Transcript for William Henry Perkes journals in William E. Perkes collection, circa 1802-1900, folders 7 and 8
Saturday August 15 1863
About noon to day we started on the road for Zion and reached Big Papio [Papillon] about 5 p.m. were we camped for the evening. distance about 9 miles. which I walked without feeling much fatigue. although the heat was intense and the road hilly.
Sunday Aug – 16 – 1863
About 9 a m we again started on the road. The heat was very intense and the road hilly. My thirst was intense but I occasionally relieved it at farm houses. Bro Sand & myself travelled ahead of the Teams all the day. We reached & crossed Elk Horn bridge about 6 p m[.] We camped about one mile from the Bridge on the bank of the river in which I took opportunity to bathe[.] Several other teams joined our train this evening[.] Our train numbers now 38 wagons. Distance from Big Papio [Papillon] 12 miles.
Monday Aug 17 1863
At 8 a m left camp ground [ illegible] travelled on until about 1 p m <formed curell [corral]> were we stayed for about 2 hours[.] We then travelled & reached Fremont about 8:30 p m & camped on the road about 2 miles from the town. The heat all day has been very intense.
Tuesday Aug 18 – 1863
Started on the road again about 9 am camped at noon for about 3 hours & at evening about 8 p m on the Bank of the Platte River. Camp ground good
Wednesday Aug 19 – 63
several lines illegible text] <Started about 8 a m, camped at noon for 2 hours[.]> The heat all day was very intense, and the atmosphere for the last 3 days has shown unmistakable signs of a severe thunderstorm when about 5 p m it broke out in all its fury, the heavens were perfectly black & the thunder rolled fearfully, but where we were the storm was unaccompanied by rain, so we continued to travel.
The storm had been raging about
[illegible] < ½ > hour when a thunderbolt broke immediately over our train, causing all the cattle to immediately stand still, & causing every soul in the train to shrill. On again returning to our senses as it were it was found that out of a team of 3 yoke belonging to Cha[rle]s Adams of Parowan, 5 were struck dead on the spot & himself stunned for a time. The team happened to be at a point of the road were the Teligraphic were crossed it & therefore conducted it to the team. The lightening entered the wagon, set some hay on <fire> & then travelled along the chains to the cattle. On seeing the fire in the wagon, great apprehention was entertained for the safety of all around. as there were several hundred pounds of Gunpowder in the same wagon but the teamsters were energetic in removing the contents; and all danger was removed. The train moved on about 500 yards from the scene of accident and camped for the night. Providentially to say that none were hurt or injured by the storm although several were somewhat stunned. It continued to thunder & lighten all night
Thursday Aug 20 – 1863
Fine morning. The storm last night caused many of the cattle to stray. so that it was late this morning before we started. Before leaving camp ground by the request of Capt White I wrote a letter to Bishop Edward Hunter in G.S.L. City informing of last nights accident. and Posted it at Columbus, Loup Fork Ferry which we reached about 6 p.m. It took about 3 hours to ferry our train over. Encamped in the wood on the West side. F. Little & Company with 2 mule wagons joined us here this evening
Friday Aug 21 – 1863
Left Loup Fork about 8 am stopped about 2 hours at noon. and again travelled on until 7 pm. It is presumed we are about 100 miles on our way. much to our surprise we find the River Platte quite dry. What has never been known before so that we shall have to depend on small streams or dig wells in the bed of the river[.] This eve we encamped on a small stream.
F. Little & Co left early this morn
Saturday Aug 22
Fine morning, but much colder than it has been. Started on the road about 7:30 and travelled until about 1 p.m. It became much warmer towards mid day. On the train again starting <at 2:30> bro Sands & myself went onto the bed of the river to look for fish which were in the ponds left in the river, but did not succeed in getting any but we gathered quite a quantity of wild grapes. On again entering the road we were surprised to find our train quite out of sight. only to be distinguished by a small cloud of dust, and we therefore had to walk very fast to catch up, and we did not reach the train until about ½ hour before camping for the night. when I felt quite sick and exhausted. We made 20 miles good to day.
