THE JOURNAL BEGINS on Tuesday, August 18th 1846 at Spring Creek [Chautaugua County, Kansas]
ENDING on January 13th 1848
Tuesday 18th August (1846) done our wash. Last night drew catridges for time of need as 30 or 40 head of 'our beef cattle were missing & found by the Indians in order to get a bounty for finding them; we intend to put a stop to such things. Last night was severe on our Guard on account of Rain through the night.
['While here, Robert S. Bliss found a bee-tree containing twenty or more pounds of nice honey, which made him and his immediate friends an excellent repast." --Daniel Tyler, History of the Mormon Battalion, Page 139.]
Wed. 19th took up the line of march passed a beautiful country of Prairie, Timber & Mounds, some of the latter were at an elevation of 50 or 100 ft. above the Prairie elevation, with beautiful lime stone Rock on the top were roads that lead to Oragon & Santa. Encamped 4 miles from the place we left last on the brow of a hill where just as a storm was about reaching we had hardly time to pitch our tents before the storm came down upon us it tore our tents from their fastenings overturned our light Waggons & prostrated men to the ground. The vived lightning & the roar of the Thunder & Hail caused Horses & Mules to brake from their fastenings & flee in every direction on the wide Prairie; the, tender Female was alike exposed to the rude elements as the men Lieutenant Ludington cariage was overturned with his Wife & Mother in it & our Orderly's Carriage was sent before the storm 15 or 20 Rods & he in pursuit of his Wife in it he succeeded in extricating her from the Carriage to be exposed to the Rain & Hail. Still amidst all of our exposure none were seriously injured.
Thur. 20th. lay in camp to repair Waggons & gather up the Fragments that were scattered by the late storm. This afternoon were called together for Preaching 5 of our Brothering
Spoke upon our present salvation the Principals that should guide us on this expedition the Spirit of God was manifest attended the word in Power.
Friday 21st 1846. Ascended one of the highest mounds on the right of our camp & seated myself on a Rock to view the scenery below for 20 miles to the Northwest I viewed the course of the Kansas River on the south lay an extensive Prairie with high Bluffs & mounds in the distance on the west ran another stream of water skirted with timber & Prairie with a chain of high bluffs to west & South some 50 ft. below saw a beautiful mound in form of a Piramid with a pile of stones on top; a little farther lay our Battalion encamped farther still lay encamped a company of horsemen. While admiring the scenery around me I heard the hum of Bees & soon found them. I then returned to Camp and invited some particular friends & we had a Rich repast on so high an Elevation . [2 "R S. Bliss, the nimrod of the Battalion, here found another bee-tree, and provided another treat for himself and friends." --Daniel Tyler, History of the Mormon Battalion, p. 140. On this date also the Documentary History of the L. D. S. Church shows that a collection was taken, and Robert S. Bliss sent $5.00 to the poor presumably in Winter Quarters."]
Saturday 22d resumed our march through a beautiful Prairie intersected with small ravines & cuts with occasinly high bluffs covered with limestone Rocks one place in particular was only wide enough for a Road this day our Pilot is very sick there is considerably sickness now among us but as we rise
above the Missourie it is more healthy although water is bad¡ & very scarce for the last few days encamped at Elm Grove.;
Sun. 23d started early & traveled over Prairie with scarsley any, timber in sight. Halted after traveling ten' or twelve miles' to let our mules graze. While seated on the ground with my gun and equipage laying by my side a little retired from the' bustle of the camp my thoughts go with speed to the Land I have left to my Family & kindred the Authorities of the Church by whose comand I came on this expedition & I feel to Bless them in my heart & ask my Heavenly Father to Bless them in the Name of Jesus Christ. Traveled 25 miles & encamped on 110 mile creek.
Monday 24th resumed our march over beautiful Prairie & encamped at Beaver Creek this eve News came into camp that a soldier was shot by the Indians a short distance ahead of our Battalion & 3 Indians were shot by the Guard while in the act of stealing their horses an occurrance I am told is common in this country, this night stood Guard for the first time with my Gun loaded; on our march.
Tues.. 25th. Started early over Prairie & encamped on a stream of water.
26th Marched about 14 miles.
Thur. 27th marched to Councel Grove & encamped; this evening an old lady Died in Capt. Hunt's Family we buried her near the encampment.
Friday in camp.
Sat. 29th At the sound of the Drums muffled we were called to pay our respects to Lieut. Col. Allen our late commander who died at Fort Leavenworth after our march from that place; our Battalion formed in a Grove near by & listened to a Pathetic Discourse from Sgt. George P. Dikes from Rom 5c l8v also an affectionate exotasion from Capt. Hunt of Comp. A.
Sunday 30th 1846 We burried the Husband of the Lady tha died on the 27th John & Jane Boscough they were buried side by side on the west bank of the creek near our encampment we carryed Rock from the Bluff built a wall 7 by 10 ft. around their Graves and covered the graves over with stone level with the wall & left them to sleep till the Resurrection.
Monday August 31st took up the line of march in company with Col. Prices command; encamped 15 miles at Diamond Springs. Mustered at 5 O'clock for Inspection; there is about 20 sick or unable to do duty in our company. We are aboutt one mile higher here than at Fort Leavenworth which will make us more healthy. Timber has been scarce since we left Kansas River & we expect to see but little timber for a thousand miles ahead our Fuel is small brush & Buffalo Dung. Econemy has taught the Soldiers to dig a trench & build a fire in the trench for to cook their food.
Tuesday September 1st 1846 traveled 15 miles over one continued Prairie & encamped at a spring & general watering place this evening used the customary fuel of this country for cooking (viz) Buffalo Dung, I observed many bones about the spring which has been a great resort for wild animals.
Wednesday 2d traveled as usual 20 miles & encamped at Cotton Wood fork near a Buffalo Lick.
Thur. 3d marched 22 miles & encamped on the Prairie at a watering place.
Friday 4th 1846 Again took up the line of march after a Rainy uncomfortable night over Prairie as usual I observed today many strange herbs & plants & this afternoon for the first time saw the Prickly Pear growing on the Prairie & some vines resembling our domestic Squash. For the past few days our water has been bad & many sick among us; we encamped at a watering place 24 miles from our last camp little arcansas.
Sat. 5th Marched 18 m. & encamped on a beautiful stream of water. We have now fairly entered the Buffalo Country saw 4 dead buffalo the soldiers had killed & are told ahead they are so thick that it is dangerous traveling for they when frightened will rush & brake through even the ranks of soldiers.
Sun. 6 Last night a strong Guard was detailed as a large body of Indians were near us; traveled about 14 miles on the Desert so called as there is no wood or water for a long distance, the Prairie has been fed so long by the herds of Buffalo that there is little grass growing; passed a number of Buffalo which had been killed by soldiers & left after taking some of the choicest meat; we can see herds of Buffalo feeding at a distance; we passed a singular mound today and encamped on the Desert where there is Buffalo Dung sufficient for any army to cook by.
Mon. Sept 7th
At the Beat of the Drum we struck our tents & marched forward at daylight; on our way Lieut. [Philemon C.] Merrill
shot a buffalo calf which was fine meat. Encamped this day on Walnut Creek a large Buffalo came among our cattle & was shot just outside of our Guards I counted 14 rinkles on his horns he was judged to weigh 16 or 18 hundred a noble fellow he was. It is astonishing to see the ground stamped, worn, hoofed & trod up by these old fellows.
Tues. 8th Marched 26 miles passed a very curious pile of Rocks which has many names on the same put my name on the same. Passed many village Dogs. I stood guard today. Rainy night, heard them bark at us as we passed our men killed a number of Buffalo today one was drove almost on the Rear Guard which was soon killed.
Wed. 9th. Marched 5 miles & encamped while on our march I picked up a paper enclosed in two rappers reading thus "look out for Indians for one of our men was killed supposed by a Camanche" signed by an officer & dated May 18th 1846. Killed 1 Buffalo today.
Thur. 10th Marched 16 miles & encamped.
Friday 11th Marched 10 miles to the Arcansas River & encamped the River is about as wide as the Missourie & litterly filled with sand. A little pure water runs on the top but the sand is so hard that Buffalo cross on the sand where they please we see their paths, in all directions & while I write there is a herd coming towards the camp.
Saturday Sept 12th 1846 Started early & marched up the River about 20 miles & encamped oposite an Island.
Sun. 13th Marched up the River 22 m. & encamped.
Sun 14th Continued our march 20 m. & encamped still on the Arcansas River.
Monday 15th Marched 17 m. & crossed the River & encamped on the oposite shore; here we overtook 5 companys of Col. Price's Regiment here the road forks one to fort Bent & the other to Santa Fee.
Tues 16th Lay in camp to cook provisions as we have 40 miles to go without wood or water; today the Familys who have been in our company so far left us for Fort Bent [Bent County, Colorado] a Guard of ten men were detailed to accompany them parolled 30 days to join us at Santa Fee.
Wed. 17th Started over the most dreary desert I ever beheld. I had forgot to mention the death of a man in the 5th company who was buryed this morning on the banks of the Arcansas about noon found a little muddy water for our mules this day saw a human skull with a ball hole in the forehead saw hundred of buffalo & Antelope today.
Thur. 18th Traveled all day without water & little food encamped at dark at a pool of Brackish sulfer water.
Friday Sept 19th Started at daylight & traveled till past noon & reached plenty of Good water.
Saturday 20th Continued our journey over the Desert & encamped at the next Watering place saw another human skull today; we are 60 or 70 miles from the Arcansas River.
From the 20th until Wed. 23d but little took place worthy of note only a continued barren Desert our water much of it is so salt it is difficult to use it last night we were visited by a storm of vived Lightning. I would mention that I have been sick since we crossed the Arcansas River but am now better so as to be able to keep my journal again. On the 22 we passed the Battle Ground of Indians our Pilot was passing at the time he says he had encamped & in the morning 4 or 5000 Camanches & Pawnees came down in the valley & had a Great Battle.
Thur. 24th Traveled as usual & encamped on a stream made within a few days we passed 90 head of mules that froze to death 1 year ago this month.
Frid. 25th. Continued our journey as usual.
Sat. 26th Passed many Rocky Peaks today & encamped so as to obtain some cedar &c. for cooking.
Sun. 27th Marched 12m & encamped our teams are failing all the time for there is no grass for them to live on or so little they are left one by one on the Desert as we go.
Mon. 28th Marched 12 or 14 miles passed Cotton Wood Spring a pool of tolerable good water & encamped at a pool of water; my health is improving fast for which I thank my Heavenly Father.
Tues. September 29th Traveled about 10 m. and encamped on Rabbit Ear Creek in sight of two peaks called Rabbit Ears, last night Bro. [Elijah N.] Freeman brought in one Antelope & 1 Turkey which he killed yesterday.
Wed. 30th Marched 20 miles took supper & continued our march 7 miles further making 27 miles today.
Thursday Oct. lst. 1846 Continued our march before sunrise went 3 miles & halted 5 hours to refresh & give our teams a chance to graze. Continued our journey about 20 miles and encamped.
Fri. Oct. 2 Started before breakfast halted at a spring at the side of a high Rocky Peak for Refreshment. Continued our March 20 miles & encamped on a stream of water called the Red River.
Sat. Oct. 3d Marched 6 miles & encamped here 50 of our strongest men were Detailed to go on by a forced march to St. Fee & we are promised by that means to go on over the Mountains this fall if they get to Santa fee by the 10th of Oct. So the sick & half of our men are left to come on by easy marches as we can to Santa fee to meet our brothering there but I fear treachery.
Oct. 4th Sunday Marched 18 miles to Waggon top mountain & encamped in the Gap of a ridge of mountains here we found the best grass for our teams we have seen for 300 m.
Mon. Oct. 5th. Stayed here untill 12 o clock & again took up the line of march for Santa Fee traveled 25 miles and encamped on a stream of water near the 1st settlement of Mexicans about 90 or 100 miles from St. Fee.
Tues. 6th Lay in camp.
Wed. 7th Marched 20 miles & camped near a Spanish village here we saw 3000 sheep & 200 Goats & numerous herds of Cattle they are herdsmen they have fine gardens.
Thur. 8th passed through the town of Bagus this with their Farms are watered by ditches cut to carry it in every direction for 300 miles past it has been one vast Desert but this is a beautiful country of mountains & valleys of Water, fine pine & Spruce trees &c Traveled 21 miles over mountains, through vallies passed two towns today.
Frid. 9th Continued our march about 8 miles & encamped near a Town.
Sat. 10th Marched about 10 or 12 miles and encamped, we are now traveling among Mountains covered with Rocks pine and evergreens.
Sun. 11th Started on our march at 4 o clock traveled 6 miles & halted for Breakfast near an ancient City in ruins, the Temple was a great curiosity no one knows when it was built it was in ruins 200 years ago & it has every appearance of an Old Nephite City the Rooms doors carvings painting & Hireoglifics were a great curiosity the bones of their Dead also. Camped 15 miles from Santa Fee.
Oct. Mon. 12th Started early and halted at a spring 9 miles from St. Fee I am now sitting by an ancient wall built in a circle what it was for I know not. Continued our march and arrived in Santa Fee a little after sunset. Santa Fee Numbers 4 or 5000 Spanish Inhabitants the city is built of Dried Bricks one story high flat Roofs &c. There is 4 or 5 churches one I counted 5 Bells in its mud steple, it Resembles thousands of Brick kilns unburnt, all of the towns we have passed is like this in appearance, the Fort now being built will make it a strong place, the Gold mines is 35 miles from here, the American Flag waves gracefully here it is silk probably 30 by 15 feet.
Mon. October 19th took up the line of march for California. Marched 6 miles & encamped, this day I am one of the Rear Guard the first time I have been on Duty since I left the Arcansas River on account of sickness.
Tues. 20th March 14 miles.
Wed. 21st Marched 22 miles & encamped on the Rio Del Norte.
Thur. 22d Marched 14 miles in the valley of the River Spanish towns are plenty this is a beautiful River-& Wild Geese are plenty.
Frid. 23d. Start early bought Grapes of the inhabitants of the Raisin kind sweet & delicious; passed Towns dayly. Marched 12 miles & encamped near a Town.
Saturday 24th Crossed the Rio Del Norte by wading the valley spreads wider & the mountains are disappearing. Made ten or twelve miles today.
Sun. 25th Traveled about 10 miles passed a number of Towns & encamped near a town, the Inhabitants are very friendly and sell us corn flour Apples Grapes Eggs &c &c.
Monday 26th Saw pumise stones dayly in this valley. Marched about 12 miles in the Advance Guard & encamped near another Town; this valley is thickly settled by the Spanish & Indians the Indians are the most inteligent of the two & the most noble in appearance. We are now about 100 miles from Santa Fee down the Rio Del N.
Tues. 27th Marched 10 or 12 m. through almost a continued Town of Spanish & Indians saw many beautiful farms and vineyards with Peach & Apple orchards.
Wed. October 28th 1846. Last night the rain was severe in the valley but on the mountain snow this day made 12 miles.
Thursday 29th A beautiful day warm as summer in the valley but the mountains on each side are white with snow came 10 or 12 miles & encamped near the last town but one (San lorenzo) untill we arrive at the copper mines.
Sat. 31st.. passed a large Town & encamped beyond it on th River bottom after supper mustered for Inspection this is beautiful valley we can see the snow capped mountains near a Town in ruins on our right encampment.
Sun. 1st Nov. 1846. The Spanish are subject to depredations of the Indians who sally forth from the mountains & drive off flocks & destroy towns &c. This day came 15 miles.
