Saturday, February 13, 2010

Church History in the Family - Utah War

Language of the Mormon pioneers, by George w. Givens
dugway - n. slang term for a simple dug-out road.
"Martin Luther Ensign, a missionary returning to Utah from a mission remembered seeking out his family after their move south to escape Johnston's invading army. He found them as they were returning home.' Started for home on July 4th. we met the Army on 6th in the narrows of the Jordon river and were Delade for a half day because we could not pass them on the dugway. It was very hot & we suffered for water for our selves & teems continued our Journey in the afternoon arrived at our home in Brigham City July 10th 1858.' " (BYU Studies, Journal Vol. 29, No. 4, category: Pioneer Period, "The Move South," by Richard d. Poll.)

I [Susanna DUNN HUNSACKER] went with my father [Simeaon Adams DUNN] in the move south in January 1858, after my second mother died and left me at the age of fifteen with my father and his little ones. I remember, before we moved south, we filled our homes with straw so if the soldiers came to take possession, we could fire them, and they could not take them as they had done in Nauvoo. When we moved south, I met Heber C. Kimball and he asked me if I thought we would ever get back to Brigham City. I told him I did not know but I hoped so. He said, “I promise you that you will get back, and soon, and no harm will come to you.” We moved back to Brigham City in July. (Personal history of Susannah Dunn Hunsacker.)

The Dunn Family--My grandparents, Simeon Adams Dunn and Harriett Atwood Silver were married at Winter Quarters, January 3, 1847, by President Brigham Young. They arrived in Utah September 28, 1848, and established their home in Brigham City. On December 31, 1857, to their family were added twin babies, Harriett and Henry Silver. The tiny girl died shortly after birth, and two days later, on January 2, 1858, the mother, Harriett, closed her eyes in death, having given her life for her family and the religion she had espoused. Twice before, this good husband and father had been called upon to lay away a devoted wife and .companion. This time his heart was almost broken as he placed the form of his lovely young wife in the crude, home-made casket and laid her lifeless baby daughter in her arms.

Three months later, in April 1858, the call came for all Saints to leave their homes in northern Utah, and journey southward. Simeon Adams Dunn loaded a few provisions and household effects into his covered wagon, assisted his motherless children to their place in the wagon box, and cracking his long whip over the backs of his oxen, commenced his journey. He had also provided a wagon for his eldest daughter [Mary DUNN ENSIGN] and her three little girls [Mary Adaline, Georgianna, Emma Lovinia], and they traveled together. The husband and father of this little family, Martin Luther Ensign, at that time was serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [in England].

As they proceeded on their way, baby Henry became very ill. They camped on Kay's Creek, (now Kaysville) and there they saw the life depart from their lovely three-months-old baby son and brother. The father made his little family as safe and comfortable as possible in this temporary camp, and with a sad and heavy heart slowly wended his way back to the lonely grave in the Brigham City Cemetery. Very near to it he dug a very small, new grave, and in it tenderly laid the remains of his baby boy.

He found the town empty, except for a few men who had remained behind, ready at a moment's notice to touch a match to the homes and buildings if the enemy should enter the city. He went into his house, expecting to spend the night there, but it was so quiet and lonely it was more than he could endure, so he went to the stable, laid down by his faithful oxen, and spent the night near them. Early the next morning he was on his way to rejoin his family. He found them safe and well and they continued their journey as far south as Payson, where they made their camp and remained until the Saints were counseled by the Church leader, to return to their homes.

From the diary of my father, Charles Oscar Dunn, who was four years old at the time of the move, I quote: "On our return home we passed the soldiers at the point of the mountain. It was a great sight to see them march by us. As we watched them pass, the wind blew my hat off and it rolled down a steep dugway and into the Jordan River, so I had to go on home without a hat, which made me very sad. We reached home alright but found all of our possessions gone, and our house empty."--Eva Dunn Snow. (Heart Throbs of the West, Kate B. Carter, Vol.10, p.259-260.)

Samuel SMITH family
When Jennett Maria Smith first baby was two weeks old, the United States armies were expected to wipe this people (Mormons) off the earth and the people were told by church leaders to move south to Utah County. She was too ill to travel so was left behind with one or two other women who were also too ill. Only one man, the sheriff, was left to guard the town. After a week or so, her husband, Samuel returned, being so worried about her, and moved her south on her bed.

Francis HAWKES went to the mountains and serve as a baker for the Mormon defenders. It was around this time Francis' first wife Georgina Maria Maddsen and their child Georgina Mary Hawkes died.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The army general's name was Johnston, not Johnson