Transcript for Musser, Amos M., 19 Aug. 1857, Fort Laramie, in "From the Plains," The Mormon, 19 Sep. 1857, 3
ELDER MUSSER writes us from Fort Laramie, Aug. 19th, from which we make the following extracts:
"We are now within about 7 miles of the above named Fort under circumstances truly prosperous. Thus far we have been blessed beyond anticipation or expectation. We have lost but one ox and left but one wagon, and that an old one not worth hauling half the way.
"General health prevails and a unanimity of feeling exists throughout. This last, you know, is a striking or prominent characteristic of the Latter Day Saints. Yesterday we unanimously deputed Elder W. [William] G. Young to precede the emigration companies to the valley, that he may be enabled to report at head-quarters their exact position and circumstances, and that they may in time receive succour if necessary.
"I regret to have to mention several deaths, and the loss of a number of cattle, through stampedes, in Captain [Jesse B.] Martin's and Captain [Jacob] Hofhiens' companies. The first of these companies lost a number of cattle in the stampede, so laming the train that several families were obliged to return to Genoa. Bros. [Thomas Henry] Latey, Greener, [Robert] Gillis and Keates, with their families and friends, were those that returned.
"Brother E. [Edward] Howard, from Sheffield, aged sixty-five, and a daughter of Sister [Charlotte Terrant] Banford, aged four years, were the sufferers. They were interred in a double grave which formed a melancholy feature of the fatal spot where the tragic scene occurred. A Sister Rogers, and a daughter of Sister [Ann Steed] Turner's were seriously injured, so much so that their recovery was hardly looked for. Captain Hofheins' train lost upwards of thirty head of cattle. No human suffering I believe. The Hand-Cart Companies are, as far as we can learn, going along pretty well, but slower than was expected.
"Several fresh graves mark the steps of the Angel of Death amongst them. I think we noticed but three or four. The names of three I remember well, as follows: Brother James Reader, late from St. Louis, formerly from England; Brother Peter Hanson, a Dane, and a young female by the name of Emerretta Green.
"We learn that the company of soldiers, set apart to straighten the Utonians out, have lost 800 head of cattle, through stampedes; 60 head had been recovered. It is reported that Gen. Harney, their commander, had been remanded for shooting one of his subordinates, a lieutenant, in a duel."