As observance of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War continues across the Nation, for information about Utah specific commemoration events please see our event calendar.
Camp Floyd/Stagecoach Inn State Park has some new happenings to be aware of. The following post is written by Camp FLoyd Curator Megan Kellar. We are excited to hear what is in the works.
Image used by permission
Camp Floyd is tied into the story of the Civil War. The soldiers at Camp Floyd went on to fight in the battles of a Gettysburg, Bulls Run, Shiloh, and more. At Camp Floyd / Stagecoach Inn State Park and Museum we have several new developments. Recently, we added an exhibit throughout the Stagecoach Inn which describes its history though its 89 years in operation. Now, we’re working on an exhibit which highlights the archaeological digs at Camp Floyd. These digs in the 80’s and early 90’s were part of BYU’s field school led by Dr. Dale Berg. The series of digs uncovered four different structures of the 10th Infantry: enlisted men’s barracks, officer’s quarters, and department headquarters. Today many of these items are still being cataloged and are housed at Fort Douglas. The new exhibit will describe archaeological concepts through the objects. We’re also working on exhibits on the first Masonic lodge in the State of Utah started by the soldiers at Camp Floyd, the coins found at Camp Floyd including some from Canada and Mexico, and the drawings of Captain Albert Tracy. These exhibits will completed by July of this year and are funded by a grant from Utah Arts and Museums.
In planning the exhibit on Captain Albert Tracy’s sketches we learned something new. This is a sketch from Tracy’s original sketchbook in the New York Public Library. Through the grant from Utah Arts and Museums, we received funding to purchase new images of 4 of Tracy’s sketches from the New York Public Library. Previously, we had only seen the sketches in volume 19 of the Utah Historical Quarterly published in 1945. This volume features Tracy’s journal in its entirety from 1858-1860 while Tracy was part of the Utah Expedition. You can read a digital copy of the full volume through the link below:
In the journal, these two sketches are on different pages and feature different dates. They are not linked in anyway and we had no idea they were actually combined. It’s so exciting to discover new information and see the sketches as they were intended to be viewed.
More exciting things to come from Camp Floyd!
Curator, Camp Floyd/Stagecoach Inn State Park
"The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies."
Source: Salerie Strauss: The Answer Sheet
As the Thanksgiving season comes to a quick close this year, many hearts have been brought to be thankful for what they have. In the midst of
the Civil War, after the battles at Gettysburg, Vicksburg among others,
President Licoln issued a proclamation on October 3, 1863 to declare a day of
Lincoln knew that the moral of both the armies and much of the nation were down during this time period. A war believed to only last 90 days at the beginning was now nearing the end of a second year.
The Thanksgiving Proclamation reads:
By the President of the United States of America.
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our
national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.
By the President: Abraham Lincoln
William H. Seward,
Secretary of State
We hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!
Source: Picture and Proclamation Text found at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2012/11/21/lincolns-historic-thanksgiving-proclamation-of-1863/
On October 26, 1862 Patrick Edward Connor and the soldiers of the 3rd California Volunteers established Camp Douglas on a ridge just outside the City of Great Salt Lake. Today, 150-years later, again the flag was raised over Fort Douglas in commemoration of its founding. In addition, Building 32 was named after long time supporter Zeke Dumke.
For a view of the celebration please visit.... please click here Founder's Day Celebration
Connor and his men were supposed to re-establish Fort Crittenden in the Cedar Valley. By the time the 3rd California soldiers had reached Fort Crittenden in late September/early October, the post had already been scavenged and the "owner" was asking for $15,000 to purchase the land! It is unknown if Connor chose the current site in Salt Lake City while visiting the city or not. It makes you wonder what the soldiers thought. They had a different treatment and reaction than Johnston's soldiers recieved only three years previous. The stage is now set for the establishment of Camp Douglas on 26 October 2012.
In August, the BYU Religious Studies Center and Deseret Bookreleased "Civil War Saints", a book three years in the making. Editor and BYU Associate Professor, Ken Alford, with a team of student research assistants present a list identifying 384 Latter-day Saint Civil War Veterans-- although not a complete list, this is a great start.
Few Utahn's know that just over 100 men served in Utah during the Civil War under Lot Smith from May 1862-August 1862, prior to the arrival of the 3rd California Volunteers in October.
While many know the establishment of Camp Douglas on 26 October 1862, was in relation to the American Civil War, few realize the effects of the "Utah War" (1857-1858) on the American Civil War, or Abraham Lincoln's relationship with the Mormons. Civil War Saints explores these events and many others as well as the stories of other Latter-day Saints who served and died during the Civil War.
Source: BYU Press Release, September 18, 2012 ; Photo: Ken Alford (used by permission)
To see full BYU press release article please click Here!!!
Sources have listed various dates in relation to General Patrick Edward Connor's arrival in the Salt Lake Valley. While trying to narrow this date down to the correct date, this much is known. This event occured sometime around the middle to the end of September, prior to the arrival of Federal troops and establishment of Camp Douglas on the 26th day of October 1862. This would not be the first stationing of troops in Utah. The first major military establishment was Camp Floyd in 1858. Connor's men were to re-establish Camp Floyd, which had been scavenged by the time the troops arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. This is the subject for a future post, as it will play a role in the reason
Also to note this week is the 150th anniversary of Antietam on September 17, 1862.
As the time is growing near to the official establishment of Camp Douglas, the feelings of the Utah settlers must have been heightened. To have one military occupation leave Utah would have been a relief, but was it fear when the news was received that Connor and his men were underway?
Around this time Connor and his men would have been in Nevada on their way to Utah but it is not known what their thoughts were. It has been understood from later interpretations of history that many of the soldiers assigned to Utah would have rather been sent to the battlefields of the East than to the desert reaches of Utah Territory.
In a few short weeks Camp Douglas would be established three miles outside of Salt Lake City where it would remain a military reservation for 129 years. As we look forward to reaching its sesquicentennial year a return to the thoughts and feelings of the area are only natural.
When Johnston's army left the Territory, relief must have been felt among the settlers. Early in 1862, Lot smith and his men were enlisted by President Abraham Lincoln to protect the mail routes between Green River and the border of Utah Territory for the period of nine months. By June 1862, Lincoln had assigned Patrick Edward Connor and the 3rd California Volunteers to Utah Territory which was part of the Pacific Theatre of the Civil War. Connor and his men would arrive in Utah to establish Camp Douglas on October 26, 1862.
148 years ago today, the Gettysburg Address was given at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania by President Abraham Lincoln during the dedication of the National Cemetery. While this did not have a direct impact on Utah Civil War history, it did impact the entire country.