Felt, N. H., "Correspondence from Bishop N. H. Felt," The Mormon, 15 November 1856, 3.
Correspondence from Bishop N. H. Felt.
FORT LARAMIE, Sept. 19, 1856.
DEAR PREST. TAYLOR: Thinking it would be interesting to you, to learn of our whereabouts at this time, I take the liberty of sending you a few lines to inform you of our good health, and prosperity. We have passed through a dangerous country where many deeds of horror have been perpetrated this season, but we have been greatly favored, not even having, scarcely met an Indian, since leaving Fort Kearney to this place, though no doubt they watched us closely. Twelve miles west of North Bluff Fork, Bro. [Almon] Babbitt's train was attacked by the Cheyennes, two men killed, also, Mrs. Wilson's child and herself probably taken prisoner, and worse than death; this was below Kearney. While at Kearney we learned by a soldier from Laramie that Thos. Margetts and family and Jas. Cowden and family had been killed; the soldier had been in company with them a day or two, but had left them a short time in pursuit of a Buffalo, and on his return found the Indians robbing and burning the wagons, and saw the bodies of Margetts and Cowden and one of the woman,—the child still crying at the side of the wagon.
Col. A. [Almon] W. Babbitt, after leaving his wagons, which had been recovered from the Cheyennes, by the Omaha's and placed them in charge of O. P. [Orrin Porter] Rockwell, started ahead with two men, since which no trace of him has been found, he should have been here eight or ten days ago. No. doubt, he and his companions have met with the same fate. He would listen to no counsel, but would go on with so small a party. There has been several other murders of single men, travelling the road, the particulars of which we could not gather.
The brethren send their best respects. Accept my own also, with the same to all the brethren in the office and the Saints in New York.
Excuse the haste necessary in writing this, and believe me, yours in the Gospel.
P. S.—We have passed Capt. [Edward] Martin's, [William B.] Hodgett's, [James G.] Willey's, [Abraham O.] Smoot's, and Rockwell's, trains, all in good spirits and health, and rapidly pushing their way to the valley.
Several returning Mormons are here, quite disheartened from proceeding on, hearing of the dangers of the road. We met some also who where turning back to Laramie with O. P. Rockwell's train.
[According to the date of this letter it should have arrived here by the preceding mail. Though the information it contains relative to Col. Babbitt has been anticipated and already published, we give the letter entire, as no doubt, many of Elder Felt's friends will be pleased to hear from him and of his passing through the Indian ground that far safe.—ED]