Thursday, August 6, 2009

History of the Southern States Mission, Part 22: The Cane Creek Massacre

The scene at the home of the Condors was sad indeed by this time. When the Elders arrived there in the morning they sang a few songs by way of enlivening their spirits and putting them in unison with their God that they might better instruct the people in righteousness. One of the hymns they sang was "I Have No Home, Where Shall I Go?" This is one of the stanzas:
"My life is sought, where shall I flee?
Lord, take me home to dwell with Thee;
Where all my sorrows will be o'er,
And I shall sigh and weep no more."
This was followed by "When Shall We All Meet Again?"

Elder Gibbs turned to Elder Thompson and said to him: "That hymn suggests a good text to preach from," whereupon he took his Bible to look it up.

And thus with hymns of holiness being sung to God and divine thoughts dwelling in their minds, making them pour out their whole souls in humble devotion to God, they passed the Sabbath morning up to the time of the meeting. Many of the people of the surrounding country had gathered together to listen to the words of instruction to be delivered by these holy men of God. The whole gathering partook of the influence of God Almighty, and no more inspiring scene could be thought of than that one where the sheep of God's fold had come united upon one thing, to ask wisdom of Him and to render their sincere thanks to Him for His exceeding goodness.

In the midst of this devout gathering the fiends in men's forms who had stopped Elder Jones, came rushing upon the scene. Brother Condor, who stood at the gate, was seized by the mob; he realizing what was about to take place, called to his son and step-son, who stood in the orchard, and told them to run and get their guns and defend the lives of the Elders, whom he considered to be under his guardian care. But David Hinson, who appeared to be the leader of the mob, first reached the room where the gun was hanging, and crossing the room was about to take it from the hook when he was interrupted by Martin, the son of Brother Condor, who had left the orchard, but not in time to get the gun. A tussle followed between the two for the possession of it; the miscreant, seeing he was about to lose, then drew a pistol and snapped it at the young man; it failed to go off, but had the effect of causing yonug [sic] Condor to step back. This left the mobber with the gun in keeping. Realizing this, the brute lost no time in whirling about and shooting the contents of the gun into the body of Elder Gibbs. The shot entered below the armpit, causing a ghastly wound, which the Elder immediately clasped his hand over and fell in innocent blood—a martyr to the cause of Christ.

Meanwhile a gun was presented at Elder Thompson, but Elder Berry, who was near by, grasped it firmly and turned it from the body of his companion. Thus left free Elder Thompson escaped through the back door. As he left he saw two other guns leveled at Elder Berry, who seemed to sense the the [sic] coming fate; he meekly bowed his head and received the shots about the waist; without a groan he fell, without protestation he offered his martyred blood that it might be seed for the church.

Martin Condor, as soon as Elder Gibbs fell, sprang upon the leader, Hinson, who had shot Gibbs, and began to attack him. Before anything effectual could be done the young man was shot by other parties, and a third had fallen a victim of fiendish passion.

J.R. Hudson, a half brother of Martin, was the next victim. While the foregoing fight had been going on he had crawled into the loft of the house and procured his gun. Coming down from there, he reached the room just as the leader was leaving by the front door. Before he could shoot several men grabbed him, but tearing himself loose he raised his gun and shot the leader, killing him instantly. At this someone outside exclaimed: "I will have revenge." The next moment Hudson fell mortally wounded, dying an hour later, a fourth martyr and victim.

Latter Day Saints Southern Star, Vol. 1, No. 26, Chattanooga, Tenn. Saturday, May 27, 1899, p 201.

Photo of Bledsoe Creek State Park in Tennessee from

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for posting these! It has been great to read more details about the Cane Creek Massacre {as it is called in our family history}. John H. Gibbs was a brother to my great-great-grandfather.