Tanner, Rebecca Estella Moore, Children on the Trail, 1- 2.
Trail excerpt transcribed from "Pioneer History Collection" available at Pioneer Memorial Museum [Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum], Salt Lake City, Utah. Some restrictions apply.
We lived [Pottawattomie County, Iowa] there until June 1852 (the year Rebecca would turn eight), then started for Utah in the T. C. D. Howell Company. He [Howell] was Captain of the fifty, and Albert Merrill was Captain of our ten. I walked most of the way across the plains helping to drive the sheep and cattle.
One Sunday we were camped at the Elk Horn River. I wandered off alone and was walking along the bank where dirt had been washed out. Suddenly the dirt gave way, and one of my feet went into the water. I saved myself by throwing my body against the bank for there was nothing to catch hold of. Had I fallen in they would never have known what became of me. After that I didn't wander away, but I didn't tell the folks about it until I was grown.
The Sweetwater is a very crooked stream; one day we forded it 12 or 14 times. There was heavy emigration that summer, both of Saints and gold-seekers. The cholera was bad, but we didn't get it in our company. There were fresh graves all along the way for miles. In one place wolves had dug up a body; it was lying by the side of a grave. The men got their shovels and buried it again.
I remember stopping at a spring one noonday along the way, though I don't remember just where it was, but there were a lot of litte shells about the spring. I picked up one, perhaps an inch long, and a head came out of the shell and cut my finger just like a sharp knife would have cut it. It bled quite freely, and I was badly frighteded. I kept that to myself also for I was afraid of getting a scolding.
When we came to the foot of the big mountain, we camped there one Sunday. The men killed a buffalo and took oxen to drag it into camp so we could all see it. I remember that the meat tasted very good. There was a great pile of wagon irons there, and we thought there had been a company of emigrants killed by the Indians, who had also burned the wagons. . .
On Monday morning we started up the big mountain, and reached the top in the evening. Just as we got on top, one of the tires of Aunt Sarah Head's wagon, which her brother Curry Moore was driving, broke and lay right out. He saw it and called "Whoa," and the tired oxen stopped at once, so the wheel was not damaged. Father measured the tire, took one of his horses and rode back down to where the wagon irons were and found a tire. That was quite a job. We made dry camp on top of the mountain. It took Father most of the night to get back with the tire. It was quite a risk, because the Indians were bad and it was a very dark night. There were thousands of Indians, but many of them were quite friendly with the Saints.
Early in the morning we went down the big mountain and ate our breakfast by a clear stream of water.
It was a hard trip across the plains, 1000 miles from Missouri to Salt Lake. Some parts of the way was pretty hard on the wagons, through the Black Hills, in Wyoming, this side of Laramie, the roads were very rocky."