Also contributing to his decision was his concern with the manner in which the trial of the Indian murderers of Gunnison was being conducted. Although he and his men had had good relations with the Mormon citizens during the winter, by spring he was writing to Washington, D.C., that a force of troops be sent to control the Indians in southern Utah because they were under the control of Mormon authorities. He soon left Utah for the West Coast.
By 1855 Steptoe was back East in garrison at Fort Monroe, Virginia. The fortunes of military life moved him the next year to Washington Territory, where he was soon engaged in the defense of Cascades, Fort Dalles, and Fort Walla Walla. He also participated in the Yakima and Spokane expeditions of 1856 and 1858, and he was involved in the battle of To-hots-nim-me, Washington, against hostile Indians on 17 May 1858. As a result, Steptoe was forced to take sick leave for the next three years, and resigned his commission on 1 November 1861. He died 1 April 1865 near Lynchburg, Virginia, at the age of forty-nine.
Brigham D. Madsen