Transcript for W. S. Willes letter to Brigham Young, 8 September 1865


Wyoming <Fort Kearney> Neb. Ter. Sept 8 1865


Prest. Brigham Young

Dear Brother:—

We have arrived thus far after a very tedious journey of 23 days having completed 184 miles in consequence of Heavy rains an raw teamster and mostly wild cattle, as there is only about one third of our teams broke cattle. We have had but few accidents[.] Bro [John] Dewsnip [Dewsnup] was knocked down and run over by a wild ox and his hand was badly hurt and bruised in other places, but he is fast recovering. We have broken three axle trees and two tongues. The reason why we have been so long is chiefly owing to our Teamsters being composed of old and decrepit men, entirely unaccustomed to handle cattle: Bro [William Henry] Waylett was the only man that could be of any assistance in yoking and hitching up <with the exception of Bro F[redrick]. W. Cox,> and he took sick with an intermittent fever, which left me the yoking and hitching up, selecting camp-ground, driving across broken bridges, mud holes and up hills, as we had not a teamster that would move whenever he come to a slight obstacle.

We were detained two days while four loads of our freighting belonging to Bro Taylor and three wagons were left with in Nebraska City as we found we had so much freight that it was impossible for us to travel, and also while Bro Holman was arranging with Mr. McCann about the payment of some of the wagons.

We brought away from Wyoming a number of sick people who were mostly women one of whom died on the 20th ult. named Maria [J.] Wixie aged 50 of a complication of diseases but the chief cause was continuous fever which has been the cause of the deaths that have happened while at Wyoming. A number of others fell sick on the road with the same complaint. There are now sick among us Bro Henry Cox wife [Rebecca Carman Cox] and sister [Eleanor Favour Cox]; Mary Ann Maddock; Sarah Isom; Bro [Matthew] and Sister [Jane Carruthers] Templeman; Sister [Elizabeth Massey] Simpers, Wm. Wilson and daughter; one or two of the germans and several children. Elder W[illiam]. H[enry]. Wayles [Waylett] is now convalescent and will soon be fit for his duties & most of the sick are mending

Our Camp consists of 35 Wagons including freight and independent and passenger wagons[.] Thos. Dallen now crossing the Platte from the North side and will join us with 14 wagons and fifteen men which will enable us to pass Military examination at this Fort and the other Military stations on the road.

Our prospect is that we shall be able to travel now 15 to 20 miles per day, but owing to the lateness of the season we entertain some fears about cold weather.

We are only provisioned to the pass or Green River, and Bro Taylor has promised to meet us with provisions and Teams.

Yours faithfully


W[illiam]. S[ydney]. S[mith]. Willes Capt.
Per Geo. Sims