Transcript for Isaiah M. Coombs collection, 1835-1938, Diaries, Volume 8, 1858 April 13-1858 September 1, 16-66
Monday May 3 Bought part of 3 set of harness for $5. Got our horses shod[.] fit up our carriage & are now nearly ready for a start.
Tuesday 4 Waited on D.O.R. till 2 oclock P.M. & then as he had not yet got another horse we borrow'd one of Mr. Amon [Ammond] & started out. Mr A has lent us his pony till we get to Genoa & then we must make other arrangements. Mr A. is with us as is also R. H. W. I. Bull & another man. We have come 6 m. & are camped on the Little Papae [Papillion] for the night. I am happy to be thus far on our journey
Wednesday 5 We are camped between Elk Horn & Shell creeks with Messrs Brooks & Morris and several Pawnies.
Thursday 6 On shell creek to night with Fell & family
Friday 7 We have come 30 miles today & are camped near Lookingglass [Looking Glass]. It has rained all day. Very cold. Supped on dry crackers
Saturday 8 Arrived at Genoa about 11 oclock A.M. This is 100 m. from Florience [Florence.] Have found a great many old friends. Dined with P. Allen. We are all in good health & spirits though very tired.
Sunday 9 Attended a meeting this afternoon & enjoyed myself[.] Fell in with [blank space] Thorp & other old friends. D.O.R bought another horse to day. We are now on the West side of Loup fork. Had a hard time in crossing. A pretty day. We are organized into 9 separate co[mpanie]s though we shall all travel together. The European missionaries numbering 72 comprise the 1st Co. & the American Missionaries with two or 3 others comprise the 2nd Co. I belong to the latter Co. The 1st Co. have not yet crossed the river. John Berry is Capt of the 1st Co & Dav[id] Brinton is Cap. of the 2nd Co. Our animals are in rather bad condition but we think they will go home safe, hope so.
Monday 10 Spent a miserable night in the rain. Drove out about 4 miles & camped. At 4 oclock P.M. D.O.R. & I returned to Genoa on horseback. Bought a bu. of potatoes & a bu. of buckwheat flour of Thorp. Sis Thorp says that Fanny will not get married before she sees me. A.M. Cannon came out to camp with us. Our Co. now numbers 31 men 1 woman & 3 children. The wind continues very high. The 1st co [company] has not got over yet.
Tuesday 11 Came out 6 m this morning & camped on Loup Fork to wait for the 1st Co. which came up this afternoon & camped with us. They number 71 men, which added to 31 makes us 102 strong. We are all with the exception of 3 or 4 well armed with good pistols and knives. I carry constantly a brace of pistols a large bowie knife & a U.S. yauger. I despise to carry deadly weapons but under present circumstances I am obliged to do it in order to defend myself in case of an attack which may happen.
Wednesday 12 Travelled 25 m. are campd on a slough, no wood. I am very tired as I have walked nearly all day.
[illegible] D.O.R.'s son was baptized yesterday
Thursday 13 25m. C. on Prairie creek. pas'd the wells 15 m back.
Friday 14 Have come 24 m. C. on Wood river near a lone tree. Saw a band of Indians & several herd of buffalo on Prairie creek. No accidents thus far. Am to stand guard tonight
Sunday 16 We nooned on Wood river yesterday untill 4 oclock P.M. We then hitched up passed Fort Kearney, travelled untill midnight & camped in the road untill this morning. Some of the boys got lost from the train in the dark & fired pistols as signals. At first we didn't know who it was & imagined we were surrounded by an enemy. We got our arms ready but soon found we had no use for them[.] It rained during the night and in a great amount obliterated our trail. We got up this morning early & came on to Elm creek before breakfast a distance of 9 or 10 miles. A dense fog hid us this morning from the soldiers at the fort. We realize the hand of the Lord in our deliverance thus far. We are camped tonight on Buffalo creek. 18 miles. D.O.R. killed an antelope this evening.