Mond. 2d. Came about 10 miles this day came to a rude Guide board to direct us on Gen. Kearneys Rout which only said Mormon Trail.
Tues. 3rd Nov. 1846 Marched about 15 miles & encamped, (this day on Guard) this morning was Inspected to see if every man was prepared to go in to Action if called upon as it is rumored a Mexican army intends to stop us; this is a fine valley but cannot be settled at present here on account of Indian Depredations.
Wed. 4th Last night after we camped a man by the name of James Hampton [Company A] Died suddenly he was buried on the Bank of the River where we camped; and the camp moved on this morning as usual about 18 mi. encamped near a singular Pyramid of earth & gravel standing on a bluff here an Express came to us that an Army of Mexicans was intending to cut us off.
Thur. 5th replenished our cartridges & lay by all day this Eve were ordered if we heard the alarm of two Guns fired all hands were to be ready for the enemy at a moment but no alarm was given therefore we returned thanks to our protector &c &c.
Frid. 6th Commenced our march again over one of the most hilly roads I ever traveled and arrived at the place where Gen. Kearney left his waggons to cross the mountains with Pack Mules; here we encamped; our Spies are out & there is signals agreed upon for our protection against our Enemies; this country is barren of timber except cottonwood on the River bottom; last Sunday we passed a pool of water I think as salt as any Pickle for meats; we can see large Bear tracks & plenty of Beaver signs; Bro [Elijah N.] Freeman [Company B] brought to camp wood cut by the Beavers 6 in. through & this was not half so large as they construct their Dams with we are now on half rations & only 60 days Rations from Santa Fee & we expect it will take us at least 120 days to go to the Pacific Ocean or Bay of San Francisco our teams are tiring out & we expect a hard time if we are not intercepted by an Enemy; we are cheerful & happy notwithstanding we have to carry our Guns accoutrements Napsacks Canteen haversacks & Push our Waggons all day over hills which are not few nor far between & we expect still greater difficulties when we leave this River to cross the Mountains.
Sat. 7th Nov. 1846.. Started again on our journey where no waggons ever before made a track made 8 or 10 miles.
Sun. 8th Nov. we continued our journey as usual over an un, traveled road before.
Tues. 10th Nov. here our ox waggons & sick such as are not able to endure the fatigues of the journey were sent back to . Santa Fee among the rest 3 of my mess went back to Furbelo (viz) Elijah N. Freeman, Thos. Bingham & Francis T. Whitney May a blessing attend them. Beavers on a waterfall.
Wed. llth Marched as usual about 15 miles & encamped on the River bottom. Our Colonel got frightened here.
Thur. 12th Marched 16 miles & encamped nothing unusual took place more than usually our journey on this river Generally the same routeen.
Frid. 13th This day we left the River and turned a North West direction to pass the mountains for our long wished for California went 18 miles to a curious Pool of water in a Rock where we encamped we are now encompassed by mountains & hills.
Sat. 14th Nov. 1846. Marched about 15 miles and encamped by the remains of an ancient building near an excellent spring & stream of water the antiquities of this country are numerous.
Sun. 15th Day in camp on account of Rain this day the boys went to the mountains & brought some excelent Grapes to camp which were delicious.
Mon. 16th this day 4 months of our time has past and we commence our march again to our destined home in California we are now in one of the most beautiful vallies I ever saw probably 40 or 50 miles in width & how far in length no white man knows, for we are now traveling a rout our Pilots never went in; & if we succeed in crossing the mountains on this rout it will save 400 miles travel for us so far we have been blessed beyond our expectations as to water & good roads marched 16 miles & found a spring where we encamped. Wind is cool from the mountains.
Tues. 17 crossed a ridge of the mount. into another valley & encamped near a Rock where the Indians pound their corn. There were 29 holes in the Rock where they pound their food also a spring for water.
Wed. 18th 1846 Started early & marched 20 miles to a river called by the Pilots Memebre this day was one of the Advance Guard.
Thur. Nov 19th crossed the River & continued our road over a beautiful valley surrounded by mountains 25 m. & encamped by a spring close by the road leading from the copper mines to Sonora, this Country is wholly destitute of Timber & water scarce, the climate now warm & pleasant in the day & very cool Nights. Water freezes.
Frid, 20th Raised a smoke on a mount near by to call some Indian Pilot to obtain Water. Soon a company of Spaniards were seen in the distance approaching; they directed our course. Lay in camp to make repairs &c.
Sat. 21st Marched 12 m. & encamped at the base of a mountain
Sunday 22d. This day I am at liberty & sit on the top of some high Rock for observation I have just filled my canteen from a hole in the Rocks; the Grasshoppers & the Butterflies are sporting in the Sun Beams the mountains are spread around us & seem to hem us in while the valley is as mild as summer. Marched 20 miles & encamped without wood or water.
Mond. 23d. came 25 miles & no water after dark came to a dry Lake traveled in the bed of the same about 3 miles & found excelent water the Lake appears to be hollow or Water a short distance below the surface as some of our cattle fell through and it was with difficulty we got them out.
Tues. 24th Lay by for our ox teams to come up & rest.
