Transcript for Samuel H. B. Smith reminiscences and diary, 1856 April-1863 July, 2-4
. . . in the Spring of 1848, I went into Missouri along with Richard Ballantine to obtain a few requisites for the plains, and after a very interesting journey returned with a pretty good outfit, considering our destitute condition: the next thing to be considered was who should go through that season and who should remain until another year, which was finally agreed that Grandmother [Delecta] Clark and myself, should join Teams with William G. Young and Family, and go through, while Andrew, Mother, and Sister Sevira remained; we were then very busy in getting ready, but a day or two before starting, one yoke of our Cattle strayed off, and even then we almost abandoned the hope of going, and in all probability would have done, had I not used very diligent exertions in finding the oxen, as I was very anxious to go myself; our Waggon was of the Pennsylvania pattern, the ends sticking up for some distance, and projecting over the bottom of the Box for about three feet which made it very difficult in climbing in and out: after crossing the river we rolled out of Winter quarters in company with Truman O. Angel and went out 20 miles where we stopped
over about a week, having lost our cattle; this time we were greatly afraid the Indians had driven them off, but our fears were ungrounded as they were found, and we moved on over to the Elk Horn, where we found a large Camp of the Saints, making rafts to ferry them across the river, which was accomplished, and all hands over in about 2 weeks and the companies organized ready to proceed on their journey: we travelled but slowly for some time as every precaution was taken to make ourselves secure, both from the Indians and by taking proper care of our animals, as we travelled up the Platte I often amused myself by fishing, and by many other objects that was quite new and interesting. we moved on until we arrived at Independence Rock, the evening of our arrival I went up to the top of the Rock to hear the Band play, and also to sing several hymns; while here, one of the company’s cows was poisoned by drinking below where two snakes were fighting; after a stay of about a week we resumed our journey & travelled to where the road leaves the Sweet water[.] made a halt for about two weeks where we entirely lost our yoke of cattle, many of the company would go out in the mornng with their guns to hunt them, and others that went at the same time but on failing in their search to find their cattle, would come back well loaded down with hares, sage hens and prairie chickens: when we started again the weather had set in very cold: the women and children were obliged to wrap up in blankets & keep inside the Waggons, while the men were driving the Teams and keeping themselves warm by moving about and running after the loose Stock, this weather however did not long continue Presidt Young, being our Captain, took the lead and so ordered things that we had all the comfort possible on such a journey; the day finally came when all hands were anxious to get to the top of the big mountain, as that is the point from where the Valley of the Great Salt Lake is first seen; after passing over the Big mountain and going down for about two miles, we camped for the night, at that time the Kanyon was densely lined with timber; the next day we were met by Brother Duzett who brought some roasting ears, the first we had seen; we arrived in the Pioneer Fort on the 22nd day of Sept.