Monday 17 My wife's birthday[.] Travelled near 30 miles today. We camped on the Platte bottoms near some sloughs of water. We have seen no Indian since we left Prairie creek A rather suspicious circumstance. I stand guard tonight. We are travelling on the North side of the river. Buffalo chips are in use now. We have travelled 9 full days since we left Florence 270 miles. At that rate we will be home in 28 more days.
Tuesday 18 20 miles. C near the Platt[e.] The river is unusually high this season & think it would rather puzzle an army to cross it if they could at all. The spirit of union and love prevails in our camp.
Wednesday 19 Cross'd Skunk creek. Nooned near some sloughs. There has been 2 teams ahead of us ever since we left Genoa. We see their trail very plain & have seen their wagons two or 3 times. Wonder who they are. From a book that we found at one of their camping places I judge they are of the right stripe. Wish we could overtake them. 6 Oclock P.M. Are camped on the Platt[e] river. 23 miles. Have overtaken those teams. They prove to be two families on their way to California from Burlington Iowa. They were in our camp this evening & remarked that they thought there was no danger on the road this season as there was no Indians or d----d Mormons to be seen or heard of. They did not enquire who we are or what our destination is
Thursday 20 Seven or eight of our horses got away from the guard last night & untill now 3 oclock they have not been found. Several of the boys have gone in search. A cold windy day. 6 oclock. The boys have returned with all the horses except 2. One of the missing ones belongs to Rideout. We are now left with but 3 animals to draw our carriage. A supply train for the Utah army passed up on the opposite side of the river this evening.
Friday 21 16 miles today. C. on Platt[e]. I [have] lost my overcoat a pair of gloves & a silk handkerchief today on the road. I should go back for them but the captain thinks that it would not be safe to do so as we are in a very wild Indian country & he is concerned that we are watched by them all the time. This is quite a loss as it is the only overcoat I have & the weather is very cold of evenings. Have overtaken those two wagons. They prove to be two Dutch families bound for California. They are camped with us tonight & are quite friendly although we have told them who we are. They wish to travel with [us] if they can keep up. For my part I dont want their company but had rather put up with it than have them fall victims to Indian barbarity. Cross'd North bluff fork. Road has been very marshy all day. I have been in mud and water up to the [cr.tch] 4 times.
Saturday 22 24 miles today over sand bluffs & through marshes. Camped on Patite [Petite] creek. Good water & grass and buffalo chips. Those wagons still keep up. I have walked all day & am very tired. A heavy storm is Brewing & we must prepare for it.
Sunday 23 The storm last night was lighter than we expected. We have come 23 miles to day. A sandy road. A pretty day though a stormy evening. Nine Sioux Indians came up to us this evening after we camp'd & requested the privellige of camping with us. They make themselves quite at home. We nooned on Rattlesnake creek where [we] indulged in a nice bath.
Monday 24 The Indians left us early this morning. We have travelled 18 miles to day & are camped opposite Ash Hollow 380 miles from Florence. There is a camp of Sioux close by. They have been with us ever since we have camped. We have traded considerably with them & given them a lot of flour &c. I have bought a pr. of moccasins. They say that a large train of 32 wagons passed up this morning. (A supply train for the Utah army I suppose) They also say that two co's of U.S. troops 165 men passed up a few days ago, also 2 wagons on this side the river on Saturday last. I don't like camping so near Ash Hollow as it is one of the most dangerous point[s] on the route.
Tuesday 25 Had a good nights rest. Got a later start on account of the Indians wishing to trade with us. Left them in good feelings.
Have travelled 28 miles to day & although I have walked most of the distance I do not feel tired. We are camped on Crab crick a beautiful stream. Our animals have an abundance of the richest grass. We are in sight of two Indian villages. A few of the Indians are in our camp. The old chief has accepted an invitation to stay all night with us. He is a good looking chap. I come on guard at 2 oclock in the morning so I will away to bed.
