Ep 47 – Executive Order: Atrocity with Andrew Torrez
On this episode, we cover a lot of ground but only advance our timeline a total of 4 days. Mormon depredations throughout Daviess County are answered by vigilante militia depredations against Mormons. The anti-Mormons are routing the Mormons to concentrate their population in the twin sanctuary cities, Diahman and Far West in preparation of a mass siege to put down the Mormon fanatics once and for all. Captain Samuel Bogart’s troops take two Mormon spies prisoner and Captain Fearnought assaults their camp on Crooked River with the Danites. Once Governor Lilburn Boggs catches word of the Danite aggression, he answers with a 4,000-man militia armed with an Executive Order to exterminate the Mormons. We bring on Andrew Torrez of Opening Arguments podcast to shed some expert light on the situation.
Where to find Andrew Torrez:
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Colonel Cornelius Neil Gilliam
Captain Samuel Bogart
General John Bullock Clark
General Atchison to Boggs 22-10-1838
Recollections by Peter H. Burnett
Ebenezer Robinson Autobiography
Outro music by Jason Comeau http://aloststateofmind.com/
Show Artwork http://weirdmormonshit.com/
Legal Counsel http://patorrez.com/
Voicemail Line (864)Nake-dMo (625-3366)
Welcome to episode 47 of the NMPC, the serial Mormon history podcast. Today is Thursday Feb 2, 2017, my name is BB and thank you for joining me.
We have a lot to get to today so let’s do a quick roundup of last historical episode. The main focus of last historical timeline episode was the refugee crisis that was absolutely crushing Jo and the church leadership. Jo, Hyrum, and Rigdon had successfully intermingled church and state authority in the Mormon stronghold cities of Far West and Diahmen, but it also meant that anything bad happening to the Mormons could be blamed on nobody other than Jo and the Mo posse. In order to fix this starving refugee problem, Jo went with the only option he could see and became, as he said, “A second Mohammet to this generation,” sending out multiple parties of armed men on horseback to conquer the villages of Daviess county. And they did. Each military commander in the Army of Israel or Danites made their way to Millport, Gallatin, and the smaller surrounding villages and stole every possession they came across, chased out every single non-Mormon from their homes and herded every head of cattle back to the bishop’s storehouse in Diahmen. The starvation would no longer be a problem, but this amped up the military violence and gave the local state militia Generals license to take serious measures once they realized the Mormons were done being fucked with.
Governor Lilburn Boggs was in the mix as well and we can point to his apathy and active disconnectedness as one of the major escalating factors when it came to violence between the Mormons and Missourians. This Mormon conquest, wherein they committed the Mormon depredations, changed the Mormon’s status from provocateur and victim to inciter of violence. But while these warring groups of leaders were at a steady disagreement, it’s the everyday people caught up in the chaos who were affected the most, which is why we read a large excerpt from Benjamin F. Johnson’s autobiography. We’ll be relying on many first-person accounts to get us through the end of 1838.
Alright, that’s enough for the milk of the episode, let’s jump in to the meat.
Before talking about the aftermath of the Mormon conquest of Daviess county, we need to be properly introduced to a few important people for this episode.
Our first introduction is to a Colonel by the name of Cornelius Neil Gilliam, he went by Neil from what I can tell. This guy is actually pretty important to American history in general, but for our purposes we need to understand him as a hateful anti-Mormon vigilante. His Wikipedia page has him born in North Carolina April 13, 1798, where he fought in the Black Hawk and Seminole wars, or genocides, depending on how you view Colonialist and Native relations after the Indian removal act was signed. He settled in Missouri a few years before the Mormons began moving there en masse at the command of their young prophet. Colonel Gilliam was an active military buff his entire life. After the Missouri anti-Mormons came out on top of the 1838 Mormon war, Gilliam was elected to the Missouri State Senate before moving out to the chaotic frontier of the Oregon territory in 1844. He fought with the Cayuse natives there, and, in honor of his patriotism and military prowess, Gilliam county Oregon and the WW II merchant ship Cornelius Gilliam were named in his honor. While I can’t find any physical descriptions of the man, he was clearly a rough-tough, doesn’t take shit from anyone kind of mountain man. He was probably brash and unabashed and had no problem telling the Mormons exactly what he planned on doing to them. He was the leader of several small militia forces who made their presence known during the siege of DeWitt and later Diahmen. Colonel Gilliam has been mentioned once or twice before since we started studying this time, but it was finally time to properly introduce him.
Let’s get another introduction of another hostile anti-Mormon, Captain Samuel Bogart. From his Wikipedia page, “Born April 2, 1797 was an itinerant Methodist minister[, War of 1812 veteran,] and militia captain from Ray County, Missouri who played a prominent role in the 1838 Missouri-Mormon War before later moving to Collin County, Texas, where he became a Texas Ranger and a member of the Texas State Legislature. He is best remembered, however, for his role in leading opposition to Mormon settlers in northwestern Missouri, and for the active role he took in operations against them in the fall of 1838. These operations led to the expulsion of nearly all Mormons from the state following the issuance of Governor Lilburn Boggs' infamous Extermination Order in October of that year.”
Captain Samuel Bogart had been living in Ray county since 1833 when the Mormons were first expelled from the neighboring Jackson County. He’d had extensive relations with the Mormons, usually in leading mobs against them or assisting in forcibly removing them from their homes in DeWitt and the outlying areas in Carroll County. Go to his Wikipedia page, there’s a picture of him from 1860, or just picture a long-haired David Cross with a two-toned Hitler mustache.
