The family sailed to America in 1856 on the ship Horizon.
Even though he was only fourteen years old, he left the company in October because he was too weak to go any further. He found an Indian family who fed him. When his father discovered him, a mountaineer, who was married to a Sioux, persuaded him to let George live with them while his family continued on. In the spring, George made his way to Fort Laramie where he discovered his brother, Aaron, had enlisted in Johnston's army. Both boys continued on to the Valley with the army.