Edwin Pettit, Biography of Edwin Pettit, 1834-1912 (Salt Lake City: The Arrow Press), 9-10.
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- Source Locations
- Church History Library, M270.1 P511p
- Related Companies
- Edward Hunter/Jacob Foutz Company (1847)
In the spring of 1847 we moved camp, and passed through Winter Quarters, where the main part of the Saints had been camped all winter. All the companies rallied to a place near a stream called Elk Horn, where they organized into companies of hundreds, fifties and tens, with a captain over each. Bishop Edward Hunter was appointed captain of fifty [hundred]; John Lowry was appointed captain of ten families, in which all the Seeleys were members, my sister [Mary Pettit Seeley] and myself with the rest. I was thirteen years of age at this time. Most of the time we traveled in double columns—that is, two rows of teams, in order to keep the company together and away from the Indians. In camping over night, our wagons were placed to form a circle, an opening being left at one end to drive the cattle in to keep them from the Indians, guards being placed around the outside. Fuel was very scarce most of the time and when we wanted a fire everyone would go out to gather buffalo chips, and some of the daintier sex instead of picking them up with their hands, used tongs to gather them with. Before we had gone very far, they got very bravely over this, and would almost fight over a dry one. We could see buffalo as thick as the leaves on the trees for miles around. We had a great deal of trouble from them, having to scare them away with guns in order to make a passage. We saw many Indians, but for the most part they were very friendly and peaceable. At one place on the Platte River, some of the boys and myself went down to swim at noon time, and I got beyond my depth and was nearly drowned.
We traveled mostly on foot, the wagons being used to carry the provisions. Sometimes an ox and a horse would be hitched together to make the trip. In the latter part of the journey, when our cattle began to get tired and footsore, sometimes lying down, it was a difficult matter to get them on their feet again. We had a calf that gave out, and we had to leave him one afternoon. The next morning, while the folks were getting breakfast, I was put on a horse and sent back several miles to bring the calf. One place where there was a double road, with a swamp in the middle, I saw four Indians coming. I left one road and passed over into the other to avoid the Indians. When they saw me, passed over into that road also to meet me. I was riding a good horse, and had a good half mile the start of them, but I did not think to turn and run back. I went right ahead and met them. They came up, talked to me a few minutes, and they let me pass right along. It is almost a miracle that they did not take my horse, as it was a very good one and I often think of it as being a very foolish act on my part. I was never afraid of the Indians, and I presume this is the reason I was not more cautious. However, I found the calf and returned to the company.
We traveled from day to day feeling as happy and cheerful as possible under the conditions, covering from ten to fifteen miles a day. Our last camp before entering the valley of Salt Lake would be a short distance above the mouth of Emigration Canyon. After a journey of about four or five months, we reached Salt Lake on the 29th day of September, 1847.