180 years ago today - Oct 30, 1838

Haun's Mill Massacre. At about four P.M. approximately 240 men ride up to the small community of Haun's Mill (which has fewer than 15 buildings) and open fire on a flag of truce. Many of the Saints gather in the blacksmith's shop; guns are stuck through the cracks in the logs and fired until most in the building are dead. A few escape across the river into the hills. By the end of the massacre, 1600 rounds of ammunition have been fired at 40 people; 18 or 19 have been killed, and about 15 wounded. Among those killed are boys under 10 and men over 75 years old.As soon as Governor Boggs's exterminating order is received, General Atchison withdraws from the army at Richmond, Mo. At evening a state militia force of about 2,000 approaches and surrounds the city of Far West. They are led by General Lucas. The Saints spend the night building up fortifications and preparing for a massive battle in the morning.

Thomas McBride, the oldest victim, is "cut to pieces with a corn cutter...literally mangled from head to foot." Sardius Smith, one of the youngest victims, begs for his life from a militiaman who put "his rifle near the boy's head, and literally blowed off the upper part of it." Although her son Sardius and husband are dead, Amanda Barnes Smith is preoccupied with one of her surviving sons, because "the entire hip joint of my wounded boy [Alma] had been shot away." She reports obtaining "a vision" from God about the way to care for the injury and tells her son that "the Lord will make you another hip." She would later write: "It is now nearly forty years ago, but Alma has never been the least crippled during his life."

[Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology; Quinn, D. Michael, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, Appendix 7: Selected Chronology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-47, http://amzn.to/origins-power]

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