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History of Mountain Meadow, Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia (Links Added)
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The territorial militia (affectionately, the Nauvoo Legion), which included every able-bodied man between the ages of eighteen and forty-five, was on full alert. Staff officers, who were also church and civic officials, were dispatched to every settlement under their command to explain and enforce militia decisions. George A. Smith, who commanded all of the southern militia units, arrived in Parowan on 8 August and began the task of preparing the people psychologically, militarily, and materially for war. The units of the Tenth Regiment of the territorial militia were mustered and drilled, and the impending battle plan was explained. Smith, an effective orator and founder of Iron and Washington counties, made several impassioned speeches and apparently accomplished his purpose. The people were convinced that they were in a state of war and were ready to take action.

As the Fancher train moved south without a pass from the Mormons, contact with the local settlers became more abrasive. Stories of both fact and fancy were embellished with each telling. By the time the wagon train reached Cedar City, reports of gross misconduct were believed. The old troubles in Missouri and Illinois were rehashed. The murder of beloved apostle Parley P. Pratt in May of that year in northwest Arkansas was also remembered.

Several meetings were held in Cedar City and Parowan to determine how the "War Orders" should be implemented. The militia decided that the Fancher train should be eliminated. Cooler heads prevailed temporarily and an express rider was sent to Salt Lake City to solicit Brigham Young's advice. The round trip--more than 500 miles--took six days. In the meantime, things got completely out of hand. Orders and counterorders were misinterpreted, deliberately or otherwise.


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