Burton, Robert Taylor, 1821-1907, Autobiography, [n.d.].
On the 17th of May we started from our home in Mis[s]ouri with a team composed of two yoke of cattle and two cows and a fairly good wagon. My father and his family consisting of his second wife (Widow Smith married to him Sept. preceeding) her daughter Julia and my youngest brother Charles Edward had an outfit similar to mine.
My father-in-law John Haven and family consisting of wife and daughter Eliza Ann also accompanied the starting place for the west, where we arrived on the 21st of the month remained in this vicinity get[t]ing ready organzeing companies, etc., until the May 31, 1848. I was organized in Prest. Young's company (second ten) was the Bugler. My father and family Brother William and family were organized in Heber C. Kimball's Company.
The teams of these companies were principally oxen and cows there being but very few horses and mules. Our march therefore was necessarily slow and tedious having to travel in large companies for protection against Indians. Up the Platt[e] River we traveled much of the way four teams abreast. Some difficulty was also experienced from the vast herds of Buffalo stampeding the cattle.
On arriveing at the North Platt and up the Sweet Water not knowing how to take advantage of mountain travel selecting feed ground etc. my cattle died by drinking poisonous or alkali water. So much so that my team and many others was so reduced that we could not travel until aid was sent us from Salt Lake Valley by those who had emigrated the previous year.
After a weary march of four months arrived on the site of Salt Lake City Sept. 23, 1848 with just one half the animals I had when leaving the Mis[s]ouri.