© 1998-2013 Mountain Meadows Association. All rights reserved.
In memory of the emigrant men and boys from
Arkansas massacred here in Mountain Meadows on September 11,1857. Their lives
were taken prematurely and wrongly by Mormon militiamen in one of the most
tragic episodes in western American history.
May we forever remember and honor those buried in this valley. May we never forget this tragedy but learn from the past.
Massacre of Men and Boys
On September 11, 1857, a procession of Arkansas emigrants bound for California marched northward up this valley having been persuaded to leave their beseiged camp by Mormon militiamen, bearing a white flag, who falsely promised them protection. As directed by the militia leaders, the women, children and wounded left the camp first. The men and older boys were last to leave, each escorted by a militiaman. As the men neared this spot, a signal was given. The militiamen at their sides turned and fired upon the unarmed emigrant men and older boys. Within minutes all were dead, their bodies strewn near the wagon road. Further up the road, the women, children and wounded who had traveled ahead were also murdered. Only 17 children, aged six and under, survived.
This ground has traditionally been associated with the burials of the men and boys killed nearby. On the day following the massacre, Mormon militia members hastily buried the victims in shallow graves near where they fell. However, within days, wolves and coyotes had pulled the bodies from the earth. Local ranchers, a federal Indian agent, and soldiers reburied many bones in 1858 and 1859. Small rock cairns once marked the sites of some of the burials, but the stones are now mostly scattered. One of these stones, with a cross on its face, has been incorporated into the memorial. For more than a century, this ground has lain untilled and protected from desecration by its owners out of respect for those who died in the massacre and are buried in the vicinity.
Location of Memorial:
The Men and Boys Memorial is on Utah Route 18 at milepost 31, on the left. Click for map. This monument is clearly signed on Utah 18 and is approximately .5 mile N of the turnoff for the Mountain Meadows Memorial turnoff.