Fort Lemhi was established by the LDS Church as a mission to the Indians in 1855. It was on the Lemhi River near the present town of Tendoy, Idaho. Though it took two years of crop failures caused by grasshoppers before the mission began to produce its own grain and vegetables, by 1857 the enterprise began to look like a success. Unfortunately, trouble was approaching. Some of the more warlike Indians made plans to steal the cattle at Fort Lemhi. A U.S. Army detachment was on its way to Utah to depose Brigham Young as governor, and the Army would pay generously for beef on the hoof.
On February 25, 1858, Indians attacked, taking all the cattle and some horses as well. Three men from the fort were killed. On February 28, the settlers decided to ask Brigham Young what they should do, and messengers set out for Salt Lake City. When Young learned of the situation at Fort Lemhi, he ordered a company of one hundred armed men and twenty wagons to rescue the people. Another force of fifty joined the rescue party as well.
People at the fort were overjoyed to see the troops arriving to bring them out. They bid farewell to the fort on March 28 after having given a thousand bushels of their hard-earned wheat to the Indians who had been their hosts for the previous three years. The wagons wallowed through deep snow, with men helping oxen to pull the wagons through. The entire party arrived safely at Ogden on April 11. Despite their dramatic escape, a number of the families that had been at Fort Lemhi had taken a liking to the Idaho country and the Indian people there. They returned as some of the first settlers in eastern Idaho.

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