Transcript for Luman A. Shurtliff autobiography, circa 1852-1876, Autobiography, circa 1852-1876
The Brethren continued to gether [gather] on the East Bank of the [Missouri] River and wa[i]ting until one hundred wagons arrived[.] we ware [were] here in camp three weeks when Br. Isaac Allred came to our camp and informed us that the Company would be organized the next day at one o clock[.] Accordingly the next day was a verry rainy day[.] we went to the place appointed and the Brethren gathered in a log house[.] it was raining hard at the time and we rushed in without ceremony[.] the first I he[a]rd was from the chairman Father James Allred who said if you leave me to nominate our Officers I shall nominate Br Easton Kelcey [Kelsey] Captain of the hundred[.] the motion was Seconded and Carried[.] then he said he would nominate Br. Luman A. Shirtliff [Shurtliff] Capt. of the first fifty[.] Motioned and Carried[.] I then step[p]ed across the Room to Br Kelc[e]y and said let us have Br Isaac Allread [Allred] for the next Capt[.] thats right he said[.] at this the chairman said I hear the name of my Son Isaac mentioned for the Capt. of the Second fifty[.] all in favor of that show it by raising the right hand[.] a clear vote was the result. We then Chose Brother [Amos Milton] Musser Secretary of the Co[.] Then organized into Companies of tens with a Capt. to each ten wagons and made preperations [preparations] to start accross the River. My being Chosen Capt. of a Company was quite unexpected to me, and how it happened unless Br Hyde (Who I supposed dictate'd the affair) felt better toward me then [than] I thought he did when I left the Bluffs which I hoped was the case. We soon began to move accross the River. But I was leaveing a Dear Sister-in-law behind who I felt that I must see once more before I crossed that angry Stream the Missouri[.] Accordingly I left Camp in the after noon and walked to the McAllnies Branch whare my Sister-in-law lived and spent the night with her
in the morning when we parted I shall not try to describe my feelings when I pressed upon her sweet lips the last parting kiss forever[.] two years rolled on and more[.] When I saw her again she was not my love But another mans[.] Why was it so--its past us
the teams and wagons crossed the River[.] we went out to the six Mile Grove whare we staid [stayed] untill the whole Co got across the River. When the hundred was all together we moved on to [the] River called the Horn [Elk Horn.] This was verry high and it was raining hard[.] we here learned that the last company that crossed the Horn was about 16 miles west on the Platt[e] Bottom surrounded with water and the River still rising and their danger of all being swept off together. It was Elder Hydes Council [counsel] that the Companies should try to head the Horn and Loup Fork and get a nearer Road to Larimie fort [Fort Laramie] if possible[.] After staying over night at the ferry we turned north and traveled up the River[.] we got a long verry slow[.] the Rain fell in torrants and the Thunder shook the Earth[.] two of the Brethren were knocked down with Lightning while standing by a Stove which was struck by Lightning in Capt A.s [Isaac Allred's] Co[.] all streams were high and most of them flowed over their banks[.] on this account we traveled verry slow.
