Andrus, Milo, [Letter to editor], St. Louis Luminary, 2 June 1855, 110-11.
Feeling as though any information concerning the progress and health of the camp of Israel would be gladly received by the Saints in general, I feel to employ a few minutes this evening, in communicating to you some things in relation to our present prospects.
I arrived at this place on the 12th inst., in charge of five hundred and fifty head of oxen and cows, for the benefit of our spring emigration. On arriving we found the brethren at the grove enjoying perfect health, and much of the spirit of the Lord. They had put up a small log cabin, and covered it, for the purpose of storing provisions, so we have already at this place, a store-house of the Lord's people. Garden vegetables looking green and fresh, connected with this small house, begins to make the country at the grove, look like a fruitful field.
The next day after our arrival, I started the hands to ditching in the farm, and at the present time there is nearly one miles of the ditch and sod fence completed. We expect in the course of ten days, to have the fence completed. We started the plough at the same time, and have planted about five acres of corn, potatoes, and garden vegetables. The beautiful situation at and around the grove, makes many that have not been used to a prairie country, say that they would be willing to remain at this beautiful place; but those who feel and know the spirit of truth, have no attachment to the lads whilst under the rule of Gentile influence; but they pant for water and bread of life in the far Western vallies, near the great backbone of the American Continent.
At 5 o'clock this evening, I harnessed my horses, took some of the Saints for the purpose of taking a more extensive view of the country, and all were much delighted while we were driving over the rolling hills of old Father Lehi's farms; and after a ride of about six miles; we came around to Denmark, or rather, to the camp of the Danish Saints, who have just arrived to-day, under the charge of P. O. Hanson, and whilst in their camp we learned by brother Hanson, that they were highly delighted with the country, and that they had just dismissed a public meeting which they had been holding that afternoon. Brother Hanson informed us that they had more of the spirit of the Lord in their meeting, than they had had at any other time since they have been in the upper country. They have suffered much with sickness at Leavenworth, and feel glad to think that there is a prospect of starting soon, on their journey over the plains. We anticipate, if no preventing providence should say otherwise, to start a company in about six days. There is a general good spirit prevailing, and the Saints in general feel desirous to serve God, by obeying those who are placed over them in the Lord, and all things seem to be working for the way to be speedily opened for the starting of the Saints.
I would say to my Counsellors in St. Louis—Br. Edwards and Gardiner—also, the High Council, be fathers to the flock which the Holy Ghost has entrusted to your care, and the God of peace will give you the spirit of judgment and of might. To the Saints in general, I would say, be faithful, and you shall have the privilege, ere long, of tasting in real life, the benefits of the encampment of the Latter-day Saints.
I have preached since my arrival here, three times, and find that the Lord pours out abundantly, his holy spirit, and all that love him rejoice while under its influence. We also have had a small encampment of some six wagons and families of Strang's disciples crawl under our banner and ask for the right hand of fellowship, which I proffered to give them when they would come through the waters of baptism to get it, which I think from the spirit already manifest, they will readily do when I designate the time. There are others in our camp who wished to be baptized—we shall attend to all such cases in a day or two.
I shall now close by praying my Father in heaven to bless and preserve His people. May grace be multiplied unto them that know the Lord. Amen.