Chief Little Soldier


by Peter Gottfredson


April 12th. William H. Seegmiller of Richfield, Sevier County, Utah, gives the following account of a fight between a small party of soldiers from Camp Douglas and a band of Indians under Chief Little Soldier at Pleasant Grove, Utah County. Returning from San Pedro (Cal.) with Woodmansee Bros. freight train, Sam Serine, captain, on the evening of April 12, 1863, we camped at Pleasant Grove, Utah County. We had been camped but a short time when a band of Indians, probably fifty, under the leadership of Little Soldier came to our camp and inquired if we were Americats. We answered no, and he then asked if we knew where the Americats were camped, we told them that we did not know. They then said: 'we find them.'

They passed on down the street towards the center of town. Some of Brigadier General Connor's command from Fort Douglas were in town, we saw two or three wagons with heavy canvas covers on and some mules; also teamsters and a few soldiers. Soon we heard a loud report, and learned that Connor's men had found out that the Indians were coming for them, and had shot a "Howitzer" a small cannon, at them as they were turning to go south to where the soldiers were located.

We were informed that the soldiers went to Samuel Green's house on the east side of the road and asked the people to leave, which, they did in a hurry. The soldiers then went into the house, pulled their cannon in with them, pulled up some of the floor and got under it leaving their wagons in the road and their mules and horses were in a corral on the west side of the street. The Indians dared not follow the troops into the house, but shot into it through the door and window, peppering the back wall with bullets. When the Indians saw they could not successfully rout the soldiers or kill them, they turned their attention to booty. But when the soldiers saw they were going to lose their horses they fired a charge of grape shot from their cannon into the corral at their animals, prefering to kill them to letting the Indians get them, they killed and maimed some, the Indians got those not hurt and loaded them with blankets and supplies, and struck for the mountains very much pleased with their success as manifested by their chatter and antics.

When the first shot was fired from the cannon it was not aimed at the Indians but over them to scare and stop them, it was loaded with a bomb which went over the Indians and corral and struck and exploded in William H. Adam's field west of town about where the railroad track now is. Some of this information is given by Wm. H. Adams, Jr., an eye witness. When the Indians left, some of the men of town went to the house where the soldiers were to learn from them what should be done, and were informed that a company of soldiers were following them. These men went in the night soon after dark and found this company camped at the Warm Springs at the point of the mountain in the south end of Salt Lake Valley, and reported. They immediately broke camp and proceeded to Pleasant Grove.

W. H. Seegmiller continues : The following morning I went down town and found Brigadier General Connor and quite a number of his cavalry. Orrin Porter Rockwell was also with them. They had arrived during the previous night. On the day before the attack by Little Soldier and his warriors we learned at Spanish Fork that some of General Connor's soldiers, on the bench above Spanish Fork met an Indian, Pintutch, going to his wickiup from town and killed him on the edge of a ditch in the southwest corner of town, by beating him over the head with their muskets. That no doubt was the cause of Little Soldier and his band attacking General Connor's outfit at Pleasant Grove. I will ever remember the appearance of Little Soldier and his Indians. None of them wore much. (Source: Indian Depredations in Utah author Peter Gottfredson)

See Battle Creek Canyon Massacre - Pleasant Grove, Utah