George Washington Adair

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About George Washington Adair

Adair, George Washington (1837–1909), Private, Company I, Fifth Platoon, Washington City. He admitted going to Mountain Meadows with the rest of his company from Washington and was present for the massacre. He possibly served as a messenger between leaders at the Meadows and Cedar City. He was indicted and arrested for his role in the massacre, but when prosecutors were unable to build a case against him, the charges were dismissed.


George W. Adair, Jr. - A private in the Fifth Platoon, Company I, of the Iron County Militia, was one of the few men ever indicted in the massacre. In the summer of 1874, an indictment for murder was handed down against Adair, and eight other men, but only John D. Lee would ever be tried. Though most accounts of the time claimed that the militia killed only the adult males and the Paiutes killed the women and children, later statements disputed this, indicating the the white men did most of the killing under orders from Major John M. Higbee.

Though there were numerous privates in the Iron Militia that were never indicted, the young Adair, who was allegedly a heavy drinker, brought attention to himself in the streets of Cedar City, by boasting about the killings.


Laughingly, he was said to have imitated how he had taken babies by their heels, swinging them into the iron bands of the wagon wheels, crushing the skulls in the process. Private Adair was arrested and jailed for six months before he was released on bail on May 12, 1876. When U.S. Attorney Sumner Howard recommended to Adair that he plead guilty to the charges against him, Adair allegedly responded, "I'll see you in Hell first!” Unfortunately, the charges were never followed through with Adair.

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George Washington Adair's Timeline

June 27, 1837
Pickens County, Alabama
January 26, 1861
Age 23
Santa Clara, Washington, Utah Territory, United States
March 27, 1863
Age 25
Washington, Washington, Utah Territory
November 27, 1864
Age 27
December 28, 1865
Age 28
December 3, 1867
Age 30
Washington, Washington County, Utah
March 3, 1870
Age 32
February 7, 1873
Age 35