Wednesday 26 Left our camping ground early this morning & renewed our journey westward. Cross'd Cobble hills from which we had a splendid view of the Platt[e] & its beautiful vally. We have come up on the north side of this river all the way & do not expect to cross at all. A government train of 27 wagons passd down on the opposite side this morning. I suppose that they had been with a load to Laramie & were returning for another. Have come 28 miles[.] T. Hall run into Ira Mile's carriage & broke
off the fore axel. They had to carry the carriage 4 miles to our present encampment on the Platt[e]. I have walked nearly all day in order to favor T.H. who is unwell. My feet are sore & I am in pain in almost every part of my body. Those Dutchmen are camp'd about 2 m. back, they could not keep up with us any further
Thursday 27 We have made new arrangements in our wagon with regard to our travelling. Have trav. 20 miles today & are camp'd about 5 miles West of Chimney rock. About 3 miles back we met Colonel Thomas L. Kane with an escort of 6 men on their way from G.S.L. City to Washington D.C. The col. went out to Utah a few months since as an especial envoy from Pres. Buchanon [Buchanan] to negotiate terms of peace with Gov. Young, & is now on his return home. His escort is commanded by Howard Egan & are, all of them, mormons. H. E was bearer of a letter from pres B.Y. to us. It informs us that G.S.L. City & all the country North of Utah county has been vacated & left without inhabitants save a few hundred men who have been left in charge of the property. The head quarters of the church is now established in Provo city 50 miles South of G.S.L. City. We are advised that there are between 2 & 3000 U.S. troops on Green river & that they are very hostile to all Mormons & are making prisoners of them wherever they can find them. Col. Johnson is very […ttey]. Gov Cumming has been into G.S.L. City & had an interview with Brigham. The letter stated that the Gov. seems disposed to take hold of the thread of Justice & set us right before the people—that he has officially contradicted many of the false reports that have been made against the Utonians." He is now with the troops near Bridger but will soon follow the saints to Provo with his wife. Col. Johnson insulted Col. Kane because he had befriended the Saints wheretofore Col. K challenged Col. J to a duel & backed him out. The Saints have an army in Echo Kanyon ready to dispute the further advance of the troops. Pres. B.Y. advises us to take the Sublette cut off to G[r]een river & then take the trail for the head of Echo Kanyon avoiding if possible, any collision with the troops. In case we are met by the troops we are ordered not to fight them for he is anxious that they should strike the first blow. He cautions us against the Indians & mountaineers especially the latter & advises that we are ever on our guard & keep out scouts considerably in advance that we may not fall into a snare. It seems that all hell is boiling over but the boys are not in the least frightened. We intend to go home in spite of all the troops, mountaineers & Indians that are in the mountains the Lord being our helper. The saints intend setting fire to G.S.L. City in case the troops affect an entrance[.] Their grain & all their valuable effects have been cached so they will be ready to apply the torch at a moments warning. Surely there has never been a people on this earth so united as are the saints of Latter Day. Oh! That I may be preserved to arrive among them in peace that I may spend the rest of my days in their society.
Friday 28 Have come about 30 miles to day & are camped a mile from the river. We have had a good road most of the way, D.O.R. bought a buffalo robe of an Indian for 14 pints of flour. Br Pope shot a goose. We have had a perfect gale of wind this afternoon & considerable rain. Pass'd Scotts Bluffs about noon. We continue to keep a vigillant guard both night and day 5 men on at a time. My turn comes every fourth night. The old men have the day guard & are exempt from night duty.
We have prayers night & morning & always ask a blessing on our food if it is nothing more than crackers & water. I suppose there was never a company cross'd these plains more united than we are.
Saturday 29 1 oclock P.M. We are now camped in a beautiful grove of cotton wood trees about 20 miles from Fort Laramie. We intend staying here 4 or 5 hours from the time we stopped, 11 oclock, & then go on a few miles further & camp untill tomorrow evening. Our scouts will be sent ahead in the morning to look at the safest rout for us to travel. We intend passing the fort under the cover of night that we may escape observation. There is but one co. of soldiers there & of course we do not fear them but if they should see us they would send an express to Col. Johnson informing him of our movements which might result in our capture. We wish to pass along unobserved if possible. I am well aware that Col. J. cannot lawfully hinder us from going to our homes but knowing him to have committed many unlawful deeds we do not feel to trust him.
The night continue very cold. I miss my over coat very much.
5 oclock. Camp'd near the river. A French trader has been with us awhile this evening. He says that the ropes of the ferry at Laramie are broken so that they can not cross. The South Platte is so swollen that neither troops or supply trains can cross, in consequence of which there is a scarcity of provisions at the fort. I am to stand guard to night. This is the most dangerous place we have camped at since we left.
Sunday 30 Four wagons drawn by mules passed up the river on the opposite side early this morning. As they appeared to be lightly laden & were going very fast we concluded that it must be an express to Col. Johnson. We had just started when they hove in sight. We came on about 10 miles & camped for noon & to mend a broken wagon. We held a council in which it was decided that as news of our presence had already been received at the fort there would be no utility in trying to pass unnoticed & that we had better hitch up and go on immediately. We had no sooner made this decision tha[n] we proceeded to act upon it. When we were about 2 miles from the fort a heavy roar startled us. On looking around we saw that the whole heavens were becoming obscure with dark heavy clouds which were sending forth ever and anon sharp flashes of lightening. This explained the cause of the roar that had been heard. In the midst of one of the most terrific storms I ever witnessed we rolled past the fort within direct range of her heavy guns. The mingled wind, rain, hail & snow almost blinded me. The storm raged with but one momentary intermission untill we were fairly out of danger & then it ceased—the clouds dispersed & the sun burst forth to cheer and to gladden the hearts of the drenched way worn but happy travelers. When we consider how seldom this part of the country is visited by thunder showers we must acknowledge that this was sent by our Father in heaven to preserve us from the hands of our enemies. Praise the name of Israels God oh ye Elders, for he has this day wrought out a great Deliverance for you. We are camped about 16 miles West of the fort on a beautiful spot with plenty of grass water & wood. The express has passed along since we camped. It stopped at the fort a few hours.
Monday 31 We have come 28 miles to day over a very rough road. The scenery in this part of the country is most grand & beautiful. Vast groves of pine & extensive tracts of rich pasture lands are sights that gladden the hearts of the westward bound traveller especially after he has come this far in the road. We are in a delightful valley this evening & have everything to make us comfortable. We have nice spring water, plenty of grass & an abundance of wood.
Tuesday June 1 We have come 25 miles today. T. Hall, D.O. Rideout & his son were in our carriage this afternoon & in coming down a hill into an ugly rut the jolt of the wagon broke its front axle tree near the center. We bound it up with ropes & came on into camp. Some of the boys providentially found an excellent axel that had been thrown away by some previous company & the brethren have been fitting it into our carriage. It will be stronger when fixed than before this breake down litterly fulfills a prediction I made a few days since[.] We are all in good health & spirits. I was called upon to pray with the company this evening.
Wednesday 2 26 miles to day through heavy sand. Our new axel works as good as the old one did. We turned out two of our animals this morning to recruit & as the load is rather heavy for the two remaining horses we have walked all day. I am very tired. Am on the first watch to night. We are camped on a very muddy stream this evening.
Thursday 3 A cold, windy
night & day. 25 miles nearer home. Two of our animals tired out this evening. Br. [John Frederick] Snedaker lent us one till we got into camp. We are now about ½ mile below the mouth of Deer creek where there is quite a settlement of whites who make their living by trading with the Indians & emigrants. Their cattle have eat nearly all the grass, so that our animals are faring very badly. I got away behind the train this afternoon and could not catch up untill after it caralled. Some little difficulty that had existed between two of the brethren was amicably settled this evening.
Travelling through this wind and sand has a very deleterious effect on my eyes. Well I am too tired to write more & will go to my nights rest.
Friday 4 20 miles to day over a very heavy sand road & are camped once more in the Platt[e] bottom.
Our animals get along a great deal better now, but we do not consider it wisdom to ride much untill they recruit more & our load gets lighter.
Saturday 5 pass'd the bridge. We were informed there by some traders that Gen Smith the commander of the Utah expedition, pass'd on his way up yesterday. He was very sick. He thinks that the mormon question will be settled without any blood shed. We nooned on the Platt[e] in what is called the upper crossing, 6 miles above the bridge. The road between the bridge & the upper crossing is more sandy than any we have yet come to & is said to be the worst on the road.
