Battle Creek Massacre

Battle Creek MassacreThe first massacre from Mormon settlers in Utah and the Timpanogos Indians who lived there occurred at Battle Creek, Utah. The sleeping Indians were outnumbered and outgunned, and had no defense against the Deseret Militia that crept in and surrounded their camp before dawn on March 5, 1849. Mormon settlement of Utah Valley came upon the heels of the attack at Battle Creek. the first Mormon settlers arrived in Utah Valley, a group of Timpanogos Indians were attacked in a predawn maneuver by Mormon Militiamen. The Company of LDS men were called from Salt Lake City on March 1, 1849, to “go to the Utah Valley against some Indians who had been stealing a lot of horses from Brigham’s herd.” They camped in the snow the first night, near Little Cottonwood Canyon, where a rider brought “word that the horses were not stolen.” Before morning they received orders from Salt Lake City “stating that as the horses were not stolen .We need not spend any more time in search of them but to proceed with the Indians for killing cattle as had been directed, so that the nature of our expedition was not in the least changed. On the third day the Company crossed into the valley of the Utah Indians (Utah Valley, now Utah County) and was “divided into two Companies. The better to divide and scour the country as we did not know where the Indians were located.” They searched unsuccessfully all day and finally camped near Utah Lake on the American Creek (now American Fork, Utah). “We were now all very tired and cold. No sign could yet be found of the Indians.

On Sunday March 4, 1849,Two young Indian braves came to the Mormon camp and were employed as guides to take the Company to those they sought. On this clear, brightly moonlit night, the Mormons followed the Provo River to the foot of the mountains then proceeded northward along the high mountain bench (above present north Orem and Lindon, Utah). They deposited their horses in a cedar grove on the mountainside and while most of the company waited near there, a reconnaissance party continued northward on foot until they spotted Indian campfires: