September 24, 2008 — We are still in Cedar City, Utah today. This Comfort Inn is so new and nice it is hard to leave. That and we have a good price. We are finally resting up after all the excitement for the past 4 plus weeks.
So today we just went on a small site seeing trip to see a bit of history. We drove about an hour southeast of here to see the Mountain Meadows Monument. This is actually both a monument up on the hill and a grave marker located where the bodies were found after the massacre that occurred over 150 years ago on September 11, 1857. Though it is not absolutely known what happened, it is pretty much agreed that a group of militia Mormons massacred a group of 120 men, women and children who were emigrating by wagon train from Arkansas & Missouri to California. The militia first disquised themselves as Indians and the emigrants defended themselves for 5 days. Then, dressed in civilian clothes, the militia offered a truce on behalf of the “Indians” in which the emigrants willingly laid down their weapons. The militia then slaughtered nearly every single one of them, except for about 5 kids. It is suspected that it happened in retribution to the way the Mormons were treated in Arkansas. It is unclear if any real Indians were involved, though the Indians say no. All in all it is a tragic story.
When we saw the monument with all the names of the victims and few survivors, it was disheartening to see how many of the massacred were actually young children. At the grave site, there was a hand written note and a rose from one of the descendants of the militia with an apology. I’m sure that this is a lot for a descendent to live with.
Here are some links to sites on this subject:
I first learned about this massacre through fiction while reading REDEYE by Clyde Edgerton.