5 oclock P.M. As some traders followed us from the bridge with some horses to trade we concluded to lay by the rest of the day & see if we could get a few head of them. I don't know how they have got along with their trading. Since we camped here an express has passed us on the way to the army. I am very glad we have stopped here this afternoon for I do not feel able to travel as I am chafed & sore in almost every part of my body.
The following is a list of the names of all the missionaries in this Co. [Company] also of all others who are travelling with us. Names marked X crossed the plains with me in the fall of 1856 on missions to various nations.
Berry John W. Capt.
X Bramall Wm.
X Brown Wm.
X Browning James G.
X Bullock, Thos
X Clark Ezra T
Davis " [Daniel]
Deremus [Doremus] Henry I
Ensign Martin L
Evans Richard G
X Gates George
Hoban [Hobson] Jesse
X Hubbard Chas W
King Thos R.
Miller Rob. E
Muir Wm S
X Page Daniel
Pierce Eli Harvey
X Pierce Thos
Pinder John G
X Roskelley Sam
Russell Thos W
X Shumway A[ndrew].P[urley].
Smith John L
Smith S[amuel]. H[arrison]. B[ailey].
X Snow, Bernard
X Stevens Jas W.
Stewart Wm J
Taylor James W
X Taylor Geo
Thomas Wm P.
X Tippetts John H.
Young Brig. H
Young Seymour B
Others, not missionaries in the European company.
Jones John E
Brereton [Brinton] David
Willliam F. Bull
Cannon Angus M.
Coombs Isaiah M
Goddard Sten. H
Maylett Wm F
X Rideout D.O.
Smith Wm H.
Twitchell Wm B
Wood Lyman S.
Fisher Thomas L.
Hough [Huff] Jas
Metcalf Levi J.
Pope Robert wife & 2 children
John Rideout son of D.O.R. nine years of age
[Total] 9 men, 1 woman, 3 children
European Missionaries 60, Others 12
American Missionaries 25, Others[:] Men 9, woman 1, children 2
Grand Total 110
Sunday 6 Have come 28 miles to day & are camped about ¼ of a mile below Willow Springs. We passed a herd of Mexican sheep this morning on the way to Camp Scott. I stand guard to night.
Monday 7 Started before breakfast this morning. Nooned at Independence Rock on the Sweetwater. We are now near an anonymous stream for the night. My mare tired out again to day & I had to stay behind the train to take care of her. I am very tired but have to prepare our supper. 39 miles is our days travel
Tuesday 8 Started before breakfast again this morning. I suppose this will be the order from this time till we get through. We nooned at the 3 crossings of Sweetwater. Sold my mare to D.O. Rideout for a promise to pay $15[.00] 4 months from date & he has all the risk & care for her. I think it very doubtful about her going through or I should not have sold her at such a price. D.O.R. thinks otherwise & made the offer himself.
28 miles to day & on the Sweetwater still. This is quite a romantic spot. One old mule when crossing the river to day found that the water was rather deep for him to find bottom & he hast swim for it[.] A strong wind has prevented us cooking much supper. A glorious prospect for a storm to night.
Wednesday 9 It has been raining nearly all day. Didn't get started till after 12 oclock. At the 5th crossing of Sweetwater we met a large party of apostates on their way to the States. I never saw such a hard looking set in my life. One proved to be a daughter of father Galley's. She had married since he left home & had infant in her arms. The meeting between father & daughter was truly heart rending to witness. Br. John H. Smith had a brother among them whom he had not seen before for 5 years. They say that another & still larger party is a few days journey behind. 2 men in a light carriage nooned with us. They think there would be no danger for us to pass right by the army. The peace commissioners with Gov. Cumming has gone into the valley. Before they started on they posted up bills at camp Scott & surrounding country granting the mormons a free pardon to the poor Mormons for all offences committed up to the end of April [illegible]. It is the opinion of the army generally that peace will be declared as soon as an investigation has been entered into & most of them are angry for they will miss a great deal of fun if they are not allowed to enter the city. We are camped to night 14 miles from where we were this morning on a small stream on Seminole's cut off. I stand guard to night.
