Missouri State Archives: Finding Aid 5.1

Mormon War Papers, 1837-1841

[ Full-text transcription of: Letter from General Alexander W. Doniphan, at Headquarters of the 1st Brigade, 3rd Division of the Missouri Militia at Camp at Grand River, MO to General David R. Atchison of the 3rd Division of Missouri Militia at RIchmond, MO. ]
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                                                            Camp on Grand River Sept 15

            Head Quarters 1 Brig 3 Div. M. M.

            Major General David R. Atchison Commanding

            3rd Div. M. M.


                                                In pursuance of your orders

dated 11th Inst. Issued orders to Colo William A. Dunn, commanding

the 28th Regiment, to raise four companies of mounted

Riflemen, consisting of fifty men each, also to Colo

John Bowlware, Commanding the 70th Regiment, to

raise two companies of mounted riflemen, consisting

each of a like number, to start forth with for service,

in the Counties of Caldwell and Daviess, on the Same day

Colo Dunn obtained the four companies of Volunteers

required from the 28th Reg. on the morning of the

12.th I took the Command in person, & marched to the

line of Caldwell , at which point I ordered the Colo

to march the regiment to the timber on Crooked

River.  I then started For Far west, the County seat

of Caldwell , accompanied by my aid alone on

arriving at that place I found Comer, Miller &

McHany, the prisoners mentioned in your order-

I demanded of the Guard, who had them in confine-

=ment, to deliver them over to me, which was

promptly done.  I also found that the guns that

had been Captured by the sheriff & Citizens of Caldwell ,

had been distributed & placed in the hands of the

soldiery & Scattered over the County.  I ordered them

to be immediately Collected & delivered up to me


I then sent an express to Colonel Dunn to march the

Regt by day light for that place - where he arrived about

Seven A.M. making forty miles since 10 A.M. on the previous day-

when my Command arrived the guns were delivered

up amounting to 42 Stand, three Stand could not be

produced, as the had probably gone to Daviess County-

I sent these guns under a guard to your Command in

Ray County, together with with the prisoners, Comer-

the other two prisoners being Citizens of Daviess.  I retained

& brought with me to this County, & released them on

parol of honor, as I conceived their detention illegal-

At 8 A.M. we took up the line of March & proceeded

through Millport in Daviess County , thirty seven miles from

our former encampment, and arrived at the camp

of the Citizens of Daviess  & other adjoining Counties.  they

amounted to between 200 & 300 as their Commander, Dr.

Austin of Carroll, informed us.   your order requiring

them to disperse which had been forwarded in

advance of my Command by your aid, James

M. Hughes, was read to them and they were required

to disperse they professed that their object for

arming & Collecting was solely for defence, but

they were marching and Counter marching guards

out, & myself & others who approached the camp

were taken to task & required to wait the approach

of the seargeant of the guard.  I had an interview

with Dr. Austin and his professions were all pacific-

but they still continue in arms, marching & counter

marching.  I then proceeded with your aid


J. M. Hughes & my aid, Benj. Holliday, to the Mormon

encampment, commanded by Colo Lyman Wight

we held a conference with him and he proffessed

entire willingness to disband and surrender up to me

every one of the Mormons, accused of Crime, & required

in return, that the hostile force, collected by the other

citizens of the County should also disband.  At the

camp commanded by Dr. Austin I demanded the

prisoner demanded in your order, who had been re-

leased in the evening after my arrival in their

vicinity.  I took up the line of march & encamped

on the  direct  road between the two hostile encamp-

-ments where I have remained since within about

two & a half miles of Wight’s encampment, & some

times the other camp is nearer and some times further

from me – I intend to occupy this position until

your arrival, as I deem it best to preserve peace

& prevent an engagement between the parties, & if [Rept]

so for[word crossed out] a few days they will doubtless disband

without coercion.

            I have the honor to be yours with respect

                                                [A.M. Douiphan]

                                    Brg. Genl. 1 Brig: 3rd Div.

A. M. Doniphan

Genl. Atchison

Sept 15, 1838



                                                                        Grand River 17.th Sept. 1838

  Head Quarters  3 Div:  M. M.

To His Excellency, The Commander in Chief -

            Sir – I arrived at the County seat of this

County, Daviess, on the evening of the 15th inst.

with the troops raised from the militia of Ray

County, where I was joined by the troops from

Clay County , under the Command of General

Doniphan – In the same neighborhood, I joined

from two to three hundred men in arms, principally

from the County of Livingston , Carroll & Saline &

these men were embodied under pretext  of defending

the Citizens of Daviess County against the Mormons,

and were operating under the orders of a Doctor

Austin from Carroll County .  The Citizens of Da:

: viess County , or a large portion of them residing

on the East side of Grand River , had left their

farms, & removed their families, either to the ad:

:joining Counties, or collected them together at a place

called the Camp ground – the whole County, on

the  East side of Grand river , appear to be de:

:serted, with the exception of a few who are not

so timid as their neighbors –

                        The Mormons of Daviess County have

also left their farms, and have encamped for safety,

at a place immediately on the East Bank of