Indian Relations in Utah during the Civil War

Kenneth L. Alford

Kenneth L. Alford, Indian Relations in Utah during the Civil War,” in Civil War Saints, ed. Kenneth L. Alford (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2012), 203–25.

Kenneth L. Alford is an associate professor of Church history and doctrine at Brigham Young University.

Native Americans[1] played a small, but interesting, role during the Civil War. During the first year of the war, the U.S. secretary of the interior reported that “our Indian affairs are in a very unsettled and unsatisfactory condition. The spirit of rebellion against the authority of the government, which has precipitated a large number of States into open revolt, has been instilled into a portion of the Indian tribes by emissaries from the insurrectionary States.”[2] Both Union and Confederate armies courted tribe members in an effort to recruit additional soldiers and met with some success. Confederate General Stand Watie, for example, the last Southern general to surrender to Union forces (in June 1865), was a Cherokee Indian.[3]

While most regions of the country experienced few Indian problems during the war, Utah had to contend with numerous challenges. What happened in Utah when settlers and Indians came into contact is the same story that occurred throughout the early history of the United States. Settlers arrived; Indians were displaced. In Utah Territory it happened quickly. From the arrival of the first Mormon pioneers, it was just over thirty years until the last Indians were removed to government reservations. This essay provides an overview of the complicated and often violent relationships that existed in Utah Territory during the Civil War between Indians, settlers, and the federal government.

Utah’s Indians

Several Indian tribes lived in Utah Territory during the nineteenth century with three tribes accounting for the majority—Utes (often referred to as Utahs—the namesake of Utah Territory), Shoshones (sometimes referred to as Snakes), and Paiutes (who lived in the central and southern parts of the territory).[4] Members of smaller and neighboring tribes, such as Bannock, Goshute, and Washoe, also lived within the territorial boundary. As Jacob Forney, a Utah Territory superintendent of Indian Affairs who was later dismissed for mismanagement, explained in September 1858, “The principal tribes are, of course, divided into a great number of small bands, but all submit to the authority of one or the other of the chiefs of their respective tribes.”[5]

The exact number of Indians who lived in Utah Territory is unknown. An 1861 report from J. F. Collins, Utah superintendent of Indian Affairs, acknowledged that no one had ever “been able to obtain satisfactory information in regard to their numbers.” Collins’s estimate at the beginning of the Civil War suggested, though, that there may have been fifteen to twenty thousand Indians prior to the arrival of the first Mormon settlers.[6] The best approximation prior to the Civil War may be an estimate included in Superintendent Forney’s 1859 annual report to the federal commissioner of Indian Affairs (see figure 1).

Indian Tribe or Band


Sho-sho nes or Snakes




Uinta Utes


Spanish Fork and San Pete farms


Pah-vant (Utes)


Pey-utes, (South)


Pey-utes (West)


Elk mountain Utes


Wa-sho of Honey lake




Figure 1. Supposed total number of Indians in Utah Territory (1859).

Source: Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Accompanying the Annual Report of the Secretary of the Interior for the Year 1859 (Washington, DC: George W. Bowman, 1859), 365. (“Farms” were Indian reservations. Original spelling retained.)

Living conditions in Utah Territory were difficult for everyone—but especially so for Indians. According to Benjamin Davies, Utah Territory’s superintendent of Indian Affairs in 1861, Utah’s Indians were “unquestionably the poorest Indians on the continent.”[7] In an 1850 Indian agent’s annual report, Paiutes, for example, were categorized as “benumbed by cold, and enfeebled, intellectually and physically, by the food upon which they subsist; it consisting only of roots, vermin, insects of all kinds, and everything that creeps, crawls, swims, flies, or bounds, they may chance to overtake.”[8] Many Indians struggled to stay alive and eagerly consumed “everything containing a life-sustaining element, such as hares, rabbits, antelope, deer, bear, elk, dogs, lizzards [sic], snakes, crickets, grasshoppers, ants, roots, grass-seeds, bark, etc. . . . With some of the Indians stealing cattle, horses, mules, etc., is a matter of necessity—steal or starve.”[9] While the agents were sent to Utah to serve both the government and the Indians, the personal prejudices of individual Indian agents often crept into reports to their superiors as evidenced by the 1850 report of Indian agent J. S. Calhoun, who charged that Indians “feed upon their own children. Such a people should not be permitted to live within the limits of the United States, and must be elevated in the scale of human existence, or exterminated.”[10] Yet the same Indians were defined by other Indian agents as “very industrious,” “honest, amiable,” and “peaceable” who “conducted themselves well” and were “friendly disposed toward us [Indian agents], destitute as they are.”[11]

Prior to the Civil War

Utah’s first Mormon settlers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in July 1847. Mormons identified American Indians as a lost branch of the house of Israel and felt a sense of responsibility to convert and civilize them. There were many Indian baptisms, but conflict occurred more frequently than conversion.

For security reasons, new Mormon settlements often began with the building of an enclosed fort. Lieutenant John W. Gunnison, a U.S. Army topographic engineer sent to Utah in the early 1850s to survey potential rail routes, described the first settlement in Salt Lake City: “A fort enclosing about forty acres, was built, by facing log-houses inward, and picketing four gateways on each side of the square, making a line nearly a mile and a half in length—the timber being hauled several miles, and cut in the distant kanyons.”[12]

Indians did not appear to be concerned with the initial arrival of Mormons in the Salt Lake Valley because that valley was a neutral buffer zone between the Ute, Goshute, and Shoshone tribes. Trouble began when the Mormons expanded into Utah Valley. The Mormon fort in Provo was built on a centuries-old Indian campsite that was near several major hunting trails.[13] During 1848, just one year after the first pioneers arrived, settlers suffered attacks by a band of Shoshones and sought to administer a “chastisement” of their own to the Indians.[14] The following year, in the winter of 1849, Indians “became insolent in Utah Valley, killed cattle and boasted of it, entered houses and frightened women and children, took provisions forcibly, and compelled those on the farms to retire within the fort.”[15] In 1850, during what is sometimes termed the Timpanogos War, Mormon forces from Salt Lake and Utah Valleys attacked and killed dozens of Indians.[16] Additional Indian-settler skirmishes, such as the Walker War in 1853–54 (named after the Timpanogos Ute Indian chief Wakara), continued throughout the 1850s.[17] Gunnison wryly noted, “It is a curious matter of reflection, that those [Mormons] whose mission it is to convert these aborigines by the sword of the spirit, should thus be obliged to destroy them.”[18] (Gunnison himself was killed by Utes in October 1853 near Fillmore, then the capital of Utah Territory.)

