Transcript for O'Neil, John, [Letter] in Arthur D. Coleman, comp., The John and Nannie O'Neil Family [1963], 34

I joined a freight train at Wyoming and drove four yoke of big bullocks over plains and prairies, over the sandy waste, desert, through the Rocky mountains.

I crossed the South Pass (just west of present day Lander, Wyoming) and camped at the Pacific Springs on the 12th of Sept. '64. We lost or rather there died over one hundred head of cattle on the Platte River and on the plains of Laramie they were poisoned with alkali which lays in the sloughs and holes along the traveled way. Our train amounted to fifteen wagons when we left the frontier but we increased to about sixty wagons with four and five yoke or cattle in each wagon.

The main body of our company were Danish or from Denmark, emigrating to Utah they numbered over thirty wagons, other straggling partys (parties) joined our train for safety traveling through the indian country. The indians were very hostile on the plains when we passed. They were murdering all the white settlers they could find. They visited our camp, occasionally begging. We treated them kindly with flour and pork and I smoked the pipe of peace with five of the Cheyenones [Cheyennes] and Souix [Sioux] tribes. So we passed along unmolested.

So much for our journey to Salt Lake City. We arrived there in peace and health on the 3rd. of Oct. 1864.