‘Gainst Mormon right, be long may fight,
And yet be fooled, for a’ that.

A Lion couches in the path,
And tigers firce, and a’ that,
Let dogs beware, lest in their wrath,
They be devoured, and a’ that.
And a’that, and a’ that,
Though numerous, and a’ that;
The Lion’s roar can chase five score
Back in dismay, and a’ that!

The elements themselves have joined
The Mormon side, and a’ that,
Old Uncle’s truly growling blind,
Good faith, he never saw that;
And a’ that, and a’ that
And better still than a’ that—
The God of power directs our course,
And says we’ll win, and a’ that.

With pride we view those mountains round,
That cleave the sky, and a’ that;
Staunch guards of liberty they’re found,
Of virtue, truths, and a’ that.
And a’ that, and a’ that,
God placed them there, and a’ that;
On their high peaks our banners fly,
Our chieftains stand, and a’ that.

Hail to the land where freedom reigns,
Where prophets rule, and a’ that;
Where sense and worth alone obtains
And honored seat, and a’ that.
And a that, and a’ that,
We’ve found it here, and a’ that;
Though hell without be moved to foam,
Here’s peace and bliss for a’ that!
 (Rowan, Mathew, South Cottonwood, Jan. 1, 1958.)

When immigrants arrived in Salt Lake, they were warmly welcomed.  “Whether they arrived by wagon, handcart, or railroad, the immigrants were greeted warmly in Utah.  Many were eagerly awaited by relatives who had come to Zion and sent back money for their families.  Those who arrived without prior arrangements could still look forward to excellent treatment from their ‘brothers and sisters in the gospel.’”  (Arrington and Bitton p 35)  In Isaac’s case, as previously mentioned, he was taken into a home and provided for.  “Brethren and Women came to welcome us and took us into their homes, fed and warmed us and gave us warm clean beds to rest our weary bodies.”  (Wardle, Isaac CH)
The territory of Utah was one of industriousness.  Idleness was not tolerated: 

The kingdom must rise on its own economic foundations.  Labor was its chief virtue, and the development of home industry its only salvation.  The building of Zion must be sustained by unceasing industry and Brigham Young meant to see that it was so.  A group of idlers about the court house in the capital city may have forgotten this.  If so they were soon reminded, after Brigham passed that way.  He was quick to diagnose the symptoms and apply the remedy.  A clerk appeared among them to take their names and soon each one of them received a call to take a “mission” for the Kingdom; some were to raise cotton in Southern Utah, some to make new settlements elsewhere in the Territory, and some to convert the heathen in the South Sea Islands.  The drone had no place in Deseret.  (Larson p 94)

When Isaac arrived in Salt Lake, the city held about 15,000 residents.  (See Piercy p 185)  Piercy quoted a couple descriptions of the people in the valley:

General Wilson, Navy Agent at San Francisco, who passed through the city to California, in writing to Hon. Trueman Smith, expressed himself concerning the citizens as follows—“A more orderly, honest, industrious, and civil people I have never been among than these.  I have not met in a citizen, a single idler, or any person who looks like a loafer.  There is a spirit and an energy in everything you see that cannot be equaled in any city of any size that I have ever seen.”  This was quoted in a speech by Mr. Smith in the United States Senate in 1850.  Mr. Fuller, Editor of the New York Mirror, who has also visited the city, writes in his paper thus—“A more industrious, honest, law-abiding community can hardly be found.  The municipal regulations of Salt Lake City are admirable, and more moral (barring their open polygamy) and orderly citizens, we have never seen in any part of the world.  They number very many men of intelligence and education, and a residence of several weeks among them failed to note a single vagabond in their midst.  They are exceedingly hospitable to California emigrants, and furnish them supplies at reasonable rates.”  (Piercy p 112)

Isaac became associated with the Beckstead family.  “Grandfather went to West Jordan to work for and make his home with the family of Alex Beckstead Sr.” (Rupp) “Mr. Wardle went to West Jordan to work for Alexander Beckstead’s family.  (Bateman p 6)
If this is the family where Isaac first went to stay after crossing the plains, I don’t know, but there was a Beckstead among the rescuers of the Handcart Companies.  (See Broomhead, CH)   By early spring, as soon as he recuperated, he went to work for Alex Beckstead in the West Jordan area.  (Wardle, Orrin)  He was use to hard labor, and not one to shirk from the same.  A fellow handcart pioneer, while recuperating from the journey, in a letter to his parents in England made this comment, “I believe this to be about the worst place for idle or lazy people to come to.”  (Bleak, Ch 1)

