Friday, August 7, 2009

History of the Southern States Mission, Part 23: After the Massacre

The fiendish brutes, with the life-blood of four noble men dripping from their murderous hands, did not seem fully satisfied with their fiendish deeds; on the contrary, they seemed to crave for more blood. Immediately after the shooting of Brother Hudson they stepped up to the window of the room and shot a volley into the house, most of the shots taking effect in the body of Elder Gibbs, of whom the outlaws seemed to have the utmost hatred. The desecration of the body of this noble man is sufficient to reveal the contemptible character of the men; but it goes still further in uncovering the brutal phases of human nature when excited by that spirit which actuated the slayers of the Savior. The spirit of hatred was remarkably present in His persecutors, but they had enough respect for His lifeless body as not to abuse it. Not so with these fiends incarnate; with devilish pleasure they went about their second task and vented their hatred upon the lifeless clay that felt not their diabolical deeds nor heard their despicable utterances.

In shooting into the room some of the shots lodged in the hip of the wife of Brother Condor, who, like the rest, was entirely innocent of anything of a derogatory nature, but, nevertheless, seemed to come under the blighting ban of this lawless element.

Having become satiated in their inimicable desires, they gathered their fallen leader to themselves and left the scene of carnage.

As soon as they left the people who were at or near the house at the time the mob came, but had fled to the woods at the commencement of hostility, now returned, one by one, to view the result of the dastardly work. The clothes of the martyrs were saturated with their own blood, and with their gaping wounds, glossy eyes and blanched countenances, presented a sickening sight to the knot of people that had gathered around them.

The bodies were soon washed and laid side by side. Plain coffins of poplar lumber were procured, and in them were placed the remains of the Elders and their brave defenders, whose lives were also sacrificed. In due time the bodies were buried, the Condor boys to remain there clasped in Mother Earth's bosom until the resurrection, and the Elders' remains until friends could re-inter them in the soil of their fatherland.

Elder Jones, upon arriving at Shady Grove, Monday morning, met Elder J.G. Kimball, to whom he related his adventures and gave him some of the details of the affair, having heard the shooting. Anxious for the welfare of the endangered brethren, the two obtained horses and a guide and Tuesday morning prepared to make a journey to Cane Creek. They had not proceeded on their way more than eight miles before they met Elder Thompson, who had fled from Brother Condor's house immediately after the killing of Elder Gibbs; he was being conveyed by Brother Garrett in a carriage to a place of safety. He had lain out in the woods for two nights. Brother Garrett, upon hearing of this, sent him word that if he would be at a certain place at a given time, arrangements would be made to take him wherever he desired to go. They proceeded, after meeting at the appointed time and place, toward Shady Grove, near which they met the outgoing brethren.

After Elder Thompson had related the terrible events that had just transpired to the brethren, they proceeded to the telegraph station and there wired President Roberts at Chattanooga. Upon hearing of the catastrophe he wired immediately to President Morgan for the necessary means to remove the bodies to their relatives at home in Utah. Not wishing, however, to have any delay, he procured the assistance of Mr. B. Moses, a merchant tailor, of Chattanooga, who gave his security for two metal caskets and loaned $100 to the brethren; subsequently he loaned them $200 more. These acts of kindness upon the part of Mr. Moses will be forever remembered by all who were in any way connected with the lamentable affair.

(To be Continued.)

Latter Day Saints Southern Star, Vol. 1, No. 27, Chattanooga, Tenn. Saturday, June 3, 1899, p 209.

Picture of the wake-robin trillium in Roan Mountain, Tennessee, from

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