Sunday Aug 23
Arose this morning feeling quite unwell with cold & a pain in my stomach. Started about 8 a m. walked a little but had to turn into the wagon where I remained all day feeling too sick to walk[.] Camped at noon for about 2 hours. during which time bro. Sands & children caught a quantity of fish in the ponds in the bed of the river, and which we had for supper. A great many others were also caught by persons in the train.
During the day it has been very cold, & this afternoon a high wind arose from the north & made it very cold indeed. in fact we all had to put on heavier clothing to keep from freezing. The wind fell about 9 p m but the cold continued all night.
Monday Aug 24
cold morning, but it got warm towards noon. started about 8 am. camped at noon, crossed Wood River about 6 p m and camped about 2 miles from the bridge, on the Bank of the river.
Tuesday Aug 25
Weather still cold night & morning. Delayed in starting this morning on a/c of the Capts horses being lost. They were found again & we started about 10 am, & reached Wood River Centre about 5 p m where we camped for the evening[.] I wrote to father & posted it this evening. Yesterday & today I have been troubled with Diarehea [diarrhea] making me very sick & weak.
Wednesday Aug 26
Started about 9 a m, camped at noon on a Creek, and in the evening on the Bank of Platte River
Thursday Aug 27
started about 8 am, camped at noon on a creek and in the evening on Platte River at about 6 p m. A quantity of fish were caught this evening in the pools in the bed of the River.
Friday Aug 28
Started about 8 am, but before doing <so> buried Catherine E Morwick, who died last evening <with Diarehea>. She is buried on the Banks of the Platte about 2 miles East of Elm Crick. The last few days I have been very sick from Dierehea & its effects. so much so that I could
scarcely not walk without great pain in the lower part of my stomach. therefore I have ridden contrary to my desire, as I do not wish to distress the cattle in any way whatever. Camped at noon and on a Creek and at evening on the Platte.
Saturday Aug 29
Very cold this mornin, last night was quite frosty. started about 7 a m. camped at noon on the Platte & in the evening at 6 p m on the same River. We are now about ¼ of our journey or 260 miles
Sunday Aug 30
Started about 7 am camped at noon for about 2 hours and in the evening about 5 p m. Up to this time we have been plentifuly supplied with both Wood & Water, the former from islands in the River, and the latter from small streams running in its bed.
I am again recovering my health, & the last two days feel much better.
we are [sentence unfinished]
Monday Aug 31
This morning [Mary] the wife of John Falkner died & was buried before we left camp ground. Started on the road at 7 am. camped at noon some distance from the River, but adjacent to a spring. No Wood but have to use willows & Buffalo chips[.] Camped in the evening on
the River Pawnee Spring
visited by Indians
Tuesday Sep 1st
Started about 8 am and crossed the first sand hill but again struck the <River> bottom
of the River where we camped for noon. The heat this afternoon was very great, & the flying ants troubled us very much. This morning the infant child of Wm Crystal aged 1 yr died & was buried. he died of <the effects of> measles taken on ship board. Camped in the evening on <the River.> Pawnee Spring. Beautiful water. No wood Visited by Soue Indians in the evening
Wednesday Sep 2nd
Started about 7- 30, but little sand today, road pretty level. Nooned <early> on the banks of the River <Wagon broke an axle> and were visited by a number of Soue [Sioux] Indians. Camped about 7 p m on
the banks of the River <a small stream>. Water muddy
Thursday Sep 3rd
Started about 8 am crossed a large sand hill, which made it heavy bulling for the cattle. nooned on a creek on the River bottom & In the afternoon we again crossed a nother large sand hill. much larger than any yet, the sun was very hot & it made it tedious for both cattle & for [- -] Camped in the eve on [blank space] Creek.