About the twen[t]ieth of June we camped on a large stream which we thought was a branch of the Horn[.] we examined the River but found no chance of fording[.] near four miles above we could see a grove of timber which we thought we could chop and float down and build a bridge near our camps. Early the next morning we called our companys got our breakfast and started for the Grove[.] about half way to the Grove a few of the Brethren before I came up had swam accross and was on the opposite bank waiting for me[.] I swam over with a long rope in one hand and an ax[e] in the other[.] when on shore I looked back and saw our Clerk of the hundred standing on the bank[.] at the same time some one called for him to come on[.] he replied he could not swim[.] a proposition was soon made by two of the Brethren that if he wished to come over they would go and fetch him across[.] to this he concented [consented.] two good swimmers started back[.] I felt to do so to [too] thinking I might Be needed[.] the Clerk had on heavy clothing and Over Coat and india rubber boots &c[.] when they went into the water one on each side of the Clerk each took his coat sleeve in their teeth[.] I stood watching untill they had got near the middle of the River and in the strongest current when one of the swimmers threw a wave of the water into the Clerks face which strangled him and he yerked [jerked] his right hand from the Br [brother] on the upper side and as he put his hand to his face the current rolled him under the Br on the lower side of him and Broke loose from them Both[.] when I saw this I sprang in and swam to them as fast as I could the current haveing carried them down some distance[.] Just as I came to them they caught him and we took him to the shore whare he lay some time before he could help himself as usual[.] we walked to the grove[.] a part cut and others flo[a]ted down timber[.] others placed it and built a bridge by taking those trees that would reach from one shore to the other[.] the water filled the banks of the stream and our stringers lay on the water[.] we then laid timber and brush accross the stringers and covered it with tough soils or turf cut square and fitted together on the brush and timber[.] we nearly finished our bridge and intended to finish and cross it earley in the Morning[.] I and many others had swam nearly all day and not being use[d] to swimming for some years it made me sore and stiff for several days. Our Camp was on the Side Hill and about dark their came a verry hard shower and rained several hours and the water ran down the hill under our wagons so strong that it washed down the hill frying pans plates and even chains lying leng[t]h wise of the hill ware washed down the hill some rods[.] It rained all night and in the morning our bridge was gone and but one stick in Sight
about ten A.M. a company of armed men came to our camp haveing a letter from Elder Hyde in which we were informed a difficulty had arisen between the Indians [and] the Mormons for which the Emigration was threatened and his council was for us to return to or near the River under the care of this Escort[.] Capt Kels[e]y called the companies together at Capt. Allread [Allred's] Camp to ascertain the feelings of the company on hearing the letter read[.] after the reading of the letter Capt K. wished to know the minds of the Brethren relative to returning to the six mile grove[.] I spoke first and spoke as I felt to showing that we knew nothing of the Indians[.] we had seen none[.] Elder Hyde did and evidently thought we ware in danger or would not have sent this guard to guard us back[,] And to hearken to Elder Hyde's council was better than to sacrifise this whole people and we was making but very little headway in traveling and I felt like obeying Elder Hyde's council. Br Capt A. [Allred] said he was opposed to going back and spoke accordingly but if we must go Back he thought that the guard had better not wait for us but go a head and not wait for the Company but the guard wished to finish the order given them to Escort back the Companies. After several had spoken
called a vote Capt Kels[e]y called a vote to ascertain the mind of the Co[.] it was decided that we would carry out Elder Hydes Council and let the Escort carry out their orders also. After our meeting closed and most of my Co had returned Capt A. said considerable against going back and said it was cowardise [cowardice] for their was no need of it. This was the first I had seen <of> opposition in Capt A.
The next morning we hitched up our teams and started not back on our back track but to the East and on the 27 of June Stoped at the six mile Grove[.] I had now bin [been] 37 days from home or on my journey and had gained but twenty miles to the west from whare I started on the 20 of May. I camped at the lower side of the Grove and Capt A camped at the upper side nearly a half mile from me[.] near night Capt Kelsy came and said Capt Shirtliff they have raised the flag at Allreads Camp and are haveing a dance which is Contrary to Elder Hydes and my Orders and I wish you to go their with me[.] We soon collected the men of my Co and went to the Camp and <found> them enjoying themselves well[.] Capt Kelsy called them to order and talked to them good and show[e]d the impropriety of stepping over Elder Hydes councill also (His Capt K's) orders which was to have no dancing in camp. And told the people that they did not appear to be satisfied with him and he wished to resighn [resign] and they could choose another man that would please them better[.] But the Brethren would not concent to let him go[.] I spoke at some