180 years ago today - 1838. October 24

(David Patton) : Captain Samuel Bogard of the Caldwell County militia ordered a number of Mormon families to leave the state and took three men into custody. When word reached Far West, "Captain Fearnaught" Patten rallied seventy-five Mormons and set out to rescue the prisoners. Under cover of darkness, they attacked the encamped militia at Crooked River. In his white duster, Patten was an easy target. He was wounded in the bowels and died the next day at the age of thirty-eight.?

Patten's comrade-in-arms John D. Lee later wrote, "I admit up to this time that I frankly believed what the Prophet and his apostles had said on the subject. I had considered that I was bullet proof, that no Gentile ball could ever harm me, or any Saint, and I had believed that a Danite could not be killed by Gentile hands. I thought that one Danite could chase a thousand Gentiles, and two could put ten thousand to flight. Alas! my dreams of security were over. One of our mighty men had fallen, and that by Gentile hands!"

Erroneous intelligence communications, coupled with a Thomas B. Marsh-Orson Hyde affidavit confirming the existence of the Danites, led Governor Lilburn W. Boggs to believe reports that Patten's company had "massacred Captain Bogard and all his company," and that Richmond was "laid in ashes this morning." The governor issued his infamous "Mormon Extermination Order" on October 27: "The Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the state if necessary for the public peace—their outrages are beyond all description."

[Van Wagoner, Richard and Walker, Steven C., A Book of Mormons, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

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