Milo Andrus, "Correspondence: Twelve Miles Below Fort Laramie," St. Louis Luminary, 27 October 1855, 194.
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TWELVE MILES BELOW FORT LARAMIE,
SEPTEMBER 13, 1855.
DEAR BROTHER HART:
Knowing the anxiety that is felt by you and the Saints in general, now under your presidency, to hear from their brethren and sisters that are crossing the wide-spread plains of the West, to Ephraims fat Vallies. I have retired to the carriage in the evening, while some are singing the cheerful songs of Zion, others playing the violin, whilst others are saying, O, dear, how sore my legs are, to give you a short sketch of our journey, since I last wrote, and our prospects for home, knowing that it will be the only chance to communicate to you until our arrival. We wrote you last, from Little Blue; since which time, you will see by the date of this and distance, that we have travelled speedily, and with small amount of sickness and death, although in our encampment there are many old and infirm persons, yet through the blessing of the Lord, the most of them have strength to endure their journey. We have not met with any difficulty from the Indians yet, although Government has declared war against them, and blood has commenced to flow, yet we are preserved from being masacreed by the kindness of our Father that's in the Heavens, connected with our diligence in watching.
I will give you a short sketch of the proceedings of General Hearney, with the Indians. He came up with his command, one day in the advance of us, from Fort Harney, with the Indians. He came up with his command, one day in the advance of us, from Fort Harney to Ash Hollow, about seven hundred strong, and found a party of the Sioux Indians, about eight miles from Ash Hollow, and a battle ensued on the 3d, and the General sent over word to me on the 5th, and wishing me to keep an advanced guard stating at the same time that the best information that they could get, was that they had killed one hundred and twenty Indians, taken fifty-eight prisoners, mostly women; had four soldiers killed and five wounded. He stated, also, that they were going to lay out a fort a small distance below Ash Hollow, after which they calculated to proceed to Fort Laramie, and from thence to wherever they could find any of the Sioux Nation. A few miles from where we are now encamped, there is about forty of the Indians that were in the battle near Ash Hollow. Report says that they are quite reckless, and that much hostile feeling is in them. What will be the result of these matters, remains yet to be told. However, I will say that I try my best to carry out the Generals instructions, and more too, for I pray the Lord not only to be our front guard, but also to protect our rear, at the same time watching diligently.
Now, Dear Brother Hart, I should be happy to see you, and my well beloved brethren and sisters of the stake of Zion in St. Louis, and the region round about. I feel as though I only got acquainted with them, and then torn from them in an unexpected moment, but they are often in my memory and my feeble prayers are in their behalf, that they may have power to overcome and have eternal lives. My kind regards to your family and to all the Saints. I Remain, as ever,