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Rare Sketch of Capt. Lewis Henry Little’s Quarters at U.S. Army Camp Floyd, Utah – Completed during the US Army Expedition to Quell the Mormon Uprising of 1858

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Rare Sketch of Capt. Lewis Henry Little’s Quarters at U.S. Army Camp Floyd, Utah – Completed during the US Army Expedition to Quell the Mormon Uprising of 1858 – Pencil and wash sketch; unsigned; entitled, at bottom of sketch “Interior of Cap Littles quarters at Camp Floyd UT, January 11th 1859”; Lewis Henry Little (March 19, 1817 – September 19, 1862) was a career United States Army officer and a Confederate brigadier general during the American Civil War. He served mainly in the Western Theater and was killed in action during the Battle of Iuka; interior of Little’s cabin depicting officer and dog seated in front of a fireplace; bed shown at right; desk at left; long gun hanging on wall over bed with pommel holsters hanging from trigger guard; sword on belt hanging on wall to right of fireplace; Fair condition with minor discoloration; stains and creasing throughout; nine tears around edges and into the image; in molded, 20th century, wood frame with black finish; Measurements: frame size – ; sheet size: 13-1/4” x 7-4/4”.

In the early summer of 1858, a U.S. Army detachment under the command of Brevet Brig. Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, consisting of more than 3,500 military and civilian employees, including cavalry, artillery, infantry and support units, the largest single troop concentration then in the United States, was sent by President James Buchanan to stop a perceived Mormon rebellion, which came to be known as the Utah War. Research indicates that this sketch was, in all likelihood, painted by Pvt. Henry L. Sommer, attached to the U.S. Army’s 7th Infantry, in the late 1850s; Sommer would complete several paintings and sketches for Cpt. James H. Simpson, his company commander, in 1858, in the Utah Territory, as a soldier amongst those sent to quell the Mormon uprising.

The detachment consisted of more than 3,500 military and civilian employees, including cavalry, artillery, infantry and support units. This unit, the largest single troop concentration then in the United States, was sent by President James Buchanan to stop a perceived Mormon rebellion, which came to be known as the Utah War. Paper is in good condition, exhibiting some staining and foxing, with some minor creases. Research indicates that this painting was, in all likelihood, painted by Pvt. Henry L. Sommer, attached to the U.S. Army’s 7th Infantry, in the late 1850s; he completed several paintings and sketches for Cpt. James H. Simpson, his company commander, in 1858, in Utah.

 

The National Museum of the United States Army maintains a group of Sommer’s works, although the vast majority post-date, the 1858 Mormon expedition; he would later accompany his unit to California, after his deployment in the Utah Territory. Needless to say, this painting is an extremely rare example of the work of an army artist, assigned to duty during a tumultuous time in the early days of America’s West.

Henry Sommer was a native of Cassel, Germany, where he studied drafting and architecture in college. After immigrating to the United States he was unable to find work and enlisted in the Army, some time in 1856 or early 1857. Sommer would accompany U.S. Army troops, dispatched by then President James Buchanan,  In 1857-1858, Buchanan sent U.S. forces to the Utah Territory in what became known as the Utah Expedition, to quell what was perceived as a rebellion by Mormons .The Mormons, fearful that the large U.S. military force had been sent to annihilate them and having faced persecution in other areas, made preparations for defense. Although bloodshed was to be avoided, with the U.S. government hoping that its purpose might be attained without the loss of life, both sides prepared for war. Firearms were manufactured or repaired by the Mormons, scythes were turned into bayonets, and long-unused sabres were burnished and sharpened. Private was assigned to the 7th Infantry and soon journeyed three months overland to Utah Territory where he was stationed at Camp Floyd, then the largest Army post in the nation. Sommer drew a number of sketches for his company commander during the trip, which the officer displayed in his quarters. The paintings and drawings depicted the surrounding landscape, as well as numerous military scenes, including camp scenes exhibiting then junior officers, who would achieve fame during the Civil War. The detail and accuracy of Sommer’s work caught the attention of Captain James Simpson, Corps of Topographical Engineers, who had arrived at Camp Floyd after mapping the main emigrant road west from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

In the latter half of the 19th century, Army Soldiers played a crucial role in defining and defending the expanding boundaries of the American frontier. The output of Army painters, draftsmen and photographers was essential in communicating the drama and beauty of the West to a curious public on the eastern side of the Mississippi River.

In the spring of 1859, Simpson was preparing for the second leg of his trip, to southern California, when the expedition photographer discovered he had exhausted his supply of photographic chemicals. With no way to resupply, Simpson was forced to seek another approach to document the western landscape. Private Sommer was enlisted to accompany the officer and his team on their adventure across the desert.

Over the next several months, Sommer sketched the numerous peaks and valleys that marked the far west of the United States. His work included interpretations of the vast salt flats near the Great Salt Lake as well as the chill blue waters of Lake Tahoe. When the Simpson expedition was complete, Sommer returned to his company at Camp Floyd, where his drawings were shipped back to Washington, D.C., and incorporated into the official expedition report published by Congress. Few readers realized the beautiful drawings were from the talented hand of this soldier turned artist.

In the years that followed, the artist Private Sommer would climb the ranks to Sergeant Major, the highest enlisted rank at the time. He soon received a commission as a Second Lieutenant. Civil War wounds resulted in the loss of use of his arm, and Sommer retired from active duty in 1866. The artwork of Henry Sommer and fellow Army artists helped document the exploration and eventual settlement of the Old West, and illuminate the link between Army history and American history. American history.*

  • National Museum of the U.S. Army

Lewis Henry Little

 

Lewis Henry Little

Born

March 19, 1817
Baltimore, Maryland

Died

September 19, 1862 (aged 45)
Iuka, Mississippi

Place of burial

Green Mount Cemetery Baltimore, Maryland

Allegiance

 United States of America
Confederate States of America

Service/branch

 United States Army
Confederate States Army

Years of service

1839–61 (USA)
1861–62 (CSA)

Rank

Captain (USA)
Brigadier General (CSA)

Commands held

1st Division, Army of the West

Battles/wars

Mexican-American War

American Civil War

Relations

brother-in-law of Alexander E. Steen

Lewis Henry Little (March 19, 1817 – September 19, 1862) was a career United States Army officer and a Confederate brigadier general during the American Civil War. He served mainly in the Western Theater and was killed in action during the Battle of Iuka.

Early life and career

Little was born in Baltimore, Maryland to Peter Little and his wife Catherine on Mar. 19, 1817. He was a brother-in-law of Alexander E. Steen and son-in-law of Pitcairn Morrison. Little was commissioned a second lieutenant in the 5th U.S. Infantry in 1839 after graduating from West Point.[1] He served in the Mexican War and was awarded a brevet promotion to captain for his service at the Battle of Monterrey in 1846. He was promoted to captain in the regular army on August 20, 1847.[2]

American Civil War

Little resigned his commission as a U.S. Army officer on May 7, 1861. He helped Sterling Price train the Missouri volunteers that soon joined the Southern armies. He entered the Confederate service as an infantry captain on March 16, 1861, but soon was made an artillery major that same month. Little was promoted to colonel on May 18 and served Price as his Adjutant General in the Missouri State Guard.[2]

At the Battle of Pea Ridge on March 7, 1862, Little commanded the 1st Missouri Brigade in Price’s division. In the thick of the first day’s fighting near Elkhorn Tavern, he demonstrated competence and initiative. “During the course of the battle he gradually assumed more and more responsibility until he became the de facto commander of Price’s division during the last hours that the Army of the West was on the field.”[3] His appointment to brigadier general occurred on April 12.[4]

Little came east of the Mississippi River with Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn‘s army and served under Gen. P. G. T. Beauregard at Corinth. There, he caught malaria and was in poor health for the few remaining months of his life. Even so, he was regarded as “a thorough soldier and an excellent disciplinarian.”[5] At Corinth he was given command of the 1st Division in Price’s Army of the West. His peers praised his division as well drilled and disciplined.

He led his division at the Battle of Iuka on September 19. At about 5:45 p.m., while sitting on his horse behind the front line and next to Sterling Price,[6] he was struck in the head by a bullet and killed instantly.[7] He is buried in Green Mount Cemetery in Baltimore.

Born: 03/19/1817 in Baltimore, MD
Died: 09/19/1862 in Iuka, MS

Promotions

Date

To Rank

Full/Brevet

Army/Vol

Comments

Major

Full

Vol

Colonel

Full

Vol

 04/16/62

Brig-Gen

Full

Vol

 

Brigadier-General Henry Little

 

Brigadier-General Henry Little, a Marylander who served with  distinction in the Western armies of the Confederacy, was born  at Baltimore, March 19, 1817,  the son of Peter Little, who  served eighteen years in Congress as a representative of  Maryland, and was colonel of the Thirty-eighth United States  infantry 1813 to 1815.  He was graduated at West Point in 1839 and appointed second- lieutenant of the Fifth infantry, U. S. A.; was promoted to  first-lieutenant in 1845, and taking part in the Mexican war  was brevetted captain September, 1846, for gallant conduct at  Monterey.  In 1847 he was commissioned captain in the Seventh  infantry.  Early in 1861 he resigned to enter the service of the  Confederate States, and was commissioned major.  Subsequently  he was promoted colonel and appointed adjutant-general on the  staff of General Price, commanding the forces in Missouri.  He  was put in command of one of the brigades organized by Price  in the fall of 1861, and at the battle of Pea Ridge was  distinguished in the action of the right wing before Elkhorn  Tavern, where the Federals were defeated on the first day.  Especial commendation was bestowed upon him in the reports of  his commanding officers; he was promoted to brigadier-general  April 16th, and General Van Dorn soon afterward wrote to  Beauregard, “I want Little as major-general.”  General Little  commanded the rear-guard on the retreat from Elkhorn Tavern,  and soon afterward, when the army of the West was called to  the aid of Albert Sidney Johnston, he embarked with his  brigade for Memphis just as Beauregard was bringing Johnston’s  army back from Shiloh.  Leading the advance of Price’s division, he proceeded east of  the Mississippi, and joined Beauregard at Corinth.   Subsequently when Price was assigned to command the army of  the West, with headquarters at Tupelo, Miss., he was given  Price’s old division, the First of the army.  At the grand  review previous to the movement in August toward Corinth, as  his division passed before General Bragg, the latter turned to  Little and said, “You had the reputation of having one of the  finest companies in the old army.  General, this is certainly  as fine a division as I have ever seen.”  He met the enemy under Rosecrans at Iuka, Miss., September 19,  1862, and the resulting battle was fought solely by his  division.  The Confederates were victorious, but while in the  thickest of the fight Little was killed instantly by a minie  ball which crashed through his forehead.  He was buried that  night by torchlight, and on the morrow the gloom among the  troops caused by his death was one of the main causes for the  abandonment of the field.  Gen. Sterling Price, in reporting his death, paid him this  touching and well-deserved tribute: “It will be seen that our  success was obtained at the sacrifice of many a brave officer  and soldier.  Chief among them was Brig.-Gen. Henry Little,  commanding the first division of the army.  Than this brave  Marylander no one could have fallen more dear to me, or whose  memory should be more fondly cherished by his countrymen.  No more skillful officer or more devout patriot has drawn his  sword in this war of independence.  He died in the day of his  greatest usefulness, lamented by his friends, by the brigade  of his love, by the division he so ably commanded, and by the  army of the West, of which he had from the beginning been one  of the chief ornaments.”  Source:  Confederate Military History, vol. II, p. 169

The Utah War (1857–1858), also known as the Utah Expedition, Utah CampaignBuchanan’s Blunder, the Mormon War, or the Mormon Rebellion was an armed confrontation between Mormon settlers in the Utah Territory and the armed forces of the United States government. The confrontation lasted from May 1857 to July 1858. There were some casualties, mostly non-Mormon civilians. The war had no notable military battles.

We obtained this fine painting directly from the descendants of Lewis Henry Little,  a West Point graduate and later a Confederate General, killed in action at the Battle of Iuka, Mississippi, in 1862. Little, then a Captain in the U.S. Army, was with the U.S. troops, deployed by President James Buchanan, to put down the rebellion.  Accompanying Little, were notable young, Army officers, including Winfield Scott Hancock and Albert Sidney Johnston, both becoming important combatants in the Civil War. As discussed, also accompanying these troops was Private Henry L. Sommer, a German immigrant and draftsman, who painted or sketched a number of depictions of the Army’s incursion into Utah Territory.

Brigham Young’s term as territorial governor had expired in 1854; he had served on an interim basis since. Buchanan, with his cabinet likening the Utah petitions to a declaration of war, decided to replace Young with Alfred Cumming, a former mayor of Augusta, Georgia, who was serving as an Indian-affairs superintendent based in St. Louis. He ordered troops to accompany the new governor west and to enforce federal rule in Utah—but, for reasons that are not clear, he did not notify Young that he was being replaced.

Young found out in July 1857, a month that brought a series of shocks to the Mormons. The Deseret News reported that Apostle Parley Pratt had been killed in Arkansas by the estranged husband of a woman Pratt had taken as his 12th wife. Rumors circulated that federal troops were advancing, prompting Apostle Heber C. Kimball to declare, “I will fight until there is not a drop of blood in my veins. Good God! I have wives enough to whip out the United States.” Mormons traveling from the Kansas-Missouri frontier brought word that federal troops were, in fact, headed for Utah, leading to Young’s announcement on the tenth anniversary of his arrival in the Great Salt Lake Valley.

