Transcript for "Hiram Theron Spencer, reminiscences," 5.
In the winter of 1856 the handcart company got snowed in near Devil's Gate on the Sweetwater. I left here with others, taking four horse teams and wagons loaded with provisions down to meet the Saints. I drove one of the wagons that met them on the Three Crossings on the Sweetwater. The people were so worn out and frozen that they were like dumb animals. After the fire was made, we had to watch them so they would not walk right into the fires.
We had to go back along the trail four or five miles to get those who weren't strong enough to walk into camp. They were frozen and starving. We traveled with them until they reached the valley.
When we started home from Devil's Gate, the Indians stole thirty-five head of our horses and mules. Gib Spencer and a man from Sanpete and myself followed them all day, going north from Devil's Gate. When we came to a creek, we were close enough to them that the water hadn't cleared since they rode through. Just over the creek the tracks split and went to the right and left. We decided to go and see what would happen, so we went down the canyon to Powder River and then turned and started back. .
We were eighty or ninety miles from the camp, and it was dark and we didn't know the way. It was near midnight and we thought it best to stop for the night. We staked the horses and then laid down with our heads to the direction we thought we ought to travel next morning. I was nearest the right direction. There were only two saddles for our three horses, and I had to ride bareback all but about ten miles back to camp.
The next spring the Indian agent made the Indians give nearly all of the horses back to Porter Rockwell for us. We learned then that the Indians had separated at the creek so as to set a trap for us. Had we gone back that night, it would have meant trouble because they were waiting for us.