McCune, Henry Frederick, Autobiography and diaries, 1919-1924, fd. 1, 9-13.
Our Captain, & Guide, for the journey, was a German, by the name of Jacob, Hoffeins, and was a very uncouth, and vulgar Man, but was the only Man Apostle john, Taylor, could find of our People that had any experience on the Plains, and he had recently returned from a Mission in Germany, and also had been a member of the Mormon Battalion[.] We crossed the Missouri River on a Ferry, there being no Bridges in those days across the great River, The Cattle were made to swim across, which was a very difficult task, but was finally accomplished safely, and we Camped on the Historic Ground, Winter Quarters, now known as Florence, We remained here about a month, during that time we were joined by a Company of Saints from St Louis, under the Leadership of Elder James, Hart, Apostle John, Taylor, thought it best, for the two Companies to join, under the Leadership of Hoffeins, as Capt, Hart had never crossed the Plains, Our Conjoint Company now consisted of sixty Wagons, I was now 17 years old,
We left Florence, on a beautiful June morning, for the Great West, All went well as we travelled on towards our future Home, until we came to the Loup Fork River, a very dangerous Stream, and which we had to Ford, it being full of Quicksand, made it very difficult fording, especially as we had to go up the bed of the Str[e]am, for over a mile, We put twelve yoke of Oxen on to a wagon, and was obliged to keep them in quick motion all the way or the wagons and Oxen, would sink and be lost, It took us all day to Ford the sixty Wagons across this treacherous Stream, but it was accomplished without Accidents, and every body was happy, We were now in the Buffallo country, and we encountered tens of thousands, every day, for weeks, We often had to stop, and let large herds of them cross the road before we could move on, Our Hunters, my Father [Matthew McCune] being the Chief, kept us well supplied with fresh Meat, and we dried quite a lot and brought it into the Vallys, so that we had dried meat all the following Winter, The only trouble that we encountered with the Indians, was the Stampeding of our Cattle, by which our Company lost forty head of our youngest Oxen, two of that number, were my Fathers, which crippled us greatly, We followed the trail of the Thieves for two days, It lead us into a great Desert, and we were obliged to give up the Chase, as our Horses were fagged out, and there was no feed nor water, so we were obliged to return empty handed, tired out, and very sleepy, having had no rest or sleep, for two nights, The night of our return, it came my turn to be Camp Guard on the last four hours of the night, and our instructions were, not to move about, but to sit quiet in one place, for fear that the Indians might pick us off with their Rifles[.] I took. my Post, that which was occupied by the Guard I relieved, by a wagon wheel, and in spite of all I could do, I fell asleep, with my Rifle in my arms, I was awakened by our Captain, Jacob, Hoffiens, who Cursed and Swore awfully and awoke the whole Camp, with his noise and bluster, and at the morning meeting, he proposed that I be tied to a Wagon wheel and whipped, He had no more than said the word, before the young Men with whom I had been out for the Cattle, Pounced upon him, and would have given him a severe whipping, if my Father and I had not interceded for the Wretch, But they run him out of Camp, and kept him out for three days, He became very Pennitent, and was allowed to come in, but he was no longer our Captain, By a Unanimous vote my Father was sustained as Captain of the Company, for th[e] remainder of the journey. In due time we arrived at Fort Laramie, where we found some French Traders, who had a big herd of Cattle, supposed to be Cattle stolen from other Companies, by the Indians, with whom they were in League, My Father purchased a Yoke of Oxen of them, to replace the yoke that was run off by their Emissaries, the Indians, The Plains in those days was teaming with Game, from Buffaloes, to Prarie Chickens, and Rabbits, Deer and Antelope, in droves[.] So we had all the fresh meat we could wish for, but we did not kill for Sport, but just what was needed for our daily use, That was President Brigham, Youngs, Counsel, to all of the Emigrants,
About the first of September, we arrived at a place called Deer Creek, there we met Elder N.V. Jones for the first time since he left us in India, and it was a very happy meeting, He was dressed in a Buckskin suit, and looked grand, he was a tall handsome Man, He kindly let us have a Yoke of big fat Oxen, which helped us greatly and for which we were grateful, as our faithful Cattle were drilled down very thin and weary, and were very sore footed, We arrived in Salt Lake City, on the 21st day of September, 1857, and pitched our Tent on the 8th Ward Square, Now occupied by the City, and County, Building,