At Carthage they were received with oaths and threats by the troops. Apostates and soldiers swore that the brethren would never leave Carthage alive.
The next day the governor paraded the prisoners before the troops, who insulted them as they passed along. Then they were placed in the jail awaiting their trial.
[Illustration: CARTHAGE JAIL.]
The day following, the prisoners were marched to the court house, guarded by the troops; but the trial was postponed until the next day, and the brethren were taken back to jail.
This was the 26th of June. That night Joseph was lying on the floor with some of the brethren. Brother Dan Jones was on one side and Brother John S. Fullmer on the other.
“Lay your head on my arm for a pillow, Brother John,” said Joseph, and then he talked with him in a low tone. Joseph expressed a desire to see his family again and preach to the Saints once more.
To Brother Jones he whispered, “Are you afraid to die?” When Brother Jones said he was not, Joseph replied, “You will yet see Wales, and fulfill the mission appointed you, before you die.” (Dan Jones did a wonderful missionary work in Wales.)
The next morning the guards frequently told some of the brethren that if they did not wish to be killed they had better get away from Joseph. This was told to Governor Ford, but he paid no attention to it.
At 10:30 that morning, June 27, the governor with the most friendly of the troops left for Nauvoo, and the brethren were left to their fate.
In an upper room of Carthage jail, Joseph, Hyrum, John Taylor, and Willard Richards were spending their time in writing letters, singing, talking, and praying. In the afternoon Joseph asked Elder Taylor to sing the hymn, commencing:
“A poor wayfaring man of grief.”
And when it was done he asked him to sing it again. Brother Taylor said he could hardly sing it, he felt so sad, but he sang the hymn again.
About 5 o’clock in the afternoon a mob of about two hundred men surrounded the jail. They had blackened their faces with powder and mud. Then the firing began. The mob rushed up the stairs, shooting into the room where the four brethren were. The prisoners sprang to the door to close it but the guns of the mob forced it open. Elders Taylor and Richards tried to push the guns aside with their canes. The bullets flew like hail into the room. One ball came through the door and struck Hyrum in the head. Four others hit him, and he fell back saying:
“I am a dead man.”
Joseph gazed on his brother and exclaimed: “Oh! dear brother Hyrum!”
Elder Taylor now tried to jump from the window. A ball struck him, and he was about to fall from the window, when another bullet from the outside hit his watch in his vest pocket and threw him back into the room. Here he was hit by two more balls, and he rolled under the bed.