Transcript for Taylor, John, to Brigham Young, 6 Sept. 1854, in Brigham Young, Office Files 1832-1878, reel 56, box 43, fd. 2
Sept 6th 1854
President Brigham Young
By request of Bro Taylor I sit down to write and attempt giving a few items concerning our journey to the present time.
We have had thus far, almost uninterupted pleasant weather, and most excellent feed for our animals. We have had three severe hail storms, though short in duration, one shortly after leaving Green river,8212;one on the Big Sandy & one at the Pacific Springs, with these exceptions, never was there a better season for travelling. We are informed that it rained through this country almost the entire month of August, of this our animals have reaped the benifit both in grass and in the packing of the roads. We are also happy to assure you of the good health of all in our company, and our animals have thus far kept up well, though a few now show some signs of failing. Our Capt (P[reston] Thomas) is invaluable in crossing the plains.
On the 10th ult. a company from St Louis passd. us this side of Bridger. On Hams fork we met the Texian [Washington Jolley] company and the train Middleton & Co passed us. The same day <we met> Bro Camp & Co. and in the evening we met Bro Job Smith & Co and campd. with him on Green river.
On the following day we saw camps on our right, near the Big Sandy, who we afterwards learned were D Richardson[,] Jas. Brown and the Danish companies.
On the eve of the 13th met D Cairn & Co at the Pacific Springs—
14th came up Bro Eldridge waiting the coming up of his company.
On the 18th we arrived at Devils gate where we learned that the mail from the valley had been waiting a sufficient force to venture on to Laramie, and had left two days before.—
19th met the mail from the States[.] They informed us that all was quiet on the road.—
On the 20th met Bro Aaron Farr & train some 10 miles this side of the crossing of the N Platte, in good spirits & progressing well.
21st met Bro Empy & co near Deer Creek where we campd. for the night & Bro Wm. Taylor went back with us, and spent the night with his Bros—
22d Just after leaving the [text missing], we met Bro R Campbell & Co. in good spirits though I presume they will need assistance before they get to the valley. On the evening of the 25th within 10 miles of Fort Laramie we met a part of Williams & Hoopers train in rather a poor condition, for want of more team & the Captn. seemed to be somewhat discouraged. Bro Jas. Needham & several families were with them, and liable to feel the severity of a Mountain winter.—
On the morng. of the 26th we went up to the Fort where we learned the particulars of the Indian difficulty.
They informed us, that a man from the Danish company came up to the Fort and complained that the Indians had killed his cow, that was lame & laggd. behind the Co, upon which orders were given for a company of 29 men with two pieces of cannon, under the command of Lieut Gratton with an interpreter to go to the camp of 10 or 12 hundred Sioux warriors who were 8 miles below, and demand of them the man that shot the cow. When the company arrived at the encampment of the Indians, they drew up in the centre of their lodges, and made the demand. And from some misunderstanding with the interpreter (who it is said was drunk) orders were given to fire. "the guns being elevated, so as to shoot over their heads, (intending no doubt to intimidate them) wounding the principle Chief severely," a and before the piece could be reloaded, the indians poured upon them a shower of shot & arrows, killing 26 of the soldiers upon the spot, and the rest in detail, the Interpreter was pursued some distance & killed— and one man got into the brush, was found, brot to the Fort speechless and died next day.— Immediately after the men were killd, one of the bands of indians went back to the Amn. fur company's post (5 miles from Laramie) in which was stored the government amenities, and took away $15000 that belonged to them as amenities and some $10,000 belonging to the Fur Co. which the Co expected Govt. would of course make good to them—It is said the Indians have crossed the river, and gone North.— Yesterday we met a man who said that the Sioux's had stole some 27 horses at Ft. Kearny.
On Sunday morg. Mr. Green of the Co. of Kearney. Green passd up the north side of the river, with one wagon on his way to Salt Lake—haild. us and reported all well.—
Yours in the E C
per N H Felt