Wed. 25th Crossed one of the highest ranges of the Rocky Mountains (was the Colonel's Orderly today). One of our Pilots killed a Grisly bear. Marched 20 miles & encamped in a valley where we found siccamore Timber to burn & good water.
Thur. 26th came 15 miles & encamped near some Rock Clack Timber; there is plenty of Antelope here a number killed today.
Frid. 27th Continued our march up a valley southwest. Our boys killed a number of Antelope & Black tail Deer today, the most beautiful valleys I ever saw, with here & there Groves of beautiful Oack Timber Ever Green; we are now in the country of Sonora bordering on California.
Sat. 28th Marched 7 or 8 miles & encamped; our Pilot did not come in as we expected last night, so we had no Guide; I ascended one of the mountains this afternoon & saw we were hemmed in by Mts. to the West, North & South to all appearances. Just this minute one of our Pilots has come into Camp & brought an Indian with him.
Sun. 29th & Mon. 30th. have had the most laborrous work in packing our Provisions & drawing our empty wagons 12 miles over the worst mountains I ever saw called the American Back Bone.
Tues. Dec. 1st 1846. Commenced our march down the valley 9 miles & encamped, today is the 1 day of Winter but here it appears like Summer I have seen no day yet so cold to keep insects from stirring although we generally have some frost nights: from one to 200 miles from Santafe. When the wind blew from the mountains the nights were very cold. Cool nights & warm days is prevelent in this country. We are now descending towards the Western Ocean; the waters we are now on run into the Gulf of California. We broke a number of waggons yesterday in descending the mts. had to leave 2.
Wed. 2d Dec. Took up the line of march down the Ravine for a few hours & then struck over the hills for a delightful valley at an old town destroyed by the Indians here we encamped; was Orderly for the Colonel today. Saw two of the Principal Chiefs introduced to the Colonel & heard the councel the Chief said they were at war with the Mexicans as well as we and they never could lift the hatchet against us till the sun & moon should fall; the Col. gave them Presents &c &c came 12 m.
Thur. 3d Dec. lay in camp in order for the Indians to bring in mules for us & for our men to hunt wild cattle which are plenty here they are as plenty as Buffalo East of the Mouts the Indians are Opachee Tribe, they are a War like & Noble looking fellows the squaws are short & thick set. Strange is the Tale of this Town, the Opachees killed 700 Spaniards & took their wives prisoners & their squaws became jealous & killed all the Spanish women in town they took 7000 head of cattle from the Spaniards also. I have just been to see the ruins. Our company killed 6 bulls today & many more were killed by the Battalion; their meat is fat & tender the best beef I ever eat we have plenty of meat now but we have been so hungry for weeks back I have seen the boys roast the raw hide of the beef & even the entrails of our cattle that has been driven from the States & become poor.
Frid. 4th Lay in camp until 1 O' clock & then marched 7 miles & encamped between two mountains.
Sat. 5th continued our march 15 miles & encamped at a spring where the best judges think 10,000 head of cattle come for water we kill all we want & more than we need.
Sun 6th marched 16 miles & encamped near a watering place among mountains. Water & wood plenty. We are near a Garrison of Mexicans & and a Spaniard deserted from us Sat. night, but we hope the Lord will deliver us from all enemys & we dont wish to shed blood.
Mon. 7th December Lay in camp waiting for our Pilots to come in. Killed 5 or 6 bulls today.
Tues. 8th this morning at Revellee a man in Capt. Davis company Died suddenly by the name of Elisha Smith. Continued our march at the usual hour about 15 m. & encamped near a Mt. on our left covered with snow, cool night.
Wed. 9th started at sunrise & reached the San Pedro River about noon, a small clear stream which runs into the Gulf of California crossed and went about ten miles down it making about 18 miles today. Saw wild horses cattle & antelope plenty some killed &c.
Thur. 10th Detailed as the Colonel's Orderly today came 15 miles & encamped near a town in Ruins we catch plenty of trout in this River.
Frid. 11th Marched today 16 miles this was an unlucky day for us we marched into a herd of Wild bulls which were shot & wounded all around us which made them furious two of the men run over one man a bull tossed over his head in the air he was hurt badly one of the Staff shot his thumb nearly off in the affray & two of our mules were killed by the bulls the meat of 8 or 10 were brought into camp tonight one of our mess brought 6 fine Trout that he caught today to camp.
Sat. 12th Marched 15m today North still down the River; fine beautiful weather.
Sun. 13th Started early for a Spanish town fort one of our pilots came in last night & reported they had to flee to save their lives it is expected we shall have to take the place. Marched 10 miles & encamped for Drill and Inspection drew catridges 20 for each man. 3 pilots came in tonight one we fear is detained at the fort.
Mon. 14th left the River San Pedro & struck a west course for Town of Tubson [Tucson] marched 25 miles today was detailed one of fifty as advance guard to make a show before Sonora Officer.
Tues. 15th Dec. Continued our march on towards the Garrison. Saw a curious still today. Marched 20 miles.
Wed. 16th Took up the line of march for to march into the Town before us when we came to Town the Soldiers had fled & forced the most of the People with them passed through the place about one mile & encamped. came 20 miles today, the public property fell into our hands all that was left.
Thur. 17th Lay in camp today, our Col. called for fifty volunteers to go & surprise a Town 6 or 7 miles from here; he was met by an express from the Town & returned to camp, the people here are the most friendly and inteligent I have seen of all the Spaniards was on guard tonight, about 12 o' clock an alarm was given the camp was paraded & we expected to meet an enemy but they returned after being fired upon by our Piquet Guard.
Frid. 18th Again took up the line of march for the Pemaw village 90 miles distant on the River Hela through a beautiful valley once settled to appearances by an ancient people; traveled 25 miles and at 9 o' clock camped without water only what we brought with us we are threatened to be attacked by our Enemies; but we trust in Him who has protected us thus far.
Sat. 19th Started at sunrise & pursued our journey untill about 11 o' clock at night and found a little muddy water we camped with no water for Supper or Breakfast.
Sun. 20th Started at sunrise & traveled untill afternoon before we found water; some of our mules died last night in consequence of going without feed or water there has been no grass since we left Tubson [Tucson]; our men have suffered much for water but our way continues to open as we go, for which we are thankful to our Father who led us untill now.
Mon. 21st., Started at sunrise & traveled about 15 miles & reached the Hela about 2 o' clock & camped; the Indians met the command some distance from the River; these are the Pemaw Tribe; they are settled for a number 25 miles of miles down this River it is called Pemaw Tribe here we struck Gen. Kearney's trail, saw his cannon tracks plain. these Indians are a large Noble looking people their hair is of a jet black & hangs down their backs midway of their body in a large braid or coiled around their heads like a turban.
Tues. 22d traveled 8 or 9 miles down the River & came to the village where the Indians met us by hundreds to see our waggons & camped here the Indians filled a ditch with water from the River for our use they raise some cotton & weave a very pretty blanket which is their principal clothing many are naked here our Col. bought corn, beans, meal &c for our use.
Wed 23d passed quite a number of villages &c there are a number of thousand Indians for 25 miles on this River; saw their plows fish nets &c today; wild geese swans &c are plenty here; traveled 12 miles & encamped the Indians follow us by hundreds to trade.
Thur. 24th . Lay in camp today to rest & trade.
Frid. 25th Christmas today, quite unwell, the weather as warm as summer. Started across the mountains 50 miles without water it is 100 miles to follow the course of the River, therefore we have decided to go across.
Sat. 26th Started before sunrise over a kind of desert such as we have traveled for a long time. Saw some red flowers today reached the Hela after dark & encamped.
Sun. 27th 1846 took up the line of march down the Hela about 12 miles & camped.
Mon. 28th came about 10 miles today we have worth mentioning except the Cotton Wood for a long distance.
Tues. December 29th saw a species of quail today similar to ours; passed a pile of Rocks marked by the Indians & carved with animals & curious figures; also passed through several miles of sand difficult for our poor teams.
Wed. 30th came 17 miles today.
Thur. 31st. This is the last day of 46, the Nights are cool but the days are warm our time runs slowly away & we are drawing near our long looked for California and a few days more we shall be to the Colorado River; 3 weeks more if we are favoured will fetch us to the great Western Ocean made 12 m. today.
Jan. lst 1847 Begins a new year we traveled about 12 miles today & launched some waggon beds for boats to carry our heavyest loadings; there is no grass for our mules we have seen but little grass for 2 or 300 miles back.
Sat. 2d Jan. much of the ground is covered with Bittumen & no green substance can grow here except such that its as salt as the earth which it grew out of. Passed a Family moving from California; (living on mule flesh) came 10 miles.
Sun. 3d Jan. March 13 miles today & encamped the scenery is the same from day to day.
Mon. 4th Marched about 6 or 8 miles and encamped at the base of a high mountain.
Tues. 5th Marched about 15 miles today; our teams fail as well as our provisions & they are of the poorest kind. (9 oz. flour).
Wed. 6th Jan. came 12 or 15 miles today.
Thur. 7th Marched about 12 miles & encamped at a place called the Devils Point.
Fri. 8th We are now reduced very low for provisions & those of the poorest kind; we drew 9 oz. of meal last night for a day we left waggons, harness, chains &c &c &c because of the. failure of our mules we leave something of value daily that we cannot carry & it is as much as some of the men can do to get into camp at night although we are favoured remarkable with health in the Army we have been preserved in that way that all must acknowledge the hand of God in it. Came about 15 miles today & encamped at or near the mouth of the Hela one mile from the Colorado; good traveling today; saw a number of curious shape mountains today.
Sat 9th Jan. Marched about 12 miles today down the Colorado to the crossing and encamped; this is a very rich bottom and the river bed is as wide as the Missourie gathered muskeet for the mules tonight.
Sun. 10th Lay in camp to rest & wait for our boat & Pioneers to fix the road ahead to cross tomorrow; feel much better my health is improving & i feel encouraged for God has been our sheald and trust for many a weary day & month.
Mon. 11th Jan. 1847. Crossed the river & continued our march we are now in California; the Tide Water comes up this river to within 40 miles of here traveled 4 or 5 miles from the river untill we came to a bluff of sand hills; then turned West and continued alongside of the bluffs to camp; about 15 miles left a number of waggons today our teams are nearly starved to death & if we get through to settlements on 1/4 Rations we will be thankful. Saw signs of an ancient settlement today, to the right of us is a sandy desert I suppose like the Deserts of Africa or Arabia; there is nothing that looks like living in this country. Left more waggons.