Prior to the Utah War (1857–58), Indian relations and diplomacy had been a shared responsibility, divided by proximity and interest between the Mormon population and federal Indian agents. After the Utah War, Indian policy was most often made and enforced by the U.S. Army and the federal government’s Indian agents. Among the many challenges this presented was that “army leaders and their volunteers often had little training in and patience for the protocols of Indian diplomacy.”[19]

According to an 1861 government report, among the many causes of Indian hardship were “the natural poverty of the country, the destruction of the wild game by the introduction of white men, and the selfish policy of the Mormon people”—although exactly what that policy might have been was left unstated.[20] Perhaps it was the fact that the arrival of Mormon pioneers upset the delicate and fragile natural balance within the region. Indians were continually being displaced as the Mormons established new settlements. Competition for limited natural resources became “a constant source of irritation and vexation to the whites” as well as to the Indians.[21] Indians were soon “deprived of their accustomed means of subsistence” and were “driven to the alternative of laying violent hands upon the property of the whites, or of perishing by want.”[22]

Violence between Indians was another problem, with intermittent conflicts occurring within and between the numerous tribes and bands.[23] Lieutenant Gunnison observed that the “different tribes of the Utahs are frequently at war with each other.”[24] Comparing Utah’s local Indian wars to the Civil War, one Deseret News writer suggested in 1861, “In their way, and according to their numbers, they [warring Indians] may destroy as many lives as the armies of the North and South, in the civil war now raging in the States.”[25] The fact that many Ute and Shoshone bands were equestrian, while Paiutes seldom had horses, influenced the relationship each tribe developed with Mormon settlers. Horses enabled a migratory lifestyle that made their owners less interested in farming on government reservations. Utes also captured and enslaved nonequestrian Indians, which caused many Paiutes to seek protection from nearby Mormon settlements.[26]

Disease (including several new diseases introduced into Indian communities by contact with whites) and violent conflicts with settlers contributed to an Indian population decline.[27] Indians within Utah Territory did not fare well in the years immediately preceding the Civil War; they had “degenerated very rapidly during the last twelve years, or since white men have got among them.”[28] In 1860, Utah Indian agent A. Humphreys reported that “the sufferings of these poor Indians during the past winter were horrible, many of them dying from starvation and exposure. It was a common circumstance to find them frozen to death. . . . On several occasions I parted with my own blankets to bury them in.”[29]

Federal Indian Officials

Congress created the Utah Territorial Indian Agency in February 1851, just one year after Utah was organized as a territory.[30] Throughout much of its history as a territory, Utah had a difficult and strained relationship with many of the federal appointees sent to direct its affairs. Utahns wanted to govern themselves and viewed federal office holders as an unnecessary burden. The Utah War, which ended less than three years before the beginning of the Civil War, was caused in part by the role disgruntled territorial federal officials played in shaping the Buchanan administration’s view of Utah’s perceived rebellion. Relations were particularly bad when it came to Utah’s Indian superintendents and agents, many of whom recognized that a Utah appointment would do little to further their career. Problems ranged from apathy and incompetence to open corruption. Part of Utah’s Indian difficulties must be laid at the feet of Utah’s Indian officials.

In a lengthy October 1861 editorial, the Deseret News summarized the frustration Utahns had with many federal Indian agents. While recognizing that some “of the government officials who have been sent here within the last three or four years have been honorable men, and a few others might be called so without much perversion of language, having done no particular harm to any one excepting to themselves,” the News categorized a “majority of the United States’ officers” as being “neither moral, honest, or virtuous.” Federal officials were generally categorized as alcoholics who “worship[ped] at the shrine of Bacchus.” While the newspaper took most federal appointees to task, one category of government workers “who have come here since Buchanan’s disastrous expedition was planned and executed [the Utah War]” was singled out for especially harsh rhetoric—“those connected with the Indian Department.” Indian superintendents and agents were criticized for being “unbusinesslike,” committing numerous “unlawful acts,” and for “seldom attend[ing] to the duties of their office.” The paper charged that Utah residents were left to feed and clothe “the Indians that were in their midst and around about them, and when the various bands have been hostile towards each other, or towards the whites, waged war upon them and committed depredations the superintendents and their subordinates, with few exceptions,” the paper continued, the Indian Department took “little or no notice of their belligerent and lawless proceedings.” In what might be an overstatement based on the emotion of the time, the editorial suggested that “superintendents and agents have held out inducements to the Indians to steal the stock of the settlers, informing them where they could find a market for all they stole which they did not need for their own use. It is notorious that when horses, mules and cattle have been stolen by the natives and known to have been thus taken and in their possession, but feeble or no efforts have been made, generally speaking, to recover the property and restore it to the owners; and seemingly the more lawless acts the Indians committed, the better were those government functionaries pleased with their doings.” It was the opinion of the Deseret News that to list all of the “ridiculous and unlawful acts” committed “would require much time and space” and “would be exceedingly bulky.” The only remedy available was to “sincerely hope that no other than honorable men will be appointed to or hold office in this Territory hereafter.” If any more “miserable specimens of humanity be sent here in that capacity, it is hoped that they will be induced, shortly after their arrival, to retrace their steps or continue their journey across the continent.”[31]

Indian Treaties and Reservations

The United States government officially recognized each Indian tribe as a separate nation, which meant that Indian relations were the responsibility of the federal government and not individual states or territories.[32] Legal issues, such as land titles, were usually determined through treaties. When Utah was established as a territory, though, the federal government “took over Utah without a single Ute land title settled and without any treaty of cession negotiated.”[33] Land ownership was problematic from the earliest days of the territory. When Mormon pioneers arrived in 1847, the land they settled was claimed by Mexico and occupied by Indians—neither of whom could provide a transferable title. Further complicating the situation, when Mormon pioneers settled along the northern Wasatch Front they chose land that was claimed by several tribes.[34]

Although each tribe was formally viewed as a separate sovereign nation, the treaty system never treated Indians equally or fairly. Indians were always “at a disadvantage. Treaties were written in English, and often the terms were not explained correctly to the Indians. Land ownership and government systems were concepts often foreign to Indians. And the government often negotiated with persons whom it had selected but who were not the accepted leaders of the entire tribe.”[35] Indians were viewed as a nuisance that needed to be contained, and treaties were the legal mechanism to do so. The first treaty—negotiated between Mormon leaders and Ute chiefs—was signed on December 30, 1849.[36] A second treaty, for which no record exists today, apparently followed in April 1850.[37]

The reality was that “the distressed condition of the Indians in this Territory” became worse each year as more settlers arrived and taxed the limited natural resources even further. Beginning in 1851, in an effort to both assist and contain Indians within the territory, Mormons established a series of Indian farms (reservations) to assist Indians in learning to feed themselves.[38] With Indian poverty and starvation increasing each year, the “extension of the farming system” was seen as “the proper remedy” to help Indians become self-sufficient again.[39] As Luther Mann Jr., one of Utah’s numerous Indian agents, wrote, “Wild Indians, like wild horses, must be coralled upon reservations.”[40] The government’s goal was to “entirely reclaim them from savage life, and cause them to become useful and good citizens.”[41] To domesticate and feed the territory’s Indian population, several government reservations were established in Utah before the Civil War. Using Mormon Indian farms as the foundation, three reservations—Spanish Fork reservation in Utah Valley south of Provo, the San Pete reservation in San Pete Valley, and the Corn Creek reservation located near Fillmore (approximately one hundred miles north of Mountain Meadows)—were established by the Utah Indian Agency in 1854. Two additional reservations, Deep Creek and Ruby Valley farms, were established during spring 1858, shortly before the Utah War’s conclusion; those reservations became part of Nevada Territory in 1861.[42]

Living conditions on the reservations were always difficult as the newly minted Indian farmers battled drought, crickets, disease, hunger, government bureaucracy, and a host of cultural challenges, as well as the fact that the reservations themselves were often not maintained “in a promising condition.”[43] In 1861, a Utah Indian agent complained that an army officer had “taken away many of the implements, such as ploughs, hoes, harrows, and wagons” from Indians at both the Corn Creek and San Pete reservations, which “quite discouraged the poor Indians” and caused them “to ask if the great father has thrown them away.”[44] The result was that only a small percentage of Utah’s Indians chose to relocate to a reservation by the beginning of the Civil War. Territorial Indian agents often sent optimistic annual reports regarding their efforts to alleviate Indian starvation and suffering, and those reports frequently had some version of the sentiment that the suffering “I trust, will be obviated next year.”[45] Indian agents appealed “in the sweet name of ‘charity’” that something be done to better the condition of the Indians because their “present state is intolerable,” but the agents recognized that genuine relief would not be forthcoming that year.[46]

