Warning from U.S. Military Officer - 1842
Sangamo Journal – July 8, 1842
AN OFFICER OF THE U. S. ARTILLERY.
This letter requires no comments. We ask the people of this State, shall Joe Smith dictate to them? Shall he tell them for whom they shall vote for Governor and Lt. Governor? Let the people answer.
The same paper contains a letter from an officer of the U. S. artillery under date; "City of Nauvoo, Ill., May 8, 1842" in which the writer says --
"Yesterday was a great day among the Mormons. Their Legion, to the number of two thousand men, was paraded by General Smith, Bennett and others, and certainly made a very noble and imposing appearance. The evolutions of the troops directed by Major General Bennett, would do honor to any body of armed militia in any of the States, and approximates very closely to our regular forces. WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN? Why the exact discipline of the Mormon corps? DO THEY INTEND TO CONQUER MISSOURI, ILLINOIS, MEXICO? It is true they are part of the militia of the State of Illinois, by the charter of their Legion, but then there are no troops in the States like them in point of enthusiasm and warlike aspect, yea warlike character. Before many years this Legion will be twenty, and perhaps fifty thousand strong, and still augmenting. A fearful host, filled with religious enthusiasm, and led on by ambitious and talented officers, what may not be effected by them? perhaps the subversion of the constitution of the United States and if this be considered too great a task, foreign conquest will most certainly follow. Mexico will fall into their hands, even it.
"These Mormons are accumulating, like a snow-ball rolling down an inclined plane, which in the end becomes an avalanche. They are also enrolling among their officers some of the first talent in the country, by titles or bribes. It Don't matter which. They have appointed your namesake, Capt. Bennett, late of the army of the United States, Inspector General of their Legion, and he is commissioned as such by Gov. Carlin. This gentleman is known to be well skilled in fortification, gunnery, ordinance. castramentation, and military engineering generally, and I am assured that he is now under pay, derived from the tithings of this warlike people. I have seen his plans for fortifying Nauvoo, which are equal to any of Vauban's.
I arrived here incog. on the 1st inst., and from the great preparation for the military parade, was induced to stay to see the turn-out, which I confess has astonished and filled me with fears for future consequences. The Mormons, it is true, are now peaceable, but the lion is asleep. Take care, and don't rouse him.
The Mormons number in Europe and America about one hundred and fifty thousand, and are constantly pouring into Nauvoo and the neighboring country. There are probably in about this city and adjacent territories, not far from 30,000 of these warlike fanatics, this place having been settled by them only three years ago.
WORD FAITH INDEX