The next and final introduction we have for today is a man named General John Bullock Clark. Born in Kentucky April 17, 1802, Clark studied law and passed the bar in 1824, after which he established his own law practice in Fayette, Missouri. He was a colonel during the Black Hawk War of 1832, exuding his military prowess, and soon after would be involved in the Missouri-Mormon conflict. He served as second in command only to General Atchison until Atchison was relieved of his command, which we’ll get to soon.
Obviously, living in Missouri during the entire Mormon conflict spanning from 1833 to 1838, General Clark was no stranger to the Mormons and the trouble their presence had caused. He was living in Howard county, a few miles downriver from DeWitt in Carroll county before it was taken over by Clark’s friend from Howard county, Col. Congreve Jackson. General Clark didn’t like the Mormons as he’d been a settler of Missouri long before they’d arrived and began driving land prices down. Clark didn’t like the Mormons. I’m not basing that off any specific quotes we have from him, just on his actions against the Mormons. When it comes to Col Neil Gilliam or Captain Samuel Bogart, we have quotes from them claiming they’ll kill the damned Mormons because it was the law, but General Clark never said anything that directly inflammatory against them. Maybe that’s why he was a General instead of a Colonel or Captain, because he was better at not letting his personal frustrations affect his military leadership, who knows. If you want to know what General Clark looks like, go to his Wikipedia page in the show notes, or just picture the guy yelling at a teenage Jack Black before ripping his AC/DC poster off the wall and you know exactly what he looks like.
General Clark will become very important at the end of the episode, but for now, Colonel Gilliam and Captain Bogart are the main focus of our historical discussion today. Let’s start with Colonel Neil Gilliam. When he heard of the Mormons berserking through Daviess county and committing their depredations, he called upon his local town militia, which was a fancy word for his fellow Mormon-hating friends in Clinton County. Let’s be clear, he didn’t have legal sanction for this militia, they were just a violent vigilante mob raised in answer to what were coming to be known as the Mormon depredations. This is a passage from the 1838 Mormon War in Missouri about Colonel Neil Gilliam’s mob on page 129.
“Gilliam later cited the Mormon depredations in Daviess County as the reason why he called out his regiment. “I saw enough to make any man who had a spark of love for his country, or sympathy for insulted humanity, to take up arms and fight to redress their wrongs,” he said. Gilliam family tradition also has it that his relatives were among those burned out by the Mormons. If so, he now returned the favor. Over two hundred men flocked to Gilliam’s camp, where they painted themselves with red and black stripes, Indian style, to distinguish themselves from the Mormons. Gilliam called himself the “Delaware Chief” and proposed to his men that the conflict be decided by single combat between the Mormons’ champion, Lyman Wight, and himself. The painted soldiers, whooping and yelling like ferocious savages, marched through Clinton and Daviess counties, driving Mormon settlers from their homes, plundering and burning. As the men advanced into Caldwell, they talked of driving the Mormons to Far West and then out of the state.”
Let’s just take a second there. These men weren’t gathering with any sensibility or plan, they were just getting together and probably drinking a shitload, dressing up like Natives and proclaiming that Colonel Gilliam could take on General Lyman Wight one-on-one; all before rioting and ransacking the Mormons they could find in Clinton and Daviess counties. To illustrate that they were simply a rogue vigilante group, General Doniphan, the friend of the Mormons who’d been helping them for quite some time was the commanding officer over Colonel Gilliam, but when Gilliam’s 200 men gathered, General Doniphan remained in his home out of ignorance of the whole ordeal. Gilliam, along with a small number of other militia commanders including Captain Bogart, were gathering their troops without state sanction to answer the Mormons depredations, it wasn’t just Gilliam. These were very small acts of mutiny slowing rolling over the entire region, but we have to understand that enough people were frustrated with the Mormons that they refused to listen to their commanding officers when those officers refused to march against the Mormons, so they committed some kind of passive mutiny by gathering armies without orders. Generals Parks, Doniphan, and Atchison were all being heavily criticized by the other militia commanders as well as the general anti-Mormon media for siding with the religious fanatics.
People began to suspect that Doniphan, Parks, and Atchison were siding with the Mormons to pander for future votes, a fairly reasonable accusation, some even implying monetary collusion between the parties, claiming the Church leadership was paying off these generals. Given some things that have happened in the past though, it’s wouldn’t be hard to come to that conclusion. Picture yourself in the mob that surrounded Diahmen after those 45 guns were raided by the Mormons. Bogarts troops were camped out laying siege, preparing an attack the next morning when General Doniphan marched his men 36 miles in one day to camp out in between Bogart’s troops and Diahmen to quell the arising conflict, Atchison arrived the following day to solidify law and order. That conflict ended in the vigilantes giving up their post outside Diahmen and the Mormons completely taking over the county, driving non-Mormons from Daviess. If you’re a member of Bogart’s vigilantes, Doniphan and Atchison just stopped you from killing some of the damned Mormons, forced your surrender of the siege, and negotiated removal of the non-Mormons from Daviess County; a total loss in the eyes of the justice-seeking anti-Mormon vigilantes. In this situation, if you’re a Missourian that hates the Mormons for whatever reason, it sure seems like Doniphan and Atchison were siding with the Mormons to the detriment of the Missouri natives.
These men gathering their militias to respond to Mormon depredations can be considered mutinous. They did so in defiance of orders, or at least without any order to do so from any senior ranking commanding generals; this wasn’t the first or nearly the last time that mutiny by the vigilantes culminated in situations getting worse for the Mormons. I mean, Mormons in all the surrounding counties: Clinton, Ray, Clay, Livingston, Daviess, Carroll, and especially Caldwell were being harassed and chased from their homes. The various mobs were beginning to collapse upon the two sanctuary cities by consolidating the Mormon population to Daviess and Caldwell Counties, where Far West and Diahmen provided little respite to the thousands of refugees.
