"Correspondence," St. Louis Luminary, 6 October 1855, 182.
We are under obligations to the Hon. J. M. Bernhisel, for the following interesting letter from brothers Snow and Charlie, for which he will accept our best thanks.
FORT BRIDGER, Aug. 30, 1855.
DEAR BROTHER HART:
President Snow and myself arrived here this morning about 7 o'clock, having traveled sixty-eight miles since yesterday morning. We have been prospered on our journey, and expect to breakfast in the valley the day after to-morrow morning.
We are glad to be able to say that the emigration companies of Saints are getting along finely. Their cattle look generally well, although from the protracted drouth, grass is exceedingly scarce. We hope that before the later campanies get along here the fall rains will have caused the grass to spring up, otherwise I fear they will suffer much.
We travelled from Fort Kearney to this place without an escort. The commanding officer at Fort Kearney could not spare a dozen men to escort the mail party; but all the force on hand was ready to march against the Indians to punish them for murdering the mail party last year, and on the same ground that we were obliged to pass over, exposed to the same danger. Charming consistency. At Fort Laramie the same excuse was offered, several hundred men, but all on duty. The mail must lay by or go on through the most dangerous part of the Indian country unprotected. Brother Snow and myself left the mail party on the evening of the 17th inst., and started on alone, after commending ourselves to the protection of Heaven.
The second day out from Larimie [Laramie] we overtook the first company of P. E. Fund emigrants, in charge of Capt. R. [Richard] Ballantyne, assisted by Elders' Slorer, Pitts [William Pitt], Gardner, and Wager. They were about twelve miles beyond Larimie [Laramie] and were progressing finely. The Saints in this company seemed to enjoy the journey very much though most of them walked almost the entire distance. It was not a little wonderful to me, to see ladies with whom I was acquainted in the east, and knew as being sickly and delicate, unable to walk three and four squares, to market or shopping, without experiencing much fatigue, walk fifteen or twenty miles a day, and come into camp at night with light hearts, singing the song of Zion, and praising their God, that they were able to endure so much for the Gospel's sake. Capt. Ballantyne, is indefatigable in his exertions to promote the well being of the Saints under his charge, and enjoys the unbounded confidence and esteem of his entire company. We journeyed with this company until the morning of the 24th, when we left them two miles above Deer Creek, and drove on briskly and overtook Capt. Moses Thurston, with his company, about fifteen miles in advance of Brother Ballantyne. His company is all well. They have not lost by death a single person, cattle or horse, since their departure form Mormon Grove. We left on the same evening at 9 o'clock at the upper crossing of the Platte and drove in company with a couple of young men who voluntered to go two days travel with us. They turned back at the Warm Springs on the morning of the 27th, and we have travelled the remainder of the Journey to his place alone. The mountaineers and traders on the route are much frightened and assured us we were running serious risks to travel unguarded. But we trusted in the Lord and we have been thus far preserved. We turned our mules loose and laid down in our carriage, trusting in kind Providence to preserve us and our animals. Yesterday morning the 29th we came up to brother Blair's company in charge of Capt. Stevenson. They were all well, and getting along quite well. While I am writing this, brother Guyman is just starting out with the second company; all well.
Capt. Hindley with the first company was encamped on Bear river yesterday. We shall start in a few minutes, and on the morning of the 1st proximo, we hope to greet our wives and children and friends in the valley of the Saints.
Sister Hampton and Mary will be glad to learn that I saw Anna in Captain Thurston's company quite well, and much pleased to hear from home, and meet brothers Snow and Charlie. And sister Amanda will be gratified to know that I saw our brother Billy in brother Blair's company quite well, and we had a warm shake of the hands and an hour or two of friendly chat together. President Snow sends love to all the Saints. A kind remembrance to sister Hart, and believe me your fond brother in the Lord.
P. S. This Fort has been recently purchased by the Church, and is now occupied by the Saints. We met here some ten or twelve wagons loaded with flour going out to meet the companies, for fear they may run short; also, several yoke of oxen are going out to replace those that may have died form the effects of alkali water or other causes. C.
This letter was most likely written by Charles H. Bassett, however this has not yet been verified.