Utah War

The Utah War had been brewing for some time, more than ten years, since the saints had left for Utah.  “For many Americans, the Mormon kingdom, with its polygamy and perceived hostility to outsiders, was an abomination. … Inflamed by exaggerated charges from disgruntled official and dissidents newly returned from Utah, the nation demanded action.”  (Parshall)  Brigham Young had asked for ten years without outside influence, and he was given ten years to the day:

On the 24th of July last, a number of us went to Big Cottonwood Canyon, to pass the anniversary of our arrival into this Valley.  Ten years ago the 24th of July last, a few of the Elders arrived here and began to plough and to plant seeds, to raise food to sustain themselves.  Whilst speaking to the brethren of the day, I said, inadvertently.  If the people of the United States will let us alone for ten years, we will ask no odds of them; and ten years form that very day, we had a message by brothers Smoot, Stoddard, and Rockwell, that the Government had stopped the mail, and that they had ordered 2,500 troops to come here and hold the “Mormons” still.  (Young, Journal of Discourses 5:226, Sept. 1857)

 Prejudice against the Mormons had been slowly building.  “Through the mid-1850s, federal appointees returned to the East frustrated or intimidated or both, and some of them wrote books or articles about their travails. Anti-Mormon sentiment spread, inflamed particularly by reports of polygamy. (Roberts 2)  Two issues predominated--polygamy and control of the government. (See CES p 368)
Although conflict between the Mormons and federal officials was common, Judge William W. Drummond was a particular problem.  He was disliked by the Mormons as he threatened to close the probate court system and had bought a mistress instead of his wife to Salt Lake City.  He caused that his man servant should whip a member who had said something about his character, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.  He escaped to California and then to New Orleans.  He said “the Mormons had destroyed the territorial supreme court records, their leaders were disrespectful of federal officials, a secret oath-bound band operated in Utah that knew no law save Brigham Young’s, the Mormons and not the Indians had massacres John W. Gunnison’s surveying party in 1854, and a state of rebellion existed in Utah.  Unfortunately Drummond’s charges were believed.”  (CES p 369)
Another concern for non-Mormons was the possible allegiance between the Mormons and Native Americans:

But by 1857, non-Mormon newspapers from New York to California had begun reporting that the Mormons were seeking the Indians' allegiance in case of a clash with the United States. Some accounts were based on briefings from officials who had returned to Washington; others, based on gossip, tended toward a more alarmist tone. For example, on April 20, 1857, the National Intelligencer, a Washington newspaper, put the number of the Mormons' Indian allies at 300,000, even though the total Indian population of the Utah Territory appears to have been 20,000 at most. Young would characterize press coverage generally as "a prolonged howl of base slander."  (Roberts 2)

 Utah citizens were also upset.  “Had not Washington inflicted corrupt officers upon Utah? … Utah’s settlers did lack government services provided to others: reliable mail, land ownership and protection from Indians.  (Parshall)  The citizens of Utah demanded statehood or independence.
President Buchanan reacted to this demand in a strong way.  “In 1857, President James Buchanan, for political reasons, decided to replace Brigham Young as acting governor of the Utah Territory.  Anticipating the Mormon reaction, Buchanan ordered an Army force of 2500 soldiers, under the command of Brevet General Albert Sidney Johnson, to Utah to ensure that his orders were carried out.  Young responded by calling out the Utah Territorial Militia (also known as the Nauvoo Legion) and placed the territory on a war footing.”  (U.S. Department of the Interior)
A Mormon summary of the reason for the conflict was written in this manner:

   In 1857 Utah territory was invaded by a hostile force of American soldiery.  The events and influences that led to this confrontation are difficult to establish.  The conflict was triggered in 1855 when David H. Burr, a non-Mormon appointed to be surveyor general of the territory, found his work impeded by Saints understandably anxious about any official survey of lands that they possessed only by right of occupation, not by any explicit declaration or approval of Congress.  Burr and his assistants left the territory and reinforced the reports of Mormon skullduggery already prevalent in Washington.  Garland Hurt, an energetic Indian agent, added his disturbing opinion that the Mormons were teaching the Indians to distinguish between the “Mormonee” and other Americans.  Not willing to accept the explanation that Mormons had to adopt some means of letting the Indians know that they shouldn’t be held responsible for the brutality practiced by other Americans, Hurt alleged that the Mormons were planning to employ Native Americans in a war of vengeance against all non-Mormon settlers and travelers.
   Troubles with surveyors and Indian agents were overshadowed by continuing strife between Mormons and federally appointed judges.  After 1855 the Utah judiciary was headed by three non-Mormons: W.W. Drummond, George P. Stiles, and John F. Kinney.  While on the surface Kinney was friendly to the Mormons, he represented them to Washington as being seditious and unruly.  Stiles and Drummond did not bother to temper their distaste; the latter, especially, came to personify for the Mormons all the injustices of the territorial system.
   … Drummond’s flagrant association with a prostitute offended the moral sense of the Saints.  Perhaps most threatening was his attack on the probate courts, with Mormon bishops as probate judges, which had ruled on both civil and criminal cases.  At the time he accused Mormons of destroying court records, an accusation later proved false.  Offensive as his personal character might have been, Drummond played an important role in sparking the national reaction to Utah.
   …The Mormons had picked an awkward time to establish their semi-independent kingdom in the West.  The issues of slavery and states’ rights were already dividing the nation.  Northerners wanted to make an example of Mormon rebelliousness, while some Southerners hoped an anti-Mormon campaign might relieve the pressure on them.  One Southern leader wrote to Buchanan urging a vigorous Utah policy that would “supersede the Negro-mania with the almost universal excitement of an Anti-Mormon Crusade.”  The thousands of European Saints flocking to Utah made it difficult to ignore the “Mormon problem,” and in fact aroused some early anti-immigrant nativism.
   But such considerations lay in the background as predisposing conditions.  On the front of the stage Drummnd, Hurt, and others somehow persuaded Buchanan that the Mormons were in a state of rebellion.  They contended that through threats, boycotts, and murder the Mormon leaders hoped to drive all non-Mormons from the territory.  A stream of newspaper articles, pamphlets, novels, and public speeches enumerated supposed Mormon treacheries and called for reprisals as extreme as a holy war of extermination. 
   Buchanan and his cabinet officers found themselves in a climate of public opinion that seemed to support any move to protect the rights of non-Mormons, suppress Mormon home rule, and eradicate polygamy.  The President became convinced that a vigorous anti-Mormon action could only be to his credit.  By May 1857 he had decided upon a show of military force as the best and quickest solution.  But he seriously underestimated the degree to which it would be opposed by the Mormons.  In the ensuing two years he found that his solution was anything but quick, and even the political popularity of a Utah campaign was to prove disappointing. (Arrington and Bitton)

A big complaint from the Mormon community against President Buchanan is that he did not investigate, by talking to any of the Mormons.  Utahns complained that Buchanan had not investigated charges of violence or judicial irregularities before sending the army; Buchanan had indeed consulted many who had been to Utah, but without recognizing that the testimony of failed officials might be colored by personal resentment. “  (Parshall)
The reaction of the Mormons and their leaders is that they were being invaded by an outside force.  “The issues that has been forced upon us, compels us to resort to the great first law of self-preservation, and stand in our own defense and right.”  (CES p 370)
The US infantry was delayed in starting:

Indecision, incompetence, and competition for lucrative contracts surrounded the preparations of the Utah Expedition.  The first body of soldiers did not leave Fort Leavenworth until mid-July.  Others did not straggle out until September.  Within weeks they were plagued by foul weather and the indecision of their officers.  William S. Harney, originally chosen to command the army, was replaced by Colonel Albert Sidney Johnson.  During the winter Johnston engaged in a running dispute with the newly appointed governor of Utah, Alfred Cumming of Georgia and Missouri, who accompanied the troops West.  The Colonel seemed to be intent on a military victory over the Mormons, whereas Cumming was primarily concerned with acceptance of himself as governor.  (Arrington and Bitton)

As previously mentioned, the Mormon leaders learned of the approach of federal troops at their annual Pioneer day celebration.  Tradition has it that the Mormons' first hint of trouble came during a Pioneer Day picnic in Little Cottonwood Canyon, when four horsemen thundered like Paul Revere into the midst of the party with word that the army was coming.” (Parshall)  There was suspicion, but this is the first actual news of the advance:
   Although Mormon leaders had suspected something was afoot, they first heard of the impending invasion on July 24, 1857, the tenth anniversary of their entrance into the valley.  Four dust-covered horsemen galloped into a festive assembly and announced that a large force of American soldiers was on its way to install a non-Mormon governor and prevent any further “rebellion.”… The President had even neglected to send an official communication to Brigham Young, who, in his own mind still the official governor, chose to regard the approaching troops as a hostile army invading Utah Territory. 
Determined to greet the invaders with force if necessary, The Mormons hoped to avoid bloodshed with “scorched earth” and harassment policies that would leave the invaders with a precarious line of supply.  Young called out the territorial militia and asked each community to donate men, firearms and provisions to the defense.  By the fall of 1857 eleven hundred men were fortifying the mountain passes east of Great Salt Lake.  Other parties were dispatched to burn Fort Bridger and Fort Supply, Mormon-owned outposts at the eastern entrance to the territory. (Arrington and Bitton)

