Kimball, Heber C., [Letter], in Journal History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 24 Aug. 1848, 2-3.
To President Brigham Young;
Dear Brother: We are all alive and a general time of health in the camp. Helen is very sick; she had a fine boy [William Howard Whitney], born on Sweet Water, one mile this side of Sage creek, August 17th, and died on the 22nd and buried at this place. Her health is such that she cannot be removed at present. If it had not been for this, I intended to have reached you by to-morrow evening; although I have been weakened considerably by the loss of cattle, though my loss is not to be compared with many others behind, for some of them have to go along part at a time, and go back after the rest, thus being obliged to double teams to get along at all; and if I should try to come up with you now, those behind would not be enabled to reach us short of one week's time, as some of them are near three days behind, and they have in their possession, <some> of my oxen, that I have got to send back. I have counseled the brethren on these matters - they have generally decided that it would be better for us to stop here, as there is a good range for cattle, and start back our teams from this place. To-morrow morning I am intending to send back some of my strongest teams, in order to liberate the teams that are to return, or to bring up the rear of the camp. If this should meet your mind, my teams will be ready to start back
against <by the time> yours reach here, and will have a little time to rest and recruit themselves. Since I saw you last I have traveled every day, excepting on the Sabbath, as much as my teams were able to bear, and a little now <more> as many of them have fallen down in their yokes.
I have perceived that the camps ahead have suffered much loss, as we have seen the cattle strewed along the roads.
The brethren, as far as I have any knowledge, are in good spirits, and are striving to press on as fast as they can; but have to use the greatest care, to preserve their teams alive. Still I believe we shall all get through safe, and all things will work together for our good. Bro. Howard Egan will start early to-morrow morning, to come to you with these lines. I should come myself; but if I send back my teams from him <here>, I shall be under the necessity of spending every moment of my time to unload and fit them out. Bro. Loren Farr informed me he thought the teams from the Valley would reach you by Monday, or Tuesday, if nothing happened. I suppose that the teams coming from the Valley for my benefit will come directily on to this point.