Missouri State Archives: Finding Aid 5.1

Mormon War Papers, 1837-1841

[ Full-text transcription of: Letter from General Robert Wilson, 2nd Brigade, 1st Division of the Missouri Militia, at Keytesville, MO to General John B. Clark, 1st Division of Missouri Militia ]
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                                    Keytsville Nov 25th 1838

Genl Clark

                        Sir   I persuance of your

order dated at Far West Nov 7th I marched

with the troops under my command for Adam

Ondi Ahman in the County of Davies where

I arrived on the 8th  Immediately after my arrival

I had called together all the Mormons then

residing in Daviess County and distinctly

informed them of the nature of the order of

the Commander in Chief and that you had

transfered the same to the undersigned to be

executed in the County of Daviess  I also in=

formed them that they would be permitted

to remain in Daviess County during the

winter or that they at their option should

be permitted peacibly to remove themselves

and property to Caldwell County if they

desired so to do that I would remain

ten days with a sufficient force for

their protection and that I would give

to such as desired it a written permit

to remove to Caldwell or out of the State

So soon as this was made Known to them

they unanimously made application

and received the permit above alluded

to and in the course of ten days all the

Mormons residing at that point with

a few exceptions had removed in peace

and safety  I would here give it as my

opinion that owing to the hostility these

people had produced against themsilves

by their excesses and depredations upon

the property and lives of the Citizens would

not have been permitted to remain here

in safety and of this the Mormons seemed

to be well satisfied

I found the greater portion of these people

to be late emigrants to this place from

Canada and the Northern parts of the United

States encamped mostly in tents un=

provided [“for” crossed out] with provisions for the

winter  I was told upon enquiry that

the prisoners had not been guarded

since their surrender and that such as

knew they could be identified by the

Citizens had mostly absconded   such

of the Mormons as could be identified

were placed on trial before a justice

of the peace

            The Mormons have done immense injury

to the Citizens of the County first by

robbing them of all their movable property

and then burning their houses apart

of this property was found at Adam Ondi Ahman

but the greater portion is still missing

The people of Daviess County during my

stay among them conducted themselves

towards the Mormons with great proprie

=ty and even generosity  I am fully satis

=fied for myself that no people having any

claims to honesty would permit such

a band of robbers as these Mormons

have proved themselves to be to reside

among them  it is useless for me here

to recapitulate the evidence upon which

this opinion is founded as you as you

must be fully in possession of the

same from the enquiry now going

[“on” erased] forward at Richmond

I have great pleasure in being able

to testify to you of the good [“behavior” erased] conduct

of the troops under my Command both

officers and privates discharged their

duty to my entire satisfaction and without

a murmur so far as I am informed

no Mormon was injured in person or

property by any person under my Com—


Finding the Civil authorities of Daviess

County in a situation to discharge all the

duties required of them by law  I refered

to their decision all matters in

dispute in relation to property between

Citizens and Mormons under the belief

that an exercise of Military authority

under the circumstances would have

been improper.

The extent of the injury sustained

by the Citizens would not be fully ascer

=tained but so far as my observation

and information extended the whole

County is laid wast and I fear many

will suffer during the winter.  It is

impossible witness these scenes of

distress without feeling the deepest

indignation against the leaders

of these people who under the sacred

name of Religion have caused their

followers to commit the most horrid

crimes ever perpitrated in any County

and that too as they alledge [“d” erased] for the ad

vancement of the Kingdom of Christ

The troops under my command have

all returned home and I am this far on

the rout subject to your further orders

                        I have the Honor to be


                        with great respect

                        Your obt svt

                                    Robert Wilson Brg Genl

                                                2nd Brg 1st D. M M



Nov. 25, 1838