Friday, September 1, 2017

Indian Attack

In recent years, we have written about the Indians here in California. After telling their story, I have become aware of the hubris of Europeans who arrived here in America, usurped their lands, and destroyed their way of life. Recently, I have been transcribing accounts of my own ancestors, and I have become painfully aware of their part in doing the same. In this account, my great-grandfather recounts his encounter with the Indians in Utah. I present it as a historical account only. In no way, do I condone the actions of those who arrived and showed no respect for those already living on the land.

Indian Attack
An account given by Marinus Lund
of Spring City, Utah.

Edited by Lorna Lund Collins

During the month of April, a company of "Minute Men" was organized at Spring City, Sanpete County, Utah, for guarding, scouting, and general service in protecting the settlers from the Indians. The company was composed of ten picked men, who were on duty all the time during the spring and summer of 1867.

Everybody moved along quietly until the morning of August 13, 1867, when about twenty men with teams left Spring City for the hayfield, which was about six miles southwest of the town. Contrary to the usual custom, the scouting ahead of the cowherd was not done that morning.

A company of Indians, who evidently had spent the previous night in the stone-quarry hills, about a half-mile south of the hay road, saw the cow herd coming over the hills north of the road. In their effort to reach the cowherd, the Indians encountered the hay teams. The Minute Men were guarding the herd and were attracted by the reports of the guns fired by the Indians in their attack on the hay teams.

William Scott, Sanford Allred, and myself [sic] rode to the place where the firing was heard. On our way, we saw Andrew Johnson, a driver of one of the hay teams, going north with an arrow in his back. He had been shot by an Indian while on his wagon.

Sanford Allred, who was armed with a cap and ball pistol, went to Spring City to report. William Scott left me and rode down west. I yelled and asked him to wait for me.

I had nearly reached him when Mr. Scott said, "Look behind you.”

I then discovered that several Indians were riding close behind me. I turned in my saddle and fired at them. They rode away.

When I reached Scott, I asked him where he was going? [sic] He said that he was afraid his father-in-law, James Meeks, had been killed.

I then left Scott and rode north to the cowherd. On the way, I met William Blain, who had been shot through the ear by the Indians. Mr. Blain told me not to get scared. I showed him the nearest way to town, and told him to go there as fast as he could. The Indians were then all south of us.

I then met Jack Allred and asked him where he was going. He said that he was going down to get his horse out of the band, which the Indians had stolen. As he was crippled, I told him that I would go with him and help him catch his horse. I suggested that the Indians might kill him; to which he replied that he did not care.

We went east to a place where other Minute Men were stationed on top of a hill. At the foot of this hill, two Indians rode by without seeing us. Neither did we see them until they had passed.

When we arrived at the top of the hill, I dismounted and tied my horse to a cedar tree. As I dismounted, three Indians rode by. I shot at them three times.

Captain John Hitchcock asked me if I was shot.

I told him, "No."

He then said that my horse was shot, if I wasn't, but my horse was not hurt.

Jack Allred said “You hit an Indian.”

“I am not certain whether I did or not," was my reply.

Later, we caught a mule, which one of the Indians that I shot at had been riding. This mule had been stolen from Peter Oldroyd at Glenwood at the fight in March, 1867.

I then rode towards Spring town and met members of the militia, who were coming to the rescue of the herd and hay teams.

The Indians had stolen twenty-eight head of horses and started to the mountains with them. We followed the Indians up the trail south of Bill Allred's canyon, and the militia had a small engagement with them on the mountainside.

The Indians were followed to the top of Horseshoe Mountain, and on the way up my horse gave out.

Thomas Coates, a tame Indian from Moroni, and I followed to the top of the Horseshoe.

When we arrived there, we discovered that all the militiamen had returned to Springtown, and we did not see any Indians there.

Then we returned to Springtown, where we arrived about nine o'clock at night.

Here we learned that William Scott's father-in-law, James Meeks had been killed, and Andrew Johansen, who had been wounded, died that night.


  1. Replies
    1. Especially since this is his first-hand accoutn.

  2. Replies
    1. I thought so. We have heard many accounts in films, etc. But this is in his own words.

  3. Wow! If he hadn't keep an accounting of his life we would never know this story. Fascinating.

    1. I feel very fortunate to have all of this information on my ancestors. Really puts our lives in perspective!

  4. Very interesting - and amazing that it's in his own words.