Jacobs, Zebulon, to Brigham Young, 15 Aug. 1868, in Brigham Young, Office Files 1832-1878, reel 44, box 32, fd. 16.
August 15th 1868
Pres. Brigham Young
Having a few leasure moments, as we have just camped for noon. I take this opportunity of writing to you. This is the first time we have struck the Stage road since leaving the Platte, so our oportunitys for sending letters have been limited.
I am happy to say the health of the saints is as good as could be expected. through the changes of food & water a few are troubled with the disentary, but none are dangerous ill. one or two of the sisters are pretty low through old age but they are <improving> At Green River we left bro J.J. Jeans who had been ill for several days, with something like the pluricy
as it was dangerous for him to travel his wife stopping with him. bro Louis Robinson was very kind & said he would do what he could to bring him round.
While fording the Platte, one of the young brethren by the name of James Powell, (age 18) went too far down the riffle (which was contrary to the Captains orders), the water being rapid, he steped on a stone (so they say that saw him fall) & fell, the current taking him into deep water, before any assistance could be rendered by those on the bank or the edge of the water. his body was searched
after <for>, but could not be foun[d]. After crossing the Platte we turned off the main road, & came by Rolling Springs. the road was pretty good with com some sand in places[.] we struck the Sweet Water 10 miles above the Devils Gate[.] I presume you have been informed concerning the dash made by the two Indians on Capt. [Chester] Loveland's train, in case you have not I will give you a brief sketch, as near as I can. The teamsters were just driving the anamiles [animals] up to make a start after nooning. one of the anamiles hapened to get mired in the stream. when most of the boys went to get it out, the Indians made a dash into the heard firing two shots at one of the boys; they succeeded in getting 48 or 50 head, which they tried to get into the mountains but at several points, but were foiled by one of the boys being on a fast horse who turned them. after getting through what is called whiskey gap they managed to get all the anamiles away from the indians but 4 or 6 head, finding them selves to hotly persude they took these & started for the Sweet Water[.] aftering chasing them for near 25 miles a couple of the boys on the fastest horses over took them. the Indians as is their custom tried there ingenuity at tretche[r]y, in which the boys were too wide-awake, & shooting one dead, the other breaking for the rocks which were close at hand, which he reached but not untill he was brought to the ground twice, by two shots, which struck him while running, the boys say he could not recover[.] they did not follow him, not knowing how many might be lurking in the neighbourhood. they took the anamiles, also those the Indians were riding & made good their retreat. Several horsemen supposed to be indians were seen the next day; a vigilant watch was kept up all the way by both trains
We have been traveling (both trains) near each other.
<All the way> up the Sweet Water [Sweetwater] the feed & camping places were excelent there being no traveling along that way to eat off the feed.
The Saints are feeling well, and so far, have enjoyed their journey across the plains, & we all feel to thank the Lord for his preserving care in bringing us safe thus far towards our mountain Home.
I remain your brother in the Gospel. Zebulon Jacobs
[a variant abbreviated version also available in Zebulon Jacobs, [Letter], in Journal History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 15 Aug. 1868, 3]