In 1861, a few months after the Civil War began, Utah’s three main Indian farms—Spanish Fork, Corn Creek, and San Pete—were declared as being deficient by Utah Indian agents. The Spanish Fork reservation was characterized as being “surrounded by a large Mormon population who have no particular regard for the welfare of the Indians from the fact that they have surveyed said reservation with the avowed intention of taking possession of it.” The Corn Creek reservation was “closely surrounded by white settlements, which renders it very nearly valueless as an Indian reservation, because of the Indians continually coming into contact with the whites,” and the San Pete reservation was said to have been “worthless, and abandoned by the superintendent in the spring of 1860.”[47]

The Coming of the Civil War

For most settlers in Utah Territory, Indian relations were probably more important than events in the distant civil war. As talk of Southern secession increased following Lincoln’s November 1860 election to the presidency, a letter from Carson City, Utah Territory, published in January 1861 may have adequately summed up local residents’ feelings regarding the coming war as well as their Indian problems. The writer stated, “We have nothing to do with Secession here, and it does not trouble us. When we want to fight all we have to do is to give one shot in the direction of an Indian camp, and then we got it [all the fighting we can handle].”[48]

The Civil War influenced Utah Territory’s Indian policy in ways that could not have been envisioned at the beginning of the war. The last commander of the army’s Department of Utah and Camp Floyd (renamed Fort Crittenden) was Colonel Philip St. George Cooke. A native of Virginia, Cooke (not to be confused with the similarly named and fellow Virginian Philip St. George Cocke—who served the Confederacy as a brigadier general) had ties to Mormons that stretched back to his service with the Mormon Battalion in the 1840s during the Mexican War.[49] Cooke’s southern roots and secessionist family members—J. E. B. Stuart, the famous Confederate cavalry commander, was Cooke’s son-in-law, and his own son, John Rogers Cooke, fought in the Army of Northern Virginia as an infantry brigade commander—caused some concern within the army, but Colonel Cooke declared his loyalty to the Union and earned the rank of brevet major general by the war’s end. Under Cooke’s command, Indian policy in Utah Territory had been dominated by frequently changing Indian superintendents and agents. That would change the following year with the arrival of Colonel Patrick Edward Connor and his California volunteers.

In May 1861, hostile actions by Indians on the emigrant trails caused Utah’s governor, Alfred Cumming, to request that a detachment of Union soldiers from Fort Crittenden be sent to guard the Overland Trail “for the protection of the Mail, Express, and emigrants, and, if need be, for the chastisement of the Indians.”[50] Soldiers were not sent at that time, but were ordered instead to leave Utah and join the growing fight in the east. In June, the New York Times reported that Utah’s governor felt that removing the soldiers “would leave the inhabitants too much exposed to attacks from unfriendly Indians.”[51] As the soldiers from Fort Crittenden marched east, Indians “helped themselves to a goodly toll of Army cattle”—stealing over one hundred head.[52] While a few Indians took advantage of the distraction offered by the Civil War, the majority did not. Some Indians even marched in Salt Lake City with “Mormon ‘pioneers’ and ‘Nauvoo Legion’ militia” members during the city’s 1861 Fourth of July parade.[53]

Utah’s geographic isolation diminished in October 1861 when the telegraph reached Salt Lake City and linked the nation together. When the soldiers stationed in Utah were withdrawn in 1861 to fight the war in the East, the telegraph lines, mail lines, and emigrant trails, as well as the citizens who lived within the territory were left with little protection. With the telegraph’s arrival, Utah’s new superintendent for Indian Affairs, Dyman S. Wood, warned Washington officials that the “establishment of the overland daily mail and telegraph lines, and their recent completion through this Territory—consummations of such vital importance to the people throughout the Union—render it necessary that steps should be immediately taken by the government to prevent the possibility of their being interrupted by the Indians.”[54]

Tensions in Utah continued to rise, and by mid-April 1862, Frank Fuller (acting governor), I. F. Kinney (Utah Supreme Court chief justice), Leonard R. Fox (Utah’s surveyor general), and officials from the Overland Mail Company and Pacific Telegraph Company appealed directly to Edwin M. Stanton, President Lincoln’s secretary of war, for assistance in controlling “the Indians in Utah” who were robbing and destroying Overland Mail Company stations and killing cattle. They asked Secretary Stanton to “put in service” under the command of James D. Doty, Utah’s superintendent of Indian Affairs, “a regiment of mounted rangers from inhabitants of the Territory.”[55] Yet just three days later, Brigham Young informed John M. Bernhisel, Utah Territory’s original delegate in the U.S. House of Representatives:“So far as I know, the Indians in Utah are unusually quiet and instead of 2,000 hostile Shoshones coming into our northern settlements, Washhekuk, their chief, has wintered in the city and near it, perfectly friendly, and is about to go to his band. Besides, the militia of Utah are ready and able, as they ever have been, to take care of all the Indians, and are able and willing to protect the mail line if called upon so to do. The statements of the aforesaid telegram are without foundation in truth, so far as we know.”[56]

On April 28, Brigham Young received a telegram requesting that an active duty cavalry company be raised within Utah. During the ninety-day period (May–August 1862) that the Utah cavalry company, under the command of Captain Lot Smith, guarded a portion of the Overland Trail, the New York Times reported that Indians were “again troublesome” and had cut telegraph lines, stolen one hundred and fifty mail animals, killed employees of the mail company as well as some emigrants, and burned down one or two mail stations.[57] As the Utah Cavalry ended their active duty military service, the Deseret News reported that “during the past few weeks we have heard of several instances of robbery and murder on Sublette’s Cutoff [an alternate and fifty-three-mile shorter route on the Oregon Trail in Wyoming and southern Idaho], which exhibit beyond all doubt that the Indians have thrown off all restraint, and indulge their thieving and murderous propensities without the slightest regard to the sex, age, or condition of the subjects of the attack.” The newspaper blamed much of the Indians’ behavior on “the unfortunate associations they had some years ago with a few renegade whites, . . . and as it is much easier to descend a hill than it is to climb one, the red skins took much easier their lessons of corruption than their lessons of right.” The journalist was certain that until “another kind of relationship [is] established between the Indians and those who should see to them, no life will be secure on [the Sublette] road.”[58]

In May 1862, after learning that soldiers would again be stationed in Utah, a New York Times reporter suggested that it was “much more likely that these Gentile soldiers from California will create difficulties in Utah than that they will ever settle them. If the troops are designed to operate against the fragments of dying savages west of the Rocky Mountains, we are likely to have an Indian war on our hands this Summer, which, though barren enough of value, will be fertile enough of expenses.”[59] At the beginning of August, an Indian chief named Little Soldier warned Doty and others that Shoshone and Bannock Indians “inhabiting the northern part of this Territory and the southern portion of eastern Washington Territory, have united their forces for the purpose of making war upon, and committing depredations on the property of, the white people.” Little Soldier warned “very urgently” of a “great danger” and cautioned settlers to “have their guns with them at all times in the cañons and in their fields.”[60] Also during August, James D. Doty, Utah’s Indian Affairs superintendent and future governor, reported a series of Indian attacks: several immigrant wagon trains had been robbed; “many people killed;” “many murders committed;” and hundreds of head of livestock had been stolen.[61] Historian Brigham D. Madsen suggested that during that time perhaps “as many as 400 people lost their lives as a result of raids and murders at the hands of Shoshoni, Bannock, and Northern Paiute warriors on the Humboldt and Snake rivers.”[62]

