Perrigrine Sessions reminiscences and diaries, 1839-1886, Volume 1, 1845 February-1853 February, 11-13.
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....started on the 5 of June 1847[.] my sister sylvia and David started back to Lourry on the 9 of May[.] this seamed to bee all most our last look at them in this world[,] but to return to our journey at this time the Indians seamed to bee stured up against us and we dare not travil in small companies and had to keep up gards night and day[.] This caused us much trouble as men were scarse in camp as we were now six hundred men short in camp five hundred had gone to the Mexican war and over one hundred Poineers [Pioneers.] this left us with all most half the teams with out teamsters except females[.] this was a sene of things that looked hard indeed but go we must at this cricess [crisis] and under these circumstances and the God of Heaven only knew when our journey would end[,] but with a chearful heart with the whole camp we went out onto the trackless plaines with out a g[u]ide save the Allmighty whome we trusted in[.] camped about five miles with about thirty wagons[.] I was caled upon by
P.P. Parley Paraley [Parley] P[arker]. Pratt to call out a gard for the night and untill otherwise directed this I done and in the morning severil wagons came up and we started with about forty wagons in my charg[e] to see that all kept there places and were redy for any atack of the Indians[.] made a good drive to a stream caled the Papeo [Pappea.] camped againe in a storm of hale and raine thunder and litening[.] the alarm was given that the Indians had scared the cattle[.] all turned out and ran after the cattle[.] we followed them by the li[gh]tening[.] when it litened we could see them plaine and then for a moment all was dark here[.] I had on shirt hat and shoes[.] went some mile and a half and back[.] got the cattle all safe in the morning[.] built a bridg[e] and crossed the stream and traviled to the Elk horn river this about thirty five miles[.] found it very high and about one hundred and twenty feet wide[.] here I selected ten men and left the rest in charge of the camp and went up the river some five miles[.] got some dry timber[.] built a raft to cross our wagons[.] in too [two] days we were all safe across[.] at this time the wagons came as fast as we could cross them[,] I then selected some fifteen men and went to build a Publick carel [corral] to put the cattle in too day[.] I had some ten acres well fenced[.] I then raised a Liberty pole about seventy feet high with a white flag here[.] the People gathered and Organized for there journey[.] there was captins of Hundreds fifties and tens[.] here I was apointed captin of fifty the first organized and in the Company was Father John Smith the Patriarch of the whole Church & Parley P. Pratt one of the Twelve[.] afternoon we were all Organized[.] in my company was eighty seven Wagons and fifty men over fourteen and four hundred souls in all and four hundred head of Stock[.] here we had some thirty wagons with out a Man to drive them but the females volunteered to drive them my Mother [Patty Bartlett Sessions] was one of them[.] They looked hard as we had no road[.] there was six hundred and sixty wagons in all the camp here[.] we had to wate for two pieces of canon that we had left[.] this detained us severil days dureing which time we caught plenty of fish for my company[.] here I found myself with a great responsibility to keep up gards and provide for other camp duties[.] when the canon came Parley P. Pratt with me and company were apointed to lead the whole camp[.] this was another task as we had no road only what we made here I was Obliged to direct allmost the move of the Whole camp[.] Brother Pratt and I had to go a head of the camp and that And on foot to hunt out the way build bri[d]ges hunt fords acrost the streams[.] this exposed us to the Indians more than any other men but we had not traviled far before one day as we were some four miles a head of the camp we found each of us a fine horse[.] one of them had a Sadle and Bridle on this gave us much joy and a thankful heart as we found it much easier to ride than to go a foot. I will say that this was a Blessing of God to us[.] when we reached the Platt[e] river we found fresh Indian tracks and the Body of a man or his bones that had been killed but too or three days but the wolves had eaten the flesh from the bones[.] we gathered them up and Buried him and set up a sign by it[.] this told us plane that we were in danger and put us more on our gard but we procseded on our journey killing some game[.] when we got to the Loop [Loup] fork of the Platt[e] river found it high and had to travel up some forty miles[.] here we found a place to ford the river altho we had to drive all our cattle severil times a crost to tamp the quick sand so that we could cross our wagons[.] the stream about one half mile wide this hindered us too days but all got safe over[.] we then had about thirty five miles without water over a sandy plaine[.] in the after noon it began to rain[e] this furnished us with plenty of water for the stock[.] camped with out wood[.] here we found plenty of Antilope[.] killed severil[.] continued our journey to Wood river[.] this is a fine stream of water runing through a level plaine and emptys it self into the Platt[e] river[.] here we found a sign of the Poineers [Pioneers] and a letter that gave us much joy[.] I will here say that once in a while we could find the trail of the Poineers here we found where they had killed eleven Buffalow but no new sign of Buffalow[.] saw but few Indians here[.] we were amongst the Paunieges [Pawnees.] continued our journey to elm crick [creek.] here we found Plenty of Buffalow[.] here the camped all staoped to hunt[.] I selected five men in my company and started about eleven Oclock and returned the next night with some twenty five hundred lbs of meet[.] this cheared the camp[.] continued our journey until near chimney rock when the cattle of our fifty took a stampeed and they lost many cattle[.] they stoped the whole camp and I had to let fourteen yoke of Oxen go out of my company[.] this weakened our teams so that we could move but slow as our lodes [loads] were he[a]vy and the cattle began to dy [die.] here we made slow headway when near Larime [Laramie] we met Curnel [Colonel] Cane [Thomas Kane] from California with a bout forty men[.] here we met Brother Jerry Miah [Jeremiah] Willey returning from the battalion or the Mexican war[.] here we herd from the Poineers[.] this gave us all much joy[.] continued our journey to Fort Larime [Laramie.] here we bought severil yoke of Oxen repared our wagons set tier [tire] &c found the Platt[e] river very low so that we could ford it with out difficulty[.] made our way over the black hills[.] here we struck the old Californy [California] road and we found altho a hilly road[e] that we could travil much easier yet our teams were worn out and many of the cattle dying and made slow headway[.] here we left the Buffalow that we had used plenty of them for the last three hundread miles but the antilopes were quite plenty and we killed many of them[.] this was great help to the camp for food