Ensign, Martin Luther, Autobiography, in Utah State Historical Society Cache Valley Chapter, Historical resource materials for Cache Valley, Utah-Idaho, 1955-1956, reel 1, item 9, 1-2.
the Pioneers started from Winter Quarters sometime in April. We started about the
15 15th of May. Luman [Ashley Ensign] drove Bro. Frost's team; [John] Calvin [Ensign] and Rufus [Bronson Ensign]drove Mother's to the Valley. There were six companies of one un hundred wagons each, with six capt's of hundreds, 12 of fifties, 60 of tens, making one thousand wagons in all to the best of my judgment the way we were organized.
We drove close together for protection until near Fort Laramie not knowing our destination until we met some of the Pioneers that were sent back to meet us and let us know our destination. Were told it was Great Salt Lake Valley about 550 miles farther on. Were told to break un into fifties and go as fast as our teams could travel.
After leaving Fort Laramie, we left the Platt[e] and went over the Black Hills, a very hilly road but plenty of food and water and wood, coming out to the Platt[e] River again. Went up it a few days and then crossed it and went on to Independence Rock on the Sweetwater River, camped here and had a dance on the rock, it being flat on top and large enough for a cotillion. The Pioneers were here on the 4th of July and gave it the name.
We went up the Sweetwater to the dividing ridge of the Rocky Mountains. Now we came down the Western Slope. On big Sandy Creek we met the returning Pioneers, Pres. Brigham Young and Company. Datus was with them, he came back with us. Ira Eldridge's Fifty being in the lead of all the companies.
Arriving in the Valley on the 18th Sept. 5 or 6 days before any of the other companies, we drove to the Fort that the Pioneers had built around a term or block.