Transcript for "Jens Christian Nielsen, reminiscences", DUP Pioneer History Collection, Page 55-56.
Now we commenced our journey across the great desert or plains and we got along all right. I had no trouble in driving the team as I had driven oxen before. When we came to the first river which was very deep it could not be crossed with teams. The wagons was took over on a ferry boat and the oxen and cows swum over and there was many men that like to swim that water. I was generally at hand to do all I could for the Saints. I did swim that river three times after cattle with my clothes on. That was all right but after we got everything across, I was ordered to stand guard in the night and given no opportunity to get dry clothes on. That was more than I could stand and the chills took hold of me and I suffered greatly for 400 miles in my driving work and sometimes I thought I would die. But I did get over it.
When I came to Salt Lake I was well. Now I am not keeping any journal but will say that we had our trials especially in crossing rivers and in the buffalo country. Many times our oxen stampeded. The man that I drove for was run over and picked up for dead. But he came to. Laid him up in the wagon the balance of the road. At another stampede a man was run over and died on the spot. Another time a hind axle was broke and no wheelright in camp so it fell on me to make an axle of a green cottonwood and I made it and Bro. Lee had blacksmith tools, so I got it all fixed up but that was a hard day for it happened on a sand hill and blowing almost a hurricane. We had many stampedes but those were the worst. Well the oxen began to give out, got tender footed and some had to be [blank space] some dying and the Saints had to unload their things on the plains and I saw some emptying feathers from their featherbeds. Then we had to dig wells for water for our stock and sometimes it was not good when we found it. I do not know how many oxen did die but some teams lost half. Our team I drove did not lose any but Follen's [Pollen's] wagon was an old light wagon two good yoke oxen, two cows.
When we came to Sweet Water there was snow on the ground and very cold. The Green River was quite cold for women to wade across and grass got scarce for our teams but I did not hear much grumbling. Many old ladys walked nearly all the way from Florence. Knude [Canute] Petersen [Peterson] was Captain of this company but left the English or one half the company at Laramie on account of grass not being enough for so large a company he took the Danish Saints and went on. Well that is all about crossing the plains, the reader may guess the balance. I will forever say that the Saints had much patience and would dance and sing around the campfires and bake bread with buffalo chips and praying, singing the songs of Zion.
SEPTEMBER 22nd—We arrived in Salt Lake City.