Thursday 10 While I was on guard between 2 & 4 oclock A.M. it began snowing & it has been snowing pretty much all day. It lies between 1 & 2 inches deep on a level. Awful cold. We have come only 18 miles to day & are camped on a small stream[.] That mare that I sold to D.O.R was left behind to day as she was unable to come further. We nooned near two families who professed to be returning Californians. They left there last June & wintered in G.S.L. City. One of the men says he knows my brother Hiram, that he is at present in Echo Kanyon to give a very favorable acct. of the Valley.
Friday 11 An awful cold night & morning. About Noon we met br. Abraham Hatch with some 20 other brethren direct from the Valley via Camp Scott. Br N. Groesbeck was one of the company. Had a long conversation with him on old Times &c. They brought with them a Proclamation by pres. Buchanon to the citizens of Utah, in which he charges upon them a lot of things they are not guilty of but tells them that they are forgiven for every thing they may have done up to the 6th of April last. It is too disgusting to have a place in my journal or I would copy it. Br Hatch & co left G.S.L. City last Saturday & are on their way to the Platt[e] bridge for some goods that was left there last year by N. Groesbeck. While at camp Scott one of their number, John Hoagland an old friend of mine, was arrested on a charge of robbery & for want of bail is still held in […….y.] He is not guilty of the charge & will clear himself as soon as he is brought to trial. His overcoat was brought along through mistake & br Groesbeck gave it to me to take to him. Br G. knows my brother. He says that Gov. Cumming has taken his wife into the city & seems friendly disposed, that Col Johnson threatens to [s.erch ] for G.S.L. City on next Monday & says that he will follow the d-d Mormons to hell but what he will make them submit. The Gov. says that if the offer to enter the city before he receives an answer to his letter to pres Buchanon he will order out the militia for the difense of the territory. The saints were never as much united as they now are. They are prepared to do just what the Lord wants them & have no fears with regard to the issue. He doesnt know what Br Brigham's intentions are. Br Hatch delivered a discourse to us showing us the position of affairs in Utah. A good spirit prevailed. They did not bring us any message from the president for he was expecting us hourly. We left our brethren about 4 oclock P.M. & came on to the 6th crossing of Sweetwater and here we are camped for the night.
Saturday 12 Started early. Crossed the South Pass & nooned on the Pacific Spring creek; after which we started on again cross a dry Sandy & Little Sandy & are camped on the latter about 30 miles from where we started this morning.
Monday 14 Yesterday we crossed the big Sandy & took supper on the big bend. Met a party with the U.S. mail who told us that all the troops at camp Scott would be underway to G S L City tomorrow. After supper we hitched up again, took Kinney's cut off & came some 12 miles further making our days journey 35 miles. We got out of the road & had to camp till this morning. It was about 11 oclock when we stopped. Bro. George & Stephen Goddard have lent 3 of us one of his horses till we get through. This morning we came on to Green river 3 miles for breakfast. This is not the regular rout but we have come this way in order to avoid the troops. We didn't know how we should get across the river at this point for it has been some 4 yrs since any emigration came this way but as the Lord would have it we found an excellent ferry boat on the East side of the crossing which we immediately rerigged & appropriated to our own use. By [.int] of hard & incessant labor we ferried every thing over in 4 hours & were ready to start on again. After we had all crossed three of the brethren viz. John L. Smith[,] James Craig[,] D O. Rideout & [blank space] Pope took the boat back to where we found it and then swam back again. The river was very high & the current rapid & they had hard work to make the shore.
We are camped to night on a stream some 10 miles from Green river ferry[.] I am on guard to night
Tuesday 15 12 oclock [blank space] M. We have come 15 miles since morning & are now nooning near two springs of the clearest coldest water we have had yet. We are in a small valley between two mountains one of which is covered with snow. The scenery is grand. A hot day. Well I must get dinner.
This afternoon we came across the dead body of an Indian Squaw. She lay by the way side wrapped up in a buffalo robe & other skins. Near by one could see where she had staked her horse which had broke away. We could see too some sticks she had gathered & tried to Kindle into a fire[.] We suppose that she froze to death during the recent storm as every thing indicated that such was the case.
