Monday, June 8, 2009

Day 19

We woke up at 6:00 AM to a cloudy sky but no rain. We skipped breakfast, made the coach ready for travel, hooked up the Hummer and hit the road for out next stop, Massacre Rocks. North of Salt Lake City, past any rush hour traffic, we had breakfast at the first available rest stop. Then it was on to the Flying J at Snowville, UT just before the Idaho border. Massacre Rocks is only 168 miles from Charlie’s. We arrive just a little past noon. Registered, dump the holding tanks, had lunch and then set up camp. The state park has an old farts half price discount Monday through Thursday so it is $10.61 a night with 50 amps electric and water.

The park is on the Snake River and as you can see, we have bird’s eye view of the Snake.

The name “Massacre Rocks” was coined during the 1920’s, after an Indian skirmish with 2 pioneer emigrant wagon trains on August 9, 1862.

The emigrant traffic on the Oregon Trail was well established by 1862. Most wagon trains were fairly small with only 10 to 15 wagons and a following of extra stock. There were many trains, usually only a few miles apart.

On August 9th in sequential order from Massacre Rocks back to American Falls were the Smart wagon train, the Adams Train and the Kennedy Train. The Smart Train was attacked first just a half a mile east of Massacre Rocks. The Adams Trained was attacked next as the Indians can upon it on way back to their camp. During the 2 attacks 5 white men were killed.

The next morning, August 10th, Captain Kennedy and 35 men started in pursuit of the Indians. They came upon the Indian camp just south of the present Indian Springs Natatorium location. They fought for about 3 miles as Captain Kennedy and his men tried to retreat. Two more of the white men were killed, several wounded and 2 were presumed dead.

This brought the total number of white men killed to 9 including those thought to be dead. Five of the men believed to be buried in the Massacre Rocks area are: A. J. Hunter and Masemo Lepi from the Smart Train; George Adams, Charles Bulwinkell and George Shepherd of the Adams Train.

On August 11th one of the missing men was found at the place of the first skirmish, but farther down the trail lying near a large rock. It is believed that this man was fishing for food when the attack begun on the Smart Train.

Finally, the wounded daughter of Captain Adams died the evening of August 11th and was buried the next morning, thus bringing the total number of emigrants killed to ten. The number of Indian fatalities if any is unknown.

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