Bagley, Will, and Rick Grunder. "I Could Hardly Hold the Pen," Overland Journal 27, no. 3 (2009): 48-78.
[June] 30 T[h]irsday pleasant moring tuck liave of Wyoming and (it is ant much of much place) at 7 A.M. our hor[s]es cost 3.40 dollars wagon 1721/2 all ready to go paid 7 dollars for bord haus rent and all the things that we got for Ja[ne] while she was sick and David worked to the amont of 30 doller has acted the man with us we have nothing to regreet of taking his [council?] he said that he will see to Janes greave while he stays. We are in camp10 miles from Wyoming the mules start[ed] last night
July the first 1865  stampeded last night 1 Friday the first night in camp the hor[s]es were tied to the wagon they keep up such a fuss that we did not sleepmu much we lay here till 4 oclock P.M. fo[un]d the muels started went 7 or 8 miles incamped for the night no road. watter a mile or more off
2 Saturdy had a puty good night's rest the muelsstamp[ed]ed but they caught them befor they got far Eli injoys himself somuch he was so tickled to get to [ride?]forded the [w?]eeping watter stoped 10 A.M. to feed got some wood to take a long went on 2 P.M. incamped for the night the muels runaway just after dark they tuck one of our horses and went after them did not git all till moring
3 Sundy it looks vary much like rain on the move again have to stop on acont of rain we saw two h[ou?]ses yesterday it is a nice level country we have come to salt crick and are wateing to cross and some a cross we doubled teames the team that went a head of us stuck fast and had to be helped out this is the worst plase that we have had there is a little town [Ashland, Nebraska] here I got some east pattaters [potatoes] and some fresh fish. got some well watter Eli has the diree we think it is caused by drinking th slew water stoped on the banks of salt crick for dinner on the road a gain incamped on the [prairie?] no wood nor water that is fit to drink
4 Mondey a [glaisous?] moring [side?] hurts Eli is quite sick dont eat any thing started 6 A.M. I dont knowhow many miles we come have a nice road past 50 wagans past [Capt?] Chase comp[e?]ny camped near
5 Tuseday a vary hard storm all night had a hard time to keep Eli dry the rain come [in?] to the wagan the roads so bad that that we did not start till 2 P.M. the roads vary bad went 6 miles Eli vary sick in camped for night with Chase ox teams got some milk for Eli to eat a little for the first since he has bin sick
6 Wensday traveld 25 Miles vary bad to have sickness at home much worse on the way with not room to do anything we past servel ox trains
7 Thrsday a beatiful morning on the road at 7 A.M. Eli still sick came to sand in the road vary hard for hor[s]es. got to the plat reaver incamped by its sideEli vary sick it looks like rain.
8 Friday nice moring Eli did not rest well was vary uneasy all night is vary weak on the roads at 7 A.M. the roads sandy hard to travel incamped on for dinner on the banks of the plat we tuck Eli to the rever in the shade of a tree the first that we have had since we s[tar?]ted he has ben laying still ever since what he has not done since he was sick started at 2 P.M. vary teatrous [tedious?]incamped for the night Eli vary faint
9 Satterdy it rained a little I did not see much of the road to day had the wagon shet up. it was so windy and Eli was so sick I had no time for looking a round stoped for dinner a mile and half from the rever David has gone to watter the horses and fetch a bucket of water 2 P.M. found us on the move again we now and than see a house made of sods with grass growing over them rether late when we stopt to night
10 Sunday nice day Eli rested a little better last night and this for[e]noon he wont eate enything.
11 Monday Eli is vary sick I had a chill this efternoon we got some good well water incamped for the night therewas a storm in the eaveng it rained nearly all night had a nother chill comenced with the dis[en]tary not able to git up in the moring.
Here my journal stoped not being able to write so I write from memory now here was a trying time to all I tried to wate on Eli he lay in the bed with me we had o[n]ly one wagon0 not knowing how to fix up to be com[f]ertible. in a day or two Moses was taken down had to go to one of the captins [wagons?] David had to drive for two ladeys to git Yong to bring our fruit in th ox trains he was sick not able to attend to his team if it cud bin helped Susy drove our taim and done all she cud for us she being all the one that was well in a few days Moses was able to tend to his team. you that have never bin on the plains hant much idee how they git along evry body seemes to have as much as they want to do without wating on sick folk, so we had to help ourselvs as well as we cud sufice to say that we all wered [wearied?] along Eli still growing weaker the extream heat on those plains and the desise being a trouble <and> meny timesnot vary conven[ien]t to attend too. at noon they woud lay Eli and me under the wagon in the hot sand for a chaing [change?] poor little fellow he bore it pastenly he was reduced to a skelton the mosketos and flies were vary troublesome. we traveld on from day to day not takingany place to stop the indians being hostil. they have to gard there anamils and there camp so that one or two wagans cant stop or travel alone in safety
in this way day after day went till the 25 of Augast when our dear little son was reliaved from his soffering by death we had in camped in the eaving he had bin more resless then common. th[e]y had him up more and he had aholt of the lines he was so weak he cud not hold his headup. th[e]y all went to sleep Susy in the fore part of the wagon Moses and David under it I was so weak I cud not move the lite so it woud not shine in his eys they thoughtthat I woud not live from one day to anothr about med night I saw that he was going. I cald to Moses but he was gone by the time he got there he died vary easy. stopdear reader and think a moment there hundreds of miles from siverliations we must live him. he lay in bed with me till 3 A.M. when he was taken out by the Captin no one can tell my fealing when his little feet was drug over me he was taken to a tent where there was a little boy that had died the after noon before, and was fixed for burel th[e]y tuck 2 cracker boxes and put them to gather and put a blanket in them laid him on. then lapt a nother round. th[e]y carried me to the grave so I mite see him laid in. here we leaft him a little after sunrise on the 25 of August and persued our joiyney
from day to day thar was servel died in our compny one man shot himself but these little boys was the first. <that died> we wrote to our relations for help but the distince was so grate and it not being safe to travel th[e]y cud not do anything for us. in traveling a cross these planes the dust fe will flie so that you cant see and the alklie in it makes it more disgrable there being norain after you live the plat till you git to the mountians but some times you will have hot winds that feel as if it come off fire
It was at pole creek that we baurd Eli 130 miles east of fort Lirme his loss did not improve my hea[l]th I was better and worse sometimes so I cud git out of the wagon and others times had to be helpt. I was carried all the wayon a bed except the first 10 days[.] when we got to green rever we heard of my twin brother death he was killed in little Cottonwood Canian by some log where he had some men at work roling logs one of them struck a pile of rocks witch scaterd them in all directions one of them struck himon the head and prost[r]ate him he was taken up senseless and never spoke after wards he was bured the 19 of August on the 23 while we were in camped in echo kanion on a cont of rain my sister Sarah and 2 of her sons, one of my oldest Phebe's deceased twin, Bishop John Mills Woolleybrother sons came up to meet us it was in the afternoon we lay there till moring then they put there ho[r]ses to our wagon (our horses having the distemper and poor[)]and tuck Moses (he being not vary well) Susie and my self leaving David and M[ilt?]in to come with the train Got in to Salt Lake City on the 25 of August 2 P.M. my oldest and yongest brothers had gone out to meet us we came in over the little muntian they went around Now we were at our joney end bing 57 day on the plains. we were glad and soryto[o]. glad to git thrugh and Suray to think that we had to live [leave] 2 of our childern on the way. the oldest and the youngest.
(transcribed by Rick Grunder, courtesy of Will Bagley)