 Isaac was one of those eleven hundred men called to Echo Canyon to defend against “invasion.”  “In 1857, West Jordan volunteers took an active part in the Echo Canyon campaign against the invasion of Johnson's Army.”  (West Jordan)  “While living there he [Isaac] was called to go with others to meet Johnston’s Army in Echo Canyon.”  (Rupp)  “[Isaac] took an active part in the Echo Canyon trouble.”  (Esshom p 1320)  “In the later summer of 1857, he was among the men who were called to meet the invading Johnston’s Army in Echo Canyon.”  (Wardle, Orrin)  Mr. Wardle...served in the militia at Echo Canyon during the Utah War.  (Bateman p 6)
And on Sept. 15, 1857, Young placed Utah under martial law, requiring passes for all travelers into and out of the territory and forbidding armed forces from "invading" Utah.  (Parshall)

We are invaded by hostile forces, who are evidently assailing us to accomplish our overthrow and destruction.
   For the last twenty-five years we have trusted officials of the govern­ment, from Constables and Justices to Judges, Governors and Presidents, only to be scorned, held in derision, insulted and betrayed. Our houses have been plundered and then burned; our fields laid waste, our principal men butchered while under the pledged faith of the Government for their safety, and our families driven from their homes to find that shelter in the barren wilderness, and that protection among hostile savages, which were denied them in the boasted abodes of Christianity and civilization.
   The constitution of our common country guarantees unto us all that we do now or ever claimed.
   If the constitutional rights, which pertain unto us as American citi­zens, were extended to Utah, according to the spirit and meaning there­of, and fairly and impartially administered, it is all that we could ask.
   Our opponents have availed themselves of prejudices existing against us, because of our religious faith, to send out a formidable host to accomplish our destruction. We have had no privilege, no opportunity of defending ourselves from the false, foul and unjust aspersions against us before the Nation. The Government has not condescended to cause an investigating committee or other person to be sent to inquire into and ascertain the truth, as is customary in such cases. We know those asper­sions to be false, but that avails us nothing. We are condemned unheard, and forced to an issue with an armed mercenary mob, which has been sent against us at the instigation of anonymous letter writers, ashamed to father the base, slanderous falsehoods which they have given to the public; of corrupt officials who have brought false accusations against us, to screen themselves in their own infamy; and of hireling priests and howling editors, who prostitute the truth for filthy lucre's sake.
   The issue which has been thus forced upon us compels us to resort to the great first law of self-preservation, and stand in our own defense, a right guaranteed unto us by the genius of the institutions of our country, and upon which the Government is based.
   Our duty to our families requires us not to tamely submit to be driven and slain without an attempt to preserve ourselves. Our duty to our country, our holy religion, our God, to freedom and liberty, requires that we should not quietly stand still and see those fetters forging around, which are calculated to enslave and bring us into subjection to an unlawful military despotism, such as can only emanate (in a country of constitutional law) from usurpation, tyranny and oppression.
   Therefore, I, Brigham Young, Governor and Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Territory of Utah, in the name of the people or the United States in the Territory of Utah,
   First - Forbid all armed forces of every description from coming into this Territory, under any pretense whatever.
   Second - That all the forces in said Territory hold themselves in readi­ness to march at a moment's notice, to repel any and all such invasion
   Third - Martial law is hereby declared to exist in this Territory, from and after the publication of this Proclamation; and no person shall be allowed to pass or repass, into or through, or from this Territory without a permit from the proper officer.
   Given under my hand and seal at Great Salt Lake City, Territory of Utah, this fifteenth day of September, A.D. eighteen hundred and fifty seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the eighty -second.  (Young, Brigham, 2)

“General Daniel H. Wells of the Nauvoo Legion sent about eleven hundred men east to Echo Canyon, which lay on the route through the mountains to Salt Lake City.”(CES)      “By mid-October the Nauvoo Legion had eleven hundred men under arms in the mountains and seven hundred men in reserve in Salt Lake.  Three thousand more troops could be called up to defend the canyon on fifteen hours’ notice.”  (Bagley p 182)
The men in Echo Canyon drilled, and prepared defensive fortifications.  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.”  (Parshall)  Isaac would have been armed.  In the cliffs there are fortifications built of rock, and other defensive works: 

   These soldiers built wall and dug trenches from which they could act as snipers.  They also loosened huge boulders that could easily be sent crashing down on the moving columns, and they constructed ditches and dams that could be opened to flood the enemy’s path.  (CES)

