What’s in a Name? The Establishment of Camp Douglas

Kenneth L. Alford and William P. MacKinnon

Kenneth L. Alford and William P. MacKinnon, What’s in a Name? The Establishment of Camp Douglas,” in Civil War Saints, ed. Kenneth L. Alford (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2012), 161–81.

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

William P. MacKinnon is an independent historian in Montecito, California.

Since my arrival the people of the Territory have been treated kindly and courteously by both my officers and men, who have never given one of them cause for complaint, which the people freely acknowledge. But notwithstanding this, the courtesy we have given is returned with abuse.

Colonel Patrick Edward Connor, U.S. Army.

March 15, 1863[1]

Camp Douglas is the only military installation in the United States sited purposely so that soldiers could keep a watchful eye on the American citizens outside its gates. The establishment and naming of this post on the bench above Salt Lake City is a colorful, but little known, story of the American Civil War. Utah is generally viewed as a backwater of the Civil War, but events in the territory played an important supporting role and were surprisingly laced with conflict. While Camp Douglas (later renamed Fort Douglas) experienced a long and colorful history that has continued into the twenty-first century, this essay focuses on the short period between the camp’s founding in October 1862 and the end of the Civil War.


Brigham Young and his Latter-day Saint pioneers first arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in July 1847. Folklore has it that Young said at that time, “If the United States will now let this people alone for ten years to come, we will ask no odds of them or any one else but God.”[2] In 1857, exactly ten years later, President James Buchanan moved to replace Brigham Young as Utah’s first governor and organized an expeditionary force of several thousand soldiers to escort his successor to Utah while restoring federal authority in a territory perceived as rebellious. After harassment of the approaching army by the territorial militia, the evacuation of northern Utah, discussions between Brigham Young and federal peace commissioners, and the issuance of a blanket presidential pardon for Utah’s entire population, the conflict was settled peaceably with Brevet Brigadier General Albert Sidney Johnston’s forces marching quietly through Salt Lake City in June 1858.[3]

The soldiers then established Camp Floyd (named after John B. Floyd, President Buchanan’s secretary of war) forty miles southwest of Salt Lake City, the nation’s largest garrison until the outbreak of the Civil War.[4] Civilian relations with Camp Floyd were sometimes strained, but they resulted in economic benefits for many Utah residents. Camp Floyd was renamed Fort Crittenden,[5] in honor of U.S. senator John J. Crittenden, after Secretary Floyd resigned in disgrace in December 1860 and joined the Confederacy. The camp’s distance from Salt Lake City was probably viewed favorably by most of the city’s residents.

In 1861, when the first shots in the Civil War were fired, Utah found itself at a strategic crossroads—mail, telegraph lines, gold from California, silver from the newly created Nevada Territory’s Comstock Lode, and emigrants all needed to pass freely through Utah Territory, but regular U.S. troops were needed in the East far more than they were required at Fort Crittenden. In May 1861, the War Department “issued orders for the immediate withdrawal of all the regular troops from New-Mexico and Utah.”[6] Auctions held in June and July disposed of reusable building materials (lumber, windows, doors, and so forth), and the remaining adobe walls were left to the elements.[7] Fort Crittenden was evacuated and closed. The soldiers garrisoned there marched east during July. One Salt Lake resident’s August 1861 letter summed up the feelings of many Utah residents: “The troops are gone. Camp Floyd, which for three years past has resounded with the orgies of the ungodly and become a nest for every unclean thing, has reverted to its wonted quietude and simplicity. Sometimes I regret that I never visited it; yet at other times I feel grateful that I have kept myself entirely aloof from Gentile influences and associations.”[8]

While some residents celebrated the post’s closing, others questioned the wisdom of the decision. A New York Times writer predicted that “the removal of the small force from Utah will prove a fatal blunder, as it will leave the great overland routes to California and Oregon unprotected, and invite aggression both from lawless Mormons and hostile Indians.”[9] When increased Indian activity and attacks along the Overland Trail followed the withdrawal of soldiers from Fort Crittenden, it soon became apparent that military action was required to protect the trail. Brigham Young and territorial federal officials suggested that “a regiment of mounted men be raised”[10] to protect the mail, emigration, and telegraph routes. The government initially rejected their offer “because it is not supposed so large a force is necessary.”[11] On April 28, 1862, though, by “express direction of the President of the United States,” Brigham Young, then a private citizen but still President of the LDS Church, was authorized to “raise, arm, and equip one company of cavalry for ninety days’ service.”[12] The government’s request specified that “the company will be employed to protect the property of the telegraph and overland mail companies in or about Independence Rock [Nebraska Territory], where depredations have been committed, and will be continued in service only till the U.S. troops can reach the point where they are so much needed. . . . It will not be employed for any offensive operations other than may grow out of the duty hereinbefore assigned to it.”[13]

The requested soldiers mustered within two days, an extraordinary feat of organization. Under the command of Captain Lot Smith, who had won fame as a militia major during the Utah War, the company of about a hundred men left Salt Lake City in early May 1862 for three months of active duty military service. In late August 1862, after this volunteer company had returned to Utah, Union General James Craig, who was responsible for the overland mail and telegraph lines from the Missouri River to Utah Territory, telegraphed Secretary of War Stanton and requested either reinforcements from the States or permission to “re-enlist the Utah troops for a limited time.”[14] Secretary Stanton answered the following day, “You are authorized to raise 100 mounted men in the mountains and re-enlist the Utah troops for three months as requested.”[15] After conferring with Brigham Young, Utah’s Governor Harding informed the army that reenlistment of Lot Smith’s company was not possible because, as Harding cryptically phrased it, “Things are not right.”[16] Consequently, federal military leaders determined that dispatching volunteer units from California would be a more permanent military solution to the need to protect commerce and emigration along the Overland Trail. The state of California was asked to recruit sixteen thousand volunteers, some of whom would be sent to Utah.[17]

In May 1862, Brigadier General George Wright, commander of the army’s Department of the Pacific in San Francisco, appointed Patrick Edward Connor, a California militia officer, to command several companies of California volunteers (or CVs, as they were often called) to travel from Stockton, California, “to the vicinity of Salt Lake.” According to orders received in July 1862, his primary mission as a newly commissioned colonel was “to protect the Overland Mail Route” [18] and “also the telegraph stations.”[19] Connor’s command arrived at Fort Churchill (near Reno, Nevada Territory) in August 1862, where Colonel Connor assumed command of the military district of Utah, which included Utah and Nevada Territories.[20]

Establishment of Camp Douglas

Utah residents had done too good of a job dismantling Fort Crittenden after the army blew up its magazines and marched east. Nearly everything of value had been removed. Little did they know that the army would return in strength at the end of the following year, and the poor condition of Fort Crittenden would influence the selection of the army’s new encampment elsewhere.