length showing the necessity of each carrying out the council given and being unified &c and if Capt K. [Kelsey] resighned I should[.] several others spoke in favor of our present organization. At the close of our meeting by the sudgestion [suggestion] of Elder Stodard I was appointed Bishop in my Company and use any property in the Co--my wisdom dictated was for the benefit of the Comp [Camp.] We seperated with much better feeling then [than] we had when we came together. This evening we got a letter from Elder Hyde stateing that the Indian difficulty was settled and we could now go a head in safety. I called my men together and told them I thought those who had money to spare and had any prospect of being <short> of provision before reaching the valley had better send to Kanesville and get a supply for we had used much of our provision and had hardly got started and we could not tell how long we should be on the Road and should probably need all we could get before we reached the Valley. A committee were chosen money obtained and as I had no money the Brethren furnish[ed] me what flour we thought I should need[.] in the Evening when the teems came back from Kanesville the sacks of Flour was unloaded and each person came and took what flour they sent for[.] their was one sack lef[t] that no person claimed[.] while looking at each other one of the brethren said I motion that the Captain has the sack of flour[.] an other seconded the motion and the flour <&> sack was given to me[.] for this kindness I was thankfull. About the middle of this day we saw six or eight wagons approaching from the West and when near our Camp they stoped and a part came down to my Company and soon learned that we were Mormons[.] a man by the name of Bowen who had three well furnished wagons teams of oxen and cows also several nice Horses one valuable Stable Horse also Wife and family. This man said he had started from the States to go to Oregon and had fell in with there other teems and expected to go in company with them accross the plains But he[a]rd the Indians ware threatening to rob all that crossed the plains this summer[.] they thought best to return and when they came in Sight of our camp Mr. Bowen told his companions their was a Mormon Camp and he should join them and go a head with them if they would let him. Others said they would not cross the plains with Mormons[.] they would go back to the States and stay their first[.] Mr. Bowin asked me if I would take him in with his teems[,] teamsters and his Effects and let him go to the Valley with us. I told him I had no objecttions [objections] if he and his Co would be subject to all the Rules of the camp and obey my Council as far as Camp duties was concerned[.] as far as Our Religion was concerned he need have no more to do with that then he pleased[.] To this he a greed and proove[d] faithfull to the end of the Journey.
On the 29 of June earley in the morn we rolled out of camp took a South westerly course[.] the feed was ex[c]el[l]ent the weather fine and our teems used to traveling and we got a long well and soon came to the small forks of the Horn which we readily Crossed and nothing worthy of note occured until we came to the West fork of the Horn a little before sunset (My Co being forward)[.] I went a head of the Teams and looked out a place for Camp whare was wood water and feed plenty[.] allthough we had seen no Indians since we left the River here was sighns [signs] of a large camp nearby[.] I said nothing to anyone about this and when the teams came up I directed them into camp three companies of us for a company from Garden Grove had fell in with us which we called the Grove Co. This Company had fell in with us soon after leaveing the six mile grove.
When we awoke in the Morning we found that several Horses ware taken from Capt A..s Company[.] some of them ware Carrielled [corraled] near the Camp Guard and larriett but near the pin[.] two had on purel [pearl] fetters and the fetters taken off the Horses ware tracked down the Creek to a small Indian Camp and all but two of the Horses recovered.
In the morning as soon as a fire was built at my Camp a young [ missing text] and squaw came in haveing a small turtle which they killed and pretended to try to roast in our fire all the time pretending not to understand any thing we said. About ten oclock I Ordered the teams up and we moved down the Creek about one mile crossed over and then traveled about three miles West onto a beautiful rolling Prairrie [prairie] correlled our wagons in the form of a horse shoe open to the East toward the timber on the creek[.] we had just pass'd through turned out our teams into as good feed as any man could reasonably ask for[.] we soon saw Indians on the highest Hills around us apparently watching every move that we made[.] I thought things about us looked rather suspicious[.] about one oclock we saw a young Squaw and three or four indians Apparently Chiefs comeing to our Camp[.] when with us we learned that the squaw was their interpiter [interpreter] spoke English was some what learned[.] She presented a writing Authoriseing [authorizing] them to demand three or four Beeves of each Co that passed through their lands[.] I told her that we ware Mormons driven from our langs [lands] and Houses by White men and was going a great ways to the Rocky Mountains and had hardly Cattle enough to draw our wagons[.] some of our Squaws and papooses now had to walk and we could not let them have any Beeves[.] they soon left our Camp and went back the way they came to camp as I thought to report[.] and what the result would be I could not