It was in this heated atmosphere that, six weeks later, a California-bound wagon train that included 140 non-Mormon emigrants, most of them from Arkansas, made camp in a lush valley known as Mountain Meadows, about 40 miles beyond the Mormon settlement of Cedar City. Just before breakfast, according to an account by historian Will Bagley in Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows, a child among the emigrants fell, struck by a bullet. As a party of men with painted faces attacked, the emigrants circled their wagons.

After a five-day siege, a white man bearing a white flag approached the emigrants. Mormons, he told them, had interceded with the attackers and would guarantee the emigrants safe passage out of Mountain Meadows if the Arkansans would turn over their guns. The emigrants accepted the offer.

The wounded and the women and children were led away first, followed by the men, each guarded by an armed Mormon. After half an hour, the guards’ leader gave the order to halt. Every man in the Arkansas party was shot from point-blank range, according to eyewitness accounts cited by Bagley. The women and older children fell to bullets, knives and arrows. Only 17 individuals—all of them children under the age of 7—were spared.

For decades afterward, Mormon leaders blamed Paiute Indians for the massacre. Paiutes took part in the initial attack and, to a lesser degree, the massacre, but research by Bagley, Juanita Brooks and other historians has established that Mormons were culpable. Last September, on the 150th anniversary of the event, Mormon Apostle Henry B. Eyring, speaking for the church, formally acknowledged that Mormons in southern Utah had organized and carried out the massacre. “What was done here long ago by members of our Church represents a terrible and inexcusable departure from Christian teaching and conduct,” Eyring said. A “separate expression of regret,” he continued, “is owed to the Paiute people who have unjustly borne for too long the principal blame for what occurred during the massacre.”

In September 1857, Cumming and about 1,500 federal troops were about a month from reaching Fort Bridger, 100 miles northeast of Salt Lake City. Young, desperately needing time to prepare an evacuation of the city, mobilized the Utah militia to delay the Army. Over several weeks, militiamen raided the troops’ supplies, burned the grass to deny forage to the soldiers’ horses, cattle and mules, even burned Fort Bridger. November snowstorms intervened. Snowbound and lacking supplies, the troops’ commander, Col. Albert Sidney Johnston, decided to spend the winter at what was left of the fort. The Mormons, he declared, have “placed themselves in rebellion against the Union, and entertain the insane design of establishing a form of government thoroughly despotic, and utterly repugnant to our institutions.”

As the spring thaw began in 1858, Johnston prepared to receive reinforcements that would bring his force to almost 5,000—a third of the entire U.S. Army. At the same time, Young initiated what has become known as the Move South, an exodus of some 30,000 people from settlements in northern Utah. Before leaving Salt Lake City, Mormons buried the foundation of their temple, their most sacred building, and planted wheat to camouflage it from the invaders’ eyes. A few men remained behind, ready to put houses and barns and orchards to the torch to keep them out of the soldiers’ hands. The Mormons, it seemed, would be exterminated or once again driven from their land.

That they were neither is due largely to the intervention of their advocate Thomas Kane. Over the winter of 1857-58, Kane had set out for Utah to try to mediate what was being called “the Mormon crisis.” Although his fellow Pennsylvanian President Buchanan did not provide official backing, neither did he discourage Kane’s efforts. Kane arrived in Salt Lake City in February 1858. By April, in exchange for peace, he had secured Young’s agreement to give way to the new governor. Many in the public, given Buchanan’s failure to notify Young and the Army’s delayed arrival in Utah, began to perceive the Utah expedition as an expensive blunder undertaken just as a financial panic had roiled the nation’s economy. Buchanan, seeing a chance to end his embarrassment quickly, sent a peace commission west with the offer of a pardon for Utah citizens who would submit to federal laws. Young accepted the offer that June.

That same month, Johnston and his troops marched through the deserted streets of Salt Lake City—then kept marching 40 miles south to establish Camp Floyd, in present-day Fairfield, Utah. With the Army no longer a threat, the Mormons returned to their homes and began a long and fitful accommodation to secular rule under a series of non-Mormon governors. Federal laws against polygamy targeted Mormon property and power through the 1870s and ’80s; Wilford Woodruff, the LDS Church’s fourth president, issued a formal renunciation of plural marriage in 1890.

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