Transcript for F. A. Hammond, "In Early Days. My Introduction to Mormonism," Juvenile Instructor,15 August 1894, 517-518

After resting a few days at the place appointed for our gathering, those who were to compose the company having mostly gathered in, we made a start, having first sent a few brethren ahead as pioneers to blaze the trees through the timber and mark out the trail for the wagons to follow. This company was composed of Saints who came to California in the ship Brooklyn, and members of the Mormon Battalion.

In starting out with the wagon company I had some experience which was quite new to me, that was, managing and driving four yoke of oxen.

The first day out I managed to upset the whole load of goods from my wagon, while passing a dug-way on a side hill. This accident caused me to doubt my ability as a teamster, and I supposed "the voyage was up," as we sailors usually think the voyage about ended when the ship is capsized. However, the boys came to my assistance, and with their experience and strong arms soon had my wagon righted up and the goods replaced, and not much damage was done. This mishap tended to lessen my self-confidence in managing a team, and I made arrangements with Timothy Hoit [Hoyt] to buy my wagon and oxen, and haul my goods for me, and I rigged up some pack animals and joined the pack company. So I parted with the wagon company and took the trail ahead of them. We had not traveled but a day or two on the trail marked out by our pioneer brethren when we met some Indians dressed in some of the clothing belonging to the brethren who were ahead looking out the road. We soon came to the spot where our three pioneers had been murdered by the Indians. It was near a beautiful little spring in the midst of a heavy growth of fine timber. Signs of a fearful struggle were apparent where the brethren fought for their lives. The Indians must have crept upon them while they were asleep, and attacked them perhaps with their own arms. A buckskin purse well filled with gold was found lying on the ground. We buried the bodies as decently as circumstances would permit, and a rude inscription was placed on the spot to tell the sad tale. This sad accident caused a deep gloom to rest upon our whole camp; it served to make us more than ever watchful and vigilant.

We traveled on pioneering our own road the rest of the way over the Sierra Nevada Mountains. I remember we traveled a goodly portion of one day on snow as we made the summit. We finally made the pass and descended down into Carson Valley and on to Truckee River, where we rested ourselves and animals a short time, for we now had a stretch of country of ninety miles across to the Humbol[d]t River, a desert without water and but very little feed. While resting here we saw a few Indians lurking round in sight of our camp, but did not venture in. We filled our water canteens and about 3 p.m. left our camp on Truckee River and took the trail for Humbolt. About midnight we came to where our trail led through a rocky pass, and as we reached about midway of the pass there came a shower of arrows from both sides of the trail. The Indians had preceded us and ambushed here in this spot where we were obliged to pass, with the intention of robbing us of animals and outfit. We put spurs in our horses and rushed the pack animals and loose horses ahead of us with all the speed possible at our command, while the arrows flew into our train as thick as hail, and continued till we were out of reach . One large horse belonging to W[illia]m. [Smith] Muir was killed, and a few others were slightly wounded. This was all the harm we received. Not a man was touched by an arrow. We felt to thank the Lord for our deliverance from what seemed imminent danger.

We rode on without any further molestation during the night, and about 10 o'clock next morning we reached running water on Humbolt River. Our poor animals were so thirsty that we could not keep them from rushing into the river with their packs on, so eager were they to quench their thirst.

We had been so much longer on our journey than expected that our provisions were running very short. We were reduced to hard, dried, "jerked" beef, with a little gravy made with flour and water.

One day, late in the afternoon, while traveling up the Humbolt, I was ahead of the train looking out for a camping place, when I came upon an old camp ground. Here I espied a wolf. He ran off a few yards and turned round to look at me. I drew up my old U.S. Yauger rifle and fired at his wolfship. He was wounded in his shoulder. I left my horse and ran for him, and as I came up with him he turned upon his haunches and snarled at me. I took my gun and clubbed him on the head, and broke the stock of my gun. I returned to camp dragging my game by the tail as proud as a Nimrod over my achievement; but oh how the boys laughed at me when they learned I had broken my gun stock! They said I should have re-loaded, and finished my game with another shot. This was the first game ever killed by my shooting. The wolf was soon skinned and dressed, and we were so hungry for fresh meat that he was soon disposed of by broiling or roasting him on the coals. I have eaten a great many different kinds of animals, but of all that I ever have tried that wolf was far the worst. I can almost taste him yet as I think of it.

We continued our journey without anything worthy of note till about the 1st of September, 1848, when we arrived at Ogden. Here we obtained some fresh provisions from Captain James Brown and a mountaineer by the name of Goodyear. From Ogden we followed an Indian trail which led us in a direct route from Haight's Point to the Hot Springs. The Great Salt Lake now covers miles of the route we traveled.

On the 6th day of September, 1848, we arrived in Great Salt Lake City.