Transcript for Richards, S. W. and Briant Stringam, 18 Aug. 1857, in Brigham Young, Office Files 1832-1878, reel 35, box 25, fd. 23
Prest. Brigham Young
We take pleasure in availing ourselves of this opportunity to write you a few lines, that you may be posted of our where-abouts, the intelligence we have thus far obtained upon the road &c. &c.
We reached this place this A.M. and found all things well and an excellent spirit prevailing with the bretheren.
In relation to our Emigration, concerning which we know your anxiety, we haste to inform you, that we met Bros Evans, Martin, and Ashby with their companies of Handcarts & wagons about 4 miles East of Independence Rock on the morning of the 17th inst, all well and cheerful, and travelling at a rapid rate. Just at evening of the same day we met Bro. Moody with a part of the Texan Company about 4 miles East of the Willow Springs, with good teams, and able to travel at a rapid rate. About 6 miles back of this company and about 3 miles from where they leave the Platte, we met the first company of Government Wagons loaded with Freight <designed> for the Troops. This company consisted of 26 wagons with 6 yokes of cattle to each wagon, and a few head of extra cattle. There were only two or three extra men with the train in charge, and everything appeared very civil and quiet. The same evening we passed the 2nd Government train in camp, about 4 miles above the crossing of the platte, and judged them to be of about the same size and character as the first company. At the upper crossing of the platte, Elders [Matthias] Cowley, [Christian] Christensen [Christiansen], and [James P.] Parkes with their companies of Handcarts and Wagons were camped and staid last night. We conversed with Elders Cowley and Parkes, and found that they were moving along very comfortably, and teams had been doing well. These last named Companys of Hand carts were depending upon the station at Devils Gate for their entire breadstuff to last them from that point into the Valley. They were about 380 persons, & Elder parks judged they would require about 600 lb per day.
About 3 miles below the upper crossing we met Elder Homer Duncan, with the remaining portion of the Texan company and their Herd of Stock, moving as freely along as the large herd they had would allow. Elders [Jacob] Hoffheins [Hofheins] & <Harts> companies have passed here today. They are rather weak for team having lost nearly fifty head of cattle in stampedes. They succeeded in buying a few yoke of a trader near here which enables them to move along with tolerable speed.
Elders Young & Little have not yet arrived at this point with the remainder of the Emigration but are supposed to be only about two days behind.
Elder Walker's team with passengers' Luggage we passed on the 16th about 40 miles above Devils Gate, and Stewart's train of goods at same place. Every thing we can learn relative to the Emigration is as prosperous as could be expected.
We leave here early in the morning for Horse shoe Creek, and will look after the rear companies of our Emigration and forward them with all possible speed. We shall also endeavour to learn all that we can about the Troops and report as often as expedient.
Bro. N.V. Jones informs us that on the 16th he had conversation with Reshaw who had just arrived from Laramie from whom he learned that word had been passed from Gen. Hearney to the Fort that he had orders to remove our stations from the line, and assured Bro. Jones that he and the bretheren would have to leave & that his information was from a reliable source. Bro. Jones further inquired as to the where abouts of Genl. Hearney, but Reshaw said he could not find out.—that the commander at the Fort knew but would only give him to understand that it was the intention to remove everything from the road and pass over it under a forced march so that no news should go in advance. In the plan of their operations, secretiveness, seems to be a very prominent feature. He thought they would not be along here before the first of September.
Col. Sumner's Command have now been gone among the Schyennes several days longer than they were rationed for, and have not been heard from. It is already believed by the Mountaineers that he and his party have been "used up" by the indians. The Cheyennes have already succeeded in stealing some 440 head of Beef Cattle from one of the rear Government trains.
From report we expected to find a company of McGraw's men at Markhams station say about 30 men and very bad at that, but on arriving there we found the full number was only 14 men under Surveyor Lander, that they were very civil, and were waiting McGraw's arrival so that they could proceed on through to California and complete the surveying they have to do on the line. Some two or three Routes are being surveyed through south of this by the soldiers which perhaps accounts for the report that soldiers were in Sweet Water &c. Col. Johnson is said to be out with a Battalion, and also Col. Cooke on different routes.
We feel that we are realizing the blessings put upon us by the servants of the Lord daily, and ever pray that they may continue.
Praying for the increasing welfare of Israel and the rulers thereof in Zion, we remain