tell. About sunset they again made their appearance again and came up with in one half mile and seemed to be holding a council[,] sat down and sat untill it began to grow dark. I did not feel satisfide [satisfied] to let them stay their for I thought they meditated evel [evil.] I called on two of the Brethren to go to them and invite them to come to camp and stay with us all night and if they would and let me keep all off [of] their weapons untill morning I would give them a supper and a Breakfast and let them have a tent to sleep in[.] When I saw them comeing we brought up our Stock and put them in our Correll pitched our tent in the opening in the front of the Cattle so if any of the Indians Stampeeded the Stock by scareing them at the back of the Corell the cattle would tramp down the tent and Indians together[.] I thought the Indians would understand this and to save their Cheifs would let our Cattle alone[.] They came up looking verry friendly and handed me every weapon I could see about them and we introdused [introduced] them into the tent gave them a good supper[.] I then placed a double guard in the outside of the tent with orders to let no person pass out or in without an order from me. Then put a faithful guard around the Camp and felt somewhat safe. About this time a man came riding up from the West on a horse to our Camp and wished to stay all night. Before he got off his Horse or saw me Mr. Bowin [Bowen] (the Gentile) came to me saying Captain that man is my enemy and will kill me if he can get a chance[.] I said Mr. Bowin will you keep out of his sight and let him alone and leave the affair with me[.] He said he would[.] then said I he shall not hurt you to night. By this time a Mes[s]age came to me requesting me to see the Gentleman[.] I walked out to him[.] he said he had rode hard all day and to s[t]ay with us over night[.] I told him on conditions he could stay for certain reasons[.] I should require him to put his saddle bridle and Weapons of every kind into my hand for safe keeping and [in] the morning he should have them back and go in peace. To this he readily agreed and handed to me all even his pocket knife
in the morning he was up earley brought up his horse too my Wagon as much as to say I want my property[.] I handed it to him and when he was properly
he rigged mounted his horse & rode out of sight as fast as the horse could well run. Now as this circumstance is somewhat obscure or unreasonable on my part it will be necessary to give some of this mans History as I received it from Mr. Bowin [Bowen] and as I do not know his Real name I shall call him Sam. As I have previously mentioned Mr. Bowin with his three Wagons joined my Co at the six mile Grove near the Missouri River. Soon after we left that Crove [grove] we fell in with another Co we called the Garden Grove Co[.] soon after Mr. Bowin came to me quite excited and said Capt I have an Enimy [enemy] in that Company who threatens to kill me and he will do it if he can[.] I then told him I should like to know why he should have such an enemy[.] he (Mr. Bowen) then went on to state that when he began to prepare to Moove [move] West Sam came and requested to go with him to which he (Mr. B) consented[.] Sam then staid with him and helped get ready[.] early in the spring they started Sam helping like one of the family[.] the roads [were] bad[.] it stormed a great part of the time and they traveled slow[.] About the time they got to the frontier some difficulty arose[.] they had hard words and Sam was told to leave[.] he went a head to the Bluffs swore out a Writ of attachment and when he Bowin came up took his teams[.] he Bowen stood trial but Sam was so smooth tounge [tongued] and had told his story first that he obtained a heavy Judgement against him (Bowin) [.] in the fuss Sam drawed his pistol and he (Bowin) thought would have shot him if the By standers had not rushed between them[.] They saw each other no more untill they met in the Garden Grove Company and as soon as they met Sam snatched his pistol and was about to fire but the Capt caught Sam and saved the shot[.] Sam told his story with such an are [air] that the Capt. told Sam that he would have the matter investigated in his Co--and Bowin should be brought to justice. When Mr. Bowin told me this he was excited and said Sam had told his story and many of the Co had believed it and he (Bowin) believed that Sam would try to kill him. I asked Mr. B. if he was still willing to h[e]arken to my council[.] he said he was. I told him then to keep in my Co and if any man said any thing to him about a trial in that Co tell them that I said no man of my Co can be taken out of my Co and tried for any crime whatsoever. I have taken this Company to conduct to the Valley and I shall do it if they will obey me and stick to the Co untill we get their[.] then the Law of the Land will be open[.] Myself and Captain Kelsy are the Law of this Company untill then. This satisfied Mr. Bowin[.] Sam soon left the Garden Grove Co and went west and was on his return when he came into my Company last night. This may suffise [suffice] for my exa[.]ting [sic] his arms &c Lest he Sam should kill Mr. B and leave in the night. Things thus arranged I felt tolerable safe. If the Indians Stampeeded our cattle I know the guard would secure what of the Indians the cattle did not kill and we would hold them as Hostages untill all was settled[.] nevertheless I slept but little and should [have] slept less had I known that their was several hundred savage war[r]iors within three miles of our Camp and nearly between us and the other two Camps as the morning revealed.
When the Indians in the tent had got their breakfast they soon left and went toward the timber a little below whare we crossed the Creek[.] as soon as they reached the timber their camp seemed to break up and moove [move] off to the North and I neaver [never] saw half as many Indians in my life before[.] many came to our Camp & remained untill we mooved of[f] and left them[.] we staid in camp untill late waiting for the Other Company[.] about ten oclock the other Co came up and we started on[.] Capt. A. and Company seemed verry anxious to go a head and travel faster than Capt. K. and I thought advisable[.] two of my tens felt anxious to get a long verry fast. We continued our journey to the Northwest[.] nothing of importance transpired untill we came to a large Stream which we thought was a branch of Wood River[.] Capt. A.s Company was before me and at night he camped in sight of the River. I camped two miles back of him and the Garden Grove Co camped on the River below Capt. A's Co
in the morning my Co hitched up and went passt Capt A.s camp and Stoped on the River Bank above Capt. A.s Co. Capt. K and myself looked out the most suitable place to cross our Wagons[.] at the place whare we first strick [struck] the River appeered the most favorable. The river bottom was soft and miry and would not hold up a loaded wagon so we went to Cutting large sods (or turf) and sunk them to the bottom of the River untill we raised the bottom high enough to cross over a half loaded wagon and not wet any thing in the Bed. Then by unloading half of the load and tying a long rope to the end of the tongue a few men could get the half loaded wagon over dry or safe[.] this did verry well but how was we to get over the goods we put out of the wagons[.] wall [well] we unloaded several wagons ran them into the River took some of our wagon beds a part and with them made a bridge on the empty wagons so we carried our goods accross. While thus engaged Capt. A and several of his men came to see how we got a long[.] he informed us that he had sent some teams about ten miles to a small grove to get timber to cross his wagons on But he should cross down whare the Grove Company was crossing[.] he thought that the best place[.] soon after this conversation Capt. A.s teams drove up with the timber above spoken of which consisted of several large <Cottonwood> trees cut down with the small brush cut off. This timber was draw[e]d in a mong our wagons that we had got a cross the River from his Camp[.] While speaking of this timber I said Br Allread [Allred] we have had no need to make a fire to cook our victuals with for some days and we are wet and cold and need a warm supper. I guess we shall have to Tythe [tithe] your wood to cook our mush to night. he replide [replied] wall then I shall have to tythe your mush I think[.] wall (I replied) that will be rite [right] come up and you shall have all you can eat. This was all said in a Joke[.] I did not intend to do any such thing yet I thought he had no objections[.] Br A and Co went to camp[.] we finished gettings over our things about sunset[.] wet and cold and had no Correl [corral] to put our cattle in or fire to warm us[.] I looked up and saw the cattle ware crossing the River toward Capt. A.s cattle so I started of[f] to turn them back[.] I had to wade or swim the River which hindered me and by the time I had walked a round the cattle and got them back and accross the River it was quite dark and when I came in sight of camp I herd the sound of Axes & saw the fires I knew the Brethren had trespassed on Br A.s wood[.] I was sorry[.] I knew Br Allread did not feel just right[.] the Brethren had heard the conversation between Br A and myself and thought they had done no harm as Br A said he should cross his Co below. When I got up to Camp I found the Br Sisters and Children all rejoicing and thankfull for the privilege of haveing a fire to warm them by[.] when Supper was over and we had Prairs [prayers,] the guard placed out[,] we lay down to Rest
in the morning two of the guard was brought before me being accused of sleeping on their post[.] Some of the watch had found them a sleep took their hats and guns and let them sleep on untill Morning[.] when I saw them bare headed I sorry for them[.] They had worked hard all day in the water and when night came they ware both Cold and sleepy[.] Although it was in the Month of July it was Cold in the night[.] I felt for them and as their was no injury sustained by it I could not reproove them harshly but de[a]lt with them easy as I possibly could and do justice to my office
