Peter Gottfredson's Autobiography
part 3of 5
On the 17th of April, 1865, instructions came to Bishop Nielson Higgins of Richfield, who also held the position of Major, to organize a company for defense against the Indians the 17th of April was my birthday. I was nineteen years old. I had been working hard digging a canal and putting in grain. My parents were preparing a birthday party for me and I had invited some of my chums who had worked with me. The folks had prepared a keg of Danish beer and some cakes for the occasion.
Major Higgins sent out messengers to notify the men who were in town to meet at his place. Hans L. Dastrup came by and asked if we were not going to Higgins's to learn what was wanted. We went with him and all were enrolled. Harrison Fugate was enrolling clerk. No captain was appointed at that time, so we were under command of Major Higgins. About the first of May more men were enrolled, about eighty in number and Heber Higgins was made captain. After the enrollment the full company was marched around two blocks and were instructed as to what was expected of us.
We served during the summer and fall as guard, and in squads in the mountains and valley and carrying dispatches and whatever was required of us. We were never out as a whole company.
In the latter part of May, Indians stole about a hundred and fifty head of stock from Richfield, among them were ten head of fathers and my oxen and a cow and calf. Most of the people had no hay and had to turn their stock on the range.
When the Indians took the stock there was about a hundred and fifty head of dry stock ranging on the river bottom about a mile north of the ford on the road to Glenwood. Saturday evening a number of work oxen were taken down to feed till Monday. On Sunday I with two others were with the stock. We spent the time fishing in the river. In the evening we gathered the stock together in a bend of the river and left them at sun-down. Monday morning before day light I went to get our oxen to be ready to go to work after breakfast. When I got to where I expected to find them there was not one to be seen. I looked for tracks and found where they had crossed the river. The water was about four feet deep. I stripped and carried my gun and pistol and clothing on my head and waded over the river. I put on my clothing and followed the tracks of the stock. I was sure Indians had taken them. The tracks led towards Glenwood. I intended to go to Glenwood and notify the people there. But, when I got up the river bottom about a fourth of a mile from the river they had turned south, up the river bottom about three miles to where Annebelle is now located. There they had turned east toward the mountain. They had been driven up a wide dry wash with a sandy bottom where the tracks showed plainly. I could see by the tracks that five Indians had been driving them, there were five pony tracks following. I had a good rifle and revolver and thought I could take the cattle from five Indians. I followed as fast as I could, and ran part of the time. When there was a turn in the wash I ran to the next bend and looked ahead. I then ran to the next point. I followed in this way till I got to the foot of the Mountain; The tracks looked fresh. I thought I could overtake them. When I got up the mountain side about three miles to where a trail led from Glenwood to Grass Valley I met two oxen that had got away from the Indians. One was a black Texas ox of mine, the other a large red ox. They had been shot several times, mostly in the neck but too high to break it. Mine had two arrows sticking in it's side nearly in half the length. I had not heard the shooting and concluded that the Indians were too far ahead for me to overtake them and decided it was risky to follow them further alone. I drove the oxen down the way they had come till I got down to what was called Sawl's meadow. From there I drove them down through a narrow canyon to Glenwood field. I put them in a small corral and pulled the arrows out of the side of my ox. One of the arrows remained in the ox. I drove them to Richfield and got there about noon. When I arrived I learned that a number of men were out all day and came home hungry and tired. When they learned that I was home they said I ought to be punished for not coming and report the stock gone. Some had found the tracks and followed the way I had gone but did not overtake them. Others hunted for me in the bends of the river believing the Indians had killed me.
Major Higgins notified me to appear at his house in the evening to what was called a court-marshal. When I told my story, Major C.P. Andersen said, I motion we let him go. I have done such tricks myself. I was left unpunished. My ox seemed to get worse. I did not know what to do for him. Carlos Higgins offered me twenty dollars in produce for it. I said twenty five. We agreed on twenty two and he got the ox. The ox died in about two weeks. No more of the stock was ever recovered.
I served in the Militia most of the summer. I rode express both day and night and did guard duty and anything I was ordered to do. When Robert Gelispie and Anthony Robertson were killed I rode express with August Nielsen and three others from Richfield to Salina. Gelispie was killed on the east side of the river about two miles south of Salina. Robinson was killed west west of the Gravely Ford. We were on the upper road. He had been traveling on the lower road leading to the Rocky Ford. When we got opposite his wagon we rode down to the wagon. His body had been taken away by some men from Glenwood who came along shortly after he was killed and took his body to Glenwood. He had camped during the night with some men going north. He was going south and traveled alone. He had been to Manti to mill and had on a load of flour for the people of Monroe.
When we got to the wagon, the off ox lay dead with his legs under the wagon tongue with half of the yoke on. The other ox had broken the yoke in the middle where the staple go through and got away. He was found about two weeks later in a big willow patch by the river where the Cedar Ridge water empties into it. His dog lay dead a short distance from the wagon. Robinson had been sitting on the front of the wagon and when shot had fallen on the ground in front of the left wheel. The Indians had emptied the flour out of the sacks over the body and had taken the sacks and his other belongings. This happened on the morning of the 14th of July, 1865. We looked around and saw where the Indians had lain behind a low ridge between two ravines where they came together. They had made some piles of brush on the low ridge and laid behind them and pushed their guns through pointing towards the road. When within about thirty yards they shot him and his ox and dog. We rode to Salina and an express was sent to Manti. A company was organized with General Warren S. Snow in command. They arrived in Glenwood on the 17th and with some recruits from Richfield and Glenwood rode over the mountain in the night to Grass Valley. Early in the morning of the 18th they located the Indians on a hill in a grove of cedars and gave battle killing fourteen. So reported. Marine York of Richfield was shot through the shoulder, They found some of Robinsons belongings with the Indians.
This spring I went to Salt Lake City to get work. March I went into Little Cottonwood Canyon to work for Edwin D. Wooley to help slide logs down off the mountain into the canyon to be taken to the sawmill.