Mormon Attacks on the Army’s Supply Trains

“On October 4 a small band of Mounted Mormons led by Major Lot Smith bypassed the Tenth Infantry and fell upon two of [Russell, Majors & Waddell’s supply] trains camped along the Green River, a very few miles from Colonel Waite’s command [Fifth Infantry]. Secure in the knowledge that the army’s calvary, the Dragoons, was some 700 miles to the east [as it had been ordered to assist keeping order in Bleeding Kansas], Smith burned these trains and the next day surprised and destroyed a third on the Big Sandy.

All told the flames lit by Smith and his few dozen men consumed seventy-two wagons containing 300,000 pounds of food, principally flour and bacon—enough provisions to feed the troops for several months.”