Caleb Grant report, 12 December 1856, in Historical Department journal history of the Church, 1830-2008, 9 November 1856, 31-35.
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- Source Locations
- Church History Library, CR 100 137
- Related Companies
- Abraham O. Smoot Company (1856)
- Related Persons
- Ira Eldredge
- Caleb Grant
- G. W. A. Graydon
- Abraham Hearst
- Conrad Kleinman
- Clark D. Krew
- William Leaman
- Christian F. Neilsen
- James Rishton
- Orrin Porter Rockwell
- Abraham Owen Smoot
- Thomas Sutherland
- Jens Swansen
- James Taylor
- Franklin Benjamin Woolley
- William Shin Wordsworth
- Brigham Hamilton Young
G.S.L. City Dec. 12th 1856
The Church Train in charge of Capt. "A. O. Smoot, left Mormon Grove, K.T. on 10th day of August '56, it consisted of 22 Church Wagons, 3 A. O. Smoots, 3 B.H. Young's, 1 Erastus Snow's, 1 H. C. Kimball's, 1 Ira Eldredge's, 1 John Taylor's and 1 Travelling Carriage belonging to Capt. Smoot, also 1 Mess Wagon; At the commencement of the trip the train was much detained for want of drivers, as there were not men enough with it to move it all at once, it was moved part at a time for several days, we were then overtaken by Bro. F. B. Woolley, who had been to Florence W.T. to procure drivers, he brought some half dozen, raw hands mostly danish with wives, & with this assistance we were enabled to move the entire train at once; but the men not being acquainted with teaming it was generally afternoon before they left camp.
When we arrived at Little Muddy Fork of Grasshopper we took with us 4 Waggons of machinery, 1 Waggon with a Threshing Machine, & 1 with a steamboat boiler, & pursued our way to Big Blue with middling good speed, which point we reached at noon of 20th August, our average speed to this place was 11 or 12 miles per day—
At Big Blue we unloaded one of the waggons containing machinery & put the contents thereof into several of the church wagons, mostly those that had been lightened by consumption of provisions &, this wagon with two others that were lying here we loaded with freight, left here in storage since last year, & our teams being only barely sufficient when we started, were now badly overloaded,
the train left Big Blue on 22nd August noon.
On Monday 25th Augst. while carolled on the prairie between Big Sandy & Little Blue at 5 p.m. Christen F. Neilsen, Tvede left camp in a fit of insanity, he was tracked by Bro Smoot on the following morning 15 miles to a crossing of the Little Blue, where he supposed he'd destroyed himself, but was since informed that he had found his way back to the States,
The train reached the Little Blue on the afternoon of the 26th August, here we found 10 [illegible] head of cattle branded F.G. that had stampede from their train,
we drove them with us until Friday 29th when we overtook the Freight train of Gilbert Perrish to whom the cattle belonged & returned them to their waggon master, they left the river 13 days before we did with over 200 head of cattle, but now had only those that we took to them, their train consisted of 17 wagons & about 20 men.
At 4 p.m. of the same day, a brother aged 18 years, & named James Taylor, of Windsor, England, was run over across the chest which proved fatal in 15 minutes. He was buried at a Littlecreek 36 miles east of Kearney
On Saturday 30th Augst. at 10pm, camped 6 miles east of Fort Kearney, where we lay until Monday 10 am. reached the Fort about noon, & recd. news of the destruction of Squire Babbitt's Train & the murder of several who were travelling with him;
the remains of his train consisting of 4 wagons joined us on Wednesday 3rd Sept.
On Thursday 4th Sept. we passed Capt." Willie's train of handcarts, which were on the opposite side of the river (Platte), they were detained by losing some 30 head of cattle.
Our train lay still on the 5th inst, travelling being bad & storming hard all day,
passed Cottonwood Springs 11 a.m. on Sunday 7th inst, near the Springs we found a Californian Wagon, marked "Pacific Distillery" which had been wrecked & thee travellers killed by Cheyennes. the wagon was brought to this city,
on Thursday 11th we reached the crossing of the South Platte, at 1 p.m., the river was very shallow & hard to cross, got safely over by sundown;
on Friday 12 we carolled [corralled] on the North Platte at 10 p.m. having a safe & speedy decent of the Hill.
