Driggs, Ben W., [Letter], in "Pioneer Trail Experiences," Deseret Evening News, 26 April 1913, sec. 3, X.
Concerning the pioneer trail experiences of Bishop John A. Hunt, deceased, and others, Mr. Ben W. Driggs of Ogden writes as follows.
Capt. Hunt had charge of what was called an "Independent" company of Saints in 1856, those who were in circumstances to purchase their outfits and he piloted these people as far as the "Devil's Gate" on the Sweetwater, when they were overtaken by the storms of winter and could proceed no farther. The whole train with their oxen were left there in charge of Daniel W. Jones and a few others for the winter. All the cattle died from starvation during that cold winter. The people were rescued by those sent out after the belated hand cart emigrants. Prest. Brigham Young made an urgent call for volunteers to go out to their rescue. Men and teams were gathered in the different settlements and they soon started for Fort Bridger, where many of the members of Capt. Hunt's "Independent" company and hand cart people were found bivouacked in some log stable near the fort. Ten men with five four horse teams were found at Pleasant Grove (myself one of the number). We left Salt Lake City Dec. 2, 1856, and loaded up the "starving" emigrants at Fort Bridger and hurried them in to the city over roads of snow from two to ten feet deep. I cannot recall one of the party that I was with being now alive. We had no gum boots or other warm clothing like we have today "but we got there all the same." Capt. Hunt was on the ground and did his part nobly.
We overtook John Van Cott's ox train on feast Canyon creek. A party of men were on the Big Mountain trying to maintain a trail over the divide. To say the journey was a hard one is putting it mildly.