Ballantyne, Richard, [Letter to Erastus Snow], St. Louis Luminary, 28 July 1855, 142.
July, 10th, 1855.
MY DEAR PRESIDENT SNOW:—Yesterday morning I wrote you from the Big Blue; but having another opportunity to send, I write a few items for your information. Every thing prospers with us thus far. We have had no cholera nor sickness of any kind, except what may reasonably be expected among so many people.
We have kept moving every day except on Sabbath, since we left the Grove; and we still have nothing to hinder our future progress. All is well, and the Lord our God is with us.
A man has just met us, who left California two months ago. He states that times are very dull in that State, and further states that everything is eaten up in the Valley, by the grasshoppers. He left the latter place on the 9th June. The grass for fifty miles on this side of the Valley is all eaten up by the grasshoppers also. The Saints intend sowing, and planting, until the 4th of July. If judgement thus visits the house of God, and the faithful, what shall the ungodly do when they are visited?
Good feed and water the rest of the way. The same gentleman states that the Sioux Indians are anxiously waiting to fight the U. S. Troops, and that the latter are afraid of them.
Some depredations have been committed on emigrants. One Captain of a train was killed near Laramie. While he shook hands with one Indian another shot him with two bullets. Another train has been robbed of eighteen horses, near the same Fort; one woman was speared, but otherwise nothing serious has been reported. It is said the Indians are willing to let the Emigrants pass through but are very eager to fight "Uncle Sam."
Captain [John] Hindley's company of our people, was at Fort Kearney ten days ago, moving forward.
[Seth M.] Blair's company, now in charge of Capt. [Edward] Stevenson, was, one week ago, at the head of Little Blue and Captain [Jacob F.] Secrist's company of Saints was, about the same time, about half way up the same river.—Health generally good in all the companies.
Having nothing more of importance to say, I conclude by wishing you good health, and long life.
As ever, yours truly,