Tues. 12th Continue our journey half of the day and then rose the Sandy Bluff & struck across to the West towards a mountain & encamped about 10 miles from our last camp without wood or water only what we brought with us found here a little grass for our mules; left some mules today; our cattle and sheep are nearly gone and they, spring poor.
Wed. 13th Started at sunrise & marched about. 14 miles to some wells of brackish water & encamped one of our beef cattle tired out today.
Thur. 14th Continued our march over the plain or desert after leaving our Blanket waggon & one Publick waggon & burning other property, our Provisions are nearly out & we have more than a 100 miles to go before we can get relief unless Gen. Kearney sends us some by our Express which we look for dayley, encamped about 9 o clock at night after traveling about 20 miles.
Frid. 15th Started at Sun Rise & continued our slow march over the plains with poor prospects for we have not had any word from our Express yet; our men have not half enough to eat & what we do eat is poor but we are kept from starving so far we look to Him who is able to help us in this time of Want; traveled 10 miles to Wells of poor water but what was our joy to meet here our Express with 12 beef cattle & 40 mules for our relief; thus again we are preserved by. Him who watches over us all the time by night & by day. As soon as we could get a little refreshed we started on our road again 12 miles & halted 3 hours then traveled 28 miles to water a beautiful spring where the frogs were piping; here we encamped being Saturday 16th 1847.
Sun. 17th took up the line of march in close order for fear of being ambushed by an enemy as Gen. Kearney was; who had 23 men killed; we some expect an enemy may meet us in the pass of the mountains we are now in; traveled untill about noon & come to a grove of Palmetta or Cabbage Tree & a spring left here & marched untill after dark making about 23 miles & camped in the nits where the water runs towards the gulf our last Pork & Flour is now dealt out to us & which makes 6 oz, of Pork & about 4 oz. of Flour per man & we have to wait till a beef can be killed for our breakfast.
Mon. 18th Jan. Lay by to rest a little as here is some grass for bur mules.
Tues. 19th Passed some bad passes in the Mts. & encamped without water.
Weds. 20th went over another pass today & traveled without anything to eat till nearly noon then halted at a spring killed 2 poor cattle, refreshed ourselves then traveled untill dark & encamped, by a spring, came 15 miles, for the last week we have been among Mts. but we have come today where grass is growing two or 3 inches in some places high the country looks better as we approach the sea.
Thur. 21st Marched 12 miles today & encamped near the first farm called Warners Ranch here we got a supply of beef again & bought some breadstuff of the Indians beans &c &c. This is a beautiful valley & a fine wheat country.
Frid. 22d Lay in camp today to rest and wash &c. Visited town to see a curious spring; I could not bear my hands in the water without burning; the Indians are about 1000 strong & are governed by Mr. Warner an Eastern man who owns about 40 miles square & lives apparently an easy life.
Sat. 23d Started again for the Coast or Pacific Ocean traveled about 20 miles & encamped in a heavy rain; everything wet and disagreeable.
Sun. 24th Traveled 3 or 4 miles in rain & encamped.
Mon. 25th Continued our march still among mountains about 18 miles & encamped in a beautiful valley where, we met encamped 2 or 300 Indians who have assisted us in the War here also an Express met us from Gen. Kearney ordering us to San Diego as the War was probably to an end in this country; for which God be Praised for his protection over us according to the Word of his Servant the Prophet.
Tues. 26th Jan. 1847 Left the valley came 15 m and crossed over a ridge of mountains into a beautiful valley where the clover & grass is fine & where I picked mustard from 5 to 10 inches high for our supper & where the spring birds are from the Goose to the Hummingbird the most delightful country I ever was in.
Wed. 27th Continued our march delighted by the singing of the Spring Birds untill about one O clock came to a Desert Town by the name of St. Ana one of the most splendid Churches I ever beheld among the Spanish nation & evidently a Nunery for many years 30 porches in front &c. Soon after in rising a hill saw for the first time the Pacific Ocean & saw also the foam of the breakers on the shores; came today where there plenty of Oats 4 or 5 inches high.
Thur. 28th Last night was kept awake by the roaring of the sea; but this morning put forward on our journey again over hills and through valleys beautiful indeed. Saw hundred of sheep and cattle the Spaniards had left to roam at pleasure all the farms are desolate in consequence of War.
Frid. 29th Continued our march and arrived to our quarters 5 miles from San Diago to an old mission station with a large chappel & other buildings with vineyards & gardens set with fruit trees such as Peaches, Pears, Olives, Dates &c this mission has been deserted for 20 years & is now in ruins; saw a number of Men of War lying at anker in the bay of San Diago today:
Sat. 30th Returned to duty today from the Doctor Sist & trust I shall gain my health by rest & Propper food which we hope to receive as soon as a vessel comes from the Sandwich Islands which we look for dayly. We have endured: one of the greatest journeys ever made by man at least in America & it is by the faith and prayers of the Saints that we have done it. All of our Company that left Fort Leavenworth have arrived here safe.
Sun. 31st Lay in quarters which is a great relief to us for we are worn down with hard traveling over the Mountains; went out a little ways from camp & gathered some of the best mustard I ever saw for greens; but we have nothing but fresh beef to cook them with; we have no flour, no meal, no beans, no Pork no vinegar no Coffee no sugar no Nothing but Beef & Salt & Greens.
