James A. Little autobiography, undated, 78-80.
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We left St. Louis quite as soon as the grass began to grow, and we probably arrived at Kanesville about the 1st of June. There recollect seeing Uncles Phineas H. and Joseph Young and their families. I did not visit long but soon crossed the Missouri river, and encamped with others who were gathering to organize for crossing the plains. I perfected my outfit as well as I could under the circumstances. It was at least a good average one. I think we remained in that camp two or three (p. 76) weeks, when we were instructed to move on across the Elk Horn river. Then I was organized in Lorenzo Clarks Ten, Enoch Reese's fifty, and Captain Perkin's hundred. I kept no journal and have not been able yet, to find any account of the organization of these companies. Perhaps this lack may yet be supplied. The first serious dif[f]iculty encountered after starting were stampedes of our cattle. These sometimes occur[r]ed when traveling but more generally while encamped with our cattle in a corral formed by our wagons for safety; but they were ever sudden, unexpected, and dangerous. We found it the best remidy for night stampedes to tie up our cattle seperately outside our wagons. These stampedes were so dangerous and frequent, that they overbalanced our fear of Indians; and the tens were directed to travel and camp by themselves. I think our Ten had one stampede after this and the trouble ceased. In the hundred one, or two persons were killed and some injured. Sometimes cattle were serously damaged. One of my oxen was so seriously injured that I could not work him for some time which weakened my Team. The dif[f]iculties that ordinary emigrants passed thru, in crossing this thousand miles of desert, can never be understood only by those who pass thru them. Our Ten traveled very quietly together. In it were John Lytle and family, whose eldest daughter I afterwards married. The [John] Gray and [John H.] Rumel families; Thomas Judd and family; a man by the name of Porter and family, and others, whose names I do not recall. We encamped on the bench near the mouth of Emigration Kanyon the evening of the 16th of Oct. 1849. We had the first intimation that we were near civilization in the morning when we looked up our cattle and found them in a stray pound. They had wandered for feed, and found it in a field of grain. As we knew nothing of the probabilities of this when we camped, our cattle were returned to us with out expense.