Black Hawk War (1865–1872) - Events - Salina Canyon Fight

Salina Canyon Fight

Black Hawk sent runners out asking Jake Arapeen's band to join Black Hawk's band in Salina Canyon. The settlers at Salina did not even notice that the Utes who had been living in the valley had all disappeared. The two bands together had about 90 men. They killed two white men in Salina Canyon and drove off Salina's entire herd of cattle and horses, bringing the total to about 125. Calls for help went out from Salina to the territorial militia, then known as the Nauvoo Legion from Gunnison, Manti, Ephraim, and Spring City.

The eighty-four men of the Legion headed by Colonel Reddick Allred started up Salina Canyon on April 12. Thinking that the Indians would flee before such an imposing show of force, the militia failed to anticipate an ambush. In a narrow stretch of the canyon the Utes poured down arrows and bullets onto the mounted militia below. The instant panic that ensued among the untrained militia was a disaster. Only their speed of retreat prevented more of the Legion from being shot. They left one wounded young man to his fate and the body of another behind. They didn't stop until they reached Salina and had to listen to the jeers and taunts of Black Hawk and his men that night. Allred was relieved of command and Colonel Warren S. Snow was appointed to take over during the emergency.

Too afraid to go back to the canyon to retrieve the bodies, Snow persuaded Sanpitch, a Sanpete Valley Chief to scout Salina Canyon for them so the settlers could retrieve the bodies of the two young men. When Sanpitch returned with word that Black Hawk had gone over the pass into Castle Valley, the Legion returned to the canyon and brought back the dead: Jens Sorenson who had been terribly mutilated, and William Kearnes, the son of the Mormon bishop of Gunnison, who had been carefully protected. They also came back convinced that Sanpitch had met with Black Hawk and sent him over the pass, implying that Chief Sanpitch was the architect of the whole affair.

Read more about this topic:  Black Hawk War (1865–1872), Events

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U.S. Route 89 In Utah - History
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