   The Narrows: Near here the Mormons built a huge breastwork and a 500-foot-long rifle pit (across the freeway, near the base of the telephone pole line). They also put land mines in this area, made from oak barrels, one-pound cans of powder, and flintlocks. And they built a big dam here with plans to flood the Narrows and make it difficult or impossible for the army to get through. Pretty tricky.
  In all, the Mormons built 14 fortifications in this canyon.
   Death Rock: … Here the Mormons dug a trench 10’ deep and 7’ wide to stop the troops’ progress. On the cliff just east of the speed limit sign, you can spot four foot-tall rock wall fortifications.  (Utah)

The Echo Canyon Breastworks were constructed during the autumn of 1857 under the direction of General Daniel H. Wells, commander of the Mormon Militia. They were set atop high cliffs where they would provide the greatest strategic advantage against possible attack by Johnston's Army during the Utah War (1857-58). This 2500-man force was sent to the Territory by President James Buchanan to silence what was perceived to be a rebellion by the Mormons. The dry masonry walls, constructed of uncut stones, stacked in random courses without mortar, were 1 to 2 feet above ground and 4 to 12 feet in length. These fortifications stretched some 1.2 miles along the narrowest section of Echo Canyon. These Breastworks were part of a larger defensive network that included plans to dam the creek to force the troops against the canyon wall where the breastworks are located, and large trenches across the canyon to impede the passage of horses and men. More than 1200 men worked together completing the Breastworks on the cliffs in the matter of a few weeks. However, the peaceful resolution of the Utah War in the early summer of 1858 rendered the fortifications unnecessary. (Summit County)

   The "Echo Fortifications" or the "Mormon Wall" was built in 1857 as a line of defense against the U.S. Army led by General Albert S. Johnston, known as Johnston's Army…
   Brigham Young sent men into Echo Canyon to build a line of defense and the Nauvoo Legion was sent into Wyoming to ' harass and delay" the army. During their harassment tactics, they set fire to and burned Fort Supply. They drove off several of the horses and mules with the army. Many more of the animals died during the severe winter. However, General Johnston lost only one man, and that was from tetanus.
   The fortifications were built along the cliffs of Echo Canyon. Rock fortifications were built among the crevices and dips of the cliffs. Then cedar trees were cut, the ends painted black to look like the bore of a cannon, and placed over the top of the fortifications. At night the men would march around large camp fires to make it seem that there were more men present than there actually were. The extra guns and ammunition were buried to prevent them from being exploded by accident or by enemy fire. The cliffs gave the defenders the advantage of height and better protection.  (Utah Travel Council)

Meanwhile, the Mormons walked a dangerous tightrope.  They worked desperately to stop the army before it could enter the territory even as they tried to avoid igniting a bloody confrontation that would lead to war.  They implemented a defensive strategy based on local geography.  There were two practical ways to get the army into Utah, the first following the main road west through Echo Canyon along the line of present Interstate 80 and the second and longer route going north to the Oregon Trail and Soda Springs and the south along the Bear River.  On both fronts, the Mormons strengthened their defenses.  They fortified Echo Canyon, forty-five miles east of Salt Lake, building crude rock breastworks on top of its steep walls.  They damned the gorge and dug ditches; these improvements might not permit the Saints to drown Johnston’s men like Pharaoh’s army, but they would let the defenders flood the road for several miles.  (Bagley p 180)

Isaac would have been assigned in help in these projects.  Very likely he was at the end of a shovel.  His experience in the coal mines would have been useful.  The Echo Canyon Boys would have had their share of danger.  There was at least one death.  The cliff west of the fortifications is called Death Rock. Here a member of the Mormon militia on the ground aimed his rifle at a friend on the cliff, thinking the ball could never go that high. The ball hit his friend in the head, killing him. (Utah)  They also had their share of cold, and would have been a reminder to Isaac of his harrowing experience from the year before.  They were dealing with “heavy snowfall and intense cold.”  (Wikipedia)
While these preparations were taking place, a small band of militia, went forward to harass and delay the approaching army:

   Rather than engaging the enemy directly, Mormon strategy was one of hindering and weakening them. Daniel H. Wells, lieutenant-general of the Nauvoo legion, instructed Major Joseph Taylor:
On ascertaining the locality or route of the troops, proceed at once to annoy them in every possible way. Use every exertion to stampede their animals and set fire to their trains. Burn the whole country before them and on their flanks. Keep them from sleeping, by night surprises; blockade the road by felling trees or destroying the river fords where you can. Watch for opportunities to set fire to the grass on their windward, so as, if possible, to envelop their trains. Leave no grass before them that can be burned. Keep your men concealed as much as possible, and guard against surprise.  (Wikipedia)

