Transcript for Bywater, James, Reminiscences, 1903-1908, 239-40

The first company left St Louis the latter part of May going up the Missouri River to Atchison, I was in that company we camped about one mile west of the River and after some days we moved to Mormon grove, where we fixed wagons and made every preparation necessary for a journey of three months duration across the great western plains to the S L Valley, situated in fastenesses [vastness] of the Rocky Monants [Mountains]

on the sixth day of June 1855 we started [with] sixty wagons (in number) and about seventy able bodied men besides women and children[.] we had a little over six hundred animals consisting of Horses, mules, oxen and cows[.] we were organized with one cheif Captain and two councillors and a captain over every ten wagons, our company was an independant one[.] [John] Hindley was the name of the Captain. The bands of the first tribe of Indians we passed (through) was the Pawneis [Pawnees] once a powerfull people, but now reduced to a <small> band <who> had been decimated by its many wars with the Suies [Sioux] a very powerfull and warlike tribe. In Plum River we buried a Bro who died in the chlorera [cholera] on arriving at Fort Kearney some three hundred <miles> on our way, we received orders to go into camp and wait further (further) orders, as the Pauneis [Pawnees] and Cheyenne tribes were at war. a few officers of the Fort visited us several times[.] our camp lay on the Platt[e] River bottoms. while we lay there quite a number of Cheyennes passed, we saw none of the Pauneis [Pawnees] Warriors. after remaining in camp about two weeks, we struct camp and moved on. at various <times> we saw herds of Buffalo, Deer, Elk and Antelope, and would shoot a Buffalo from time to time[.] one day we came accross a large herd that was grazing on both sides of the road, heading for the south. We drove right through the midst of the herd, they nor our animals seemed to make (no) notice of each other for which I was very thankful. I was a little afraid of a stampede, which had one occurred our animals would have become unmanageable, and the consequens might have become very disastrous. we went into camp a short distance, and then several went back and shot four Buffaloes. we remained in camp several days preparing the meat for future use. we passed through alkali lands, gathered a lot of soda from several ponds or small alkali lakes, passed Fort Larimie [Laramie], the Black Hills, and on to sweet water, Rock Springs, Green River, Fort Bridger, Bear River, entered the Rockies, down Echo Kanyon [Canyon], crossed the Weber River, up and over the big and little mountains, down Emigration canyon[.] on emerging there from we got the first view of Salt Lake and its valley. we crossed the bench and on to G.S. L city and went into camp on union square the third day of september 1855, thankfull to reach our journeys end in safety and good health.