In the fall of 1862, Colonel Connor traveled in advance of the army to the Salt Lake Valley from Fort Ruby, Nevada Territory, in order to select a route and scout out the best site for a military camp near the city. Wearing civilian clothing, he “took a stroll about town and looked around with an air of familiarity that indicated that after all Salt Lake City was something of a place, and might not be unpleasant notwithstanding its desert surrounding.”[21] Apparently during this reconnaissance, Connor met with neither Governor Stephen Harding nor former governor Young.

When word reached Utah that the army would soon be returning, but this time from the west, there was great concern. A New York Times report from Salt Lake stated, “There may be still another jurisdiction conflict in our midst, and perhaps a very pretty quarrel. . . . Let us hope for the best, particularly in the present juncture of affairs, and that peaceable counsels will prevail.”[22]

After visiting the former Fort Crittenden, Colonel Connor reported to his superiors several reasons for not reopening it. First, the camp was “in ruins” except for a few buildings (for which the owner wanted $15,000). Second, most of the few remaining buildings “would have to be torn down and removed.” Third, “the post is badly located.” His fourth, and most important, reason was that “I found another location, which I like better.” That site was “on a plateau about three miles from Salt Lake City; in the vicinity of good timber and saw-mills, and at a point where hay, grain, and other produce can be purchased cheaper than at Fort Crittenden.” Colonel Connor also revealed an additional unofficial rationale for the new location—keeping an eye on the Mormons. Connor reported to his superior that the site he selected was “a point which commands the city, and where 1,000 troops would be more efficient than 3,000 on the other side of the Jordan [River]. If the general decides that I shall locate there, I intend to quietly intrench my position, and then say to the Saints of Utah, enough of your treason; but if it is intended that I shall merely protect the overland mail and permit the Mormons to act and utter treason, then I had as well locate at Crittenden. The Federal [civilian] officers desire and beg that I will locate near the city.”[23]

On October 1, 1862, a few days prior to entering the Salt Lake Valley with his soldiers, Colonel Connor reported that “the people of Utah are under the impression that I am to winter at Fort Crittenden.”[24] He also informed his superiors that he had been “credibly informed by letter this morning that the flag-staff at Fort Crittenden was cut down since my visit and hauled away by Brigham’s orders.”[25] Connor quite likely viewed this as an affront to federal authority and a misuse of government property.[26]

Colonel Connor and his mixed command (five infantry and two cavalry companies) bivouacked at Fort Crittenden on October 17, 1862, and marched into Salt Lake City on October 22, 1862. The soldiers halted and formed two lines in front of Governor Harding’s residence. After being introduced by Colonel Connor, the governor addressed the troops. While standing in a carriage, he confessed to the soldiers, “I have been disappointed, somewhat, in your coming to this city,” and noted somewhat disapprovingly that the federal government “knows not the spirit of the officers who represent it in this Territory.”[27] Accordingly, he finished by telling them, “I do not know now what disposition is to be made of you, but I suppose you will be encamped somewhere, I know not where, but within a short distance of this city. I believe the people you have now come amongst will not disturb you if you do not disturb them.”[28]

Naming Camp Douglas

Following the governor’s speech, the California soldiers marched to the base of the mountains east of the city “between Red But[t]e and Emmigration Kanyons [sic].”[29] On October 26, 1862, Colonel Connor formally announced that “pursuant to orders from department headquarters a military post is hereby established at this camp, to be called Camp Douglas.” The boundaries of the camp began “at a post due north one mile distant from the garrison flag-staff, and running thence west one mile, thence south two miles, thence east two miles, thence north two miles, and thence west one mile, to the place of beginning, containing 2,560 acres more or less.”[30]

Tensions between Salt Lake City and Camp Douglas began almost immediately and were possibly fueled by Connor’s decision to name the new post as he did. The military correspondence for the fall of 1862 clearly indicates that the choice of names was Connor’s—he dubbed the post Camp Douglas rather than being directed to do so by General George Wright in California or by an even higher authority in Washington. In fact, Wright did not even know at this point that Connor was establishing a new post, having assumed that he would be using the remnants of old Camp Floyd in distant Cedar Valley. So why would Colonel Connor—a man patently on the rise with even higher military aspirations—make such a politically maladroit name selection given the Democratic Party identification of Stephen A. Douglas vis-à-vis the prominent Republican Party affiliations of Secretary of War Stanton and President Lincoln? The late senator Stephen A. Douglas was the slave-holding Democrat who beat Abraham Lincoln in the 1858 Illinois senate race after nine face-to-face debates and against whom the Republican Lincoln ultimately triumphed in the presidential election of 1860. Connor’s naming decision for Camp Douglas is even more astonishing when one considers that the three U.S. Army posts in Utah Territory established by Albert Sidney Johnston during the late 1850s prior to Camp Douglas were dubbed with political astuteness Camp Winfield and Camp Scott (after the general in chief) and Camp Floyd (in honor of the then-sitting secretary of war). For Connor to have honored Stephen A. Douglas in this way is akin to a scenario in which during 2003 General Tommy Franks would have named his Baghdad headquarters “Camp Al Gore.”

The relatively meager collection of Connor’s personal papers that have survived the ravages of fire, multiple relocations, and the passage of time offers little help in understanding his naming decision. In Glory Hunter, his 1990 biography of the general, Brigham D. Madsen notes that Connor had long been an admirer of Senator Douglas and even before entering the army had raised funds to finance the erection of a statue in his honor in Stockton. Madsen commented, “The new colonel never forgot his loyalties.” With respect to the naming decision, Madsen’s book comments without citation that Connor vetoed the desire of his men to name the post after himself, and that his choice of the admired Douglas’s name was “understandable.” [31] E. B. Long’s 1981 account of Utah during the Civil War, The Saints and the Union, describes at length the initial tense approach and passage of Connor’s unit through Salt Lake City to the site of Camp Douglas but is mute on why the post was so named, as was Major Fred B. Rogers’s 1938 study Soldiers of the Overland.[32]

In his 1989 book Brigham and the Brigadier, James F. Varley discerns a motivation very different from Madsen’s belief that Connor intended simply to honor the late Senator Douglas. Noting the uneven nature of relations between Douglas and the Mormons during their Illinois years and the fact that Mormon leaders were “incensed” by an anti-Mormon speech that Douglas had given at the very beginning of the Utah War, Varley speculates without supporting documentation that “the choice of names was undoubtedly a deliberate jab by Colonel Connor at the Mormons. . . . Patrick Connor thus could hardly have chosen a better name than Douglas for his new post if his object was the daily chaffing of a few Mormon sensibilities.”[33]

Logical as Varley’s conjecture seems, an examination of Brigham Young’s correspondence and the files of the Deseret News for the fall of 1862 yields no outbursts about the post’s name, although there was a great deal of resentment and muttering about the more fundamental issue of its very establishment and siting without Mormon consultation.

