Mormons Expelled from Nauvoo

The wolfpacks converged on Nauvoo with artillery and anywhere from 1,500 to 1,500 men. Their leaders, who were militiamen and preachers and thus usurped the airs of both legality and righteousness, were quarreling among themselves over authority, but they were united in their lust for violence. The state stood by helplessly; the federal government, then and later, did nothing. The thousand or so men, women, and children inside the city, of whom perhaps 100 to 150 were capable of war and of whom many were Gentiles threw up barricades and planted crude mines in the roads, and made cannonballs out of an old steamboat shaft. Their resistance was heroic, hopeless, and absurd. After several days of wild shooting, sneaking, and scrambling that resulted in three Mormon deaths and an unknown number of casualties among the attackers, peacemakers met under a white flag and the Mormons agreed to clear out at once. By the evening of September 17 [1846], jeered, harassed, beaten, possessing only what they could hastily tie into bundles, the last of the Saints crossed the Mississippi. The next day the mob expressed its mind by throwing out the Gentile residents too, and settled down to drink and fight and burn and deface and defile with the singleminded enthusiasm of Moslem troops shooting the faces off statues in a captured temple of the infidel.