The train laid at the mouth of the ash Hollow over Saturday, at 2 p.m. on Saturday 13, O.P. Rockwell left our camp with the remains of Babbitts train & 1 wagon of his own & went ahead; our teams being light we had considerable difficulty in getting over the sandridge, & had to double teams considerably.
On Monday 18th inst Capt G.D. Grant's train, camp up with us; they had in company Bro. F. D. Richards & several returning missionaries, they reptd C. Thos. Margett's company destroyed by Cheyennes, also that 3 Hand Cart Trains were behind us with near 2,000 passengers; after this time we travelled fast, stopped a day at Roubideaux old station &
reached Fort Laramie on Tuesday 23rd inst noon, where we found a party of apostates about to organize to leave for the states.
laid still on Friday 26th at Horse Shoe Creek;
on Monday 29, met Parley P. Pratt's company of missionaries above Ford crossing of North Platte,
made the upper crossing of Platte Thursday 2 Oct, met here a relief wagon with flour, which we recd. & the wagon left for the valley.
reached, passed Independence rock & Devil's Gate on Monday 6th,
overhauled O.P. Rockwell's train on 7th inst[ance]
which went ahead again on the 8th.
Thursday 9th our provisions being nearly out, Bro Smoot went ahead from the 3 crossings & left Ira Eldredge in charge of the train; at this point snow was first seen by us, there was a slight fall on the mountains.
Grass being very scarce on the new Southern Road we kept the old road, crossed Rocky ridge on Sunday 12th &
reached the South Pass on Tuesday 14th, 2 p.m. &
Little Sandy on 16th 4 a.m., here Capt Smoot retd with Flour & reptd. a relief train on Big Sandy which we met the same evening & recd. from them 19 men, several span of horses & mules & wagons, also Beef, Flour & Vegetables,
left at noon of the 17th &
reached Battis's station on Green River on the 20th, it snowed hard on 19th, 20th, all day & it was very cold, Thermometer down to zero part of the time,
left our camp at 11 am. on Thursday 23rd & reached Fort Bridger, where we lightened our loading, & sent most of the females & children ahead in horse teams,
on the 27th inst we left here also 8 Wagons & their freight,
started from Bridger at noon 30th inst
& met on the 1st & 2nd of Nov about 150 teams going back to the handcarters;
on 3rd inst, we met an express from the Governor, stating that some one was to return & bring on from Bridger the wagons & freight we had left there as well as several useless & tired out cattle left there by us; for this purpose Bro. Franklin B. Woolley accompanied Bro. Russ's [illegible] the bearer of the express to Bridger, who has since arrd in safety with his charge.
On 4th Nov, noon, crossed Weber,
on Thursday 6th at daylight snow was 1 foot deep, it having been snowing all night, left camp at 10 Oclock & travelled slowly through a hard storm which continued all day, reached 300 yds from top of Big Mountain at 4 p.m. where we stopped & chained the cattle to the trees, had an extremely cold night,
in the morning of the 7th we doubled teams & reached the top, the decent was very difficult, slippery had 2 wagons capsize & 1 Break, but righted & repd them quickly & reached camp near Hatch's at dark, where we found 2 loads corn & 1 quarter of beef for us.
On Saturday 8th we camped at Willow Springs in Emigration Kanyon &
at 3p.m. of Sunday 9th reached our destination in Great Salt Lake City
Description of Passengers exclusive of the officers of the train,
American Total 26, men 13 women 5 children 8
Danish 19 10 6 3
English etc 31 18 6 7
76 41 17 18
Also Captain A.O. Smoot, Ira Eldredge[,] William Wordsworth[,] Franklin B Woolley[,] Brigham H.Young[,] C[onrad]. Kleinman Officers, Caleb Grant, Clerk