Early in the morning Capt A.s Aged Father [James Allred] came to the River[.] I steped to the bank Passed the time with him wondering what made the old Gentleman come so early and when I saw him prepare to wade the River I was more surprised[.] he soon waded accross[.] I helped him up the Bank then he said he had come over to see if he could find his Yokes and Chains which ware left on that side when they drawd that timber for he did not think his Yoke and Chains verry safe whare men would steal wood. And he piled up his Yokes and went back to Camp. I then told my men how Father Allread [Allred] felt. And my Brethren took back the wood that was not burned but lay scattered about the Camp. Soon Capt A with several of his men came to the River and accused us of stealing wood &c[.] I told them the facts in the case. The Capt was verry [w]roth and said a great deal that was provoking and insulting and finally threatened to use powder and Lead if we did not settle with him before we left the ground. I asked him what we should do to settle with him[.] he said it was ruleable in the Church if a man stole he should pay ten fold[.] if we would do that all would be all [well] with him. If we did not do that he should fetch us before the High Council when we got to the Valley. I saw it was not the wood he wanted But my Company was one day a head of him[.] I was now ready to hitch up and role out and at night I should be one day a head of him but if I dawed [sic] the wood our Companies would be together the next morning. I have since learned by one of the Company that their was much said a bout the affair in that Company and a part of his Camp took up for me and would not hear me or my Co abased and they came near haveing a fight[.] the Co. crossed over that day whare we did and the next morning when they got up the Capt.s wagon and the Old Gentlemans Carriage was stuffed with green Cottonwood[.] even the w[h]eels were filled. We traveled on some days before we Saw any thing of that Co[.] we continued our course westardly for severally days over a rolling Prarrie with good feed and water[.] then we came to Sand Hills the like I neaver saw. The hills ware from five to fifteen feet high and as near together as they could be throwd up[.] thus we found it slow traveling as well as difficult[.] our long teams ware one a twist around one hill and then another[.] some of the time it was difficult seeing the team next behind or before. This was some thing new to me and how they came their and who or what made them and how the sand was made to ly [lie] piled up so nice[.] I could see no object in it or why it was so untill one day as I was looking out a road among the hills for our teams I saw whare the hills ware being made or remade[.] their was all sizes in a stat[..] of advancement[.] I do not know as I can describe the prosess [process] so it can be understood[.] there is a weed grows on the oldest of these hills and partially protects them from the wind or prevents the wind from mooveing the sand untill some drouth [drought] destroys the weeds and then it is liable to be removed to another place when the wind becomes favorable. I stood one day for some time seeing the wind build one of these hills and will try to give you some idear [idea] of the manner in which it is done. Suppose two of these hills fifteen feet high and twenty in diameter at the Base stand North and South of each other and four feet a part at their Base[.] the wind Blows steady and strong from the East[.] when it gets to these hills it is forsed [forced] threw [through] between them with rapidity and especially at the Bottom or Base[.] this moves the light Sand prehaps [perhaps] ten feet[.] when pased these hills the wind spreads and has not forse sufficient to moove it farther[.] thus it leaves it in a pile[.] when wet it packs a little harder then [than] the loose sand and when dry weather comes again the wind blows steady and strong[.] It gathers up all the dry loose sand and when it gets in such a position as I have described the sand if left untill a large pile is formed[.] when a bout the highth [height] of the surrrounding hills thare <is> not a concentration of wind sufficient to moove the sand[.] as the two hills I spoke of slope from Bottom to the top they are further a part and do not gather the wind sufficient to Role up the sand any higher then the surrounding hills[.] I saw in one place a hill I judged to be a bout twelve feet high[.] the wind brought the sand between two other hills and carryed it to the top of the above mentioned hill in a steady stream as long as I stood thare which was several minutes. As we advanced among these hills we found it hard as well as slow traveling[.] Grass was getting skirce [scarce] and we thought best to bare [bear] more West or South West and keep nearer the Plat[te] River[.] it might be better feed and traveling. We traveled south of west a fer [few] days and came into a wild country lately inhabited by Indians[.] we had herd much said a bout cattle getting scared and running or Stampeding But we had seen none of it and as our teams were now well broake [broken] and gentle we began to think we should not be troubled with stampeding[.] the first night we came to a place whare their had bin [been] a large camp of Indians who it seemed had bin here some days perhaps weeks[.] many carcas[s]es of Buffalows ware lying a bout with their flesh cut off[.] Many papers and <some> clothing ware strewed about the ground and we supposed this to be the place whare Elder Hyde was rob[b]ed a few days before by Indians. It was night and stormy[.] we selected as clean a place as we could find and correlled our Wagons in a half Circle and when our cattle had ate sufficient and we had got our suppers we drove our Cattle into the Carrell and two men at the Mouth to keep them in. We had bin in Bed but a short time when a Dog turned over a Basket of dishes and a way went the Cattle in spite of the guard and ran a mile or two before we could get them back and when back it took four or five of us with our whips to keep them their untill morning
