Marriner W. Merrill journal and reminiscences, 1888-1894, Volume 2, 1888, 11-13.
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However on June 17 we arrived at Council Bluffs with Our company of eight waggons, and campe[d] neare the Missouria [Missouri] River and Made Our arrangement to be Ferried across on a large flat boat managed by Oarsman[.] in a few days we succeeded in all getting across the River safely with Our Waggons, Teams and Out fit and on the first day of July we left the Missouria river with 13 Waggons in Our Company and winded Our way slowley to the Rockey [Rocky] Mountains[.] Nothing Serious Occureing to impede o[u]r progress. Some little incidents Occureing acasionally to cause a sad feeling in Camp[.] on one acasion I came near being drowned in the plat[te] river but through the Blessings of the Lord and the Kind aid and assistance of one Bro. John Reese a welch [Welsh] Bro. with one eye and who now live in Benson Ward Cache Stake[.] He being an excel[l]ent Swimmer Save me from a wattery grave, by assisting me from the middle of the River where I had lodged on a sand bar, being thus saved we proceeded on Our way with Joy and thanksgiving; and on another Ocasion we were stop[p]ed by a large band of Some five Hundred Hostile Sue [Sioux] Indians who placed themselves across the Road and stop[p]ed Our teams, and made a demand on us for Coffee Flour Shugar Tobacco &c, we complied Cheerefully with their wishes because we had too, and it was Our Onely Safety, after Receiveing our presents they Reluctlantly let us pass on Our way. we also had one smale [small] Stampede with Our teams as they were Hi[t]ched to the waggons but without serious damage. we also encountered Maney large Herds of wild Buffelow which at times came neare Stampeeding Our team, but by useing caution and stop[p]ing our teams, what seemed to be a pinding Calamity was everted [averted]. these Herds of wild Buffelow was often seen on the Lareme [Laramie] plains and west of there by the Thousands proba[b]ley ten to fifteen thousand in a drove and Covering many Acers [Acres] of ground. Buffellow are a Spice [specie] of wild Cattle, larger on an average than Our Common Cattle, and very firocisous [ferocious] looking, with long Hair and usually coarse and all