This event took place on the North Fox Island off the coast of Maine on 21 February 1838:
“On the evening of the 21st of February, as we came out of the schoolhouse, a light appeared in the northeastern horizon, and spread to the west and soon rolled over our heads. It had the appearance of fire, blood, and smoke, and at times resembled contending armies. The heavens were illuminated for the space of half an hour. It seemed at times as thought the veil was about to rend in twin and the elements were contending with each other.
We looked upon it as one of the signs in the heavens predicted by the prophets of old, as to appear in the last days. We were wading through deep snowdrifts most of the time while witnessing this remarkable scen.”
Wilford Woodruff, Leaves From My Journal, p.50