But what of Varley’s quite accurate point about a highly negative Mormon reaction to Douglas early in the Utah War? The cause of this rupture was a speech given by Douglas in Springfield, Illinois, on June 12, 1857, two weeks after the launch of the Utah Expedition and soon after his return from Washington. It was a strange speech—delivered in impromptu fashion at the invitation of a sitting grand jury in search of entertainment—in which Douglas ranged through three of the most volatile subjects of the day: the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision, “bleeding” Kansas, and Utah affairs. When it came to Mormon matters, Douglas may have been stimulated by bitter private inputs from recently resigned Utah associate justice W. W. Drummond of Illinois, his constituent, as well as by the sting of Republican efforts to portray Douglas’s pet doctrine of popular sovereignty (local choice) as a de facto defense of polygamy, if not slavery, in the territories. After reciting the then-current litany of accusations against Utah’s Mormons—principally disloyalty and un-American backgrounds and tendencies—Senator Douglas’s Springfield speech advocated the repeal of Utah’s organic act and therefore her territorial obliteration. For the remedy, Douglas used graphic, surgical imagery: “When the authentic evidence shall arrive, if it shall establish the facts which are believed to exist, it will become the duty of Congress to apply the knife and cut out this loathsome disgusting ulcer. [Applause.] No temporizing policy—no half-way measure will then answer.”[34]

With this political betrayal and provocative language, Douglas was immediately assigned to a place in the LDS pantheon of Utah War villains second only to Judge Drummond, and he remains there. In the midst of the Utah War, First Counselor Heber C. Kimball stated publicly: “Many of you have sustained Judge Douglas as being a true friend to this people; and he is just as big a damned rascal as ever walked, and always has been. He has taken a course to get into the [presidential] chair of State, and that is what he is after: he will try to accomplish that, if he goes to hell the next day; but he will not go into the chair of State; he will go to hell.”[35]

Even with the passage of years, Brigham Young continued to brood over what he viewed as Senator Douglas’s betrayal. In May 1861, he wrote a caustic, mocking unpublished letter to a gravely ill Douglas reminding him of his 1857 Springfield speech as well as of his role in the disruption of the Union then so violently in progress. With Douglas’s failed 1860 presidential bid and Joseph Smith’s apocalyptic 1843 prophecy about Douglas’s political fate in mind, President Young closed, “Do you not begin to realize that the prediction of the Prophet Joseph Smith, personally delivered to you, has been and is being literally fulfilled upon your head? Why have you barked with the dogs, except to prove that you were a dog with them?”[36] The velvet glove which Brigham Young had earlier used in dealing with Douglas as chairman of the U.S. Senate’s Committee on the Territories was off. Within a month—even before receiving this letter—Stephen A. Douglas lay dead in Chicago, with Fort Sumter in Confederate hands and Patrick Edward Connor of Stockton, California, about to join the Union Army.

Shortly after Senator Douglas’s death, a New York Times correspondent reported from Salt Lake City that “last Wednesday the Pony [Express] told us of the death of Senator Douglas. The Mormon portion of the community entertain certain hard recollections of the Senator, on account of his ‘loathsome ulcer’ recommendations. So there are no flags at half mast, no mourning appears, no tears are shed, no tokens of respect for the memory of the illustrious Illinoisan are visible, though an old neighbor in Nauvoo days.”[37]

Tensions Begin

Four days after Colonel Connor officially christened Camp Douglas, Brigham Young complained that “right in the time of war there could not be a greater insult offered” than the federal government sending another army to Utah. Strangely, Young suggested that with Connor’s selection of the site for Camp Douglas overlooking Salt Lake City, “they are in the best place they can be in for doing the least injury. . . . Here they cannot do much hurt.” He also quoted an associate as recently having said, “We are praying all the time for the Lord to make fools of them.”[38]

In the months following the establishment and naming of Camp Douglas, the Overland Mail Company, the Post Office Department, and Department of the Interior all urged Connor’s superiors, including General Henry W. Halleck (President Lincoln’s general-in-chief), to move Connor’s soldiers from Salt Lake City to Fort Bridger, Utah Territory, presumably because of that post’s proximity to the Overland Trail.[39] As a compromise, Connor was ordered to detach one or two companies from his command to occupy Fort Bridger. Echoing Colonel Connor’s anti-Mormon sentiments, General Wright informed his superiors in Washington, DC, “Without entering into details I am well convinced that prudential considerations demand the presence of a force in that country [Salt Lake] strong enough to look down any opposition.”[40] Utah governor Stephen S. Harding also recommended that Colonel Connor’s command remain at Camp Douglas: “I have not a doubt but that it will be the last time that U.S. soldiers will have the privilege of entering this Territory peaceably if Colonel Connor is now ordered away. I do not say that Mormons would meet our troops openly in such an attempt, although there are strong reasons for believing that they would, yet I have no doubt but the Indians would be encouraged to do so, and all possible succor would be given them by the [Mormon] powers here. . . . The base of operations should be here. . . . In the [proposed] withdrawal of the troops the General Government virtually abandons her sovereignty over this Territory.”[41]

The army’s late arrival in 1862 required it to work hard throughout the winter building temporary facilities at the new camp. By February 1863, Colonel Connor reported that his troops had built thirteen small officers’ quarters, a guard house, a bake house, a commissary, quartermaster offices, stores, stables, a blacksmith shop, and a hospital. The enlisted soldiers lived in “temporary shelters of tents placed over excavations four feet deep, with good stone and adobe fireplace.”[42]

Camp Douglas proved to be a source of welcome income for many civilian residents. While many supply items were received from the States, the military purchased tons of locally produced hay, barley, oats, potatoes, and cattle, among other products. In accordance with Colonel Connor’s strong Unionist views, all contractors supplying items to Camp Douglas were “required to take the oath of allegiance to the United States Government,”[43] to which Brigham Young reportedly replied, “I hope the brethren will keep their families from that camp [Douglas]. . . . Let them [soldiers] come and say, ‘Will you sell me a bushel of potatoes?’ Then come[s] the answer, ‘Do you want me to take the oath of allegiance? If you do, go to hell for your potatoes.’”[44]