            The women and those in Utah were not without privations as a result of the men being away.  With their men in the mountains, Mormon women went into the fields to bring in the heaviest harvest Utah had ever known. (Parshall)
Similar to the handcart companies of the year before, of which Isaac had been a part, the troops headed to Utah were facing serious obstacles:

   Those forces, assembled at Leavenworth, Kan., set out for Utah with three major handicaps: First, the army was essentially without a leader. Its original commander, Gen. William S. Harney, had been reassigned to quell disturbances in Kansas. The army was under the temporary command of Col. Edmund Alexander, an ineffectual man called "the old woman" by his troops.
   Second, the army was far below its 2,500-man allotment. Desertions by those not anxious for a long wilderness march exceeded even the army's "normal" high desertion rate.
   And third, the army left the frontier far too late to safely cross the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains. Their departure date of July 18 was even later than that of the ill-fated Willie handcart company, whose Mormon pioneers suffered so cruelly on the plains of Wyoming the year before. Disaster was almost inevitable. (ibid)

  The Mormon riders on the plains, did not make things easier for the approaching troops.   

   Mormon guerrillas on the Plains burned grass for miles to weaken its [the army’s] horses, beef cattle and draft animals. They burned the Mormon outposts of Fort Supply and Fort Bridger to deny the army convenient shelter. They stampeded cattle and drove off horses and mules. In one case, the army recalled their mules with a bugle signal, and the returning animals brought Mormon mounts with them. In the iconic moment of the Utah War, a band led by Lot Smith burned three federal trains - 78 wagons laden with food and clothing for the army - after first allowing teamsters to remove personal belongings.  (ibid)

   At Simpson’s Hollow, the militia captured and burned 22 army supply wagons under the leadership of Capt. Lewis Simpson On October 5.  The destruction of this and two other wagon trains carrying a total of 368,000 pounds of military supplies and the onset of winter snows which closed the passes to Utah, forced the Army to spend the winter at the recently burned Fort Bridger.  By the spring of 1858, the federal government and the Mormons had settled most of their differences and Alfred Cumming was installed as territorial governor.  (U.S. Department of the Interior)

The troops suffered in these conditions.  Horses died.  It wasn’t until new leadership arrived that conditions began to improve:

   On Nov. 4, the army's new commander, Col. Albert Sidney Johnston, finally reached his troops. He recognized instantly that his weakened men could not force their way through Utah's mountains to take Salt Lake City that season. Instead, he led them to winter quarters, preparing for a spring campaign and waiting for reinforcements.
   The crippled army then endured two weeks of forced marches toward the blackened walls of Fort Bridger. More animals died of hunger. A few men, on reduced rations, died of exposure before the army crossed into Utah (which for several more years still included the southwest corner of today's Wyoming), and built Camp Scott near old Fort Bridger. (Parshall)

Although they built Camp Scott, the situation was still not good for the troops:

By November 1857 a troop of eighteen hundred federal soldiers and camp followers were huddling around the charred ruins of Fort Bridger, desperately trying to avoid starvation until spring, when they could resume their campaign.  Mormon raiders managed to burn three wagon trains sent to supply the expedition, destroying three months’ provisions and bringing federal troops to the brink of starvation.  Young added insult to injury by offering to provide the embattled U.S. troops with salt, flour, and cattle.  (Arrington and Bitton)

   Although they were no longer on the trail, life was far from easy for the troops. The food was terrible and there wasn't much of it. Lacking work animals, the men had to muscle sleds and wagons to bring in firewood. Continued Mormon harassment required soldiers to stand constant guard at lonely pickets far from their tents and fires.
   Military drills continued throughout the winter. … In their free time, the men gambled, drank and wrote letters grumbling about conditions, or boasting about imaginary battles with Mormons, or keeping a stiff upper lip for the sake of their families. (Parshall)

As for the Mormons, the situation was not quite so anxious, at least for the rest of the winter:

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."  (ibid)

About this time, with the elements and circumstances having stopped Johnston’s Army, many of the Mormon’s felt quite comfortable.  They felt secure that God was on their side, and the elements and the mountains were evidence of this:

Strong in the power of Brigham's God,
Your name's a terror to our foes;
Ye were a barrier strong and broad
As our high mountains crowned with snows.
Sing! fellow-soldiers in our cause,
For God will show his mighty hand:
Zion shall triumph, and her laws

The standard be to every land.  (Mills, W.G.)
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 with which group he was.  He was single, so would have been a good candidate to stay the winter in the mountains.
With the army being forced to encamp, everyone was able to take a second look at the reasons for war:

Public opinion in the East, which had at first supported the Utah expedition, now turned sour. The press asked why military leaders had not arranged to reinforce and resupply the beleaguered soldiers before real suffering occurred. They demanded to know the total cost of the expedition. Some who had urged the sending of an army in the spring were now asking why Buchanan had not first sent an investigative commission to Utah.”  (Parshall)

When Governor Cummings arrived on the scene, he felt his appointment as governor was the most important thing, not that the Mormons be punished, or defeated militarily.  Thomas Kane, a friend of the Mormons offered his services.  Kane offered to go to Utah and negotiate a peaceful solution. While Buchanan gave Kane no official commission and no public endorsement, he did offer lukewarm encouragement and did nothing to prevent Kane's quixotic mission…  Kane embarked on his voyage just as 1858 began, traveling by ship to Panama and by wagon across the isthmus, then by ship to California and by horseback to Utah, arriving in Salt Lake City on Feb. 24.”  (Parshall)  
Buchanan’s position started to mellow:

…The official position emanating from Washington had already begun to change.  Through Colonel Thomas L. Kane, Young had initiated peace feelers.  While Kane was sailing to California to mediate between Governor Cumming, Young, and Colonel Johnston, Buchanan dispatched a presidential peace commission overland, an action motivated mainly by congressional unrest over the vast amount of money and manpower being used to provision and reinforce the Utah Expedition.  Both Young and Buchanan, therefore, now sought a peaceful settlement.  (See Arrington and Bitton)

While negotiations were still in process, Young decided on a dramatic gesture.  This was a decision to “move South,” to abandon the entire northern sweep of the territory to the army, leaving men behind with instructions to set fire to any settlement the soldiers made moves to occupy.  Hosea Stout recorded the decision in his diary:

   Thursday 18 March 1858: Attended a general Council at the Historians office of the first Presidency, Twelve, and officers of the Legion.  The object which was to take into consideration the enemies, whether to attack them before they came near us or wait until they come near, or whether it is yet best to fight only in unavoidable defense or in case a large force is sent against us this spring whether to fight or burn our houses and destroy everything in and around us and flee to the mountains and deserts.
   It appears that the course pursued hitherto by Gov Young in baffling the oppressive purposes of Prest Buchanan has redounded to the honor of Gov Young and the Saints and equally to the disgrace of the President & his cabinet.  Mormonism is on the ascendancy and now what is the best policy to maintain that ascendency. If we whip out and use up the few troops at Bridger will not the excitement and sympathy which is now raising in our favor in the states, be turned against us.  Whereas if we only annoy and impede their progress while we "Burn up" and flee, the folly, and meanness of the President will be the more apparent and he and his measures more unpopular &c.  This was about a fair statement of the subject matter in council.  There was no definite measures adopted.  Many spoke on the subject and the council adjourned till 8th April at 2 p.m. at the Tabernacle.
   Sunday 21 March 1858. Attended meeting at the Tabernacle which meeting was resolved into a special Conference for the transaction of business.
The subject matter was "fleeing to the" deserts and mountains.  It was decided to send 500 families from this city immediately to be selected from among those who had never been driven from their homes and from that class to take the poorest and most helpless.  This 500 was to be selected by the Bishops from the several wards.
The plan of Emigration being thus established in this city was to be an ensample other cities, wards and settlements throughout the Territory; North more particularly.  The precise destination was not made known as yet.  (Stout)

Brigham Young was attempting to play on the sympathies of the American public.  Adopting the “Sebastopol plan,” which had served a similar purpose during the Crimean War.  Young was attempting to muster some national sympathy while demonstrating that the Mormons were not willing to submit to a blatant military occupation of their homes.  Throughout the spring the Mormons streamed south to temporary encampments near Provo and farther south.”  (Arrington and Bitton)  
As spring came on, the defensive positions in Echo Canyon were retaken.  Hosea Stout recorded, “Wednesday 31 March 1858, 500 troops that is 400 foot and 100 Horse are being sent to Echo again to meet the emergency which may arise.”  (Stout)  Isaac did not have a horse, nor history riding, so would have been on foot:

As the spring thaw began in 1858, Johnston prepared to receive reinforcements that would bring his force to almost 5,000—a third of the entire U.S. Army. At the same time, Young initiated what has become known as the Move South, an exodus of some 30,000 people from settlements in northern Utah. Before leaving Salt Lake City, Mormons buried the foundation of their temple, their most sacred building, and planted wheat to camouflage it from the invaders' eyes. A few men remained behind, ready to put houses and barns and orchards to the torch to keep them out of the soldiers' hands. The Mormons, it seemed, would be exterminated or once again driven from their land.  (Roberts 2)

