|Just to prove that Rufus was nearly everywhere.
There was a message from Gen. Meigs to Col. Ingalls regarding
the methods that may be used to destroy the Merrimack. March 1862 had the
Federals in an uproar over the destruction that that ship had caused. They also
notified the coastal states to be prepared should the dreaded ship make an appearance in
Isaac Ingalls. Stevens was the first territorial governor of Washington. He went to West Point at the age of 16 and graduated first in his class. Stevens was a topographer, but spend most of his time on the coastal surveys (predecessor of NOAA). He pushed for the northern route for the railroad in Jefferson Davis' railroad surveys of the mid 1850's and participated in those surveys during his governorship. I have heard that he was a 3rd cousin to Rufus and that may be true, as Stevens was from northern Mass. (Andover) where Cyrus Ingalls (Rufus' father) came from. Stevens married Margaret Hazard of Newport, RI and his son Hazard (a Medal of Honor recipient from the Civil War) was born there. Hazard Stevens was the first man to climb Mt. Rainier, WA. I.I. Stevens, his wife and Hazard are buried in the Island Cemetery in Newport. Isaac has a simple headstone, "I.I. Stevens", and the City of Newport erected a large obelisk in his honor at the family plot.
Fort Pickens was a bigger deal than you would think. It seems as though President Lincoln and General-in-Chief Winfield Scott decided to send the USS Powhatan to Florida without telling the Navy. The Navy orders for the ship were to reenforce Fort Sumter. Possibly the bad weather would have kept the ship from arriving on time to save the Union army at Sumter. It is difficult to tell if this lack of communication made a difference in the start of the war.
The more you know about the Gunnison Massacre, the more you know it had a tremendous impact on American history. The foremost expert on that period of Mormon history, Dr. Kent Fielding, has been a great resource on the subject. Rufus Ingalls was on an expedition to take horses across the continent to the Pacific coast when they were directed to investigate the deaths of the survey crew. They whooped it up a bit too much and helped about 100 Mormon women escape. Brigham Young vowed never to let the Army back. Dr. Fielding's book, The Unsolicited Chronicler (Gunnison had written a book on Mormonism) is well researched and well written. It is a must read for anyone with an interest in American and Mormon history.
Updated March 25, 2001 © L.R. Davis