Battle of Diamond Fork
Before daybreak on June 26, 1866, a party of Timpanogos and Utes—led by Mountain, a Colorado Ute chief—seized around fifty animals, a mix of cattle and horses, from Mapleton, Utah. It was in the middle of Black Hawk’s War, and the Native American party hoped they had achieved a meaningful victory. After driving the animals through a canyon to Little Diamond Creek and feeling they had made a clean getaway, the Native American group took a break in a clear, open field near the convergence of the Little Diamond and Diamond Fork rivers to graze their horses.
However, while the horses were grazing, militiamen roused from Springville surprised the indigenous group and cut off their escape route. Knowing they had no other way to escape, the Timpanogos retaliated, and the militiamen took cover in a grove of trees and fired on the Timpanogos. Both sides fired on each other to little avail for a few hours, and Mountain taunted the militiamen, calling out Albert Dimmick specifically as a “coward and a squaw.” Dimmick furiously stood up, out of his cover, and a Native American immediately got a hit on him. Injured, Dimmick died a few hours later.
Reinforcements from Spanish Fork came to support the Springville militiamen, further pinning the Timpanogos raiders in the brush. Both the Native Americans and the militiamen tried to spread out and surround the other, but only the settlers succeeded. Pinned between two groups of enemies, the Native Americans stopped fighting—until a leader, most likely Mountain, raised a crest above them and urged them to fight on. At his appearance, the militiamen fired until he slumped in his horse and rode away. As their leader retreated, so did the rest of the Timpanogos and Utes, heading up the steep sides of the canyon and abandoning the captured animals to save their lives.
Later, the militiamen found out from Native American contacts that they had killed five or six Utes in the battle. A second militiaman, this one from Spanish Fork, a hotheaded youth of eighteen years, Jonathan Edmiston, had also been killed when he rushed into the middle of the Timpanogos to try to reach the Springville militia’s captain. His fellow soldiers had lost track of him in the brush, and after the raiding party retreated with their wounded and dead, they searched unsuccessfully for his body. The following day, a search party returned to the battleground and found Edmiston’s scalped corpse. This exchange is demonstrative of the scattered battles of the Black Hawk War in Utah.