Concern regarding real and potential Indian actions continued to build. By the end of August, Ben Holladay, who owned stage routes and the federal contract to deliver mail to Salt Lake City, reported, in a classic case of overstatement, that a “general war with nearly all the tribes of Indians east of the Missouri River is close at hand. I am expecting daily an interruption on my [mail] line, and nothing but prompt and decisive action on the part of government will prevent it.”[63] Three weeks later, Charles E. Mix, acting commissioner of Indian Affairs in the Department of the Interior, issued an official warning to “all persons contemplating the crossing of the plains this fall, to Utah or the Pacific coast, that there is good reason to apprehend hostilities on the part of the Bannack and Shoshone or Snake Indians, as well as the Indians upon the plains and along the Platte river.” Mix reported that those Indians were “numerous, powerful, and warlike” and could make crossing the plains “extremely perilous.”[64] The following day, Luther Mann Jr., an Indian agent at Fort Bridger, charged Shoshone and Bannock Indians with “some of the most brutal murders ever perpetrated upon this continent” and stated he was certain “that a general outbreak of hostilities will take place throughout this entire region of country.”[65]

It was into that tense environment that U.S. Army California Volunteers under the command of Colonel Connor entered Utah in late fall 1862 and established Camp Douglas on the foothills overlooking Salt Lake City. An eastern newspaper reported that Colonel Connor’s “particular business is generally understood to be to keep the Western mail and emigrant route clear of Indians.”[66]

Differing Policy Approaches

Connor’s arrival brought into sharper focus two contrasting and coexistent philosophies regarding Indian relations. The first, epitomized by Brigham Young, might be termed a welfare approach, and the second, personified by Patrick Connor and the U.S. army, was a disciplinarian approach.

The welfare approach

Brigham Young taught that Indians should generally be treated with kindness. He believed that Indians did not commit aggressive acts “without provocation on the part of the whites.”[67] His Indian philosophy may be summed up in an address he gave in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on March 8, 1863 (during a period of particularly tense relations with Colonel Connor and the soldiers stationed at Camp Douglas). From the Tabernacle podium, Young declared, “I will, comparatively speaking, take one plug of tobacco, a shirt and three cents’ worth of paint, [give it to the Indians] and save more life and hinder more Indian depredations than they [the federal government] can by expending millions of dollars vested in an army to fight and kill the Indians. Feed and clothe them a little and you will save life; fight them, and you pave the way for the destruction of the innocent. This will be found out after a while, but now it is not known except by comparatively a few.”[68] Commenting on the federal government’s poor record of honoring treaty obligations with Indians, Young stated:

I will ask every person who is acquainted with the history of the colonization of the Continent of North and South America, if they ever knew any colony of whites to get along any better with their savage neighbors than the inhabitants of Utah have done. Talk about making treaties with the Indians! Has there been any one treaty with the Indians fulfilled in good faith by the Government? If there is one, I wish you would let me know. But we call them savages, while at the same time the whites too often do as badly as they have done, and worse, when difference of intelligence and training are taken into account. This has been so in almost every case of difficulty with the red skins. When soldiers have pounced upon these poor, ignorant, low, degraded, miserable creatures, mention a time, if you can, when they have spared their women and children. They have indiscriminately massacred the helpless, the blind, the old, the infant, and the mother.[69]

President Young suggested that his followers should “take the Indians, become acquainted with them and know their feelings and spirits and you will find as large a proportion that have good feelings and spirits as among the whites. . . . If you see an Indian give him a biscuit instead of half an ounce of lead, then they will be your friends.”[70] In remarks made in Salt Lake City’s public square to emigrants passing through Utah in July 1863, Young taught, “You have heard of Indian hostilities, . . . but you will have no trouble with them, if you will do right. I have always told the traveling public that it is much cheaper to feed the Indians than to fight them. Give them a little bread and meat, a little sugar, a little tobacco, or a little of anything you have which will conciliate their feelings and make them your friends. . . . I am satisfied that among the red men of the mountains and the forest you can find as many good, honest persons as among the Anglo Saxon race.”[71]

Not surprisingly, Brigham Young’s approach made him popular with many Indian bands. He was so popular, in fact, that O. H. Irish, Utah’s superintendent of Indian Affairs, wrote in 1865, “The fact exists, however much some might prefer it should be otherwise, that he [Young] has pursued so kind and conciliatory a policy with the Indians that it has given him great influence over them.”[72]

The disciplinarian approach

In contrast to Brigham Young’s welfare-like approach, the U.S. army in general, and Colonel Connor specifically, often favored a strict policy of Indian correction and punishment. Connor’s Indian policy was outlined to Major Edward McGarry, one of his subordinate officers, in a September 29, 1862, dispatch—issued even before his soldiers reached Salt Lake City. Connor instructed McGarry that if hostile Indians resisted capture “you will destroy them.”[73] If any Indians were known to have committed murder, “immediately hang them, and leave their bodies thus exposed as an example of what evil-doers may expect while I command in this district. . . . This course may seem harsh and severe, but I desire that the order may be rigidly enforced, as I am satisfied that in the end it will prove the most merciful.”[74] Connor also ordered McGarry, though, that “in no instance will you molest women or children.”[75] Connor’s views reflected those of General George Wright, commander of the Department of the Pacific and Connor’s immediate supervisor, who wrote that Indian difficulties “have been growing worse and worse for years, and I am determined to settle them now for the last time. Every Indian you may capture, and who has been engaged in hostilities present or past, shall be hung on the spot. Spare the women and children.”[76]

In 1863, Utah governor James D. Doty reflected the army’s attitude when he shared with Colonel Connor that many Indians who were “suing for peace—protest that they are friendly to the whites and are afraid the soldiers will kill them. This is the condition in which I desire to see all the tribes in this Territory. They now realize the fact that the Americans are the masters of this country, and it is my purpose to make them continue to feel and to acknowledge it. Without this there can be no permanent peace here and no security upon the routes of travel. . . . Your troops have displaced the Mormon power over these Indians.”[77]

Indian Policy in Practice

Differences in the Indian policies of Colonel Connor and President Young quickly became apparent after the army’s arrival. Neither the welfare approach nor the opposing disciplinarian approach, however, could resolve every trying situation. The reality was, of course, much more complicated. “The simple fact,” as historian John Alton Peterson observed, “was that two honorable peoples were hopelessly trapped not only by their own cultures, goals, and interests but also by the larger political and national forces of their time. Both were victims of violent demographic and political changes that threatened their very existences as communities. . . . The simple truth is that, try as he [Brigham Young] might, he could not induce his people to follow his policies,”[78] just as Patrick Connor recognized that force was not always justified. With few exceptions, though, once the army returned in 1862, the Mormons generally deferred to military authority regarding Indian relations and “the Saints tended merely to look on as bystanders.”[79]

Little love was lost between Connor and Young. One contributing factor to Connor’s dislike of almost all things Mormon is that he believed Latter-day Saints encouraged and instigated Indian raids throughout his area of responsibility. “Mormons,” Connor complained to his superiors, “instead of assisting to punish Indians for bad conduct actually encouraged them. . . . From the evidence before me I am well satisfied that the Mormons are the real instigators [of trouble].”[80] He believed “the Indians are completely under his [Brigham Young’s] control and do just as he tells them.”[81]