Soldiers found Salt Lake City the obvious location to spend their pay. In December 1862, the army “disbursed among them the snug sum of $74,000, so that they can now rejoice in being paid up. . . . The shopkeepers of this city are doing a heavy business. The stores are thronged most of the day, and ‘greenbacks’ are more plentiful than blackberries in this Territory.”[45] Businesses, some of a questionable nature, also began to spring up around the borders of the camp, and as the New York Times reported, “It is really too much to suppose that every officer and private is entirely unimpressible when Bacchus and Venus hang out their colors. . . . Col. Connor, at a dress parade on Monday, declared, by special order, that the military reserve [reservation] connected with the post above-named, was extended to embrace an area of four miles square.”[46]

There were apparently few, if any, discussions between Colonel Connor and Salt Lake civic authorities regarding either the original location or expanded dimensions of Camp Douglas. Much of the newly extended camp boundaries were within the corporate limits of Salt Lake City—then being challenged by the Interior Department’s General Land Office—which undoubtedly did not sit well with city authorities, but there was little they could do. Other problems arose during the next few months as the city and camp struggled to accommodate each other. Camp Douglas was just six months old when a grand jury of the U.S. District Court for the Third Judicial District of Utah Territory (with Latter-day Saint Apostles George A. Smith and Franklin D. Richards serving as the foreman and a jury member, respectively) was empanelled in Salt Lake City to consider Camp Douglas’s “notoriously offensive or . . . obnoxious and revolting” water usage practices. The grand jury declared that Camp Douglas was abusing Red Butte Creek—the primary water supply for at least three thousand downstream Salt Lake City residents. Soldiers were accused of having “placed obstructions in the stream; [having] built privies on or close to one of said streams of water, and in divers other ways have the said troops and those [civilians] following them . . . fouled the water thereof, and rendered it extremely filthy and nauseous, to the great inconvenience of the people of the said city, and deleterious to their health.”[47] The army also prevented residents from taking their livestock up Red Butte Canyon to graze during the summer months.

Friction Between Church and State

Economic tensions were exacerbated by historical and philosophical differences between the Church and the U.S. government. Relations between the two parties had been mixed since the Church’s founding in 1830. Latter-day Saints viewed themselves as loyal Americans with a firm dedication to and belief in the Constitution of the United States. Several federal actions, though, were not viewed favorably by the Saints. With a likely eye to President Van Buren’s unwillingness to protect Mormons in Missouri and President Polk’s recruitment of the Mormon Battalion in 1846, a March 1863 article in the Deseret News proclaimed, “Ever since we as a people were driven from our homes in Illinois; traversed an almost trackless desert and settled in these distant valleys; a constant effort has been made by wicked and designing men to disturb our peace and interfere with those religious rights secured to us by the Federal Constitution. We have neither time, space, nor inclination to review the wrongs and insults that our bodies, and we as a people have suffered. They are all matters of history; delineating them will present one of the darkest pages ever recorded of any religious people.”[48]

The early history of Camp Douglas may be viewed, in large measure, through the interaction between two strong personalities—Brigham Young and Patrick Connor. Connor was seen by himself and many others as a true patriot. A self-made Irish immigrant, he voluntarily left his family and a very comfortable life in California to serve his nation. Brigham Young’s feelings regarding soldiers being sent again to Utah might be summed up in the opening words of the proclamation he issued to the “Citizens of Utah” in declaring martial law five years earlier, on September 15, 1857:

For the last twenty-five years we have trusted officials of the government, from constables and justices to judges, governors and presidents, only to be scorned, held in derision, insulted and betrayed. Our houses have been plundered and then burned, our fields laid waste, our principal men butchered while under the pledged faith of the government for their safety, and our families driven from their homes to find that shelter in the barren wilderness and that protection among hostile savages, which were denied them in the boasted abodes of christianity and civilization.

The Constitution of our common country guarantees unto us all that we do now, or have ever claimed. If the constitutional rights which pertain unto us as American citizens were extended to Utah, according to the spirit and meaning thereof, and fairly and impartially administered, it is all that we could ask, all that we have ever asked.[49]

As he had done during the Utah War, Brigham Young sought during the 1860s to demonstrate his loyalty to the Constitution, although that loyalty rarely extended to federal officials charged with administering the government that sprang from it. When the transcontinental telegraph reached Salt Lake City in October 1861, for example, one of the first messages sent by Brigham Young affirmed that “Utah has not seceded, but is firm for the Constitution and laws of our once happy country.”[50]

Brigham Young had little patience for General Connor. Discussing the army’s presence in Salt Lake City, Young once observed in a report to Utah’s Legislative Assembly that “there is not one soul of them [Camp Douglas soldiers] that I would not take into my house if they were perishing in the street,” and then he added “even Gen. Connor.” He reportedly continued, “I do not know the man [Connor]; as a citizen I have nothing against him, he wants to kill the truth, and sacrifice every virtue there is upon the earth that God has established, that is what makes me hate him. He is nothing to me as a business man. . . . But as an individual I have not the least feeling against him.”[51] The clash of temperament between Young and Connor was mutual—neither of them made much of an effort to disguise their dislike and distrust of the other.

Colonel Connor’s superior, General Wright, reported, “Brigham Young was exceedingly anxious that the troops should reoccupy Fort Crittenden or some point remote from the city, but after mature consideration I came to the conclusion that the site of the present camp was the most eligible for the accomplishment of the objects in view. It is a commanding position, looking down on the city, and hence has been dreaded by the Mormon chief.”[52]

Colonel Connor saw it as his responsibility to do something about the Mormons. As early as September 1862, his official reports began to include complaints about Mormons and Mormonism. According to Connor, Mormons were “a community of traitors, murderers, fanatics, and whores”[53] who were “composed chiefly of the very lowest class of foreigners and aliens . . . , hesitating at the commission of no crime.”[54] He believed Mormons permitted an “unholy, blasphemous, and unnatural institution”[55] and that “if the crimes and designs of this people were known and understood by the people of the United States as I understand and know them, it would cause such a burst of indignation as would result in the utter annihilation of this whole people. . . . The sooner we are rid of the evil, and the nation of the stigma [of Mormonism], the better it will be for us. . . . Individually I would prefer to serve in another field. At the same time there is much to do here, and it would give me great pleasure to contribute my humble services to blot out this stigma on our national honor.”[56]

It was not just the religious tenets of Mormonism that bothered Connor. He saw Mormons as “disloyal almost to a man, and treason, if not openly preached, [was] covertly encouraged.”[57] In Connor’s eyes, “the so-called President Young” was “engaged in mounting cannon for the purpose of resisting the Government.”[58] He reported that the Mormons were “hard at work making cartridges” and that Brigham Young had placed a “guard of 300 men” at his home with which, from Connor’s perspective, he could attempt to resist federal authority.[59]

Camp Douglas was a thorn in Brigham Young’s side, and Connor knew it. In December 1862 Connor reported, “My present position [at Camp Douglas] was selected for its availability, and commanding as it does not only all the avenues to but even the town itself, it is an important one, and I am not surprised that Brigham Young considers its occupancy dangerous to his interests.”[60] Connor’s view was that “Mormonism as preached and practiced in this Territory is not only subversive of morals, in conflict with the civilization of the present age, and oppressive on the people, but also deeply and boldly in contravention of the laws and best interests of the nation”; therefore, he sought “by every proper means in my power to arrest its progress and prevent its spread.”[61] He initially believed there were but two ways to resolve the problems and influence of Mormonism: “First, by dividing the Territory into four parts and adding the parts to the four adjoining Territories; second, by declaring martial law.”[62] By dividing the territory, he hoped to weaken both Brigham Young and Salt Lake City’s influence on the surrounding regions.

