Transcript for "Correspondence," Deseret News, 13 August 1862, 54

FLORENCE, 16th July, 1862.


DEAR SIR:—Presuming that a few items of news, concerning the emigration across the plains this season, may not be unacceptable to your readers, I pen a short detail of my journey with one of the church trains:

To begin with the roads:—they were (in consequence of the late opening of spring and the great and almost unprecedented rise of the streams on the route) of the very worst description during the early part of the journey; the wagons frequently, particularly between the Little Mountain and Echo kanyon [Canyon], were running upon their hubs, and going through water often above the wagon beds.

At Yellow creek we found the streams so much swollen that it covered the entire valley through which it runs from bluff to bluff; and again at Ham’s Fork, it was still worse. At both these places we had to unload our wagons, conveying the loads over on rafts, or in a boat, and taking the empty wagons through with the teams, and at the latter place having to float the wagons across and swim the teams; but Mormon patience, energy and perseverance, triumphed over every obstacle; yet, I will say that it is my firm conviction that no other people would have gone through under such difficult and trying circumstances, without pause or hesitation; in fact, making nothing but sport of laboring all day in the water and mud, sometimes to their knees, sometimes to their waist, and occasionally going out of sight. Captain H[omer]. Duncan, in charge of our train, was equal to every emergency, invariably taking the lead himself in going into water or mud and the boys were ever ready and willing to follow.

The emigration westward this season is very great. Somewhere about two thousand two hundred wagons passed us between Ham’s Fork and Loup Fork ferry, averaging about five souls to each wagon, which will make eleven thousand, independent of our own emigration, which is also very large this season; I presume over five thousand.

You have probably heard of the accident which happened to our highly esteemed friend and brother, J. W. Young, during the storm of the 8th instant. by the blowing over of some wagon boxes, which were piled up, but not secured. His chest was badly bruised, his head and nose also cut rather severely; but I am happy to say he is now able to be about again and recovering rapidly.

Two men were unfortunately killed in one of the camps of English Saints Elder Whitall, late of the Millennial Star office, Liverpool, and another brother from England. At Wood river, I counted fourteen telegraph poles shattered by the lightening on the same occasion, and a horse killed.

On the 3d of July we passed Capt. Lewis Brunson’s company of Saints, consisting of thirty-six wagons, about ten miles west of Buffalo creek, being the first train of the season for Utah. A train of forty-six wagons, under Capt. Wareham, passed us on the 13th ult., and another left on the 14th—all independent companies. The other companies will now be leaving in rapid succession, until all have started. Capt. Duncan’s train reached here about noon on the 14th, and Capt. Murdock’s about two hours afterwards Capt. Horn’s train is expected to-day, and Capt. Harmon’s to-morrow or next day, and the others in a day or so afterwards.

The Saints have all arrived here, with the exception of a small company of Swiss expected by the next boat. Capt Duncan is loading up to-day with English Saints, and will start in two or three days.

The missionaries who have arrived here are well generally. Elders Rich and Lyman are here; also Elders McAllister, Stainer and Adams, returning missionaries, with a few others whose names I do not know.

We expect to leave for New York en route for our fields of labor in a few days.