A small number of the people experiencing this violence were writing to anybody they could contact who may be able to help. Governor Lilburn Boggs began to be flooded with more reports from both Mormons and anti-Mormons claiming that they were being forcibly removed from their homes by armed mobs.
This is a letter written by General David R. Atchison, a noble man and good friend of Jo and the Mormons. You can almost sense the defeatist tone in his letter and empathize with his frustration at Boggs for not taking proper actions to stop this problem before it turned into an all-out war. General Atchison sent this to Boggs right before he was relieved of his field command by Boggs. This is taken from a pdf of the Mormon War Papers of the Missouri State Archives. There will be a link in the show notes.
“Liberty Oct. 22nd. 1838.
To his Excellency the Commander in Chief Sir,
Almost every hour I receive information of outrage and violence; of burning, and plundering in the county of Daviess; it seems that the Mormons have become desperate and act like mad-men, they have burned a store in Gallatin, they have burnt Millport, they have[,] it is said[,] plundered several houses and have taken away the arms from Diverse Citizens of that county. A cannon that was employed in the siege of De Witt in Carroll County, and taken for a like purpose to Daviess County, has fallen into the hands of the Mormons, it is also reported that the anti[-]Mormons have[,] when opportunity offered[,] disarmed the Mormons, and burnt several of their houses.
The great difficulty in settling this matter seems to be in not being able identify the offenders; I am convinced that nothing short of driving the Mormons from Daviess County will satisfy the party opposed to them, and this I have not the power to do[,] as I conceive[,] legally. There are no troops at this time in Daviess County; nor do I deem it expedient to send any there--for I am well convinced that it would but make matters worse, for Sir I do not feel disposed to disgrace myself, or permit the troops under my command to disgrace the State, and themselves, by acting the part of a mob. If the Mormons are to be drove from their homes[,] let it be done without any color of law, and in open defiance thereof; let it be done by volunteers acting upon their own responsibilities.
However[,] I deem it my duty to Submit these matters to the commander in chief, and will conclude by saying it will be my greatest pleasure to execute any order your Excellency should think proper to give in this matter with promptness and to the very letter.
I have the honor to be your Excellencey’s Most Obt. Servt.
David R. Atchison Major Genl. 3 rd. Dvis M. M. N. B.
I herewith inclose to you a report from Genl. Parks, also one from Capt Bogart
D. R. A.”
There’s a fair amount of disagreement about whether General Atchison willingly left after receiving Boggs’ response to his letters, or if he was actually removed by Boggs. Given the tone of the letter though, doesn’t it sound like Atchison just kinda threw his hands up in the air and said I’m done? “I do not feel disposed to disgrace myself, or permit the troops under my command to disgrace the State, and themselves, by acting the part of a mob. If the Mormons are to be drove from their homes[,] let it be done without any color of law, and in open defiance thereof; let it be done by volunteers acting upon their own responsibilities.” That’s powerful stuff, and I think it speaks volumes to Atchison’s character. It wasn’t a popular pick to be friendly to the Mormons and obviously, Atchison, Doniphan, and Parks were all feeling the wrath of their pro-Mormon sympathies. From this time until the 27th of October, the commanding officer in the field would be General Lucas. On the 27th, Boggs made General John B. Clark the commanding field officer over the entire northern state militia. Lots of names and people to keep straight here.
We need to talk about our second introductee for today, Captain Samuel Bogart. Here’s a brief description of his part over the past couple weeks we’ve been discussing from a man by the name of Peter H. Burnett, taken from his autobiography Recollections and Opinions of an Old Pioneer page 57-58. A link for a pdf of the book on archive.org will be in the show notes.
“When the election came on, the men of Davis County made an effort to prevent the Mormons from voting at that precinct. A fight ensued, in which the Mormons had the best of it. Other difficulties followed, until Lyman Wight, at the head of the Mormon forces, invaded Davis County, most of which he overran, driving all before him. General D. R. Atchison, then commanding the militia in that part of the State, ordered Captain Bogard, of Ray County, to call out his militia company and occupy a position on or near the county line between Ray and Caldwell, and preserve the peace between the people of the two counties. But Captain Bogard was not a very discreet man, and his men were of much the same character. Instead of confining himself and his men within the limits of his own county, he marched one day into the edge of Caldwell, and was not only rather rude to the Mormons residing there, but arrested one or two of them, whom he detained for some little time.
Information of this proceeding was conveyed to Far West that same evening; and Smith at once ordered Captain Patton, with his Danite band, to march that night and attack Bogard.”
Let’s sum up what just happened by reading it from the Comprehensive History of the Church by B. H. Roberts. I’m reading this from page 474 of vol 1 of my 1930 publication, thank you grandma.
“On the evening of the 24th of October word was brought into Far West of the operations of Captain Bogart’s “command” in the south part of Caldwell county…Bogart saying that he expected to “give Far West hell,” before noon of the following day, provided he joined forces with Neil Gilliam, who had raised men from Platte and Clinton counties—West of Clay and Caldwell respectively—to march against the “Mormons;” and who would camp within six miles of Far West that night, while Bogart himself would go into camp on Crooked river. The same day a detachment of Bogart’s men entered the house of a brother Pinkham, took three men prisoners, also took four horses, some firearms and food, and warned Pinkham to leave the state at once or they “would have his d—d old scalp.” These reports were brought into Far West about midnight; and Judge Elias Higbee…immediately called upon Colonel George M. Hinkle to raise a company of militia to disperse the mob and rescue the prisoners. This was done and the command given to Captain David W. Patten, who at once marched upon Bogart’s encampment on the 25th.”