Friday Sep 4
Last night the wind was very high, blew down the tent so had to make myself comfortable in a wagon of bacon. Started about 8, Road good nooned on Rattle Snake Creek. Started again about 2 pm & travelled on till about 7 p m when we camped on a small creek. Good Road all day, water good, but no wood. We have had splendid weather since we started no rain whatsoever. Cool nights & morning, but warm in midday, but not oppressive.
Saturday Sep 5
Commenced to travel about 7 am. road good. about 11 am, we st[....]y onto the bottom of the River and travel about ½ on its bed so as to avoid going over a large sand hill which we would have to cross had not the River been dry. Camped for noon on the other side of the hills on the banks of the River. Started again about 2 – 3 p m & continued until 7 p m, when we camped on the banks of the River. This afternoon the roads were good.
Sunday Sep 6
Last night we experienced a heavy thunderstorm, it lasted about 3 hours. The wind & rain were heavy & beat in the side of our tent, making it very disagreeable & uncomfortable for sleeping, our bedding & ourselves got wet, but after again fixing the tent & the storm abated we got a little sleep. The Thunder & lighting was not so heavy as we experienced at Florence. A great many Tents were blown over during the night. We started on the road about 7- 30, weather fine, but cloudy, & reached Ash Hollow about 10 am, where we camped for noon, while we took in flour which had been left here when the Teams came down. Started again about 2 – 30 pm, roads good and camped about 6 pm near the River.
Monday Sep 7
Started about 8 am and continued until about 11 – 30 when we camped for noon near the River. Continued our journey at 2 pm. about 5 pm we met with a sand hill, which we crossed & camped about ½ West of it. The hill and sand was not so large nor so heavy as the former ones. [- - -] which had been left at Ash hollow by some of the former Co's was left east of the sand hill as he could not be got over. Another was also brought on, but he continued to get better. Plenty of water, but no wood, except willows & chips. We could see Court House rock this evening. Weather, cool & cloudy
Tuesday Sep 8
Started about 7 – 30, road sandy but pretty flat. Cool and cloudy all day[.] showery signs of rain, camped at noon for 2½ hours. Chimney Rock was seen for the first time this afternoon. had it been less cloudy we should have seen it before. Camped in the evening about 5 – 30 pm immediately opposite Court House Rock. The last three days we have made good travelling.
Wednesday Sep 9
Started about 7 – 15 am, roads very good, nooned about 4 miles east of Chimney Rock on the Banks of the River. Weather fine & bright. the rain which has threatined the last 3 days appears to have cleared off. About 4 – 30 pm the sky became very cloudy, and it immediately began to blow very hard. and the roads being dust the effect was most disagreeable. the wind was followed immediately by rain accompanied by thunder & lightning showing every sign of a thunderstorm it was therefore thought wise to carell [corral], which we did about 3 miles west of Chimney Rock. The
wind storm continued at intervals through the night but towards morning it cleared off.
Thursday Sep 10
Fine morning. started about 7 am, roads good, nooned east of Scotts Bluffs, and camped in the evening about 3 miles west of them. This afternoon a burning rash broke out all over my body, accompanied by a sickning weakness, and I felt very ill, after I got into camp I lay down by the side of the fire as I felt to weak to sit up, & also to wait till supper was ready when I was attacked with an hysterical fit of laughing & crying accompanied with the greatest weakness, several of the bretheren & sisters were ready in rendering me every assistance and in a short time I recovered myself again, took a little supper & retired to rest.
