Major John D. Lee of the Nauvoo Legion and Bishop Philip Klingensmith of the Cedar City Ward were in charge of the distribution of the human plunder. In the evening after the massacre Lee claimed that he stood by as Mormon Major John H. Higbee, Bishop Klingensmith and Mormon William C. Steward did a cursory search of the bodies for jewelry, money, and watches,
Mormon Legion guards were posted throughout the night around the dead bodies to keep at bay predatory animals and men from their ranks from looting the dead. The legion privates were ordered to camp overnight in the massacre area, while the legion officers ate diner and stayed overnight at the Jacob Hamblin ranch a short distance away.
The next morning the Mormon women arrived to remove the clothing and shoes from the women and children. They ripped the earrings, brooches and rings off of the corpses,
"Their fine stock, their pleasure vehicles, their musical instruments, and abundant and elegant outfit, excited the cupidity of the sacerdotal robber," the Salt Lake Daily Tribune later reported, "hence to the gratification of their gloomy ferocity, was added the inducement of capturing rich spoils."
The basement of the Cedar City Ward's tithing office was filled with the bloody blankets and clothing picked-up at the massacre site by the women. The leaders warned their men against personal looting, and when one private was caught with a pouch of gold Major John Higbee grabbed it out of his hand, placed it in his pocket and advised the private to keep his mouth shut or he would slit his throat.
The $100, 000 plus in gold was retrieved and placed in the church treasury in Salt Lake City. The forty wagons were given to local Mormons for use at the lead mines in Nevada. The three fancy wagons with hand carved stag heads were last seen in Salt Lake City one was being driven by none other than Brigham Young. Nine hundred head of the emigrant trains fine cattle were rounded up branded with the church"s "cross" and sent north to Salt Lake City. The church can use the cross to brand their cattle but cannot use it to celebrate the crucifixion!
Of course John D. Lee got his hands on an unknown ammount of cattle and branded them with "JDL" It is estimated that John D. Lee's take from the massacre was approximately $4000, a tidy sum back in 1857.
The clothing and shoes were doled out to the church faithful, and the wives of the militia leaders wore the women's finery for many years to come. The huge cache of seized weapons, and the finest horses, were divvied up among the militia leaders.