Transcript for Romney, Junius, "An Exciting Trip Across the Plains," Juvenile Instructor, 1 Jan. 1895, 34-35
In the summer of 1865 five mule teams driven by Americans started with loads of merchandise from the Missouri River to Salt Lake City.
There Americans concluded for mutual safety to travel with a company of Danish Saints who were going to cross at that time with oxen.
Nothing of note transpired until they reached Fort Laramie. On this particular day M. [Miner] G. Atwood, captain of the company, and M. P. [Miles Park] Romney, a returning missionary, were riding in advance of the company in search of feed for the animals.
When they reached the fort they were told that if they would turn their teams across the Platte River they would find good grass.
Accordingly when the train came up a camp was made at the place indicated and the cattle driven across the river to graze, this being after dark.
While the Danish guards, with M. P. Romney as captain of the guard, were being placed around the animals a party of mounted men came up, whooping like Indians.
Most of the guards stood their grounds. The captain of the guard then addressed the invaders in the following manner:
"We have lived too long in an Indian country to take you for red-skins, and we will shoot the first man who attempts to molest our cattle."
One of the party replied, "D----you, shoot now!" However in a few minutes they all seemed to have left. But a short time after one of the guards noticed some one driving a number of mules from the herd.
He fired, but without effect, as the persons were soon across the other side of the river.
The people in camp were aroused by this time, and the captain sent more men to strengthen the guard, which was kept up during the night. But when morning dawned it revealed the fact that seventy-four head of cattle and several mules were missing.
This caused a delay of two or three days, and also a search for the missing animals, which were nearly all recovered from different places where the would-be thieves had driven them.
The company then broke camp and resumed their journey, but had not gone far when they were stopped by a company of United States cavalry. The officer stated that some of these people were being forced to go to Utah against their will.
A meeting was called and the people were then addressed by apostates from Fort Laramie, who tried to persuade them not to go to Utah.
The officer then offered those who wished to stay transportation back to the states or employment at Laramie. A vote was called but not one accepted his generous (?) offer, seeing which the officer sounded a retreat and returned to the fort considerably crest-fallen.
The train again traveled on until they reached what is known as Cottonwood Hollow. Here they turned out for noon, and were just taking their animals to the springs to water when the war whoop of the Sioux Indians was heard. They poured in on all sides, yelling and screeching like demons, as only maddened red-skins can.
They tried to stampede the cattle, but were prevented from doing so by the active exertions of Albert W. Davis and others, who were mounted at the time.
Those of the men who had firearms fired at the Indians, who returned a shower of arrows and a volley of bullets, which resulted in the wounding of nine Danish men, one of whom was John Swenson, boot-maker, of Salt Lake City, who was shot through the arm. Some of the people who were on foot had stayed behind and had not come up with the train at the time of the attack by the Indians.
As the Indians retreated some of them went back the road and met the persons who were behind. They lassoed one woman and dragged her off, after having shot her husband through the body so that he could not reach camp until it was impossible to recover the woman.
This was also witnessed by some men who were freighting goods for W. S. Godbe, and who made it a point to catch up and camp with the other company at nights.
But they were unable to render any assistance, and so the poor woman was never seen nor heard of again, although steps were taken by the Church for her recovery.
Some of the Danish were badly wounded, but they had great faith, and through the administration of the Elders, all soon recovered except one man, who has been an invalid from the effects of it ever since.
Probably some of the Indians were killed, as they left without obtaining any spoil.
After this time strong guards were kept up night and day, and the company reached Salt Lake City in peace and safety.
Junius Romney. Age 16.
Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico.