Transcript for John Taylor, "Address to the Saints," The Latter-day Saint Millennial Star, 1 November 1848
The company that left Winter Quarters with us, consisted of upwards of two thousand souls; they were divided into companies of hundreds, of fifties, and tens, with their several captains at their heads, under the direction of the Twelve. There were about 560 wagons, drawn generally by oxen from four to eight to a wagon. We travelled generally at the rate of from ten to fifteen miles per day, and our cattle fed solely upon the grass that we met with on our route, which generally was very abundant; and although the journey was tedious, our waggons were mostly fitted up in a commodious manner for travelling, which rendered our circumstances much more comfortable than could be anticipated on so tedious a route. We travelled in companies of one hundred waggons, when circumstances made it practicable, and when on account of scarcity of grass or bad roads we found it inconvenient for such large companies to travel together, we divided in fifties and sometimes into tens. Four hundred miles from here we received by express from the pioneers, the pleasing intelligence of their arrival in this place, which they had selected as a home for the Saints. On our arrival at the South Pass of the Rocky Mountains, the hundred that I was with met the pioneers on their return to Winter Quarters, in company with a number of the battalion who had been engaged in the service of the United States. We felt as though it was a time to rejoice, our hearts were gladdened, and we prepared a feast for them, and spread a table in the wilderness, on the tops of the mountains, of which 130 of them sat down to partake. We mutually felt edified and rejoiced; we praised the Lord, and blessed one another; and in the morning we separated—they to pursue their weary course to Winter Quarters, and us to come to our present location. We arrived here on the 5th of October, generally enjoying good health. I have never, in all my experience, known so little sickness and so few deaths among so many people in the same space of time: there has been some six or seven deaths—two or three were infants, and the remainder were mostly, if not all, seriously indisposed before they started.