Transcript for Horne, Richard Stephen, Notebook, reel 1, item 4, 15-17, in Horne family, Collection, 1872-1978

The only incident worthy of note during our 1861 journey occurred sometime after we had left the Missouri river. Father was informed that a company of soldiers was camping not far from the place where we had designed to make our camp, so father decided that the best and safest course for us to pursue would be to continue our travel during the fore part of the night.

While thus traveling we came to a steep hollow. I was sitting in the front of my wagon when suddenly as we began to descend the hill my wagon tongue suddenly dropped to the ground.

This gave an impetus to the wagon which rushed upon my wheel team and caused me to slide off my seat. I had just taken hold of my brake lever to throw on the brake, so I was prevented from falling between the oxen and also from being run over by the wagon. I was hanging by my left hand while my back was against the front end of the wagon with my face towards the oxen. When the wagon struck one of the oxen (which by the way was across the tongue of the wagon) I was pressed between the wagon and the ox. When this animal had succeeded in crossing the <wagon tongue> and had gotten out of the way of the wagon it took another shoot and struck the second yoke of my oxen, and I was again squeezed between my wagon and the ox. As we neared the foot of the hill the wagon began to slow down and we were soon out of danger.

I bear testimony with all soberness that some unseen power protected me from what seemed instant death for I was not injured in the least degree by this accident, but was able to fix up my wagon tongue, get my team in shape and continue my journey. All this happened in the midst of total darkness. I was very happy to find myself uninjured.