Bogart set up camp on Crooked river, a strategically advantageous position, as would be expected from a War of 1812 veteran. While his contingency of 40 to 60 men set up camp, a small band of them went sweeping the nearby area looking for Mormon spies who might learn of their position. They forcibly entered the home of one Nathan Pinkham, who was a non-Mormon harboring 2 Mormon spies, William Seeley and Addison Green. Bogart’s men took the two spies prisoner as well as Nathan Pinkham’s son, Nathan jr., and, as B. H. Roberts wrote, told Pinkham to be out of his home within 24 hours.
Word of the spies taken prisoner got to Jo and the leadership in Far West around midnight and Jo immediately told David Patten, also known as Captain Fearnaught to get the Danites down to Crooked River to liberate those prisoners ASAP, and he did. He gathered up a contingency of 80 men, the Destruction company, and they made their march toward the border of Ray and Caldwell counties where Crooked River lie.
I’m going to read another excerpt from the 1838 Mormon War in Missouri by Stephen LeSueur, page 138-139:
“Mormon leaders quickly decided to raise a company of men to rescue the prisoners and disperse the Missouri troops. “Go and kill every devil of them,” the outraged Mormon prophet reportedly advised. The sound of the bugle and the beating of drums summoned the brethren to the public square…
Known as “Captain Fearnought” among his soldiers, Patten had gained a reputation as a skilled and fearless leader. Reportedly a captain in the Danite organization, Patten had led Mormon troops in the burning and sacking of Gallatin. Many of those with Patten in the Gallatin expedition, Parley P. Pratt, Dimick Huntington, Morris Phelps, and others, now rode with him to Crooked River. John D. Lee described him as a brave, impulsive man who “rushed into the thickest of the fight, regardless of danger…” Ebenezer Robinson said that Patten, highly esteemed and loved by his brethren, “seemed reckless of his life, as though it was scarce worth preserving.” The Mormon apostle reportedly told Joseph Smith that he would rather die than allow the persecution to continue. His courageous but impetuous nature seemed destined to lead him toward that end. Captain Patten wore a conspicuous white blanket overcoat that night as he led his men into battle.”
I might add a small piece from Ebenezer Robinson that LeSueur didn’t include when quoting him in that passage, I think it adds a lot of perspective to the situation.
“He was brave to a fault. So much so, that he was styled and called, "Captain Fearnought." He seemed reckless of his life, as thought it was scarce worth preserving. He had said to us, before there was any indication of a mob, or difficulty with the people of Missouri, "If I dare to do it, I could wish myself dead." We did not feel at liberty to ask him any reason for such a wish, but presume it was on account of those things transpiring in the Church, as we did not know of his having any domestic or financial troubles.”
Even before the mob violence was a thing, Robinson said that Fearnought dared to wish himself dead, even though they couldn’t figure out what the problem was. Any of you listeners have a friend like this? Boisterous, loud and confident, brave on the outside, maybe has some personal troubles on the inside? Interesting purview of the historical record that Robinson gives us here.
Let’s continue on in the autobiography of Peter H. Burnett as he describes the scene quite well for us.
“Captain Bogard had retired into the edge of Ray County, and encamped in a narrow bottom on the banks of a creek, among the large scattering oak timber, and behind a slough-bank some four feet high. He apprehended an attack, and had well selected his ground. The wagon-road crossed the stream just below his encampment, and the road ran down the top and point of a long ridge, covered thickly with young hickories, about ten feet high and from one to two inches in diameter at the ground. No one could be seen approaching the encampment until arriving within a short distance of it; but Captain Bogard had placed out a picket-guard on the road some half mile above, at a point where open woods commenced.”
Just to clarify, it took Captain Fearnaught and the Danites a few hours to organize and get themselves from Far West to Crooked River. By the time they arrived it was nearing 4 in the morning, and the first light of the sun would soon illuminate their inferior tactical position. For some reason, David Patten, the fearless leader who’d earned the reputation of valiancy deserving the name Captain Fearnaught, thought it was a good idea to wear a white coat as the Danites approached Bogart’s camp. Why? Who the fuck knows. Maybe he thought it was a sign of his purity or Jo promised him that he was sanctified and wouldn’t die, maybe he thought he would blend in with the snow cover while the majority of the other men were wearing darker clothes that blend into the night forest better. Or maybe, just maybe, he didn’t want to live and knew this would be a heroic way to go out, a religious martyr…. Seriously, there’s no way to truly know why Fearnaught wore such a conspicuous raiment.
Let’s continue on with Burnett as he describes the beginning of the confrontation.
“I remember well one of the two guards. His name was John Lockhart, a tall East Tennesseean. Just before day the Mormons were seen approaching, and were hailed by the guards; but, receiving no satisfactory answer, the guards fired and then fled to the camp. One of the Mormons was killed here, but they fired no shot in return, made no halt, but continued their march in silence and good order, and drew up in line of battle immediately in front of Bogard’s position, and about forty yards distant. Not a word was said until the line was formed, and then orders were given to fire. Patton’s men, being entirely exposed, suffered severely from the first fire, he himself being mortally wounded, and one or two of his men being killed and others wounded. He saw at a glance that his men could not stand such a fire, while his enemies were protected by a slough-bank; and he at once ordered his men to charge with their drawn swords. Bogard’s men, having no swords, broke their ranks and fled. Several were overtaken in the retreat, and either cut down or captured. Bogard had about sixty and Patton eighty men, and eight or ten on each side were killed or wounded. One Mormon was evidently killed by one of his own companions, as his wound was a sword-cut in the back of his head. He had doubtless charged with more precipitancy than his comrades; and, as there was no difference in the dress of the opposing forces, he was mistaken for a retreating enemy.”