Brigham Young, on the other hand, had little tolerance for the army’s forceful and often violent Indian policy. Young was also a realist, though, and he recognized that “there are a few Indians that are wickedly disposed, just as it is among all white settlements” and encouraged his listeners to “keep your horses under a strong guard and then you will be safe.”[82] Increasing Indian hostility throughout 1861 and 1862 meant that the optimistic “feed-rather-than-fight policy was given lip service” but there were increasing strains on adhering to it as settlers desired a more permanent resolution to their Indian problems.[83]

Bear River Massacre

Connor’s disciplinarian Indian policy was forcibly demonstrated at the Battle of Bear River (now more frequently referred to as the Bear River Massacre) in January 1863 about 150 miles north of Camp Douglas near Preston, Idaho. Several historians have argued that given the circumstances of that time the massacre was probably inevitable.[84] Six weeks before the battle, a report in the Deseret News expressed hope that “the Indians [will be] so thoroughly whipped that they will retire into the Bannock country [in Idaho], there to remain during the winter.” If not, the reporter feared, settlements in northern Utah and southern Idaho “will not be as safe hereafter as they were before the expedition was sent out to punish them.”[85] A few weeks before the battle, thousands of Indians had assembled in the Bear River area to hold a Warm Dance—a gathering designed to “drive out the cold of winter and hasten the warmth of spring.” Most of the Indians left the area following completion of the Warm Dance ceremonies.[86] If Connor had attacked earlier that month, many more Indians presumably would have been killed.

Two weeks before the battle, there were reports of murders committed by Indians “to avenge the blood of their comrades, who were killed by the soldiers” during the previous fall.[87] The day before the battle, the Deseret News reported that Colonel Connor and four companies of cavalry had marched through Salt Lake City “with the expectation, no doubt, of surprising the Indians.” The report surmised that Connor’s forces would “come up with the red skins about eighty or ninety miles from here on Bear River, and that with ordinary good luck the volunteers will ‘wipe them out.’ . . . The Indian has ever been a difficult subject to handle with nicety and justice.”[88]

Some Indians reportedly escaped prior to the attack. During the night of January 27, 1863, an older Indian by the name of Tin-dup “foresaw the calamity which was about to take place. In a dream he saw his people being killed by pony soldiers. He told others of his dream and urged them to move out of the area that night.” Some families believed him, left the area, and survived.[89]

Early in the morning of January 29, 1863, with Colonel Connor commanding, soldiers attacked and killed at least 224 Indians; only fourteen soldiers were lost.[90] The nineteenth-century Utah historian Hubert Howe Bancroft observed, “Had the savages committed this deed, it would pass into history as a butchery or a massacre.”[91] Commended by General Henry W. Halleck, U.S. army general-in-chief, for his “heroic conduct and brilliant victory on Bear River,” Connor was promoted to brigadier general on March 29, 1863.[92]

Following the Massacre

Less than one week after the battle, the Deseret News reported that “Col. Connor and the Volunteers who went north last week to look after the Indians on the Bear River have, in a very short space of time, done a larger amount of Indian killing than ever fell to the lot of any single expedition of which we have any knowledge.”[93] Had it occurred during a period of peace, the attack at Bear River would have been front page news across the country. As it was, the battle received little notice in the American press outside of the West, because of more pressing news from the Civil War.

Connor worked quickly to capitalize on his victory. Shortly after the battle, which according to Bancroft “completely broke the power and spirit of the Indians,”[94] Connor held a conference with Indian leaders near Brigham City. His official dispatch to his superiors reported that he informed the Indians “that the troops had been sent to this region to protect good Indians and whites, and equally to punish bad Indians and bad whites; that it was my determination to visit the most summary punishment—even to extermination—on Indians who committed depredations upon the lives and property of emigrants and settlers.”[95] The prevalent popular sentiment regarding Indians was summed up in February 1863 by a New York Times report from Utah, “If an Indian be starving, he must and will steal. Notwithstanding, if Col. Connor succeeds in laying a few of the really guilty Indians beneath the sod, it will be a good thing, and may teach a necessary and salutary lesson.”[96] In April and May 1863, there were again reports of hostile Indian activity across northern Utah—west of Utah Lake, at Pleasant Grove, near Payson, outside North Ogden, five miles east of Brigham City, in southern Idaho, and along the Overland Trail mail routes.[97]

In December 1863, during his annual message to the legislative assembly of Utah, Amos Reed, the territory’s acting governor, claimed that the soldiers had achieved a “termination of hostilities and depredations by the Indians,” but he informed the legislature that the “condition of the Utah Indians in this Territory will [still] require your further attention. Roaming as they do through all our settlements south of this City, they are and have been since the settlement of the Territory, a great annoyance to, and a continual, burthensome tax upon the people.”[98]

News of the January 1863 massacre at Bear River spread quickly among both Indian and white populations, and it generally had the effect General Connor desired. Several treaties were signed in rapid succession: a treaty at Fort Bridger with Shoshone Indians (signed July 2, 1863), a treaty of Box Elder (signed July 30, 1863), a treaty at Tuilla (Tooele) Valley (signed on October 12, 1863—that treaty contained a special provision that required “Indians agree to give up their roving life and settle upon a reservation whenever the President of the United States shall deem it expedient for them”), and a treaty at Soda Springs (signed on October 14, 1863).[99]

Then, as now, Congress often moved slowly. Although President Lincoln had signed an executive order in October 1861 creating a large Indian reservation in Utah at Uintah Valley, it was not until May 5, 1864, that Congress formally designated Uintah Valley as a reservation—a location that the governor of Utah declared was “most admirably adapted to that purpose.”[100] In February 1865, a few months before the end of the Civil War, Congress finally acted to extinguish the “Indian title to lands in the Territory of Utah suitable for agricultural and mineral purposes.”[101] While the federal government normally sought to remove Indian land titles through formal treaties during the earliest stages of settlement by whites, in this instance the government “as a result of Utah’s unique situation, purposely allowed eighteen years to pass before extinguishing native title and providing for Indian removal to reservations. Even then, Congress authorized the move only because of an expected massive influx of gentiles into the territory.”[102]

Connor and others felt that subsequent events had justified the attack at Bear River. One year after the massacre, the New York Times reported that “the Bear River and other conflicts . . .. . . [pre]pared the way for the subsequent treaties and the present burial of the tomahawk, and were, in short, the main causes of the peace which is now enjoyed in the Territory and around its borders.”[103] During July 1864, General Connor reported: “The policy pursued toward the Indians has had a most happy effect. That policy, as you are aware, involved certain and speedy punishment for past offenses, compelling them to sue for a suspension of hostilities, and on the resumption of peace, kindness and leniency toward the redskins. They fully understand that honesty and peace constitute their best and safest policy.”[104] Yet by February 1865, just seven months later, General Connor reported that Indians had “again returned in increased force” and suggested that the “troops [stationed in Utah] are insufficient to contend with them.”[105]

