Transcript for "John Gillespie, reminiscences," 3-4.
In the spring of 1868, I was called by President Young to be Captain of a train of wagons to go back after migrants. About the First of May, I started with one hundred and two wagons, the largest train, I believe, that ever crossed the plains, I called upon Isaac James Caldwell as my assistant, the streams and rivers were very high, when we got to Green River, the river was very high, and there was a high wind blowing. There was three trains there ahead of me, and they had been unable to get any of their cattle or wagons across the river and Captain Seeley's teamsters tried to cross with a ferry-boat without any wagons on it, and the rope broke and it went down the river and upset and drowned seven of his teamsters. I went up the river the next morning about half a mile and found a place where I started my cattle across onto an island about half way across the river, and I picked out a few of my men that were the best swimmers and they swam across the river and reached an island, about half way across they started the cattle across to the east side. My cattle were across the river first. I had over one thousand head of cattle, and the cattle belonging to the other trains went across much easier when they saw my cattle on the other side; the wind calmed down some and we got the ferry-boats and spliced the rope, and commenced crossing our wagons on the boat and in three days I started on my journey east. When we got to the Sweetwater, we killed some fine, fat deer and lived well. I traveled on to Cheyenne where the terminus of the railroad was; there I camped until the emigrants and freight arrived there.
Herding our cattle in the North Platt[e] all over the country where the best feed was. Horace S[underlin]. Eldridge [Eldredge] was there as agent for the emigration and he was taken very sick and he left Alexander Piper and myself to fit out the emigrants. We fitted them out and started the trains back to Salt Lake and Horace S. Eldridge went home on the stage coach. I stayed on the North Platte about three months. I sent some of my teams to hauling cordwood to the government post at Fort Benton to get clothing and provisions for my men. I loaded up fifty of my men's wagons with freight for Walker Brothers and took an invoice of all the goods I loaded and started them to Salt Lake in charge of my assistant, Isaac James Caldwell, and about the middle of August, I started back with about seven hundred emigrants and loaded up four wagons with Quartz Mill Machinery for the Sweetwater mines; the Indians had attacked them and killed two and wounded two and run off cattle and plundered their wagons and scattered goods all over the ground. The sheriff and the man who owned the goods, with a posse of men came out from the Sweet-water mines and the Indians made an attack and killed the sheriff and wounded the owner of the goods and several others. I gathered up the goods that were left, and loaded them in the wagons and put some of my cattle onto the wagons and hauled them to the Sweetwater mines, and found the man that owned the goods in bed wounded; he was very glad for what I had done. I went to the mill, unloaded my freight, got my pay in gold dust, started back and overtook my train at the Pacific Springs about midnight. We continued our journey to Salt Lake and reached there about the 21st of September with my cattle in good condition, and did not loose any.