A few months later, he came to see a third way—“inviting into the Territory large numbers of Gentiles to live among and dwell with the people.” To accomplish this end, he “considered the discovery of gold, silver, and other valuable minerals in the Territory of the highest importance,” and he “instructed commanders of posts and detachments to permit the men of their commands to prospect the country in the vicinity of their respective posts, whenever such course would not interfere with their military duties, and to furnish every proper facility for the discovery and opening of mines of gold, silver, and other minerals.”[63] Connor, who is recognized today as the “father of Utah mining,”[64] believed that by encouraging “gentiles” (non-Mormons) to settle and mine in Utah, “the Mormon question will at an early day be finally settled by peaceable means, without the increased expenditure of a dollar by Government.”[65] His belief in this policy was so strong that by spring 1864, he directed some of his subordinate commanders to “devote most of [their] attention” to the discovery of new mines.[66] In a sense, Connor was filling a vacuum, given Brigham Young’s well-known hostility to mining as an inappropriate activity for Latter-day Saints.

The military blamed increasing tensions with Salt Lake inhabitants on “the open declarations of hostility to the Government on the part of their public men, and their bold, continued, and unceasing teachings of disloyalty” which Patrick Connor stated “time and again tended to produce excitements leading to collision, which have only been avoided by the most temperate and moderate course of the officers and men of my command.”[67]

March 1863 was a particularly tense period in the relationship between Salt Lake City and Camp Douglas. Several events and beliefs contributed to the heightening of tensions—chief among them was concern that the army was planning to arrest Brigham Young.[68] Colonel Connor became alarmed on March 3 and again on March 4 when “Brigham caused to be removed from the Territorial arsenal to his residence all the ordnance and ordnance stores, and placed a large body of armed men in his yard, which is inclosed with a high stone wall.”[69] Connor was uncertain whether Young’s actions and intent were defensive or offensive. On March 8, Brigham Young spoke in the Tabernacle and discussed the loyalty of the Saints, relations with the federal government, the Civil War, and Camp Douglas:

But if the Government of the United States should now ask for a battalion of men to fight in the present battle-fields of the nation, while there is a camp of soldiers from abroad located within the corporate limits of this city, I would not ask one man to go; I would see them in hell first. What was the result a year ago, when our then Governor . . . called for men to go and guard the mail route? Were they promptly on hand? Yes, and when President Lincoln wrote to me requesting me to fit out one hundred men to guard the mail route, we at once enlisted the one hundred men for ninety days. On Monday evening I received the instruction, and on Wednesday afternoon that hundred men were mustered into service and encamped ready for moving. But all this does not prove any loyalty to political tyrants.

We guarded the mail route. . . . We do not need any soldiers here from any other States or Territories to perform that service, neither does the Government, as they would know if they were wise. . . .

What can we do? We can serve God, and mind our own business; keep our powder dry, and be prepared for every emergency to which we may be exposed, and sustain the civil law to which we are subject. . . .

Now, as we are accused of secession, my counsel to this congregation is to secede, what from? From the Constitution of the United States? No. From the institutions of our country? No. Well then, what from? From sin and the practice thereof. That is my counsel to this congregation and to the whole world.[70]

On March 9, Colonel Connor reported that Brigham Young “raised the national flag over his residence for the first time I am told since his arrival in the Territory, but not, however, from motives of patriotism or for any loyal purpose, but as a signal to his people to assemble armed, which they immediately did, to the number of about 1,500.”[71] The following day, Connor reported that Brigham Young and the Mormons “are determined to have trouble, and are trying to provoke me to bring it on, but they will fail.”[72]

Tension in the city continued to increase when Brigham Young was arrested on March 10 under the 1862 antibigamy law (Morrill Act) and quickly released on a two-thousand-dollar bond.[73] On March 12, the flag at Brigham Young’s residence was raised again, causing 1,500 Mormon militia members to assemble. As before, the unofficial militia was dismissed, but Latter-day Saint guards patrolled the city each night. Connor clearly recognized the friction that existed but apparently felt he was not responsible for it. He notified General Wright that

the only excuse his adherents give for this extraordinary proceeding is that he feared I would arrest him for uttering treasonable language. . . . There has been nothing in my conduct or language which could be construed so as to induce that belief. . . . Since my arrival the people of the Territory have been treated kindly and courteously by both my officers and men, who have never given one of them cause for complaint, which the people freely acknowledge. But notwithstanding this, the courtesy we have given is returned with abuse. They rail at us in their sermons in which we are also classed with cutthroats and gamblers, our Government cursed and vilified in their public speeches and meetings.[74]

While noting that his command was “in no immediate danger,” he warned, “If the present preparations of the Mormons should continue I will be compelled for the preservation of my command to strike at the heads of the church. . . . If I remain in my present position (although a strong one) for them to attack me, I am lost, as they have about 5,000 men capable of bearing arms and cannon of heavier caliber than mine. . . . I will do nothing rashly or hastily, and my intercourse with them will be, as heretofore, courteous and firm.”[75]

After hearing of the increased tensions in Salt Lake City, General Wright stepped back from his own anti-Mormonism and admonished Colonel Connor to “be prudent and cautious. Hold your troops well in hand. A day of retribution will come.”[76] On March 29, 1863, with the approval of Edwin M. Stanton,[77] Secretary of War, Patrick Connor was promoted from colonel to brigadier general for his “heroic conduct and brilliant victory on Bear River” over the local Indian population.[78] By the end of the month, General Wright notified Washington, DC, that “although the excitement at Great Salt Lake City, brought about by the treasonable acts of Brigham Young and his adherents, has somewhat subsided, yet I am fully satisfied that they only wait for a favorable opportunity to strike a blow against the Union.”[79]

