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Rare find reveals soldier's view of Utah in 1860

Published: Saturday, April 11 2009 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Wayne Rout

Great story. I hope these letters become the heart of a great book.

Patricia Lewis

How does one contact Mr. DeLong to request a first edition of the book?

south bend cougar

wonderful information with graphic imagery. I believe that most of our current "air conditioned" society do not have a real understanding for the task of the Utah pioneers. Truly "a marvelous work and a wonder" by the "weak and simple."


As a lover of history what a find. Makes you wonder what else is out there ready to be found.

Dave Jennings

Hi hope Mr. DeLong gets the opportunity to visit Utah and see some of these great landscapes and views witnessed by Mr. Clark. In my opinion Utah is one of the most beautiful states. - Dave Jennings, Fredericksburg, VA


immigrants!!! just remember how you got here every step of the way ...don't try to romantisize it as one day some native american may put a float up in your days of 47' parade giving the real depiction of how hard it was..bless you guys and the true strong people you are and may you support that new BIA superindentent as he will bring honor to your congregation with his testimony...he has been preparing for this move by the gift of the creator. I marvel at what has become of this state and church , others may critisize but the true saints trully lead the way and know the redeemer! Bless you all and I watch for all your sons and daughters ..continue to teach them well...I'm just another christian who admires your good works!


I loved this story!!! I am really fascinated with history, but more so the people in it. I too hope these letters become the heart of a great book.

Curtis Allen

It is great to see information like this surfacing. There must be a great deal more hidden somewhere.

Clark was a 1st Lieutenant with the 4th Artillery. The first record of him at Camp Floyd is when he served as Officer of the Day on 26 August of that year. By that time, the garrison was down to about 500 officers and enlisted men. Prior to Camp Floyd, Clark was apparently at Fort Laramie. When Camp Floyd was deactivated under Colonel Philip St. George Cooke, he would have left Utah with remainder of the troops returning to the East for service in the civil War. Hopefully, his letters relating that trip will soon be published.


Let's hope ther're not FORGERIES!!!


hey wow, listen to yourself nothing if ever of any good comes from your kind of comments. A mother once said, if you do not have anything good to say, just be quiet. Think before you speak!

Bill MacKinnon

Thanks for a wonderful story. The full name of the officer involved was Joseph Claypoole Clark, Jr., and the photo shows him wearing the uniform of a full colonel, his brevet rank after March 13, 1865. When he was in Utah -- not for the Utah War itself but for its aftermath (a sort of "Reconstruction" period) -- he was a 1st lieutenant in the Fourth U.S. Artillery. Clark made captain once the Civil War began and then received brevet (honorary) appointments as a major, lieut. col. and col. for bravery and faithful service, retiring in 166 with the permanent grade of major. In his post above "grumpolmaan" asks "what else is out there ready to be found?" The answer is "lots of similar documents." Last September 25 I gave the annual Arrington Lecture at Utah State U. in Logan and titled it "Predicting the Past: The Utah War's Twenty-First Century Future." In this talk I commented: "I am confident from my own fifity years of research that indeed they [interesting new letters and diaries as well as photos] will surface and will do so in quantity, character, and circumstance that will be truly astonishing." And so they have.

Vern DeLong

Hi everyone I thought I would share this from one of Josephs letters

Fort Crittenden
April 22nd 1861

"Dear Mary
Your letter of March 23 was received yesterday-we also received a pony dispatch yesterday with the account of the attack upon and surrender of Fort Sumter. I felt some what mortified that our government should be so weak as to allow one of its strongest fortifications to fall so easily into the hands of its enemies. I am satisfied that the American Union has begun to cease to exist. Our people have not virtue pure enough to govern themselves. A desire for office and a share of the public plunder is too great leading men to sacrifice their country for their own advancement."


What a treasure to find these letters and so many of them. These are the amazing people who have such strength of character to serve our country and the wonderful families who supported them. Thank you for sharing them.

Steven Glen

A warm thank you to Joseph, Vern, Amy Joi and others for sharing this treasure. Words of true patriots are always inspiring. And the glow of virtuous family history is reassuring, uplifting and heart-warming. We look forward to the book.

hey vaase

sounds like your momma is obama!!

hey vaase

as far as i know ..your brother brigham begged for his squallor people throughout the trek..but you guys try to make it like you kicked butt when you got kicked out!! and i live the truth..nice or not..now get a grip or a life because your momma can't back you.

Vern DeLong

Reading his letters have given me some comfort; like that time the country was split and the future was uncertain, so it is today. This country paid a high price from the war and I believe this country will also survive this uncertainty


first Utah second!

vaase with no face

just remember you guys have to go back that way and your missionaries have to come through our hood , so be good!


There has been some recent renewal in Camp Floyd. I would suggest anyone who is interested in it to contact the city of Fairfield, Utah and ask about the Friends of Camp Floyd organization.

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