Transcript for Melissa Burton Coray Kimball in "Utah Woman's 2,000-Mile March Fifty-five Years Ago," Salt Lake Herald, 26 May 1901, 2
We started on east to come to Salt Lake. Other members of the Mormon battalion had preceded us as far as Sutter's mills. And when we got there, they had found gold. We saw them washing out the gold with pans, but we did not stop there long. We were anxious to come on to Salt Lake.
. . . The worst night I ever spent was in Nevada. . . .We had sent ahead an advance guard of five men. They were to go on and find the best route, and then send back word to us. We kept going on and did not hear from them. We thought it strange that they did not send us any word, but we kept going on, picking our way as best we could. One night, just at dusk, we came upon the bodies of the five men who had been sent out as our guides. They had been killed by the Indians, and the bodies had been thrown in a gulch and partially covered by underbrush. I do not know why they took the trouble to halfway bury the bodies. Perhaps they thought they would catch us off our guard and kill us, too. The five men had evidently been surprised, and had made a hard fight, but, the Indians had been too many for them. They were killed by poisoned arrows.
We camped on that place that night near the bodies: which we buried. We had bought a small cannon at San Diego, and were bringing it with us. We were afraid of an attack that night and so the cannon was fired off every little while to scare off the Indians. I lay there that night and listened to the cannon, and expected every minute to hear the Indians. It was the worst night I ever spent. The firing of the cannon may have kept the Indians away, but it did us more harm than good, for it frightened our horses so that they stampeded. We had a hard time getting them back, and some of them neevr came back.
We were in danger from the Indians on all our trip, but we arrived in Salt Lake valley safely in December of 1848, and we were glad to get here, I can tell you.