Friday Sep 11
Started about 7 – 30 roads good & weather fine. Felt
much better today, although I am still troubled with the rash on my body which causes a swelling in my flesh wherever it appears. <I rode all day.> Nooned <for> about 3 hours and in the evening camped in a very pleasant grove on the banks of the river. We again have plenty of wood. but cattle feed is rather scarce. The camp ground this evening is the pleasantest we have had yet
Saturday Sep 12
Arose this morning after a restless night & found my body very much swollen, the rash having more or less gone but left a swelling in my flesh like unto the dropsy, which during the day was informed by Sister Bennet was the Water Blash produced by the heat and too free a use of water, but that it would go away in time. I felt too weak to walk, & the heat was intense so I rode all day. Nooned for about 2 hours and again travelled on until 5 – 30 when we camped on the banks of the river. Plenty of wood & water but little feed for cattle. The Infant child of Ellen Duncan died last night from the effects of measles taken on board of ship and was buried this morning before we left camp ground.
Sunday Sep 13
Fine warm morning, On the cattle being driven into carell it was found that over 40 head was missing. the night guards & others on horse back as well as some on foot set [- -] in search & about noon all were brought in except 4 head, being found strung along the road back to were we nooned yesterday. We immediately yoked up and proceeded on the road, while 3 men, mounted, went back after the 4 missing head, and about 9 pm, they brought them into camp, having found them were we camped on the evening of the 11th [-], having wandered back for feed. We camped this evening about 4 miles from Laramie.
Monday Sep 14
Started this morning at 7 – 30, passed Laramie about 10, when I with others
went over <waded> the river to the Fort, while the teams went on the <north> road. I inquired at the P O for Letters but there were none there for me. While there Capt White came in and I accompanied him into the Tel Office& sent the folloing to Prest Young "Passed here to day, all well. cattle in good condition, none lost, health of passengers generally good, 5 deaths only. expect to make the City in 5 weeks. S. D. White. After looking around the Fort, I started back to camp with several others. when we had to [-] 2 sand hills & travell along the bottom for about 3 miles, as well as cross wade the river before we reached camp, which made me very tired & fatigued. It was difficult to wade the river. the bottom being small stones & pebbles which hurt the feet very much. Started about 2 pm roads [-] very heavy being sand hills & [- - - -] . We crossed the river about 11 miles above Laramie. We camped on the South side. In crossing I again waded the river, making the 3rd time today.
Tuesday Sep 15
Started about 9 am the cattle having strayed some distance in search of feed, which is at present very scarce. <shortly> After leaving camp on a high tree on the edge of a high cliff, we noticed the dead body of an Indian wrapped in his blanket & straped to the
leaves <branches> of the tree. That being his burial place. It was said he was there last year. We crossed a many sand hills & nooned on the top of one, at the foot of which was a nice spring of water. Feed for cattle very poor. The weather this morning was very [-] and while in carell <past noon> it began to blow very hard and the rain fell a little. It still remained squally all afternoon while we were travelling over the sand hills, & the dust was insufferable, between wind & [-] we could scarsely breath while walking & it was too cold to ride. We camped about 7 pm on the hills near to a spring, plenty of wood, but poor feed for cattle
Wednesday Sep 16.
Started this morning about 8 am and travelled over considerable sand. the wind still very high & the dust troubles [-]. Camped at noon in the hills near a spring of good water. Feed poor. This afternoon & evening travelled over prarie country, but the wind was very high & bitter cold & the dust very bad . Camped about 7 pm on the River bank[.] this afternoon we struck the middle track or road leaving the hills & travelling on the river bottom.
Thursday Sep 17
Started this morning about 8 am[.] roads hilly & dusty wind is still high, but the sun is bright. Nooned on the banks of the River. This afternoon the roads were pretty flat but very dusty, the wind still high and very cold. about 4 pm we crossed the river to the North side and continued on that road. About 6.30 we camped on the banks of the River. The wind subsided
Friday Sep 18/63
Started about 7-30 am, road [
illegible] sandy. The weather fine and warmer. the [- - -]. Nooned on the banks of the River. This afternoon we [- - -] crossed the river to the South side & travelled until 6.30 pm when we camped on the banks of the creek at the foot of some hills. The wind has lulled quite [-] again & it is quite calm & pleasant.
