Great article. My ancestors were there. Hard times! Sad story!
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By Ouida Nuhn Blanthorn
Chapter 111: Relations are Good, part 3
The Mormons of Cache Valley felt a responsibility to the Shoshoni, as they believed the Indians were of Israel and entitled to certain promised blessings. The leader of the Mormons, Peter Maughan, felt that the Shoshoni were put up to much mischief by other white men, when they alone would never have thought of wrong doing.[11] Often Shoshoni herded livestock for the pioneers and broke their horses.[12]
Young braves “started taking a few emigrant horses to gain honors.” However, “There were scattered reports of white renegades aiding and abetting some of the Shoshone bands.” Perhaps “it may have been a cover for their horse and cattle stealing with the Indians taking the blame.[13]
One reported attack in 1861 on a wagon train by Pocatello “is thought to be fictional.” This attack referred to as the Almo massacre by Brigham Madsen, a western historian. When the Shoshoni clashed with the army at Battle Creek on the Bear River, another Cache Valley Shoshoni chief “Sagwitch” escaped by floating down the creek. Pocatello had left that fateful winter camp; however, he knew of the soldiers coming. Sagwitch was, of course, outraged by the Massacre.[14]
The very cruelest treatment at the massacre was inflicted on another Cache Valley Shoshoni, Chief Bear Hunter. Colonel Connor’s soldiers whipped, kicked and “tried several means of torture” on the chief and then shot him. Because he would not cry for mercy, one of the soldiers “took his rifle, stepped to a burning campfire, and heated his bayonet until it was glowing red. He then ran the burning hot metal through the Chiefs ears.”[15]
Photo – Bear River Massacre site.
11. In The History of Mendon, page 66,”… it was said of… [Peter Maughan] that he would rather suffer his right arm to be severed from his body than to disobey the councils of his brethren who presided over him.” See also History of Mendon, 357 and Kelly A. Murphy, The Price of a Horse, (Bruneau Desert Yact Club, Report No. 2 (Castleford, Idaho: June 2008),66.
12. Yvonne Young Merrill, 5;Joel E. Ricks, 49;
13. Kelly A. Murphy, 77?e Price of a Horse (Bruneau Desert Yact Club, Report No. 2 (Castleford, Idaho: June 2008), 74.
14. Brigham D. Madsen, Chief Pocatello (Univ. Of Utah Press, 1986),55,114; “The next day [after the Massacre] Bp. … Maughan gathered all the men and teams there and assisted the troops through the pass [mountains between Brigham City and Wellsville] to the Salt Lake Valley.” See Windows of Wellsville, 41.
15. Elizabeth Allen, A History of Paradise, Cache County, Utah (BYU Press, 2001),131.