An 1865 article in the New York Times commented on the continuing cycle of violence between Indians and white settlers: “The Indian’s wrath is poured out, with indiscriminate discrimination, upon the passing emigrant, or the industrious settler, and thus a general character is given in a murderous struggle which commenced with a few. . . . They will do a little stealing, get saucy, impudent, presuming, and when very ‘mad’ will be cruel and kill.” The violent cycle sometimes escalated when “whites, irritated and provoked, even when the Indians do not murder, but steal only, shoot at the marauders, if a sight can be obtained of them.”[106] Utah’s 1865 superintendent of Indian affairs, Orsemus H. Irish, offered his view that the “cruelties practiced by hostile savages have prejudiced our people against the whole race. The emigrants . . . and the officers and soldiers who are here for their protection, are almost entirely in favor of the extermination of all Indians. . . . Under my observation and within my own experience, I know of only one case of Indian outrage and depredation that has not commenced in the misconduct of the whites.[107]

In 1865 the federal government took action to resolve land ownership questions in Utah. William P. Dole, commissioner of Indian Affairs, directed Superintendent Irish in February 1865 to negotiate additional Indian treaties, as required, to place Utah’s remaining Indians onto a reservation. The commissioner additionally instructed Irish thatbecause the government had not previously accepted Indian titles to any land in Utah, he was to ensure that the resulting treaties were framed so that the Indians relinquished “the right of occupancy” to the lands identified by Congress and moved to the reservation land “reserved for their use.”[108] Not all of the federal officers involved with the resulting treaty negotiations were pleased to resolve the confusion that existed in Utah regarding land titles. Some government officials “declared, that rather than associate with Brigham Young on such an occasion, they would [prefer to] have the negotiation fail; that they would rather the Indians, than the Mormons, would have the land.”[109]

In the resulting Spanish Fork Treaty, signed on June 8, 1865, Indians relinquished the “right of possession to all of the lands within Utah Territory occupied by them. . . . With the exception of the Uintah valley, which [was] to be reserved for their exclusive use.” The treaty required Indians to give up their Spanish Fork, San Pete, and Corn Creek reservations. It also gave the president of the United States authority to place other bands of “friendly Indians” on the Uintah reservation without prior Indian approval, and the Indian signatories agreed to move to the reservation “within one year after ratification of the treaty.”[110] Indians were to receive annual payments of $25,000 for ten years, followed by $20,000 per year for the next twenty years, and finally $15,000 for an additional thirty years. The United States Congress did not ratify the treaty, though, and the government failed to pay the promised amounts.[111]

After the Civil War

While the Civil War ended in 1865, Utah’s Indian problems did not. Toward the conclusion of the Civil War, a Utah-based New York Times reporter complained, “What to do with the red men is still a problem which, it appears, cannot be satisfactorily solved. For this Spring there seems to be as much chance of difficulties with them, all around, as ever. We hear of Indian troubles [in Utah] from every quarter nearly.”[112] In the midst of the Civil War, an article about Utah in the New York Times proclaimed that the “Indians here, as elsewhere, dwindle away before the onward march of the white man. Chief after chief is passing away from the small Utah bands, until it is said to be difficult to find eligible and aspiring braves to fill the vacancies.”[113] Indians found an able commander and strategist, however, in the Ute chief Antonga (called Black Hawk by the whites), who was able to consolidate factions of the Ute, Paiute, and Navajo tribes.[114] The same day—April 9, 1865—that General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox, Virginia, is often cited as the beginning of Utah’s Black Hawk Indian War. The war continued off and on, primarily in central and southern Utah, for the next seven years. Most of the conflict and skirmishes between Indians and white settlers occurred between 1865 and 1867. In 1866, “Indian attacks were so damaging and threats so ominous” that Mormon militia leaders required settlers to vacate twenty-seven settlements in nine Utah counties.[115] Dozens of Utah settlers were killed during the Black Hawk War. The number of Indians killed is unknown, although it was no doubt higher than the number of settler deaths.

While there were continuing Indian problems in Utah Territory throughout the Civil War, they dramatically escalated in the years immediately after the war. By Civil War standards, the total deaths on both sides were insignificant, but the Black Hawk War had an influence on the history and settlement of central and southern Utah that was greater than the loss of life would imply. The war was the last major challenge that Indians in Utah Territory mounted against white authority and encroachment. The last Utes were moved onto the Uintah Reservation by 1882, marking the completion of a thirty-five year effort to “reclaim and civilize the Indians” and place them on reservations “for their permanent and happy homes.”[116] The Uintah reservation is still in existence (and is known today as the Uintah and Ouray Reservation). Covering over 4.5 million acres, it is the second largest Indian reservation in the United States.[117]

Utah’s Indian society went into a steady and irreversible decline after 1847 that culminated in marginalization on isolated reservations. The decades when white and Indian societies lived in close proximity to each other brought successes and failures. Charity and violence were both in evidence as the cultures intermingled and attempted to live with each other. Benjamin Davies, an 1861 superintendent of Indian Affairs in Utah, perhaps said it best when he inadvertently complimented the local Mormon population by noting that Utah’s Indians were “not so demoralized and corrupted as those who have been brought into closer association with white men in other localities.”[118] It is difficult to envision how things could have ended differently.


[1] While current usage often favors the term “Native Americans” or “native peoples,” the remainder of this article will use the term “Indians” to conform to common nineteenth-century usage. It was also common at that time to refer to settlers simply as “whites.” See, for example, William P. Dole to O. H. Irish, “Utah Superintendency,” March 28, 1865, in Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs for the Year 1865 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1865), 148–49.

[2] The secretary’s report continued: “The large tribes of Cherokees, Chickasaws, and Choctaws, situated in the southern superintendency, have suspended all intercourse with the agents of the United States.” See “Extract from the report of the Secretary of the Interior in relation to Indian affairs,” in Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Accompanying the Annual Report of the Secretary of the Interior, for the Year 1861 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1861), 3.

[3] Edward E. Dale, “Some Letters of General Stand Watie,” Chronicles of Oklahoma 1, no. 1 (January 1921): 30–59. See also Frank Cunningham, General Stand Watie’s Confederate Indians (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1998).

[4] Spelling of Indian names varied widely. An 1849 Indian history refers to the Utes as “Yutas.” See John Frost, Thrilling Adventures among the Indians: Comprising the Most Remarkable Personal Narratives of Events in the Early Indian Wars, as Well as of Incidents in the Recent Indian Hostilities in Mexico and Texas (Philadelphia: J. W. Bradley, 1849), 294. The historian Hubert Howe Bancroft refers to the Ute Indians as “Yutas,” “Utaws,” or “Youtas” and notes that others also referred to them as the “Eutaws.” Hubert Howe Bancroft, The Works of Hubert Howe Bancroft: The Native Races, vol. 1 (San Francisco: History Company, 1882), 465. Duncan lists eleven major Ute bands. See Clifford Duncan, “The Northern Utes of Utah,” in A History of Utah’s American Indians, ed. Forrest S. Cuch (Salt Lake City: Utah State Division of Indian Affairs and Division of History, 2003), 176–78. See John Alton Peterson, Utah’s Black Hawk War (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1998), xiv, for an additional listing of tribal lands in nineteenth century Utah Territory. Also see introduction to Ned Blackhawk, Violence Over the Land: Indians and Empires in the Early American West (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2006).

[5] Jacob Forney to Hon. C. E. Mix, “Utah Superintendency,” in Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Accompanying the Annual Report of the Secretary of the Interior, for the Year 1858 (Washington, DC: Wm. A. Harris, 1858), 210. According to the 1861 Indian Affairs Report, the following Ute bands lived in Utah: “Wiminanches, Asivoriches, Sampuches, Cawaupugos, Tupanagos, Pa-uches, and Povantes.” J. F. Collins to Hon. Wm. P. Dole, “Indian Superintendency,” in Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs (1861), 21, 125.

