Transcript for Baird, Alexander, Autobiography of Alexander Baird, 23

I had a great time on the plains, I can tell you. When we got to Florence, I asked the captain I was to come to the valley with for a team to drive, as we had some extra wagons coming along. They were new wagons. They were loaded with dried fruits. I got one to drive and three yoke of cattle. This was a job for an old sailor, you bet. I had never seen a yoke of cattle in my life, and knew as much about them as they did about me. In fact, they probably knew more. But my brother Peter and the young man helped me to herd them along. I got along alright after I got the yoke up, but you bet that was a job and no mistake. Many a time I got them head and tail and it was a job to get them straight again. Sometimes the pin would work out on the road and one of us had to carry the yoke and trudge along for miles in the sand. Oh, I tell you, we were pictures.

We had a couple of guns in our wagon, one, an old English musket my father gave me before I left Glasgow. It would hold half a pound of small shot. So we always had something extra to eat. My gun never missed if you had it loaded with small shot. It held so much and scattered, it broadcast. I have killed as many as forty blackbirds in one shot. All you had to do was let drive east, west, north, or south and you were sure to hit something.

When we got to the Indian country the captain would always want me to stand guard at night around camp. This was fun for me as I had been a man o'war so long and I liked excitement. And if I do say it myself, I knew not what fear was. Captain Rex [Ricks] was good to me because I was always willing to obey orders.

We arrived in Salt Lake City the twenty-fourth of October, 1863. I had made lots of friends on the road with the valley teamsters. One of them was Chester Southworth a jolly fellow like myself, fond of his bitters and always in good humor.