Of note is that several Mormons were among General Johnston’s force of 5000.  Among these was William Ashton, who would later become Isaac’s father-in-law.  He had enlisted in the infantry at Fort Laramie.  He was held in reserve, and eventually bypassed Salt Lake being ordered to California.
Meanwhile, Governor Cumming made a trip to the Salt lake Valley, assured himself there was no rebellion, and returned to Camp Scott, the bivouac at Fort Bridger.  (Arrington and Bitton)  When he visited the valley, he saw the first of the move south:

   Cumming arrived just in time to witness the most dramatic episode of the Utah War: Faced with the knowledge that the army would inevitably enter the settlements in the spring, the Mormons withdrew from Salt Lake City and all northern towns, taking refuge in Provo and other points south.
   Cumming was greeted by the sight of families, with their household goods piled on wagons and their livestock trailing behind, fleeing southward. All the stored wheat, all the church records, the benches from the tabernacle, the Deseret News press, and the doors and windows from all of the houses, along with every other salvageable article, had been cached or sent south.  (Parshall)

In April, agreement was reached that the expedition would be allowed to march through Salt Lake City and establish a position some forty miles distant from which it could ensure the rights of the presidential appointees without seeming to “occupy Mormon territory.”  In June, after announcing that Buchanan had granted the Mormons “free and full pardon,” the new territorial officers and an escort of more than fifty-five hundred soldiers, teamsters, and suppliers marched through the abandoned streets of Salt Lake City.  To the south, some thirty thousand Mormon faithful waited, fearful that their homes might be either occupied or destroyed.  Nothing of the kind occurred.  The Utah Expedition marched beyond the city and across the Jordan River to Cedar Valley, some forty miles south of Salt Lake City.  There they established Camp Floyd, named in honor of the Secretary of War who had supported the mission.
However, by the time the peace was in place, and the army marched through Salt Lake, the population had moved south:

   That same month, Johnston and his troops marched through the deserted streets of Salt Lake City—then kept marching 40 miles south to establish Camp Floyd, in present-day Fairfield, Utah. With the Army no longer a threat, the Mormons returned to their homes and began a long and fitful accommodation to secular rule under a series of non-Mormon governors.  (Roberts 2)

   By the time Buchanan's official peace commissioners arrived in Utah with power to negotiate a settlement and bearing a pardon for actions committed by Utah's defenders, the move south was complete. The army entered Salt Lake Valley on June 26, 1858, to find an eerily deserted city. A few men watched from behind empty buildings, ready to burn the city if one soldier broke ranks to steal so much as a single peach from a Mormon orchard.
   It took hours for the army to march through, strung out as they were along the road, but Johnston had drilled and disciplined the troops so well that they passed without incident, first to camp near the Jordan River and eventually to build Camp Floyd west of Utah Lake.
   The displaced Mormons returned to their homes by the end of July 1858. Aside from some verbal sparring and a few rowdy incidents between soldiers and civilians - generally minor, but including one murder - Mormon settlers and their military neighbors tended to ignore one another. (Parshall)

   The peaceable march of the army through Salt Lake City, the unopposed installation of Cumming as governor, and the subsequent return of the Mormons to their abandoned farms and homes ended a confrontation that had been heralded as apocalyptic but had always had something of the incongruity of comic opera.  The President of the United States had dispatched the largest peacetime army in the nation’s history to oversee the installation of half a dozen officials in a minor territory.  He had done so without thorough investigation of charges made by a few disgruntled or economically interested individuals.  He had neglected to notify the Mormons or to inquire after their viewpoint, until nearly a year after the expedition was sent.  The Mormons, in turn, had once more been uprooted from their homes, interrupted in their development of the territory, and labeled a rebellious people.  (Stout from Arrington and Bitton)
It was miraculous that the Utah Expedition did not end in a bloodbath.  Unleashing military force is always easier than restraining it, and for the Mormons to attempt harassment of the invaders and destruction of supply trains while avoiding the taking of life and open battles was, on the face of it, a delicate combination that would not seem to have much chance of success.  Yet there were practically no casualties except from frostbite and exposure.  (Arrington and Bitton)
David Robert provides this summary from the New York Herald June 19, 1858, “Killed, none; wounded, none; fooled, everybody.” (Roberts 2)
 “Although there were only minor skirmishes between scouting parties, the war was not the bloodless farce of popular perception. Men froze to death, died of disease, were shot and hanged and bludgeoned in little-known atrocities. The hardships of war also affected Mormon women, children and the elderly.” (Parshall) 

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