Russell, Majors & Waddell’s Complaint to Congress

“When in 1860 members of the firm Russell, Majors & Waddell came to meditate on their experience in the Mormon War, they were to consider themselves victims of their own generosity and the army’s eminent folly. In that year they presented a claim to the United States Congress for certain sums which they felt the Government in all fairness owed them. When they had been required by the War Department in 1857 to transport an unexpectedly large amount of supplies to Utah on very short notice, they had not demanded a new contract. Instead, they had accepted the promise of the Assistant Quartermaster at Fort Leavenworth that Congress would reward the contractors with a fair profit, or at the very least would protect them from financial loss. Subsequent events proved the worthlessness of this of this guarantee. Furthermore, the contractors complained that their trains could have reached Utah unharmed by the Mormons if the army had not interfered with their normally rapid rate of of travel by forcing them to move with elements of the expedition. Even worse, Van Vliet had ordered the trains in advance of the main army to halt at the Green River, where they were compelled to sit in idleness until the Mormons pounced on them.

What most enraged the managers of the company, however, was the fact that three of their trains had been destroyed almost within sight of the army and after two of its senior officers had received ample warning of impending trouble.”