This is a post to talk about a lesser known Mormon hero. My wife has many pioneer ancestors. In reading The Forgotten Kingdom, by David Bigler, he makes a few references to Reddick Allred, who is a distant uncle of my wife. I wanted to highlight a good, Mormon man, relatively unknown, who just did the best he could.
Chapter 5 deals with the Handcart disasters so many Mormons are familiar with. The Martin and Willie Handcart companies started for Utah too late in the year, and ended up stranded in early blizzards in Wyoming. Reddick Allred was part of the rescue team. Here’s what the book says on page 115,
In charge of the teams, Levi Savage drove wagons so full of the sick and children he feared many would smother. When the camps reached Rock Creek, about eight miles southeast of today’s South Pass City, Wyoming, some of the emigrants were badly frozen, “some dying and some dead,” he said. “It was heartrending to hear children crying for mothers, and mothers crying for children.”
The next day the Willie Company approached the South Pass where they met Reddick Allred with fresh teams and wagons loaded with provisions. After leaving the last of their carts on November 2 at Fort Bridger, most of the survivors arrived in Salt Lake Valley a week later in bright sunshine. For them, the terrible ordeal was over. Not so for the Martin Company.
Ok, not a big mention, but it was there. In 1857, US President James Buchanon sent an army to Utah because he heard there was a revolt. (It is also known as “Buchanon’s Folly”.) It was called the Utah War, though no fighting actually occured. (I’ll have to do a post on it.) Anyway, Reddick Allred is listed in a footnote as a military leader of the Army of Israel, organized by Brigham Young. He was named a major of a batallion of 100.
Chapter 11 details some of the wars with the Indians. Bigler says on page 238,
Riding up the canyon on April 12 , the mounted company under Col. Reddick Allred ran into a carefully laid ambush and retreated into disorder after two men, William Kearnes and Jens Sorensen were killed. One of the worst atrocities by natives in Utah’s deadliest Indian war occurred soon after in Thistle Valley, where John Given, his wife, and four children , John Jr., 19, Mary, 9, Annie, 5, and Martha, 3, were massacred. The attackers made off with more than a hundred horses and cattle.
We don’t often talk about Indian attacks. It must have been a very diffucult time to live in Utah. Comments?