John H. Hayes reminiscences and diary, 1867-1928, 4-5.
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From New York we traveled by Canal, Railroad, and by steamboat from St Joe [Joseph] Missouri to Florence Nebraska. in our journey we saw many U.S. troops in training[,] for that was the time of the civil war
We left Florence on the 15th August in Captain Samuel D. Whites ox train[,] it being the last company of L.D.S emigrants of the season, it had about 60 wagons. Bro Morris Son made it very unpleasant for me crossing the plains, being very harsh, and overbearing with me, but Bro Morris was very kind to me all the way and took the place of a good kind father for which there has always been a kind warm feeling in my heart[,] a feeling of love and esteem[,] and the teamsters and emigrants were very kind to me knowing that I had no relati[o]ns with me. the teamsters would some times give me a ride[.] I was only ten years of age and very small. They would sometimes take me with <them> when they went fishing.
When we arrived at the last
commisay commisary the family who had been keeping that, their name was Peak they had some boys and they came with us to Echo Canyon, they had cows and a horse to drive them with[.] they took kindly to me and the boys liked to have me with them, and we would take turns <in> riding and driving the cows and they would give me milk which I really enjoyed. and the parents wanted me to go and live with them but I wanted to get to Salt Lake City or Zion, as it was called[.] I saw quite [a] number laid away on the plains or shallow graves. the body wrapped in a blanket or sheet lowered into their last resting place with a prayer. no coffin or box just covered over with dirt and the wagons would roll on with the loved ones mourning <leaving an unmarked grave>. We experienced some quite cold weather on the way,
we arrived in Salt Lake City or Great Salt Lake City as it was then known on thursday evening Oct 15th 1863 being just two months crossing the plains and four months and eighteen day from Wingate to Salt Lake City