We are camped near a nice grove of mountain asp with every thing at hand to make both man & beast comfortable. Rideout found a small stove about ¼ of a mile back & brought it into cam[p] and we have cooked our suppers on it.
Wednesday 16 We have come over a very rough, ragged country to day. Pass'd through a delightful grove of fir, pine & other evergreens on the side of a mountain. Came in sight of Bear river. Some of us boys came down a long steep ravine in which we found a dead ox laying on his back. He had probably fallen down in this narrow place & being unable to extricate himself, he died. We are now in a beautiful valley between very high mountains. We had a thunder shower at noon. Several horses give out to day. We pass'd through some of the grandest scenery to day I ever beheld. The road has been good.
Thursday 17 Came to Bear river in about 10 miles this morning & came up it about 18 m. & are camped on its banks for the night. I have walked all day & am tired as the mischief. A storm is brewing.
½ hour later. The storm has passed by our camp merely giving us a short call to say "how do ye do?" This is the most crooked road I ever travelled. We have shaped our course to about every point of the compass since we left the regular route. We suppose that we have come no less that 50 miles out of our way. I think we have not been observed yet by either the soldiers or the Indians. The reason why we are trying to avoid the former is, we have learned that they have made a practice of making prisoners of all the Mormons that they can get hold of and detaining them. Many of us have families in the Valley & the circumstances under which they are at present placed render our presence highly necessary; and are therefor anxious to get home as soon as possible. We know that they could prefer no charge against any of us except that of being Mormons but we are satisfied that they would make that a sufficient pretext to capture us if we come in their way. President Buchanon charges this whole people with treason but they could not arrest us on that charge for there is not one in our co. who have been in Utah for a year past. Beside the pres. has forgiven us that crime, if we have committed it.
Friday 18 Left camp at 4 oclock a.m. Arrived at the crossing of Bear river at 11 a.m. The river being very high & rapid & found ourselves under the necessity of ferrying instead of fording as we had hoped to have done. But what should we do without a ferry boat or timber to construct a raft. It is said that necessity is the mother of inventions, it proved so in our case. Says the captain "boys we will convert some of our wagon beds into a ferry & cross her like a top. No sooner said than done. We went to work & lashed two of the best beds together, corked them as well as we could with old shirts & coffee sacks & then bind them outside with a tent. After this we lashed another bed cross wise on the top of the other two & into this we put our luggage harness &c & after several hours hard labor we had everything across. At the same time another party of men were at work drawing the remaining gear of the wagons over by ropes tied to the end of the tongues. Before we got [fe..ly at work br James Andrus fell into the river & came near drowning. He was rescued after he had sunk for the 3rd time. We are camped on the W. bank for the night.
Saturday 19 Took a cut off & have reached Echo Kanyon by coming 25 miles to day. This is much better than we expected. Our horses ran away with our wagon coming down a hill & came near smashing everything to pieces.
Sunday 20 Started early. Passed two merchant trains in Echo Kanyon also Dr. G. Hurt was introduced to the Dr. by br Hall. He is the Indian agent for Utah. A lot of U.S. soldiers are at work on the road in the kanyon. They are going to Rush valley to form a U.S. post. Nooned at the crossing of Weber where we saw a lot of apostates on their way to the states. We are now some 3 miles E of East of East Kanyon & have come 29 miles since morning.
We saw in Echo Kanyon where our boys under General D. H. Wells had thrown up entrenchments, built breastworks & otherwise prepared to give Colonel Johnson a reception. It is a perfect Chief De-[V..] of military skill. The kanyon has been vacated since owing to some treaty that has been made with the commissioners who are now in the Valley.
When we saw the indefatigable labor that the boys had spent on this naturally formidable pass our hearts swelled with joy & gladness & we gave vent to it by repeated shouts.
Monday 21 June Breakfasted about ½ way up the big mountain. Met some boys from home. Nooned between the mountains; After dinner we hitched up once more & rolled into G.S.L. City. We arrived here about 4 oclock P.M. To see this loved city once more gave more real happiness than I had before experienced. It is with joy and thanksgiving that I find myself at home.