Transcript for Peter A. Nielsen reminiscence, undated, 1-23

Experience crossing the Plains

The skandinavian emigration company in the year 1865, containing 484 souls, left Copenhagen may fourt[h] by the Steamer Aurora, commanded by Captain Baltersen, for Kul and from thair vent by Rail Road to Flamburg. Was organized <on the 7t[h]> by President D.H. Wells and Elder Carl Widersborg on the Sailing vessel S.S. Kimball for the Journey over the Ocian, and was given in charge of Elder A. W. Win[n]berg.

The follo[w]ing brathren and sisters was married in the eavning: Svend Nilson and Fredrika Goranson, Peter Nilson and Sophia Netterstrom, Anders Anderson and Johanna Olson.

The company arrieved in New York June 14th[.] The voyage was vary pleasant, having had no storms nor any bad weather, but the hand of death had called many, mostly children having deid from the measles.

On the 17th the company started from New York by Rail. On being counted on the train their number was 411. A fue [few] having staid in New York and came afterwards in care of Elder J. Svenson.

From St Joseph, Missoury, they came by the Steamer Denver to Florence whare the compa[n]y arrived manday the 23 of June and waited for their outfits.

The hand of death continued and up to July 20t[h] 56 persons had been taken by the destroyer sinse the[y] left Copenhagen—and he was not yet satisfied. seventeen more persons where <taken> by the hand of death before the company reached their journy's end, Salt Lake City.

Lars Pedersen from Sjaland <was> drounded in the Missoury River on July 24t[h] . They waited in Florence to July 31st for oxen and provision, and traveled that day about two miles, then stopped and orgenised. for crossing the plains. Miner Attwood was mead[made] captain. A W Winberg assistant Captain, Captin and interperter. John Svenson stuard, Charles Taylor captain of the guard, H Hogsted, H.W. Hansen, C J Kempe, C Lybbert and Georg Ashton wagon Captains.

This company had all the usual exsperience of crossing the plains by ox-teams, such as yoking of wiled cattle and teaching them who! and hoa! breaching wagon axels and tongues, making and putting <in> others. setting tires, shoeing oxen—et.z. also having a fue stampedes, the oxen running with the wagons, at one time four teams ware running with the wagons as fast as oxen could run[,] a sister, Lowise Nilsen from Aalborg, was run over and killed!

Ther was however som incedences on this journey that have not been the exspearience of many of the Latter Day Saints in crossing the plains.

It will be remembered that the church had previous years sent from 400 to 500 teams to the frontier to bring emigrants to Utah but this year no teams were sent. many of the emigrants, not having the means themselves, were desireous of going to Zion, appealed to Elder Tomas Tayler, afterwards Bishop in the 14 ward, who was this year emigrations agent, for help. Brother Tayler was a merchant when in Salt Lake City, and was bringing merchandice to the Valley. Being of a sympathetic nature, wished to do all he could for the saints, he loaded only 1000 pounds of freight on each wagon, drawn by 6 oxen. the balance of the load was made op of provisions, that he furnished, and the emigrants bedding and clothing etz. He took 134 people, of those that could not very well make a leving if they had to stay in the States.

The Indians ware vary troublesome and had killed several travelers, (not mormons) this Sommer; the people ware therefore counseled not to go to[o] fare in front of the train nor stay to far behined, so not to indanger thair lives. (The wagons being havy loaded, the people who were not sick had to walk.) But you always fine some disobedient and here was also some that would not obey council, therefore guard's was appointed to go ahead of the train to keep back those that would run ahead, and others was called to go behined and pick up stragglers.

After a while these guards came and told the brethren that som of the poeple woud not herry up, when told to and som were at times vary abusive and the guards asked to be released from that duty, and they were released.

At prayer in the evening the people ware told that their would not be any more guards and were also told the reason why. They ware again counciled to keep close to the train, and if any thing happened to any one after this they would themselves be to blame and thair blod would be on thair own haeds.

The train was now close to Fort Laremi [Laramie]. The Indians, or vagabons staying around the Fort, tried to stampede the cattle couple times. They succeeded one night and in the morning all the annimals whare gone. The company laid over two days hunting for the missing annemals, and found them all except two mules and two cows.

Natan Davis, afterwards Bishop in Center Ward, Salt Lake City, was Captain of a mule train, belonging to W. Godby[,] Salt Lake City, bringing merchandise, traveled with the company for greater safty, and had don so for som time.

It was on Thursday August 22d, the train stopped for noon on Willow Spring Creek west of Fort Laremi, the mules were all unhitched also some of the cattle and were <drove> op the creek amoung a lot of small trees and brush for a pool of water, when suddenly twelve men on horsback, dressed like Indians, were seen coming down the bluffs from the other side of the creek. The[y] surounded the mules and oxen and tride to drive them off and commenced to shoot at the brathern that followed the animals to drive them to the water. The brathern anserred the fire and shott at the vagebonds a real short battle was fought and a clatter from guns and pistols was heard. The intruders was driven off without an animale. They took the road from whence the train had come, where manney stragglers ware coming towards the camp. Two of the Indians met brother and sister Gruntvig and his wife on the road, the[y] shot Gruntvig, and he run for the camp. One of the men jumped of[f] his hors, lifted sister Gruntvig up to the other man and both road into the trees, taking her with them. Sister Gruntvig hase never been heard of since. It is not known whether anny of the would be robbers were shot, but thire was reason to believe, that three or four of them were wounded.

Seven of the brathern ware wounded, John Svenson three arrows in his right arm. The arrows were aimed after his heart, but he cought them all on his arm. P O Holmgren, a bullet in his loin, Svend Nilson from Sansbrana, had an arrow in his back twelve inches or more, nearly trugh him. Christian Pedersen an arrow in his arm. P Erikson had his face scratched by a bullet[.] F. Gruntvig had a bullet in his hip. Peder Christensen from Hebroe came into camp whit one arrow through <nack> and one arrowhead fast in his chin. Brother Christensen had driven his team <to camp> and unhitched his oxen, se[e]ing the danger he hunted for his son and could not fined him, thene went back on the road to hunt for him and coming back to camp he met the Indians. All the woonded survived. There was no more Indeans seen after after this collision

The company bacame short of provisions; on September 10 there was only anough on hand for 10 days at 7 pounds of flower pr. day to each adult, this amount was given each week and the[y] had to do the best the could, one pound of floure per day and noting else, it was <natural> that the[y] had to go hungry.

At the first military station that was reached a telegram was sent to the firs[t] Presedency of the Church, informing them of the Indian raid and also in regard to the shortnes of provision.

On the 17 of October we met Br. T. Tayler, he came from Salt Lake City, Br. J C Cuttler, now Guvornor of Utah, came came with him as his clark. Tayler came to settle with the emigrants. All that came with his teams gave him thare notes; he charged $50. for each adult for there transportation and provisions. Five muleteames loaded with floure came to camp today, the company received 1200 pounds.

On the 8 of November the company drove into Salt Lake City, and camped on what was called the 8 Ward square where now the City, and County building are located.

All were happy and thankfull to God.