Transcript for Binder, William Lawrence Spicer, Reminiscences [n.d.]
Oct 9th The company was detained a good portion of the day in the vicinity of the Fort. The Captain having Some business with the officers of the Fort. Travelled 3 miles in the after part of the day.
Nothing of particular moment occured while travelling through the Black Hills (excepting a few deaths) we made very good time averagin 12 miles per day in a hilly country, untill we arrived at Deer Creek on the [sentence unfinished]
Oct 17th. Here on account of the threatening aspect of the wheather and the weak condition of our teams and men the Camp Authorities deem it expedient to reduce our then almost exhausted stock of clothing and necessary traps from 17 lb to 10 lb per head. which order was most effectually carried out by the officiousness of the Captains of hundreds.
Oct 19th About noon to we arrived at the Upper crossing of the Platte. I drew my handcart alone across the wide Stream: it being bitterly cold and Lizzie [Eliza Camp Binder] was very weary. Bro Wm Spicer carried her across the river. When we reached the North Side <of the river> Bro Aaron Jackson lay on its Banks in a very exhausted condition. we placed him on our handcart and drew him into camp. which had located about one mile from the crossing
I stood guard the former part of the night until 12 m
Oct 20th Bro A[aron] Jackson died from exhaustion early this morning. To our great surprise when camp was aroused some 3 or 4 inches of Snow had fallen on the ground, which, add to the intense cold morning had a very discouraging effect upon us. Bro [Jonathan] Stone an aged gentleman who crossed the River on the Bridge to avoid wading was benighted and <is> supposed lost his way as he never came into camp again but this morning an English boot with a <human> foot in it was brought to Camp by Bro Jos[eph] Mc Murran [McMurrin] which were identified as all that was left of Bro Stone. It is supposed that being very fatigued had lain himself down to rest and was attacked and eaten by wolves
Near the middle of the day our camp
ed was moved to a locality where we would be nearer the River and where also we could be the better sheltered from the peircing winds[.] we arrived at the Red Buttes at the close of days meeting the whole of our day’s march a bitterly keen wind and drifting Snow. Before we could pitch our tents we had to remove several inches of Snow which labour took a long time to perform on accound principally of the scarcty of Spades and Shovels in the Company
At this camp we remained untill the morning of the 29th instant. During our sojourn at this Camp we were placed under very trying circumstances being reduced to very low rations of flour, a scanty supply of clothing and in addition to these evils, it became our painful duty tobury very many of our friends and traveling companions[.] also to see our cattle vanish from our view through starvation every day.
During the morning of the 28th our Captain had rallied the camp as was our custom every day to meet for general Prayers. and while there he made know to the Saints the startling fact that our provisions had nearly exhausted. he informed us that if we were willing to reduce our amount of flour to one half of what it then was there would be enough to last us two days which he proposed we do[.] we accepted the proposition not knowing where or when we should have another supply. a few minutes after the meeting was dispersed our hearts were made glad with the appearence of three bretheren who had come as an express from the relief company who were Stationed at Devils Gate. It is impossible to describe the joy and gratitude that filled every heart upon the arrival of such messengers of Salvation.
On the morning of the 29th we broke Camp and travelled westward to meet our Valley friends and remain for the night at Rocky Avenue
On the night of the 30 we camped at the Willow Springs and on the 31st we meet our relief at Grease Wood [Greasewood] Creek. We received some articles of clothing, some vergetables and a little flour. many of our company travelled Barefooted through the mud and slush in moving from Greasewood Creek to the Sweetwater where we reached on the evening of Novr 1st
Nov 2nd Was out in the surrounding country looking up our Scattered Stock and while absent a meeting of the Camp was convened[.] I returned in time (about mid-day) to hear the closing remarks of Bro Geo[rge] D Grant. We left the camp about noon and travelled to the fort which was Situated immedeately West of Devils Gate where we arrived in a very cold and almost perished condition[.] a part of its log houses was torn down to furnish fuel for the company. We remained at the Fort three days
Nov 6th We moved from the Fort and located the Camp in a small Ravine on the North Side of the Sweetwater[.] we experienced a good deal of dificulty in crossing the River: it being most intensely cold. After I had crossed
the I again went in the Stream and assisted Bros S[amuel] S and Albert Jones out of the water they being fast in the in the bed of the River and perfectly discouraged so that they could not pull an ounce. Several of the Valley brethern whose names I did not know laboured dilligently for hours in carrying the women and children over the Stream. After we had got to camp Captain Martin Sent me and another brother back to the River with a message to the brethren on which ocassion through my clothes being so wet I got severely frozen
While at this Camp our rations were reduced to 4 ounces of flour per day