Continuing distrust and tensions between Salt Lake residents and soldiers caused General Wright to do a surprising about-face when he informed army headquarters during July 1863 that he was seriously considering “the propriety of removing the troops from the immediate vicinity of Great Salt Lake City to the old position at Camp Floyd. . . . It would obviate the irritations and complaints which are constantly arising between the soldiers and citizens.” The district’s headquarters would remain in Salt Lake City even if the soldiers were relocated, and no plans were entertained regarding the complete removal of soldiers from Utah Territory. According to Wright, “The presence of the force now there is indispensable for the protection of the Overland Mail Route and the general safety of the country.”[80]

That same day, July 31, Wright notified Connor that he was contemplating reoccupying Fort Crittenden and ordered Connor “to make immediate preparations to this end.. . . Advise the general by telegraph . . . when the command at Camp Douglas can be moved to Fort Crittenden.”[81] Any response to this order from General Connor has apparently been lost, but something caused General Wright to change his mind. On August 19, General Connor received new orders “to the extent that if, in your judgment, the withdrawal of the troops from Camp Douglas would produce an impression on the minds of the Mormons that the removal was in consequence of disapprobation of your course while in command, or in any manner injurious to the interests of the Government, you will retain Camp Douglas as your principal station”—which he did.[82]

Tension and misunderstanding between the Mormons and the military continued throughout the Civil War. In August 1863, Utah’s somewhat more sympathetic new governor, James D. Doty, noted that “many of those difficulties arise from the mistaken notion that the interests of this people and those of the Government are at variance. I think they are not.”[83] The Latter-day Saint perspective after the war ended was adequately summarized in a correspondent’s November 1865 New York Times report:

As to the graver matters of disloyalty and threatened difficulties, we may say that such accusations against the Mormons are not new, and perhaps are not now, any more than formerly, altogether without foundation. There may be two reasons for this—firstly, because more than half of the population of Utah consists of recent emigrants of foreign birth, gathered from all the lands under the sun, and from all the islands fixed in the sea; and secondly, because the long and terrible persecutions of the Mormons in Illinois and Missouri in the early days of the Church, have left behind them bitter memories of the power that failed to afford protection. Then, again, there have always been annoying quarrels in progress with the Mormons, which reached the very verge of war eight years ago, and the embers of which have been smouldering ever since. We do not see, however, from anything that has been published, that there have been any new or menacing developments of late, or that things are in any worse condition than that in which they have been for the last eighteen or twenty years.

Is it necessary for the government to take any action in the premises?

Camp Douglas after the Civil War

In the years following the Civil War, relations between Camp Douglas and Salt Lake City gradually softened from antagonism to grudging acceptance and finally to an embrace. In the space of a few short years, Camp Douglas became an important and uncontroversial part of Salt Lake City. Reflecting a personal example of the widespread change of attitude that occurred, General Patrick Connor left his family, returned to Salt Lake City in the later years of his life, and lived there until his death on December 16, 1891, when, as he had requested, he was buried in the military cemetery at Fort Douglas.[84]

In 1878, the year after Brigham Young’s death, Camp Douglas was officially renamed Fort Douglas and designated as an army regimental post. Soldiers from Fort Douglas played a contributing role in American history from the Civil War through the Korean War. Prisoners of war were housed at Fort Douglas during both World War I and World War II. The fort was officially closed in 1991, although a small section of the original grounds continued to support elements of the Utah National Guard and Army Reserve for several years. During the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympic games, part of Fort Douglas—now an integral part of the University of Utah—was used as the Olympic Village, housing visiting athletes from many continents. Visitors to Fort Douglas today can tour a military museum and several historic buildings that help preserve its historic past.

Patrick Connor deliberately established Camp Douglas in the foothills above Salt Lake City so that his forces could dominate and command the city below and probably named the post to rub salt into the civil-affairs wound that resulted. During the Civil War, relations between the city and the soldiers were often marked by mutual mistrust and misunderstanding. Over time, though, Salt Lake residents came to accept the idea of federal forces in their midst and enjoyed the economic benefits that resulted from the army’s presence. The local citizens recognized that most of the soldiers were simply trying to serve their country at the territorial outpost to which they had been assigned, and soldiers stationed at Camp Douglas learned that the local residents were people who had much in common with them. Their post is now viewed as a collection of quaint Victorian buildings owned by a university; the origins of its name are a cipher rather than a continuing source of Mormon bitterness about a long-dead Illinois politician.


[1] P. Edw. Connor to Lieut. Col. R. C. Drum, 15 March 1863, in The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, series 1, vol. 50, pt. 2 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1897), 371 (hereafter cited as WOTR2).

[2] Orson Hyde, in Journal of Discourses (London: Latter-day Saints Book Depot, 1854–86), 6:12; Brigham Young to Thomas L. Kane, September 12, 1857, Brigham Young Collection, Church Archives, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City.

[3] There are numerous sources for additional reading on this subject. For example, see Kingdom in the West: The Mormons and the American Frontier, ed. Will Bagley, vol. 10, At Sword’s Point, Part I: A Documentary History of the Utah War to 1858, ed. William P. MacKinnon (Norman, OK: Arthur H. Clark, 2008); LeRoy R. Hafen and Ann W. Hafen, eds., Mormon Resistance: A Documentary Account of the Utah Expedition, 1857–1858 (Lincoln NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1958); David L. Bigler and Will Bagley, The Mormon Rebellion: America’s First Civil War, 1857–1858 (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2011); or Norman F. Furniss, The Mormon Conflict: 1850–1859 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1960).

[4] Since Utah’s principal city was styled Great Salt Lake City until an official name change in 1868, that name is used here in documents, but for purposes of simplicity, the name Salt Lake City is used in the narrative.

[5] Fort Crittenden was also sometimes referred to as Camp Crittenden. See, for example, “Report of Lieut. Anthony Ethier,” 6 April 1863, in The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, series 1, vol. 50, pt. 1 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1897), 200 (hereafter cited as WOTR1).

[6] “The Secession Rebellion,” New York Times, May 24, 1861, 1.

[7] “Affairs in Utah,” New York Times, August 2, 1861, 5. See also Thomas G. Alexander and Leonard J. Arrington, “Camp in the Sagebrush: Camp Floyd, Utah, 1858–1861,” Utah Historical Quarterly 34 (1966).

[8] Gilbert Clements to W. G. Mills, 25 August 1861. Mills was then serving as a missionary in England. Cited in History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ed. B. H. Roberts, 2nd ed. rev. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1957), 4:544n17.

[9] “The Secession Rebellion,” New York Times, May 24, 1861, 1.

[10] L. Thomas, report on measures taken to make secure the Overland Mail Route to California, 24 April 1862, in WOTR1, 1023.

