Sperry, Harrison, "Pioneers of 1847 Recount Experiences of the Journey Across the Plains and Life in the Old Forts in the Valley," Deseret Evening News, 14 Aug. 1920, sec. IV, p. 7.
Captains Go Ahead.
The captains of the companies would go on ahead: they would seek a camping place. After awhile, the wagons would come up, 50 wagons on one side, 50 wagons on the other side forming a great corral to put our teams in. The first thing we did was to unyoke the oxen and turn them out to graze. We would let them fill up and then about 9 or 10 o'clock at night they were brought into the corral. The bugle was sounded: "Prayer time, prayer time!" Oh how I remember that-prayer night and morning. In the morning the cattle were sent out again. When they got ready to be brought in again, the next thing was to yoke up the oxen and hitch on the wagons. The first 50 would start out the next 50 would follow. That is the way we were organized; and we traveled on, and traveled on. Wherever we could find wood, we used wood to make fires. If we could not find wood we would have to use "buffalo chips." Go and ask your fathers and mothers what those buffalo chips were, and they will tell you. That is what we used when we could not find wood; and they made a very fine fire. That is the way we got along. We would put on our dishes, cook our suppers and go to bed.
I remember one time the cattle and been turned out to feed. The bugle was sounded and the cattle all brought in. Prayer time was over soon, and we had all gone to bed when there was an old ox that come up to a wagon. He would rub, and rub, and rub. The man inside could not sleep. He got up and drove the old ox away. But the ox would come back, and he kept rubbing and rubbing. The man got up again and threw an old piece of buffalos skin over the ox's head. The ox turned and ran amongst the others in the corral, and in five minutes the whole herd was all scared and running around that corral.Cattle Break Away
We all got up and cried out. "For goodness sake, what is the matter? Are the Indians upon us?" No, the cattle have got scared." They soon broke out a wagon, and away they went. The guards on horses followed those cattle two or three miles, and finally brought them back. After they excitement was over, a young lady sleeping in that wagon came crawling out and said: "What is the matter, what is the matter?" Poor girl, there was matter enough. That young lady came here to the valleys and married. One of her girls is now working in the temple.
That is the way we crossed those plains and came here. Although the government was at war with Mexico, we placed the flag of our country on Ensign peak. I have seen that flag raised myself-and declared this American soil. We are loyal to the government. Oh, yes, we were loyal to the government: we proved it then and have proved it since.