Eighteen months after the massacre Dr. Jacob Forney and Captain James Lynch came to the area and searched for the children. The Mormons claimed the Indians had the children. The children claimed they were never kept by the Indians. After an intense search, the seventeen little orphans were taken into the custody of Dr. Forney. According to Dr. Forney, the children were infested with lice and poorly clothed. Dr. Forney took the children to Santa Clara and hired women to make clothes for them. The survivors were then taken to Salt Lake City. From there, they were returned to Arkansas. Their relatives met them at Carrollton, Arkansas on September 25, 1859 and took them into their homes.
Burying the Remains
In May of 1859, Brevet Major James H. Carleton came to Utah from Ft. memorial Tejon, California. He was bringing the payroll to soldiers at Camp Floyd, Utah. Captain Reben Campbell and his soldiers came from Camp Floyd to meet Major Carleton at Mountain Meadows. They collected the remains of the massacre victims and buried them in several mass graves.
Major Carleton buried 34 bodies in a mass grave near the spring where the emigrants had camped. He had his soldiers erect a 24 foot cross over the graves. Upon the cross the soldiers carved the words “Vengeance is Mine Saith the Lord, I Will Repay.” They also carved a large rock with “Here 120 men, women, and children were murdered in Cold Blood in early September 1857. They were from Arkansas.” The Carleton memorial to the massacre survivors was destroyed by Brigham Young and his followers in 1861.