There’s a lot to parse out there. Essentially you have Bogart’s men in the advantageous spot with a river on one side and a high bank on the other while surrounded by trees, a natural fort if you will. Captain Fearnaught’s Danites were out in the open with no cover and running a head-on assault of Bogart’s natural fortification, but only did so after the guards noticed them, fired into the crowd, and ran back to Bogart to sound the alarm and get everybody ready for an imminent attack. The Mormons didn’t have the high ground, didn’t have the element of surprise, didn’t have a chance of winning after discharging their guns, and yet still continued with the attack. This was patently stupid for them to follow through with.
After the initial firing line of the Mormons, Captain Fearnought realized the Mormons would never win a sustained battle, or even another volley from Bogart’s rifleman. With inferior tactics and position, Captain Fearnought went with the option of a man with nothing left, a sword charge. In the ensuing chaos, Bogart’s troops fled across the river which bordered the camp. Stephen LeSueur reconstructs the series of events from multiple first-hand accounts so I’ll give credit where it’s due.
“The Mormon troops, shouting their watchword, “God and Liberty,” drew their swords and flung themselves into the enemy’s ranks.
Bogart’s men panicked. Most of them immediately fled across the river, and those who remained were soon routed after brief hand-to-hand combat. Many of the soldiers shouted “We are brethren!” as they waded the river, hoping to halt the Mormons’ fire until they could escape. Hosea Stout, a Mormon participant, later remarked that “many a mobber was there baptized without faith or repentance under the messingers of lead sent by the brethren.” Two Mormon soldiers intercepted Samuel Tarwater as he ran to the river and gave him several piercing cuts with their corn-cutter swords. One of the Mormons, Lorenzo D. Young (brother of the future Mormon prophet), said he saw an angel’s hand hold Tarwater’s arm so he could not return the blows. The Missourian suffered a severed jaw and cuts about the throat and had his skull cut open and his upper teeth destroyed. Within minutes the Mormons had routed the Missouri troops and sent them fleeing desperately to their homes.”
Now LeSueur gives us a casualty count with numbers which are trusted by most Mormon historians today. That Burnett recounting of this event we read claimed that 8 or 10 were wounded on either side, that’s not entirely accurate, but that was the problem with rumors, people would hear crazy numbers about casualties and continue on the rest of their lives with flawed numbers. This is the reality of the situation according to LeSueur and the broader realm of Mormon historians.
“The Mormon soldiers quickly regrouped, reloaded, and gathered their wounded. They suffered nine men wounded including Captain Patten and William Seeley, one of the captured spies. Seeley reported that the Missourians, when they saw that the Mormons were going to attack, placed the three prisoners in front of their line so they would be shot in the crossfire. The prisoners broke for the Mormon line as soon as the firing began. Seeley was shot in the shoulder, but the other two escaped unharmed. Also among the wounded was James Hendricks, who lay face down, shot in the neck and unable to move. The Mormon soldier who discovered Hendricks did not recognize him. “Which side are you on?” the soldier asked. “God and Liberty,” Hendricks replied.”
The Mormons captured one prisoner, Wyatt Cravens, whom they released before they reached Far West. Soon after release he was mysteriously shot. Cravens and a number of others claimed that he was “set up” and deliberately shot by the Mormons… Cravens recovered and testified against the Mormons at the Richmond hearing.”
Even more for us to parse out. When the Mormons made their assault, one of the first people shot was William Seeley, one of the prisoners they were there to rescue in the first place. He didn’t die but it’s reasonable to assume he was shot by the Mormons during the initial firing assault. Secondly, Captain Fearnought was shot, their Danite commanding officer and the morale of the entire assault force was fatally wounded during this initial assault. Altogether, three Mormons died with seven wounded, while one Missourian, Moses Rowland, died and six other militia-men were wounded.
This is the account from my 1948 publication of the History of the Church, vol 3:171
“In the pursuit, one of the mob fled from behind a tree, wheeled, and shot Captain Patten, who instantly fell, mortally wounded, having received a large ball in his bowels.
The ground was soon cleared, and the brethren gathered up a wagon or two, and making beds therein of tents, etc, took their wounded and retreated towards Far West. Three brethren were wounded in the bowels, one in the neck, one in the shoulder, one through the hips, one through both thighs, one in the arms, all by musket shot. One had his arm broken by a sword. (Only the Mormons had swords so somebody fucked up) Brother Gideon Carter was shot in the head, and left dead on the ground so defaced that the brethren did not know him. Bogart reported that he lost one man. The three prisoners were released and returned with the brethren to Far West. Captain Patten was carried some of the way in a litter, but it caused so much distress that he begged to be left by the way side. He was carried into Brother Winchester’s, three miles from the city of Far West, where he died that night. Patrick O’Banion died soon after, and Brother Carter’s body was also brought from Crooked river, when it was discovered who he was.
I went with my brother Hyrum and Lyman Wight to meet the brethren on their return, near Log creek, where I saw Captain Patten in a most distressing condition. His wound was incurable.
Brother David Patten was a very worthy man, beloved by all good men who knew him. He was one of the Twelve Apostles, and died as he had lived, a man of God, and strong in the faith of a glorious resurrection, in a world where mobs will have no power or place. One of his last expressions to his wife was—“Whatever you do else, O!, do not deny the faith.”
This is a quote from Vilate Kimball living in Far West at the time describing Ann Patten, Captain Fearnought’s wife to whom he spoke those dying words.
"I can never forget her fearless and determined look. Around her waist was a belt to which was attached a large Bowie knife. She had a fire in her stove and a large iron kettle full of boiling water and a big tin dipper in her hand intending, she said, to fight if any of the demons came there. She did not seem in the least excited, her countenance was perfectly calm and she shed no tears."
And thus, David W. Patten, husband of this asskickin’ Ann Patten, a man who joined our timeline back in June of 1832, a truly monumental figure of valiancy and bravery, became the first Mormon apostle who was martyred for the cause. From his early 1833 mission to New York with Reynolds Cahoon where they converted 80 people, to marching with Zion’s camp in 1834, all the way through the KSS company counterfeiting scandal, the Fanny Alger affair, and everything that’s happened in our timeline, Captain Fearnought, David W. Patten, is laid to rest, having given his life for a cause that he thought was worthy, and maybe that’s enough. He’d been told by everybody surrounding him that dying for God is a good thing, and dying for God is indeed what he did. Neither of those things were true, but they were true in his mind as his neural pathways slowly gave out. Patten died a hero in his mind, and probably had his deepest secret wish granted.
This battle of Crooked river produced no clear winner. The Mormons had successfully chased off Bogart’s vigilante mob, but they’d suffered greater casualties, including their field commanding officer. This is how the aftermath is described in B. H. Roberts’ History of the Church, once again from my 1930 copy.
“The results of this engagement between the company of Caldwell militia and Bogart’s patrol was greatly exaggerated at the time. “The news of the fight on Crooked river spread rapidly,” says one account, “all the Gentiles in the northern part of the county abandoned their homes and fled southward near Richmond and elsewhere for safety, believing that a general raid upon them by the Mormons was imminent. The Mormons had fired the first gun, and were to be considered the aggressors, and wherever the news was received there was a general and vehement demand that they be at once ‘put down,’ severely punished for what they had done, and effectually disposed of.”
When the Mormon’s had first conducted their raids upon Daviess county 4 days before this battle, two messengers were sent to meet with Governor Lilburn Boggs personally and petition him for assistance and report what the Mormons had done. These men were named Amos Reese and Wiley C. Williams. On the morning of October 25th, Judge E. M. Ryland of Lexington sent an express letter to these men informing them of the battle at Crooked river. Of course, Judge Ryland was working from intel he’d received from one of Bogart’s men who’d fled through the night to Lexington.
The problem was, with all the pandemonium we’ve been discussing, Bogart’s men fled in all different directions, supposing the majority of their brethren dead at the hands of the Mormons. This is how Ebenezer Robinson describes the problem in his autobiography.
“The attack upon Bogart, and the mob under his command at Crooked River, added wonderfully to the excitement already existing in upper Missouri, and created wide spread alarm, on account of the exaggerated statements made with regard to it.
The report went abroad, and circulated like wildfire, "that Bogart, and all his company, amounting to between fifty and sixty men, were massacred by the Mormons, except three," whereas only one of his men was killed.”
But everybody was working off that information. The Mormons knew it wasn’t true because they didn’t recover Gideon Carter’s body from a pile of 60 other dead men, he was pretty much the only dead guy remaining at Crooked River. But the rumors spread to important people quickly, namely Boggs, Atchison, Doniphan, Parks, Clark, and Gilliam. Boggs was in the middle of reacting to the Mormon depredations in Daviess county when he received word of the battle at Crooked River. Before he’d received word of the battle, he’d issued orders to collect the most incredibly massive militia we’ve seen yet in this conflict.
The aggressive actions by the Mormons against Bogart had the effect of exciting everybody in the nearby counties. People living in Livingston, Clay, Ray, Saline, Clinton, and the other surrounding counties figured the Mormons would next expand their depredations to include those counties instead of just Daviess. It’s not a hard conclusion to draw. The Mormons had chased every single non-Mormon from their home in Daviess county and now they had supposedly killed Bogart’s army, what would they do next?! Uncertainty based on rumors alone caused Boggs to react according to the worst-case scenario, instead of proportionately to the reality of the situation.
This is from B. H. Roberts Comprehensive HC vol 1:477
“Before arrival of Messrs. Williams and Reese in Jefferson City, Governor Boggs, acting upon the false reports that reached him concerning affairs at Gallatin and Millport, ordered into the field a large force of the state militia. Under date of 26th of October he ordered out four hundred men from each of the following divisions: the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 12th; making a body of 2,000 troops. At the same time[,] General Willock of the 14th division was ordered to raise 500 men. Generals Doniphan and Parks were ordered to raise each five hundred men; but no steps were taken by them to carry out this order, doubtless for the reason that the rapid development of events gave them no opportunity to do so, and they were already in the field each in command of a large force, about eighteen hundred men in the two commands.”
This next part of the passage is very important.
“The above military orders were issued by Governor Boggs in response to an application of the citizens of Daviess county to the governor “for protection, and to be restored to their homes and property.” The orders were given because the governor claimed to have received “intelligence that the Mormons with an armed force,” had “expelled the inhabitants of that county from their homes,” had “pillaged and burnt their dwellings, driven off their stock, and were destroying their crops. That they [the Mormons]” had “burnt to ashes the towns of Gallatin and Millport in said county; the former being the county seat of said county,” and that there was “not now a civil officer within said county.”
Just as the Mormons were done fucking around, Boggs was completely fed up and he too was done fucking around with the Mormon madness which had been consuming all his time and corroding his political career for the past 4 months. This was the army to end all Mormon violence. This army of 3,500 men was organized to quell the Mormon rebellion once and for all in reaction to their depredations in Daviess county.
