"Affairs in Utah," New York Times, 19 Oct. 1862, 2.
Indian Tragedies—The Mormon Emigration—Different Classes—Fruit Crops.Correspondence of the New-York Times.
GREAT SALT LAKE CITY, Sept. 25, 1862.
Indian tragedies continue on the Northern Emigrant route, as well as in Minnesota. Mr. W. H. GROVES and a party of seven dropped into this city on Saturday. Traveling by starlight and in by-paths or no paths, they managed to miss their Indian friends, and avoided delay and loss on that account. The party sighted about seven hundred emigrant wagons, whose destination was for the most part the gold-fields north. Those emigrants gave the Indians a hard name for highway robbery and murder on the route, hundreds of both sexes, and all ages of the whites having fallen before the attacks of the incensed and bloodthirsty Bannacks [Bannocks] and Shoshones.
These statements are in unison with the reports of occasional straggling sufferers, who are fortunate enough to escape to the settlements in this Territory. Last week I noted some circumstances in connection with a disastrous Indian attack on emigrants on the Oregon road. A party of fifteen persons, well-armed and mounted, and with four pack-animals, left Lasson's Meadows on the 3d inst., bound, some for Denver City, and others for different parts of the States. They journeyed up the Humboldt to the junction of the roads, near City Rocks. Traveling thence, on the morning of the 12th, toward Salt-Lake, they heard the lowing of cattle and discovered camp-fires off the road, Anxious to buy some meat, two or three of the company proceeded towards what they supposed was an emigrant camp, but what they soon discovered was really an Indian camp. The chief and several Indians met the party, told them the five hundred head of cattle near by belonged to him and his band, and requested them to return and fetch the captain and the remainder of the company, and they could trade for all the beef they wished. The whites here became suspicious, and on joining the rest of their company, the whole party determined to declined trading, and to renew their march. After going a short distance, however, they were fired upon from the roadside, when a precipitate retreat was begun, the whites ahead, and some two score Indian cavalry and a larger body of similar infantry in the rear. On to De Cassure Creek, about twenty miles, the running fight continued, resulting in one white man being slightly wounded, and all the horses, four of which were abandoned, and two "gave out." Here the whites took to the cañon, with the intention of fortifying among the rocks, three of them falling, however, before the party gained that position. The unequal fight continued till dark, the whites losing another man, and four being wounded, two fatally, the other two having each an arm broken. Three hours before midnight the Indians made off with their booty—the animals and some arms and ammunition. The company then carried the two men who were mortally wounded down to the creek, and laid them side by side, and then moved off cautiously toward the Utah settlements, which after being five days without food, six of them finally reached in safety; for three, Messrs, JACKSON and GRANT and SAMUEL RILEY, the last one wounded, concluded to return to the Humboldt with and emigrant company, who were met near Dear River.
The six who came to Salt Lake—Messrs. C. McBride, John Andrews, James White, Ed Witkinson,—Lawson, and Johnson Foster, the last wounded-intend to pursue their journey eastward. The killed are reported as follows: John Comer and John Sharp, of Calioway [Callaway] County, Mo.; Mr. Goodman, of St. Louis; Joseph Snow, of Napa Valley, Cal.; William Davis, of Stockton, Cal.; and Benj. White, from Arkansas or Missouri.
These numerous savage outrages will probably induce emigrants next year to keep on the most traveled routes, where they can refit at various camps, and where assistance in emergency is more accessible.
As anticipated last week, the Mormon emigrants are arriving in large numbers. Two Danish companies, under Capts. [CHRISTIAN A.] MADSEN and [OLA N.] LILJENQUIST, and collectively numbering some five hundred souls, eighty wagons, and three hundred yoke of cattle, arrived on Tuesday. HOMER DUNCAN'S train arrived yesterday, with about five hundred souls. The two first are what are called "independent" companies; that is, they pay their own way to this place. The last company is one of those which come from the Missouri River with teams sent hence in the Spring, so these cattle have made a journey of two thousand miles this Summer, and some of them from the remote settlements will have traveled twenty-six hundred miles since last Winter.
There are several points of difference between the Mormon emigrants and those bound for California. The California emigrants embrace the more vigorous portion of the population, travel mostly with horse teams, have considerable fine stock, principally large mares, with them, though occasionally good horned creatures and sheep are taken through. The Mormon emigrants, excepting under the handcart regime, come invariably with ox-teams, have very little extra stock with them, and that of the ordinary kinds, and are composed of the "working class" almost exclusively, of all ages indiscriminately, as they come on account of a religious idea, more than for temporal prosperity. The California pilgrims, being mostly Western people, have the usual; woolen overshirt and soft coat, with pants tucked in boots, while the Mormon travelers may be noted by coat, vest, suspenders, a few stovepipe hats, and among the females, an occasional well-worn shawl, a stuff dress, or smaller article of faded silk.
The Mormons make no complaint of Indian difficulties on the road. But these emigrants invariably maintain a strict organization and constant guard, particularly during those portions of the journey where Indians depredations may occur; and further, make it their boast that they never, in any instance, take the blood of a redskin where it can be avoided. . . . In the Bowery, on Sunday, religions and political returned missionaries addressed the people, and gave hopeful reports of the state of the "cause" among the "heathen" east of the Rocky Mountains.
Secretary FULLER is expected in to-morrow from a trip to California. Gov. HARDING has been rusticating for a short time in the valley south of this. . . .