Transcript for Caldwell, Thomas, Reminiscence, in Allphin, Jolene, "Tell My Story, Too," 13-14

After leaving Castle Gardens we reached Iowa City the 26th of June 1856. Here we were outfitted and assigned to our groups and our handcarts. Our handcarts were of poor description. There were 100 to each group and two persons were allotted to draw each cart. I was to help my mother and Christina McNeil, a young girl who had lived with us in Glasgow, Scotland. We left Iowa City the 26th of July 1856. Millen Atwood was the Captain of our group of 100. On the 18th of August we left camp [Florence, Nebraska] and set out in earnest on our journey across the plains.

While in Florence, Nebraska, some old Texan cows were bought to milk. This is where I met with an accident. Some girls were trying to hold and milk one of the Texan cows, which was giving them a great deal of trouble. Thinking I could help them out, I offered to try, but when I took the rope, the cow bolted, catching my foot in the rope. I was thrown to the ground until I could let go of the rope. My collar bone was broken. This of course was very painful, especially after gangrene set in. Some days I could push a little on the cart, but mostly I would feel so ill I could only hang on. When we would come to one of the larger streams that had to be crossed it seemed almost too much for human nature. But as we were requested and as there was no other way, we would boldly enter the stream, helping each other the best we could. I would try my best to help my younger sisters one at a time through to the other side.

There wasn’t much I could really do as the constant pain in my collar bone was almost more than I could bear and seemed to be getting no better. Mother would treat it at night when we camped. I did, however, try to keep my younger sisters encouraged to keep walking. Agnes did alright as she could find friends to walk with. They would figure out some sort of a game or songs to keep their mind[s] occupied and busy. Elizabeth was not as active or sturdy and it was hard to her to keep her feet moving, consequently her feet were frozen.

We finally arrived in Salt Lake Valley the 9th of November 1856. We had endured hardships almost beyond human endurance. My mother was quite fortunate as she came through as well or better than even some of the more sturdy men on the group. We were determined to make the best of it all.