Then, just as Boggs signed this order and was about to expedite it to the relevant militia commanders in the field, Amos Reese and Wiley C. Williams arrived to Governor Boggs’ office and told him the rumors they’d heard. They told Boggs the Mormons had assaulted Captain Bogart’s troops, killed nearly all of them, took the remaining few as prisoner, and rescued the prisoners whom Bogart had captured as prisoners of war in the first place. In case the militia commanders weren’t sure what to do with their 3,500 men who were being organized to march on Far West and Diahmen, reactively, Boggs issued another executive order dated the next day, known as Missouri Executive Order Number 44, referred to henceforth as the Mormon Extermination order.
This order was a turning point to show everybody that the Missouri government would no longer placate these religious fanatics by some 19th century appeasement answered primarily by citizen vigilante militias. It was time to properly deal with the Mormon problem.
Patron segment notes:
Jackson was one of the first presidents to use printed pamphlets and lithographs with color images to campaign.
Jacksonian era = Post-truth era
Jackson made his after 1815 living from owning over 100 slaves = an argument can be made that many of Trump’s over-sea manufactures and construction companies are essentially thriving on modern-day slavery
Jackson’s primary opponent was John Quincy Adams, son of John Adams, 2nd U.S. president. Jackson was fighting against a lineage from a previous president = Trump won the election over our second Clinton
People were surprised to see him on the 1824 ticket, he seemed unfit to be president. He was a wild-man military officer, never politician, self-made high class citizen. He had no political resume whatsoever, making his inexperience his primary sales point.
Jackson won most popular and electoral votes in 1824, but didn’t win a majority because 4 swing votes. Henry Clay was out of the race but held enough sway to put his support behind John Quincy Adams who won because of his support. Clay immediately took the position of Secretary of State.
Jackson supporters were convinced the whole thing was cooked up and Jackson deserved to be president. Jackson began first true public presidential campaign, complete with ads telling people to vote at grassroots level.
Founded Democratic party.
Multiple sex scandals circulated about Rachel, Jackson’s wife, and Clay getting a Russian hooker. The rumors about Rachel Jackson were true.
After a vicious campaign, Jackson won 1828 in landslide with 47 of 261 electoral votes to spare.
Jackson believed that Rachel Jackson was murdered by Clay and Adams, official story is she died of a heart attack right after election.
Jackson held gigantic party in White House on inauguration day, it turned out to be a riot with people desperate to get more wine.
People were convinced that King Jackson was just as bad as early Napoleon only 20 years prior.
Jackson drained the swamp, firing 13 people who were considered “untouchables,” that was more people fired than all of his predecessors combined.
Jackson had first and last cabinet that broke up with many of them resigning.
Indian removal act appropriated $.5 mil to remove Indians from desired lands leading to trail of tears.
I can’t wait to go over the Mormon extermination order with you guys because there’s so much to discuss, but I’ll admit that I don’t know much about the legal realm surrounding the order because I’m no political historian, just fascinated by historical politics. The only expertise I have concerning law has come from my good friend Andrew Torrez, legal counsel for Ground Gnomes LLC and cohost of the incredibly awesome Opening Arguments podcast, so I figured I should just invite him on so we can go over the legality of Governor Boggs’ Mormon Extermination Order.
“Headquarters of the Militia, City of Jefferson, Oct. 27, 1838.
Gen. John B. Clark:
Sir: Since the order of this morning to you, directing you to cause four hundred mounted men to be raised within your division, I have received by Amos Reese, Esq., of Ray county, and Wiley C. Williams, Esq., one of my aids [sic], information of the most appalling character, which entirely changes the face of things, and places the Mormons in the attitude of an open and avowed defiance of the laws, and of having made war upon the people of this state. Your orders are, therefore, to hasten your operation with all possible speed. The Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the state if necessary for the public peace--their outrages are beyond all description. If you can increase your force, you are authorized to do so to any extent you may consider necessary. I have just issued orders to Maj. Gen. Willock, of Marion county, to raise five hundred men, and to march them to the northern part of Daviess, and there unite with Gen. Doniphan, of Clay, who has been ordered with five hundred men to proceed to the same point for the purpose of intercepting the retreat of the Mormons to the north. They have been directed to communicate with you by express, you can also communicate with them if you find it necessary. Instead therefore of proceeding as at first directed to reinstate the citizens of Daviess in their homes, you will proceed immediately to Richmond and then operate against the Mormons. Brig. Gen. Parks of Ray, has been ordered to have four hundred of his brigade in readiness to join you at Richmond. The whole force will be placed under your command.
I am very respectfully, yr ob’t s’t [your obedient servant],
L. W. Boggs, Commander-in-Chief.”
Alright, that was my discussion with Andrew Torrez of Opening Arguments podcast, be sure to check the show notes for a link to his amazing show, and I wanted to thank him again for helping us deconstruct this Executive Order 44. It should be noted that this law was on the books until 1976 when Governor Kit Bond at the time realized it was completely fucked up and rescinded it at the request of an RLDS stake President named Lyman Edwards. Here’s the text of the 1976 order rescinding the Mormon Extermination order. It perfectly captures how the order violated Mormon’s rights from the beginning:
“WHEREAS, on October 27, 1838, the Governor of the State of Missouri, Lilburn W. Boggs, signed an order calling for the extermination or expulsion of Mormons from the State of Missouri; and
WHEREAS, Governor Boggs' order clearly contravened the rights to life, liberty, property and religious freedom as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, as well as the Constitution of the State of Missouri; and
WHEREAS, in this bicentennial year as we reflect on our nation's heritage, the exercise of religious freedom is without question one of the basic tenets of our free democratic republic;
Now, THEREFORE, I, CHRISTOPHER S. BOND, Governor of the State of Missouri, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the State of Missouri, do hereby order as follows:
Expressing on behalf of all Missourians our deep regret for the injustice and undue suffering which was caused by the 1838 order, I hereby rescind Executive Order Number 44, dated October 27, 1838, issued by Governor W. Boggs.