Saturday Sep 19/63
Started out 8 am. weather fine and warm. travelled over considerable sand. the roads were dusty. Nooned about 11 – 30 at the foot of a hill near a creek. Camped in the evening about 6 – 30 on the side of a hill near the River. Roads this afternoon pretty good but very dusty.
Sunday Sep 20/63
Started at 9- 30 a few of the cattle being astray we could not start earlier. One ox was found dead this morning. having died of bloody Myrn [Murrain], being the first that has died since we started. We passed Dear [Deer] Creek & Station about 11 am &
camped <nooned> on the side of a hill near the river <[-]>. This afternoon & evening the roads were tolerably good but very heavy with dust, which across in great clouds, so that you could scarsely discern the wagon ahead of you. We travelled until about 8 pm & camped on the River Bank. The weather the last few days has been very fine, warm in day time, but freezing in the night.
Monday Sep 21/63
Started at 7-30 roads good & not so dusty as before, nooned on the Banks of the River – Reached & crossed Platte Bridge at 6 p.m. & took in flour. Camped on the North side of the river about ½ mile from the Bridge
Tuesday Sep 22/63
Started at 8 – 30 roads rough, broken & dusty, travelled a distance of 12 miles from the Bridge to where the Road leaves the Platte River & strikes over to the Sweetwater River, and camped for the remainder of the day, as we should have to travel 15 miles before we reached water, & that we could not do to day without travelling far into the night. Adjascent to the camp ground was a quantity of Brush wood in which wild Buffalo berries were growing and which the people were gathering when about 4 pm a brown bear was surprised in a willow tree, when all the people were withdrawn from the wood and the teamsters & others with firearms entered and hunted him down.
The hunt last 3 hours and I viewed it from a high bluff at the back of the brush wood. One man had his wrist torn by the animals teeth, another the seat of his pants & another was knocked down by him & came very nearly torn to
peice peices only for the timely interference of some of the boys. He was brought into camp, skinned and hung up to a telegraph poll by two log chains for public view and inspection.
Wednesday Sep 23/63
The bear this morning was cut up and devided among the messes in camp before starting. We started about 8 am, leaving the Platte River for good. Nooned on the side of a hill. No water & the weather very hot. Travelled in the evening until 8 pm when we camped on Greasewood Creek, and was here met by Ebenezer Farnes, direct from the City by horse team with 5 Church tents for the use of the camp, which will prove very acceptable as the nights are very cold.
Thursday Sep 24/63
This morning before starting I partially wrote a letter to Father, to be taken by bro. Farnes. Started about 8 – 30, road good and nooned at Greasewood Creek. I here finished my letter & handed to bro. Farnes. This evening we made & camped on Sweetwater River about 1 mile east of the bridge. At the request of Capt White I wrote off an account of the bear fight to the Editor of the Deseret News, which took me till after midnight.
Friday Sep 25/63
Handed the a.c. of the bear fight to Capt White, which he handed to bro Farnes. who left us this morning to return to the City. On bringing in the cattle it was ascertained that about ⅓ were astray so that we did not make a start until about noon, in the mean time I walked to Independance rock being a little over a mile from the camp, and ascended it, and there found 2 other young men from the camp. when we went all over it, and in the South portion of it found a cave or room formed by the rocks, and the walls & roof was covered with names of different persons who had been there with the Note,
painted put on with tar & paint. one name had been there 18 years. Having no tar or paint with us we took pieces of wood & bones which we found in the cave, & wrote our names & dates up<on> them & stuck them in chinks of the rocks. In walking around and over it we found vast quantities of names & dates, a greate grate number being cut with a chisel. On nearing Devils Gate, myself and others left the Train & visited it, and as the water was low we passed through it over the boulders of rock lieing in the bed of the creek river. It was a beautiful sight. While there a man fired a pistol twice & each report echoed from peak to peak about a dozen times before it died away. Each side of the Cliffs were also covered with names & dates of persons who had been there. We met the train again the other side of the gate. Camped in the eve[n]ing 15 miles from Indep[endence] Rock & was met with the stray cattle which were found on ahead.