[6] J. F. Collins to Hon. Wm. P. Dole, “Indian Superintendency,” in Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs (1861), 21, 125.

[7] Benjamin Davies to Hon. Wm. P. Dole, “Utah Superintendency,” June 30, 1861, in Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs (1861), 132.

[8] J. S. Calhoun to Orlando Brown, March 29, 1850, in Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Transmitted with the Message of the President at the Opening of the Second Session of the Thirty-Second Congress, 1850 (Washington, DC: Office of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1850), 99.

[9] J. Forney to Hon. A. B. Greenwood, “Utah Superintendency,” September 29, 1859, in Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs (1860), 365.

[10] J. S. Calhoun to Orlando Brown, March 29, 1850, 99.

[11] See Dyman S. Wood to Major H. Martin, October 1, 1861, and J. F. Collins to Hon. Wm. P. Dole, October 8, 1861, in Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs (1861), 137, 125; see also A. Humphreys to Charles E. Mix, “Utah Agency,” November 12, 1860, in Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs Accompanying the Annual Report of the Secretary of the Interior, for the year 1860 (Washington, DC: George W. Bowman, 1860), 170; and John C. Burche to James W. Nye, August 1, 1864, in Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the Year 1864 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1865), 144.

[12] Lieut. J. W. Gunnison, The Mormons, or, Latter-day Saints, in the Valley of the Great Salt Lake: A History of Their Rise and Progress, Peculiar Doctrines, and Present Condition, and Prospects, Derived from Personal Observation, During a Residence Among Them (Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo & Co., 1852), 30.

[13] Clifford Duncan, “The Northern Utes of Utah,” in A History of Utah’s American Indians, ed. Forrest S. Cuch (Salt Lake City: Utah State Division of Indian Affairs and Division of History, 2003), 187.

[14] Gunnison, The Mormons, 147.

[15] Gunnison, The Mormons, 146.

[16] Blackhawk, Violence Over the Land, 244.

[17] Chief Wakara is also known as Walker. See Duncan, “Northern Utes of Utah,” 184.

[18] Gunnison, The Mormons, 147.

[19] Blackhawk, Violence Over the Land, 254.

[20] Wm. P. Dole to Hon. Caleb B. Smith, “Report,” November 27, 1861, in Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs (1861), 21.

[21] Wm. P. Dole to Hon. Caleb B. Smith, “Report,” November 27, 1861, 20.

[22] Wm. P. Dole to Hon. Caleb B. Smith, “Report,” November 27, 1861, 21.

[23] Gunnison, The Mormons, 150.

[24] Gunnison, The Mormons, 150.

[25] “War between the Cheyennes and Shoshone Indians,” Deseret News, July 10, 1861, 1.

[26] Blackhawk, Violence Over the Land, 231.

[27] Gunnison, The Mormons, 146.

[28] J. Forney to Hon. A. B. Greenwood, “Utah Superintendency,” September 29, 1859, in Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Accompanying the Annual Report of the Secretary of the Interior, for the Year 1859 (Washington, DC: George W. Bowman, 1859), 367.

[29] A. Humphreys to Hon. Charles E. Mix, “Utah Agency,” November 12, 1860, in Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Accompanying the Annual Report of the Secretary of the Interior, for the Year 1860 (Washington, DC: George W. Bowman, 1860), 170.

[30] Duncan, “Northern Utes of Utah,” 187.

[31] “Federal Officials,” Deseret News, October 23, 1861, 5.

[32] The unique status of Indians was acknowledged in the Constitution of the United States. See US Constitution article I, sections 2 and 8; amendment XIV, section 2 (ratified in July 1868) also addresses Indians.

[33] Duncan, “Northern Utes of Utah,” 188.

[34] Blackhawk, Violence Over the Land, 246.

[35] Duncan, “Northern Utes of Utah,” 197.

[36] “Appendix—Special Estimate of Funds, Etc.” in Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs (1850), 156.

[37] Jared Farmer, On Zion’s Mount: Mormons, Indians, and the American Landscape (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008), 76.

[38] Duncan, “Northern Utes of Utah,” 189.

[39] Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, . . . 1859, 369.

[40] Luther Mann, Jr. to O. H. Irish, “Utah Superintendency,” September 28, 1865 in Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs . . . 1865, 159.

[41] Wm. P. Dole to Hon. Caleb B. Smith, “Report,” November 27, 1861, 19.

[42] Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, . . . 1859, 367–69. An additional reservation, in Uintah Valley, was established by an act of Congress in 1864. See William P. Dole to O. H. Irish, “Utah Superintendency,” March 28, 1865, in Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, . . . 1865, 148.

[43] Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, . . . 1859, 368.

[44] Dyman S. Wood to Major H. Martin, “Utah Superintendency,” October 1, 1861, in Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, . . . 1861, 137.

[45] J. Forney to Hon. A. B. Greenwood, “Utah Superintendency,” September 29…1859, 369.

[46] F. Dodge to Jacob Forney, “Carson Valley Agency,” January 4, 1859, in Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs …1859, 377.

[47] A. Humphreys to Hon. Wm. P. Dole, “Utah Superintendency,” September 30, 1861, in Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, . . . 1861, 140.

[48] “From Utah,” Columbus [Ohio] Gazette, March 15, 1861, 2. The article notes that the letter was written January 28, 1861.

[49] Philip St. George Cooke (June 13, 1809–March 20, 1895), Cullum number 492, graduated from the United States Military Academy (USMA) with the Class of 1827—twenty-third of thirty-eight cadets. Philip St. George Cocke (April 17, 1809–December 26, 1861), Cullum number 667, graduated from USMA in 1832—sixth in his class of forty-five cadets. Cocke committed suicide following the Battle of First Manassas (Bull Run). See Paul W. Child Jr., ed., Register of Graduates and Former Cadets of the United States Military Academy (West Point, NY: Association of USMA Graduates, 1990), 253, 257.

[50] “Affairs in Utah,” New York Times, June 2, 1861, 2.

[51] “News of the Day,” New York Times, June 24, 1861, 4.

[52] “Affairs in Utah,” New York Times, August 24, 1861, 2.

[53] “Affairs in Utah,” New York Times, July 26, 1861, 3.

[54] Dyman S. Wood to Major H. Martin, “Utah Superintendency,” October 1, 1861, in Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, . . . 1861, 135.

[55] Frank Fuller, I.F. Kinney, Leonard R. Fox, Frederick Cook, H. S. R. Rowe, E. R. Purple, Joseph Hollady, and W. B. Hibbad to Edwin M. Stanton, April 11, 1862, in Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs for the Year 1862 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1863), 212.

[56] Brigham Young to John M. Bernhisel, April 14, 1862, in Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs for the Year 1862 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1863), 213.

[57] “The Indians in Utah Again Troublesome,” New York Times, July 4, 1862; “Affairs in Utah,” New York Times, July 4, 1862, 3.

[58] “The Indians on Sublette’s Cut Off,” Deseret News, September 17, 1862, 5.

[59] “A Needless War in Prospect,” New York Times, May 26, 1862, 4.

[60] James Duane Doty, August 5, 1862, in Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs for the Year 1862, 213–14.

[61] James Duane Doty to W. P. Dole, “Utah Superintendency,” August 13, 1862, in Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs for the Year 1862, 211.

[62] Brigham D. Madsen, The Shoshoni Frontier and the Bear River Massacre (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1985), 17.

[63] Ben Halladay to Hon. M. P. Blair, August 26, 1862, in Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs for the Year 1862, 214.

[64] Charles E. Mix, “To the Public,” September 19, 1862, in Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs for the Year 1862, 215.