In witness I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the great seal of the State of Missouri, in the city of Jefferson, on this 25 day of June, 1976.
(Signed) Christopher S. Bond, Governor.”
Of course, the Extermination order didn’t have any real teeth once the Mormon conflict deescalated so this rescission was completely ceremonial. Andrew and I only read the first part of the order because that was the legal part which was relevant to his expertise and why I invited him on in the first place. The rest of it contains details that are relevant to the historical timeline and where we’ll end our discussion for today.
“The Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the state if necessary for the public peace--their outrages are beyond all description. If you can increase your force, you are authorized to do so to any extent you may consider necessary. I have just issued orders to Maj. Gen. Willock, of Marion county, to raise five hundred men, and to march them to the northern part of Daviess, and there unite with Gen. Doniphan, of Clay, who has been ordered with five hundred men to proceed to the same point for the purpose of intercepting the retreat of the Mormons to the north. They have been directed to communicate with you by express, you can also communicate with them if you find it necessary. Instead therefore of proceeding as at first directed to reinstate the citizens of Daviess in their homes, you will proceed immediately to Richmond and then operate against the Mormons. Brig. Gen. Parks of Ray, has been ordered to have four hundred of his brigade in readiness to join you at Richmond. The whole force will be placed under your command.
I am very respectfully, yr ob’t s’t [your obedient servant],
L. W. Boggs, Commander-in-Chief.”
This gives us insight into the military strategy which plays out over the next 3 days, and it includes a fuck-you from Boggs to General Atchison, who was still commanding his militia in Clay county in attempt to intervene wherever would hopefully cool off the situation. In the second half of that order from Boggs, there wasn’t a command given to Major-Gen Atchison, who responded as any CO in the field should when relieved of command, he went home to Liberty and disbanded his militia. This was the worst possible thing for the Mormons. One of the few non-Mormon allies who understood the situation and held sway with the Governor, washed his hands of the situation, probably knowing full well that things would spiral out of control in his absence.
Even some of the local newspapers were baffled at his relief of command; no other General in this conflict could properly take his place, nor did the Mormons trust any single person in Missouri government more than Atchison, and they lost their powerful ally when they needed him the most. General John B. Clark was promoted to the highest-ranking field official in the conflict, a man who’d historically been quite unfriendly to the Mormons, and he became the CO for Generals Doniphan and Parks, the only other two Mormon allies in the conflict. He even sent a letter to General Atchison asking for his continued presence in the conflict, asking him to act in any way he saw as beneficial, but General Clark was the new highest-ranking General in the field. That also meant he was the CO for Colonel Neil Gilliam, General Lucas, Captain Bogart, Colonel Thomas Jennings, Colonel William Peniston, and all these other men who were the primary enemies of the church, rallying local mobs and marching around as vigilante militias. These men had been answering the Mormon depredations with depredations of their own against the Mormons, and now all of them were unified under Brigadier-General John Bullock Clark, armed with an executive order to do whatever they felt necessary to remove or exterminate the Mormons from Missouri.
I hope we all can understand that there’s no turning back after this. Boggs must have known as soon as he put his seal on the Extermination order that people would die because of it. The people wouldn’t die from starvation and exposure as had been happening, but by violent military attacks, the only expected conclusion once things escalate beyond a certain threshold. I think we crossed that threshold back in August 1838 with the Gallatin election-day battle, you probably have your own opinions about when the situation went officially out of control. This is the tailspin before impact.
With his newly acquired military power, General Clark expressed orders to the relevant field officers, concentrating every single available platoon to the twin Mormon sanctuary cities, Far West and Diahmen. Amidst circulating rumors that the Mormons were setting up to defile Livingston or Clinton counties next, General Lucas’s troops were the first to arrive within visible range for Mormon scouts around Far West. This is from page 159 of the 1838 Mormon War in Missouri describing what happened when Lucas’ army came within sight range of the Mormons.
“While Hinkle’s company was searching for the Missouri troops, those troops marched to Far West by a different route. The Mormons at Far West spotted the Missouri army about an hour before sunset as the army crossed a small creek two miles south of town. One of the Mormon guards called for his company to retreat as the large army approached. “Retreat! Where in the name of God shall we retreat to?!” exclaimed Joseph Smith, who quickly led three hundred soldiers to the edge of Far West and formed a battle line. As the Missourians approached to within a mile of town, Hinkle returned with his company of soldiers. Lucas dispatched Doniphan with two hundred fifty men to intercept Hinkle’s company, but the Mormons eluded their pursuers and galloped safely into Far West, where they joined the other soldiers in line. Seeing that the Mormons intended to stand, Lucas decided to postpone the attack and wait for reinforcements. He withdrew his troops and camped about one-and-a-half miles south of Far West.”
General Clark, the General overseeing this entire military operation, was en route and would arrive within a couple days, but we need to keep our eye on Colonel Thomas Jennings. As General Lucas and his army were beginning their siege of Far West in the afternoon of October 30th, Colonel Jennings was marching his troop of 250 men a few miles East towards Haun’s Mill. We’ll have to pick up there on the next historical timeline episode.
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