Early in the morning we let our cattle out and when sufficiently full yoked up and went on[.] this day we crossed a River[.] I think we travelled down in the Stream Eighty rods before we could get a good place to get up the opposite Bank[.] this River was about ten rods wide and 8 or 10 inche[s] deep with quicksand bottom[.] Our Wagon wheels sunk into this quick sand a bout three inches when on the move and we dare not stop to rest our teams for fear they would sinque [sink] so deep we could [not] get them out. this we thought was the Loup Fork[.] we traveled a bout five miles past the River and carrelled our Wagon[s] in <a> circle with a gate way on each side of a bout twenty <feet> wide in which I place four guard two in each. We had given the Cattle a plenty of time to eat and was in hopes we should have a good night to rest. We ware only in Bed a few minutes[.] the Guard was sitting at their fires in the Gateway Singing one of the Songs of Zion when Quick as thought all the cattle was on the jump and Burst threw the Gate ways and a way they went and ran several miles before the best Horsees could get a head of them. After the Men and Boys and some of the Women had labored several hours the Cattle ware a gain Safe in the Correll ware they ware verry Content untill near daylight when they made a rush to the North side of the Correll and over the Wagons they went Breaking three wheels and one axel besides smashing the Bows Cover and broke down another at the end of it[.] fortunate no person was sleeping in either of the wagons[.] they ware frate [freight] wagons[.] several horses ware lying a bout that side of the Correll and several Cattle and Cows hurt[.] one we had to leave not being able to travel. after Breakfast a part of the Brethren went to work and repaired the Wagons[.] some herded the Stock and Capt Riley myself and some others held a trial and fined an aged Br for horsewhipping a peaceable young Br who was driveing young Stock and Cows. At night we herded our Cattle on the Prairrie and had no trouble but to watch them all night.
The next day we traveled south West all day[.] at night we correlled our Wagons in a half Circle and drove our Cattle near one mile from Camp to feed them [...] the night with a strong Horse Guard to take care of them. They had bin their but a few hours when we herd men halloe and the cattle run[.] we so[o]n discovered by the noise that they ware comeing toward Camp[.] We just had time to rally our Forces to prevent them comeing into the Correll lest they should break through the Correll and kill one of our children or Women. We met them a few rods in front of our Correll with whips tent poles ox bows and much hallowing [hollering.] we succeeded in turning them past the Camp and they ran East on our back track and some of them ran Sixteen miles before they could be stoped[.] it was nearly noon when we got our Cattle to Camp. and when together each ox was a fraid of the other[.] I ordered one team to be yoked at a time and role out of camp alone and then another[.] in doing this some teams before they could be hitched to their Wagons run off onto the Prairrie[.] one team of four yoak [yoke] ran over an old Brother which caused my Soul <to> quake but he came out from under the hind yoke unhurt[.] Others after being hitched to the wagon and hearing the wagon comeing behind them would run along way over the smo[o]th Prairrie before they could be stoped[.] one wagon was turned over and the Contents spilled out But little damage was done[.] from here we traveled more scattering not as company and our cattle did not stampede as much. The day before we reached the Plat[te] River some one of the Company saw some thing they called a Buffalow[.] many of the loose hands started out to kill it but came back without seeing the Buffalow. This evening we Camped earlyer then usual and after our teams ware turned out several of the young men who felt anxious to kill a Buffalow took their guns and started out on a hunt[.] at sunset all ware at Camp but one[.] he was rather of a dareing hunter and had killed several Antelope on the way and prided himself in being the best hunter and the surest Shot in the Company[.] his not comeing in untill late cause some excitement through