[11] L. Thomas to Brigadier-General Wright, 8 April 1862, in WOTR1, 1023.

[12] L. Thomas to Mr. Brigham Young, 28 April 1862, in The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, series 3, vol. 2 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1899), 27 hereafter cited as WOTR3.

[13] L. Thomas to Mr. Brigham Young, 28 April 1862, in WOTR3, 27.

[14] Jas. Craig to Honl. Edwin M. Stanton, 23 August 1862, in WOTR3, 449.

[15] Edwin M. Stanton to General James Craig, 24 August 1862, in WOTR3, 453.

[16] Jas. Craig to Gen. Halleck, 25 August 1862, in WOTR3, 596.

[17] Richard H. Orton, ed., Records of California Men in the War of Rebellion: 1861–1867 (Sacramento: State Office, 1890), 2.

[18] Special Orders No. 115, Hdqrs. Department of the Pacific, San Francisco, Cal., 5 July 1862, Richard C. Drum, in WOTR2, 5–6.

[19] G. Wright to Brig. Gen. L. Thomas, 15 December 1862, in WOTR1, 181.

[20] P. E. Connor to Major Drum, 5 August 1862; R. C. Drum to Colonel Connor, 5 August 1862; and Orders No. 1, Fort Churchill, 6 August 1862, in WOTR2, 53–55.

[21] “Memoranda in relation to Camp Douglas, U.T. furnished by Gen. P. E. Connor,” quoted in Brigham D. Madsen, Glory Hunter: A Biography of Patrick Edward Connor (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1990), 65.

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

[23] P. Edw. Connor to Maj. R. C. Drum, 14 September 1862, in WOTR2, 119.

[24] P. Edw. Connor to Maj. R. C. Drum, 1 October 1862, in WOTR2, 143–44.

[25] Ibid. Stenhouse states “There is no truth in this.” See T. B. H. Stenhouse, The Rocky Mountain Saints (London: Ward, Lock, and Tyler, 1874), 602.

[26] The historian B. H. Roberts reported that Colonel Philip St. George Cooke, the last commander at Fort Crittenden, “presented to Brigham Young the flag staff of Camp Floyd–Fort Crittenden. . . . After the remnant of the army was departed, the flag staff was removed from Fort Crittenden, and planted on the hillcrest immediately east of the Beehive House.” But Roberts did not mention the date when the actual removal occurred. See A comprehensive History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints , 4:543. In a 1907 address to the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, Hiram B. Clawson provided additional details regarding Brigham Young’s flagpole. “One evening, while sitting in front of the general’s tent [at the Camp],” he said, “I was attracted by a beautiful flag and staff and I was asked by the commanding officer [Colonel St. George-Cooke], if I thought President Young would accept it. I assured him that he would not only accept it, but place it on his Salt Lake home, the ‘White House,’ and that on all national occasions the flag would be unfurled. They presented it; it was accepted and placed as stated.” Quoted in George D. Pyper, The Romance of an Old Playhouse (Salt Lake City: Seagull, 1928), 75.

[27] “Affairs in Utah,” New York Times, November 15, 1862.

[28] “Arrival of Col. Connor’s Command,” Deseret News, October 22, 1862. Harding’s appalling comments betrayed a significant lack of communications between the War Department and Utah’s governor, while echoing Colonel Edmund B. Alexander’s command disorientation during the early stages of the Utah War. MacKinnon, At Sword’s Point, Part I, 339. Harding’s comments parallel President Lincoln’s facetious exposition of his Mormon policy—if Brigham Young “will let me alone, I will let him alone.” George H. Hubbard, “Abraham Lincoln as Seen by the Mormons,” Utah Historical Quarterly 31 (Spring 1963): 103.

[29] “Arrival of Col. Connor’s Command,” Deseret News, October 22, 1862.

[30] Orders, No. 14, Headquarters District of Utah, 26 October 1862, in WOTR2, 195.

[31] Madsen, Glory Hunter, 41, 49, 71.

[32] E. B. Long, The Saints and the Union (Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 1981); Fred B. Rogers, Soldiers of the Overland (San Francisco: Grabhorn, 1938).

[33] James F. Varley, Brigham and the Brigadier: General Patrick Connor and His California Volunteers in Utah and Along the Overland Trail (Tucson, AZ: Western Lore, 1989), 70, 71.

[34] Stephen A. Douglas, “Kansas, Utah, and the Dred Scott Decision,” address at State House, Springfield, Illinois, June 12, 1857. The senator’s impromptu remarks immediately drew substantial national attention in the newspapers and were rebutted formally by one attendee, local attorney Abraham Lincoln, who spoke in the same chamber on June 26. In a sense, these two speeches became the template, if not the inspiration, for the early rounds of the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates of the following year. Because of mail delays, word of Douglas’s comments about the Mormons did not reach Utah until late summer, at which point the reaction was volcanic. See “Comments,” editorial, Deseret News, September 2, 1857; MacKinnon, At Sword’s Point, Part I, 136–137; “Stephen A. Douglas, Abraham Lincoln, and ‘The Mormon Problem:’ The 1857 Springfield Debate,” unpublished paper, 44th annual conference, Mormon History Association, Springfield, Illinois, May 23, 2009; and Mary Jane Woodger, “Abraham Lincoln and the Mormons,” in this volume.

[35] Heber C. Kimball, discourse, 23 August 1857, in Journal of Discourses (London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854–86), 5:178.

[36] Brigham Young to Stephen A. Douglas, 2 May 1857, Brigham Young Collection, Church History Library.

[37] “Affairs in Utah,” New York Times, July 8, 1861, 2.

[38] Salt Lake City schoolhouse, 30 October 1862, in The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, ed. Richard S. Van Wagoner, vol. 4, 1862 to 1867 (Salt Lake City: Smith-Pettit Foundation, 2009), 2076.

[39] H. W. Halleck to Brigadier-General Wright, 9 December 1862, in WOTR2, 244.

[40] G. Wright to Brig. Gen. L. Thomas, 9 December 1862, in WOTR2, 245.

[41] S. S. Harding to General G. Wright, 16 February 1863, in WOTR2, 315. Utah’s governor here overlooked the fact that Fort Bridger was in Utah until the formation of Wyoming Territory in 1868.

[42] P. Edw. Connor to Lieut. Col. R. C. Drum, 26 February 1863, in WOTR2, 326–327.

[43] “Affairs in Utah,” New York Times, November 23, 1862.

[44] Salt Lake City schoolhouse, in Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, 4:2076.

[45] “Affairs in Utah.” New York Times, December 21, 1862.

[46] “Affairs in Utah.” New York Times, February 8, 1863.

[47] “Third District Federal Court,” Deseret News, April 15, 1863.

