Ellsworth, Edmund, Autobiography, in Utah State Historical Society Cache Valley Chapter, Historical resource materials for Cache Valley, Utah-Idaho, 1955-1956, reel 5, item 5.
Bro. Edwin Little, Son of Susan Stilson died. he was my friend and I mourned his loss. when we arrived at Garden Grove I was sent back to Nauvoo with a span of horses and carriage to trade them for Oxen and waggon. Prest Young sent for many things needed in camp in case I could get any of them. I was greatly blessed obtained every thing he sent for and brought his wife Harriet Cook to the camp where I arived shaking with ague in time to help mow the hay for winter. this was winter quarters on the west bank of the Missouri River. as winter set in I was sent in charge of Prest Youngs and Kimballs Cattle over 100 miles up the river to the Rush Bottoms where a man by the name of Lathrop wintered[.] he took charge of the stock and I returned safe.
During my stay at Lathrops two days and three nights I shot over 40 wild Turkeys most of them I shot by moonlight off the trees on which they roosted. I was one of the four men who started a Brass Band[,] the first in the Church, their names were Wm. Pitt[,] James Smithies[,] James Standing. during the winter we were called on to play for many dances sometimes six in a week[.] this was done to keep up the spirits of the people in this place[.] many of our people died through the hardships and fatigues of the journey.
In the early spring I was called to go with the Pioneers to the Rocky mountains[.] when we arrived at Loop [Loup] Fork of the Platte River we had to cut Cottonwood Trees for the horses to eat the bark as there was no feed. a little further west we came to the Buffaloes So thick the feed was All consumed and they were verry poor. We were thouraly instructed to humble ourselves and go as men of God that the blessing of the Lord might attend us. We crossed the La Platte at Larimie [Laramie] thence through the Black hills to the upper crossing
By this time the River had swollen so mutch we could not ford. we was compelled to go to the timber where we hewed out three large Canoes[.] these we framed together thus making a good ferry boat on which we ferried our waggons. before we got our waggons ferried the emigrants for Oregon began to arrive. when Prest Young appointed ten of us to remain and ferry them with the promise we should share equaly with them who went ahead to the Valley in all the honours of the mission[.] the ten selected to stop all expected Their families would arive in a few days when we were to follow the Pioneers. it was thought by so doing we could get of the emigrants flour and Bacon that would help the mission on its return. we were kept busy ferrying for about two weeks expecting every day to hear that our families were near at hand[.] after waiting another week there came to us some ten or twelve men from the Battalion going back to meet their families. it was soon arranged that part of us both companies should start back to meet our families while the rest staid to keep camp[,] no one thinking we would be gone over from two to five days. we only took provision to last three days when we arrived at Larrimie the Indians had brought the news that there were waggons Coming up the Platte with no idea of the distance. provisions could not be bought[.] we went on 175 miles which we traveled with only one Antelope and one hare for the company. this was less than half a meal each in 7 days. I never expect to witness greater excitement than prevailed when we beheld at a distance a camp of waggons lying bye for the Sabbath[.] our horses did their best to carry us to breckfast where several of us found our families. Truly my soul was filled with joy at meeting my wife [Elizabeth Young Ellsworth] and two litle ones [Charlotte and Edmund] in company with the saints mooving to Salt Lake. at Strawberry Creek we met and camped with the returning Pioneers this night the Indians stole 52 head of the Pioneers horses which greatly distressed the company on their return To winter quarters[.] I accompanied the saints to the Valley where we arrived on the 12 of Oct