[65] Luther Mann Jr. to Hon. James D. Doty, September 20, 1862, in Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs for the Year 1862, 204.

[66] “Affairs in Utah,” New York Times, September 7, 1862, 3.

[67] Brigham Young Office Journals, April 23, 1862, in The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, vol. 4, ed. Richard S. Van Wagoner (Salt Lake City: Smith-Pettit Foundation, 2009), 2004.

[68] Brigham Young, in Journal of Discourses (London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854–86), 10:107.

[69] Brigham Young, in Journal of Discourses, 10:108.

[70] Brigham Young Collection, June 30, 1863 (Salt Lake City: LDS Church Archives), in The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, vol. 4, ed. Richard S. Van Wagoner (Salt Lake City: Smith-Pettit Foundation, 2009), 2142.

[71] “Remarks by President Brigham Young, to the Emigrants on the Public Square, in Great Salt Lake City, July 8, 1863,” Deseret News, July 15, 1863, 2.

[72] O. H. Irish to Hon. Wm. P. Dole, “Utah Superintendency,” June 29, 1865, in Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs . . . 1865, 150.

[73] P. Edw. Connor to Maj. Edward McGarry, September 29, 1862. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, series I, vol. L, part 2 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1880–1900), 144 (hereafter cited as WOTR1).

[74] WOTR1, 144.

[75] WOTR1, 144.

[76] G. Wright to Col. Francis J. Lippitt, April 7, 1862. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, series I, vol. L, part 1 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1880–1901), 992 (hereafter cited as WOTR2.)

[77] James Duane Doty to General [G. Wright], August 9, 1863. WOTR1, 583.

[78] John Alton Peterson, Utah’s Black Hawk War (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1998), 7, 12.

[79] Madsen, Shoshoni Frontier, 176.

[80] Report of Brig. Gen. P. Edward Connor, April 9, 1863. WOTR2, 198.

[81] Report of Brig. Gen. P. Edward Connor, April 9, 1863. WOTR2, 199.

[82] Brigham Young Collection, June 30, 1863 (Salt Lake City: LDS Church Archives) in Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, 4:2142-2143.

[83] Madsen, Shoshoni Frontier, 155.

[84] See, for example, Madsen, Shoshoni Frontier, 24.

[85] “Another Expedition after Indians,” Deseret News, December 10, 1862, 4.

[86] Mae Parry, “The Northwestern Shoshone,” A History of Utah’s American Indians, ed. Forrest S. Cuch, 33.

[87] “More Indian Murders,” Deseret News, January 14, 1863, 8. A December 1862 newspaper article reported that one of the Indians “who was thus shot was a Bannack, and is represented to be a truthful, faithful boy, who has rendered good service on more than one occasion in intercourse between the white, and the Bannacks and other Indian tribes.” See “An Outrageous Occurrence,” Deseret News, December 31, 1862, 4.

[88] “Expedition for the Arrest of Indian Chiefs,” Deseret News, January 28, 1863, 4.

[89] Parry, “Northwestern Shoshone,” 34.

[90] Report of Col. P. Edward Connor, February 20, 1863. WOTR2, 184–87.

[91] Hubert Howe Bancroft, The Works of Hubert Howe Bancroft: History of Utah, vol. 26 (San Francisco: History Company, 1889), 631–32.

[92] Report of Col. P. Edward Connor, March 29, 1863, WOTR1, 187.

[93] “The Fight with the Indians,” Deseret News, February 4, 1863, 5.

[94] Bancroft, History of Utah, 632.

[95] “Affairs in Utah,” New York Times, August 2, 1863, 2.

[96] “From Utah,” New York Times, February 22, 1863, 8.

[97] “Expedition After Indians,” Deseret News, April 15, 1863, 8. “Indian War in Idaho,” Deseret News, May 13, 1863, 4. “Another Fight with Indians,” Deseret News, May 13, 1863, 4. “Indian Depredations in the Northern Counties,” Deseret News, May 20, 1863, 3.

[98] Amos Reed, “Governor’s Message,” December 1, 1863, in Journals of the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Utah, of the Thirteenth Annual Session, for the Years 1863–64 (Great Salt Lake City: Henry McEwan, 1864), 15, 18.

[99] O. H. Irish to D. N. Cooley, “Utah Superintendency,” September 9, 1865, in Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs . . . 1865, 143–48; William P. Dole to O. H. Irish, March 28, 1865, in Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs . . . 1865, 143-18. See also Madsen, Shoshoni Frontier, 212.

[100] “Governor’s Annual Message,” Union Vedette, December 18, 1863, 1; Duncan, “Northern Utes of Utah,” 190.

[101] William P. Dole to O. H. Irish, “Utah Superintendency,” March 28, 1865, in Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs . . . 1865, 148.

[102] Peterson, Utah’s Black Hawk War, 29.

[103] “Affairs in Utah,” New York Times, February 28, 1864, 2.

[104] P. Edw. Connor to Lieut. Col. R. C. Drum, July 1, 1864. WOTR1, 887.

[105] P. E. Connor to Col. R. C. Drum, February 10, 1865. WOTR1, 1131.

[106] “From Utah.” New York Times, June 30, 1865, 2.

[107] O. H. Irish to D. N. Cooley, “Utah Superintendency,” September 9, 1865, in Report of the Commissioner for Indian Affairs . . . 1865, 147; emphasis in original.

[108] Wm. P. Dole to O. H. Irish, “Utah Superintendency,” March 28, 1865, in Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs . . . 1865, 149.

[109] O. H. Irish to Wm. P. Dole, “Utah Superintendency,” June 29, 1865, in Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs . . . 1865, 150.

[110] O. H. Irish to Wm. P. Dole, “Utah Superintendency,” June 29, 1865, in Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs . . . 1865, 150.

[111] Duncan, “Northern Utes of Utah,” 190.

[112] “From Utah,” New York Times, June 30, 1865, 2.

[113] “Affairs in Utah,” New York Times, January 27, 1862, 6.

[114] Antonga “like hundreds of his people, evidently was baptized into the Mormon church.” Peterson, Utah’s Black Hawk War, 1, 10.

[115] Carlton Culmsee, Utah’s Black Hawk War (Logan: Utah State University Press, 1973), 12–13, 27. The nine Utah counties involved were: Summit, Wasatch, Sanpete, Sevier, Piute, Beaver, Iron, Kane, and Washington. Using Utah’s current county map, the total would be ten counties—as Garfield County was then part of Kane County. Culmsee notes, “At times Sevier and Piute Counties and the Long Valley Northern portion of Kane [County] were completely abandoned. Major or extensive portions of the other six counties were abandoned” (13).

[116] Wm. P. Dole to Hon. Caleb B. Smith, “Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs,” November 27, 1861, in Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, . . . 1861, 20. Duncan, “Northern Utes of Utah,” 195.

[117] The website “The Ute Indian Tribe,” states: “The Uintah and Ouray reservation is located in Northeastern Utah (Fort Duchesne) approximately 150 miles east of Salt Lake City on U.S. Highway 40. The reservation is located within a three-county area known as the ‘Uintah Basin.’ It is the second largest Indian Reservation in the United States that covers over 4.5 million acres. The Utes have a tribal membership [in 2011] of 3,157 and over half of its membership lives on the Reservation. They operate their own tribal government and oversee approximately 1.3 million acres of trust land.”

[118] Benjamin Davies to Wm. P. Dole, “Utah Superintendency,” June 30, 1861, in Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, . . . 1861, 133.