Missouri State Archives: Finding Aid 5.1

Mormon War Papers, 1837-1841

[ Full-text transcription of: Letter from General Samuel D. Lucas, 4th Division of Missouri Militia, at Camp near Far West, MO to Governor Boggs, Jefferson City, MO ]
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                                                Genl Lucas

                                                to

                                                Governor

                                                            Nov 2, 1838

                                                            Copied


                                    Head Quarters

                                                Camp near Far West

                                                            Nov: 2nd: 1838—

His Ex: L. W. Boggs

            Comr—in Chief. M. M.

                                                Sir—On Monday 29th

Oct: the troops ordered out by Maj: Genl: Atch:

:ison & myself (as per our report to you of

said date) took up their line of march from

camp near Richmond for Far West.  We

encamped the night of the 29th at Lin:

ville’s Creek. (a short distance from the road)

about sixteen miles from Far West, at which

point we received an express from Brig:

Genl: Doniphan, informing us that he was

then encamped on Log Creek, with a force

of 500 men, and that he would join us

at the crossing of said creek on the road

from Richmond to Far West, by 10 o’clock. A.M.

the next morning.  On 30th Oct: the troops

got together at the late named point, when

we mustered about 1800 men.  Whilst at

this place we received your orders of 26th.

ult. and I received an order of 27th.. ult. & a

letter from you of the same date.  At this

point Maj. Genl: Atchison left me for Liberty


when I was left in sole command.  Before

leaving Log Creek, I received information

that a band of Mormons, 200 in number,

called Danites, had been seen about two hours

previous, near the rout that we had passed.

Upon receiving this intelligence, I ordered a de:

:tachment of two companies from the respec:

:tive commands of Brig: Genls: Wilson, Doniphan,

Parks, & Graham, to go on pursuit of said

band, which I placed under the command

of Genl: Wilson, with instructions to intercept,

& if possible, to cut off their retreat to Far West.

I then took up my line of march for Goose

Creek, one mile south of Far West, which

Point we reached about one hour by sun

in the evening.  Just as the troops were en:

:camping, I received intelligence from

Genl: Doniphan, from his position on the

right, that he had discovered a part of

mounted Mormons approaching Far

West from the east—and requested per:

:mission to intercept them if possible.

Leave was granted, & his Brig: started off

at nearly full speed to accomplish the order,

but the mormons succeeded in reaching the

fort.  Genl: Doniphan approached within

200 yards of their fortress, when they displayed


a force of about 800 men.  At this juncture

I ordered Genl: Graham Brig: (holding Genl Parks

& part of Genl: Wilson’s mounted, in reserve)

to march at full speed to the relief of the lst.

Brig 3rd. div—but from the inequality of the

force of the first detachment (being only

250 strong at that time) & the Mormons, it

was considered provident to withdraw the troops,

& march against them in the morning.  Which

was accordingly done, and they all returned,

as dark set in, to camp—At this place I es:

tablished my Head Quarters, & continued there

during the expedition against the mormons—

The detachment under Genl. Wilson returned

about 9 o’clock P.M.  The next morning

31st October, I received a message from Col:

Hinckle, the commander of the Mormon forces,

requesting an interview with me, on an emi:

:nence near Far West, which he would desig:

:nate, by hoisting a white flag—I sent him word

that I would meet him at 2 o’clock P.M.

being so much engaged in receiving & encamping

of fresh troops, who were hourly coming

in, that I could not attend before.  Accordingly

at that time I started with my staff officers

and Brig: Genls: Wilson, Doniphan & Graham,

Genl: Parks being left in command.  We


We met him and some other mormons at

the point before mentioned.  He stated that

his object in asking me to meet him there

was to know if there could not be some

compromise or settlement of the difficulty

without a resort to arms.  After giving him

to understand the nature of your orders,

I made him the following propositions, which

I furnished him a copy of—Also a copy of your

order: viz—

                        lst: To give up their leaders to be

tried & punished.

            2nd. To make an appropriation of their

property, all who had taken up arms to its

payment of their debts and indemnity for

damage done by them—

            3rd. That the balance should leave the

State, & be protected out by the militia, but to

be permitted to remain under protection, until

further orders were received from the Commander

in Chief—

            4th. To give up their arms of every

description, to be receipted for.