[48] “Arrest of Brigham Young for Polygamy,” Deseret News, March 11, 1863.

[49] History of the Church, 4:273.

[50] “The Pacific Telegraph Line,” New York Times,. October 19, 1861.

[51] George D. Watt, report, legislative assembly, 23 January 1865, in Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, 4:2260.

[52] G. Wright to Brig. Gen. L. Thomas, 30 March 1863, in WOTR2, 369.

[53] P. Edw. Connor to Maj. R. C. Drum, 14 September 1862, in WOTR2, 119.

[54] P. Edw. Connor to Lieut. Col. R. C. Drum, 19 February 1863, in WOTR2, 319.

[55] P. Edw. Connor to Lieut. Col. R. C. Drum, 19 February 1863, in WOTR2, 319.

[56] P. Edw. Connor to Lieut. Col. R. C. Drum, 19 February 1863, in WOTR2, 319, 320.

[57] P. Edw. Connor to Lieut. Col. R. C. Drum, 19 February 1863, in WOTR2, 319.

[58] P. Edw. Connor to Lieut. Col. R. C. Drum, 20 December 1862, in WOTR2, 257.

[59] P. Edw. Connor to Lieut. Col. R. C. Drum, 8 March 1863, in WOTR2, 342.

[60] P. Edw. Connor to Lieut. Col. R. C. Drum, 20 December 1862, in WOTR2, 257.

[61] P. Edw. Connor to Lieut. Col. R. C. Drum, 26 October 1863, in WOTR2, 656.

[62] P. Edw. Connor to Lieut. Col. R. C. Drum, 19 February 1863, in WOTR2, 320. Connor’s proposal for repealing Utah’s Organic Act and redistributing its territory to neighboring states and territories echoed suggestions debated in Congress since the late 1850s. So too with the suggestion of martial law, which General William S. Harney, the Utah Expedition’s initial commander, had sought unsuccessfully in June 1857.

[63] P. Edw. Connor to Lieut. Col. R. C. Drum, 16 October 1863, in WOTR2, 656–657.

[64] “Utah: The Treasure House of the Nation,” Utah Mining Association, accessed May 18, 2011, http://www.utahmining.org/brochure.htm.

[65] P. Edw. Connor to Lieut. Col. R. C. Drum, 26 October 1863, in WOTR2, 657.

[66] M. G. Lewis to Capt. N. Baldwin, 11 May 1864, in WOTR2, 846.

[67] P. Edw. Connor to Lieut. Col. R. C. Drum, 26 October 1863, in WOTR2, 656.

[68] See Stenhouse, Rocky Mountain Saints (London: Ward, Lock, and Tyler, n.d.), 422, and James F. Varley, Brigham and the Brigadier (Tucson, AZ: Westernlore, 1989), chapter 6, for additional information about the “March Madness,” as Varley called it.

[69] P. Edw. Connor to Lieut. Col. R. C. Drum, 15 March 1863, in WOTR2, 370–71.

[70] Brigham Young, in Journal of Discourses, 10:107, 109, 111.

[71] P. Edw. Connor to Lieut. Col. R. C. Drum, 15 March 1863, in WOTR2, 371. This may have been the first time that Colonel Connor or his soldiers saw the national flag flying at Brigham Young’s residence, but it was clearly not the first time a flag had been flown there. See, for example, “Affairs in Utah,” New York Times, April 6, 1862, which reports that “the Stars and Stripes were flung to the breeze from Brigham’s bee-hive mansion.”

[72] P. Edw. Connor to Lieut. Col. R. C. Drum, 10 March 1863, in WOTR2, 344.

[73] Andrew Jensen, Church Chronology (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1899), 69. According to historian Dean C. Jessee, “The circumstances in the 1863 arrest of Brigham Young were as follows: Rumor of an impending arrest of President Young by a military force from Camp Douglas for an alleged infringement of the anti-bigamy law of 1862 threatened a confrontation between civilian and military forces in Salt Lake City. To avoid this, a ‘friendly complaint’ was preemptively filed against the Mormon leader [in a territorial, non-federal court], charging him with violation of the anti-bigamy law. The President was subsequently arrested and appeared in court, where his case was bound over for the next term. However, when the grand jury sat in 1864 it found no indictment against him and he was discharged.” See Letters of Brigham Young to His Sons, ed. Dean C. Jessee (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1974), 88–89.

[74] P. Edw. Connor to Lieut. Col. R. C. Drum, 15 March 1863, in WOTR2, 371.

[75] P. Edw. Connor to Lieut. Col. R. C. Drum, 15 March 1863, in WOTR2, 372.

[76] G. Wright to Col. P. E. Connor, 11 March 1863, in WOTR2, 347.

[77] Edwin M. Stanton to H. W. Halleck, 29 March 1863, in WOTR1, 185.

[78] H. W. Halleck to Col. R. C. Drum, 29 March 1863, in WOTR2, 369. The action at Bear River occurred January 29, 1863, about 150 miles north of Camp Douglas and led to the greatest loss of Indian life in all of the nation’s Indian wars. The army considered it a legitimate military action and used the description “battle.” Connor’s biographer, Madsen, and many other historians as well as tribal descendants use the term “massacre.” For the latest scholarship, see Harold S. Schindler, “The Bear River Massacre: New Historical Evidence,” Utah Historical Quarterly 67 (Fall 1999): 300–308; and John P. Barnes, “The Struggle to Control the Past: Commemoration, Memory, and the Bear River Massacre of 1863,” Public Historian 30 (February 2008): 81–104. With Colonel Connor personally commanding, his soldiers killed at least 224 Indians and lost only 14 soldiers. See Col. P. Edward Connor, report, 20 February 1863, in WOTR1, 184–187. By 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.” See P. Edw. Connor to Lieut. Col. R. C. Drum, 1 July 1864, in WOTR2, 887. Yet by February 1865, General Connor was again reporting that Indians “have again returned in increased force. The troops are insufficient to contend with them.” See P.E. Connor to Col. R.C. Drum, 10 February 1865, in WOTR2, 1131.

[79] G. Wright to Brig. Gen. L. Thomas, 30 March 1863, in WOTR2, 369.

[80] G. Wright to Adjutant-General U.S. Army, 31 July 1863, in WOTR2, 546.

[81] R.C. Drum to Brig. Gen. P.E. Connor, 31 July 1863, in WOTR2, 547, 548.

[82] R.C. Drum to Brig. Gen. P.E. Connor, 19 August 1863, in WOTR2, 581.

[83] James Duane Doty to General [G. Wright], 9 August 1863, in WOTR2, 584.

[84] “Death and Funeral of General P. E. Connor,” Deseret News, December 26, 1891.