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.
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
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.