Saturday Sep 26
Started about 8 am, nooned on the banks of the river as well as camped about 6 pm on its banks
Sunday Sep 27
Travelled all day <nooned> & Camped on the river about 6 – 30 pm
Monday Sep 28
<Eliz. Stackam 64 died & was buried> [.] Having a late start this morning we travelled on until about 3 pm when we camped on the river. having made about 16 miles
Tuesday Sep 29
Started about 7 – 30 nooned on the river near to a Soldiers station at the foot of a high hill. Shortly after curelling [corralling] a company of
3 5 soldiers with their officer came in and made us all take the oath of allegence to the U.S. government. One man proved obstinate would not take the oath, was but [put] under guard. but before leaving he repented & took the oath.
This evening we travelled on until 9 pm when we reached & camped on Strawberry creek. The weather the last few days has been very cold indeed, showing unmistakable signs of a snow storm which about 7 p m the snow began to fall & fell about 2 inches deep. It cleared off towards 10 pm and it was a clear night
Wednesday Sep 30
Started about 8 – 30 camped at noon on the Sweetwater near to a station[.] The weather to day is fine & clear, but very cold. The snow disappeared as the sun arose. The roads the last few days has been good & firm, but gradually ascending to the South Pass. Camped this evening on the Sweetwater about 1 mile from the Pass.
Thursday Oct 1
Started at 8 am, passed through the Pass, crossed Pacific springs and nooned some distance from them without water. Weather cold, but fine. Reached Dry Sandy about 5 p m when the cattle were watered & we drove on until 9 pm and camped without water.
Friday Oct 2 /63
Started at 7 – 30 am reached Little Sandy about 11 am and camped. Started again about 2 – 30 pm and camped on Big Sandy about 6 pm
Weather fine and warm throughout the day. but frosty nights & mornings.
Saturday Oct 3/63
Started 8 am, nooned on Big Sandy and started again at 3 – 30. About 5 pm we reached Cashe [Cache] Hollow were the Government Waggons were burnt by Lot Smith in the year 1858. Travelled on until 8 pm when we again camped on
the Big Sandy
Sunday Oct 4/63
Started at 9 am camped on Big Sandy at 11 am. Weather very warm in day time, but sharp frosts night & morn. Reached & crossed Green River about 6 pm and camped on the west bank.
Monday Oct 5/63
Started about 9 am, road stoney & dusty. nooned on the side of a hill without water & but little feed, reached Hams Fork at 10 pm & camped.
Tuesday Oct 6/63
Loaded flour before starting. Started about 10 am & travelled until 4 pm when we reached and camped on Blacks Fork for the evening
Wednesday Oct 7/63
We did not start on our journey to day until 1 pm, the forenoon being spent in shoeing cattle. Camped in the evening, about 6 pm, on Blacks Fork
Thursday Oct 8/63
Started at 8 – 30 am, reached Fort Bridger at noon & camped ¼ mile beyond. Post a letter to father but did not receive any in return. David Evans came to camp and introduced himself to me. Travelled in the evening until 8 pm and camped on a hill at the foot of which was a spring.
Friday Oct 9/63
Started at 9 am roads good, did not noon but reached Quaquing [Quaking] asp[en] Springs about 4 pm when we camped for the evening. For some time the feed has been scarce, but it is now improving
Saturday Oct 10/63
Started at 8 – 30 am nooned on Tar Spring Creek and in the evening camped at 6 pm on [blank space] Creek. the roads to-day has been very mountainous
Sunday Oct 11/63
Started at 8 – 30 am, nooned on Cave Creek, & in the evening in Echo Kanyon [Canyon]