the Co[.] when nearly dark he came with Blood on his Cloth[e]s one of his shirt sleeves badly torn[.] inquiry was soon made if he had killed any thing[.] Wall he said he had[.] if you dont believe it look at this[.] drawing his knife from the Scabbard which knife was Bloody and Buffalow hair on the Hilt and then went on to state a bout as follows. I went onto the ridge yonder and as I came to a deep hallow [hollow] their was a thundering Big Bu[l]l [.] he saw me at the same time I saw him[.] he kurbed [sic] his neck and began to walk slowly toward me[.] Wall I thought it about time to stop him so I pl[a]nted a bullet in his face which brought him down[.] I went as fast as I could to him[.] I thought he was dead and I laid down my Rifle to cut his throat[.] Just then he began to rise up and we had quite a tissle [tussle] but as he turned to run I caught his tail and thrust my knife into him several inches but was oblige[d] to let go so I lost him. Our hunter was opaertioned [sic] on many points[.] I harkened and herd
And in the morning as soon as I could see to shoot took my Rifle and started in the direction of our hunters excursion the night before[.] a bout two miles from our camp I saw something at a distance lying on the ground that looked like a dead Buffalow[.] on comeing up to it[,] it was a large Bull Buffalow w[h]ich had lane [laid] their at least four days[.] the skin and meat was spoiled and the eyes sunk in the head[.] near the center of the head was two bull[et] holes[.] either would have killed him instantly[.] in severalle [several] places a butcher knife had bin stuck into his flesh Apparently the length of the knife[.] I was now satisfied turned around and went to camp got breakfast Ordered up the teams and roled out and soon came to the low Bluffs of the Platt[e] Bottom which was a beautiful sight as seen from this point[.] the land was des[c]ending apparently to the River perhaps fifteen miles and covered with a rich grass though short haveing bin fed off by the Buffalow which ware innumerable[.] I could see herds on either hand and in front from ten to five hundred in a drove[.] thus we passed on beholding the Huge Buffalow as we passed allmost within Rifle shot but none was shot as I had forbid[d]en any men in my Co shooting any that day and I had promised to stop one day and kill and smoke and put up meat[.] this night we Camped on the old Road Running from Winterquarters to the Valley and thanked God That we had got whare white men and women had bin before[.] we spent the Evening verry pleasantly[.] we made arrangements to have some Buffalow meat early in the morning
two young Buffalows was earley brought to Camp and we found the meat delishous put up some crotches and laid sticks accross and cut the meat in slices hung on the meat or laid it on the sticks then built a smoak [smoke] under it and it dried sweet and good[.] we remained here two days[.] the Hunters killed all the meat we wished and enjoyed our rest[.] it was now pleasant with a constant Cool Breeze from the West[.] the grass for our Cattle was sweet a[nd] rich though Short being constantly fed of[f] by the thousands of Buffalow which graised [grazed] on these Bottom lands
On the 30 of July we raised our Camp and started up the Plat[te] River. Here now was seven companies of Emigrateing Saints with their neatly Covered wagon their handsome spread tents their hundreds of graseing cattle and Horsees with here and their a Mule and further Back grasing on the planes thousands of Buffalow with occasionally an Indian or a Brother stealthily moveing among the vast herds of Buffalow to select a Beef To his liking[,] nearer by and among the tents and Wagons the Busy hundreds of Men Women and Children Like Ants on their pile all buisy and engaged at something. All this Scene was Beautifull and inspiring to the beholder[.] Our teams ware now in good Order for traveling and we went on our way rejoiceing. About three hundred miles before we reached the Valley Capt Kelsey said to me Captain Shirtliff I hear that Captain Allreads [Allred's] Co is Camped of[f] the Road and have got into trouble and cannot travel and I want [to] go and straten [straighten] up matters and go the rest of the way with him and bade us good Bye and I saw no more of him or Capt A or his Co untill we had bin in the Valley near one week.
We got into St Lake City Sept 23-1851 Thankfull to the God of Heaven that I and my family ware in the Valleys of the Rocky Mountains Whare the Prophet Joseph said thirteen <years> before the saints would go if the Goverment did not put a stop to makeing any persecuting them[.] Yea verry thankfill that we was far remove[d] from those beings professing to worship the God of Israel and in great piety and zeal toward God had driven me and my Family five or six times from all we possessed except what little we could take with us in our flight[.] that we could not take they took possession off and I suppose thanked their god for that blessing.