                        Col: Hinckle agreed to the propostion

readily, but wished to postpone the matter until

morning.  I then told him that I would require

Jos. Smith jr., Sidney Rigdon, Lyman Wight,


Parley Pratt and Geo: W. Robinson as

hostages for his faithful compliance with

the terms, and would pledge myself and

each one of the officers present, that

in case he, after reflecting and consulting

upon the propositions during the night, de:

:clined acceding to them, that the hostages

should be returned to him in the morning,

at the same point they were received—but

it was understood, that in case they did comply,

they were to be held for trial, as part of the

leaders, called for by lst. Stipulation—I then gave

him until one hour by sun in the evening, to

produce and deliver them.  We then returned to

camp, & I directed the troops to make prepa:

:rations to march to Far West by an hour &

a half by sun, with a determination, in case

the hostages were not produced, to make an

attack upon the town forthwith.  I directed

Genl. Parks’ brigade to be mounted, & to form

on the right of the Division, to act as flankers,

if necessary, and, if required to pass entirely

around the town and form on the north

side, with instructions to make the attack,

at the report of the cannon, which was to

be the signal for the general attack.  Genl: Gra:

:ham’s brigade was mounted & formed on the

extreme left to act as flankers, and if required


to form the line on the west side, with  Sim:

:ilar instructions as to the commencement of

the attack.  Genl: Doniphans Brig: was ordered

to parade on foot and to form on the left of

Genl: Parks, with instructions to form on the

East side, with similar orders relative

to attack.  Genl: Wilsons Brig: was ordered to

parade on foot and to form on the left

of Genl. Doniphan, with instructions to form

the line of battle, on the South side, with Same

instructions, as to commencement of attack.

The artillery company, with one piece of ord:

:nance, was placed at the head of Genl: Don:

:iphan & Genl: Wilson’s Brigades, with instructions

to occupy an eminence within 300 yards

of the Town.  The army being disposed of in

this manner, at the appointed time, I took up

the line of march in the direction of Far West.

when the troops got within about 600 yards

I discovered the flag, and the hostages advan:

:cing.  I immediately halted the army, and rode

out and met them, received the hostages and

placed a guard over them for their safety and

protection, and ordered the forces back to our

encampment.  I cannot forbear at this

point expressing my gratification and

approbation of the good conduct & gallant

bravery evinced by all the officers and men


under my command.  They marched up with

as much determination and deliberation, as

old veterans, not knowing but that the

charge would be sounded every moment for

surrounding the Town.  There was no noise nor

confusion—nothing but an eager anxiety upon

the countenance of every man to get at the work.

When the hostages were received, the troops with

some slight exceptions marched back in profound

silence.  1st. Novr I ordered the whole forces

amounting to 2500 men to parade at 9 o’clock

A.M. & to take up the line of march for

Far West, and ½ past 9 o’clock to receive the

prisoners & their arms.  The troops marched out &

formed in the Prairie about 200 yards south

east of the town.  Genl: Wilson’s Brig: formed

the West line.  Genl: Doniphan’s the east line,

Genl: Graham’s & Genl’ Parks’ the South line

with the artillery company and the cannon

in the center of the two latter, leaving one

side of the square open.  The mormon army

reduced to about 600 men by desertion and

otherwise, under their commander Col. Hinckle

marched out of their town, through the space

into our square, formed a hollow square and

grounded their arms.  Col. Hinckle then

rode forward & delivered up to me his sword

& pistols.  I then directed a company from


the respective Brigades to form a front, rear,

and right & left flank guards, & to march

the prisoners back to Far West, & protect

and take charge of them, until the next

morning.  I then detailed a company from

Genl: Doniphan’s command to take charge

of the arms.  Then in order to gratify the

army, & to let the mormons see our forces,

marched around the Town, & through the

principal streets, & back to Head quarters.

Considering the war at an end in this place,

I issued orders for Gen: Doniphan’s brigade, with

the exception of one company & Genl: Graham’s

Brig: to take up their line of march for

their respective Head Quarters, & dismiss their

men—and directed Gen: Wilson to take

charge of the prisoners (demanded for trial)

& arms & march them to my head Quarters

at Independence, to await further orders,

& to dismiss all except a guard for the

prisoners & arms.  2nd. Nov: I relieved

the guard placed over the prisoners at Far

West by 4 companies of Gen: Parks’ Brig:

and placed them under the command

of Col: Thompson 2nd Brig: 3rd: Div: with

instructions to report to Gen: Clark.

            The balance of Gen: Parks’ Brigade with

Capt: Gilliam’s company of Genl Doniphan’s Brigade


Under the command of Genl: Parks, I ordered

to Adam on Diamon, a mormon town in Daviess

County, with instructions to disarm the

mormon forces at that place, and to

leave a guard of 50 men for the protec:

:tion of prisoners, & to report to Genl: Clark.

In order to carry the treaty & stipulations

into effect, I have requested your Aid:

-de-Camp Col: Williams, together with Col:

Burch & Maj: A. Reese of Ray to attend to

drawing up all the papers legally, and

directed Col: Thompson to wait on them

with a portion of his command, & to cause

all their orders and requirements consist:

:ent with the stiulations to be carried

into effect.  This day about 12 O’Clock

there was a Battalion of 100 men from

Platte arrived at Far West, which I or:

:dered back, having understood that Major Genl:

Clark would be on in a day or two, with a suffi:

:icent force to operate in Daviess and Livings:

ton, & for any service that may be requi:

:red.

                                    I have the honor to be

                                         most respectfully—

                                             Saml. D. Lucas

                                                  Maj. Genl:

                                                     Commanding—