Mon. Feb. 1st 1847 Took up the line of march for St. Louis in company with Gen. Kearney's Draggoons there to Quarter for the present, came about 16 miles & encamped; came a new road saw this part of the country was better than the other road.
Tues. 2d Feb. Marched about 18 miles & passed the hill where Gen. Kearneys troops were hemed in by Spaniards for 6 days & lived on mules.
Wed. 3d Arrived at St. Louis Mission this afternoon & took up our quarters for a short time or untill Gen. Kearney comes back from Montera where he is gone on business for the Army.
Thur. 4th Feb. Had a General Clean up here.
Frid. 5th Nothing worthy of note takes place except the regular camp dutys that devolve on us from day to day. Much expense has been laid out here in building; the Church is large & very expensive; there is 31 Porches in front & on the inside is a square with 21 Porches on 2 sides & 23 on 2 other sides with a Sun Dial in the center of the square with orange trees &c with many out buildings &c.
Sat. 6th Sun. 7th, Mon. 8th, Tues. 9th Wed. 10th Thur. 11th & Frid. 12th passes away as usual my health is improving & I take more pleasure in viewing the Scenery of this country. It is the most delightful climate I ever saw the Grass Wheat & Oats that are Natural makes the finest pasture for our mules & beef cattle; here are many kinds of trees I never saw before, the Date, Cocanut Olive Pepper &c &c I observe the Peach in full bloom & English beans Pease cabbage Plants &c &c 3 or 4 inches high that have come up themselves since the desertion of the town; here are the most beautiful vinyards I ever saw the stems of last year will hold a pint of Grapes & probably more they are of the Raison kind; hogsheads of wine could be made here every year. Nothing very interesting takes place from day to day only camp duties & those are first Revillee a little after daylight when we have to parade & answer to our names then sweeping our rooms & breakfast next our parade ground all about our quarters is cleaned and drained of the ground at 10 o' clock one hour's drill then Dinner Call at 3 O clock 1 hour drill at 5 O clock Parade & Inspection of arms then supper at 8 O clock Tattoo or roll call then we have a chance to sleep till daylight.
Sat. 13th Sun. 14th Mon. 15th Passed away as usual lonesome to me because I am absent from my Family whom I want to see more than ever I hope & pray we may go to Francisco & there be discharged so that we may do something for our Families; more than we are now doing. Yesterday George P. Dykes [Company D] Preached before the Colonel's Quarters; Bro. Levi W. Hancock [Company E] is doing something to regulate the 70s which will be beneficial to the Battalion; if we could draw something to eat besides beef the time would pass away better; how long we shall have to wait for the Ships to bring us Provision's I know not but hope we soon shall be relieved from our present ration to a full supply of Sugar Coffee Flour &c. My thoughts go to my family continuly how they fare are they well and contented are they looking for the time to meet me in the fall with as much anxiety I do them often Dream of home & its Pleasant fireside but wake only to hear the Bugle sound or Drums beat for Duty. But after all I am glad I come for the Spirit whispers I am doing work great & good which will appear in after days & my absence from my family will be made up when I meet them again to enjoy their society perhaps to part with them no more in time.
Tues. 16th Feb. this ends 7 months of my service in the army & I hope before our time expires we receive a discharge that we may sooner go to our Famileys & the Church of which I am a member.
From 16th to 19th nothing worthy of note took place.
Sat. 20th Feb. today received some Beans & Flour unbolted which was a great releaf to us; we drew 1 gill of beans & 10 oz. . Flour per man.
Sun. 21st Last night an express came in from San Diago stating our Vessel had arrived there from the Sandwich Islands with provisions for us. This morning sent teams for to supply the
troops, in consequence all are cheerful in hopes of having full rasions again; after living on beef for more than one month; only what we have obtained by selling our shirts & clothing for to the Spaniards & Indians; our clothes are worn out & many are barefoot.
Mon. 22d Feb. Last night attended to some of the ordinances of the church which was attended with a blessing; as well as the Preaching yesterday.
Tues. 23d today I drew 1 oz. more Flour per man; hope it will not be long before we draw full rasions; my health is improving as holsome food is increased; the weather is most beautiful: I saw oats the other day almost headed out.
Wed. 24th Our Rasions are increased of Flour twelve oz. which is better.still for us my health continues' to improve & I feel more cheerful.
Thur. 25th Passed as usual; our flour is bolted would not yeald more than 6 oz. of good.
Frid. 26th Feb. Received today some Flour Sugar & Coffee for Rasions which is a great relief to us after doing without so long & suffering almost every hardship.
Sat. 27th Passed as usual.
Sun. 28th being the last day of Feb. & Winter our time passes towards our liberation from the Service of the Army; today we mustered for Inspection for the 4th time since enlistment & we hope shall draw pay soon.
March lst passed with the usual duties that devolve on a Soldier in the Army.
Tues. March 2d Yesterday stood Guard for the last time on this post as we hope to go to Montera soon where we can get rasions for we have no more than two meals a day which keeps us hungry all the time.
Wed. 3d An Indian child got bit by a rattlesnake today & lived but a few hours & was buried here according to Catholic order which gave us a chance to view the inside of the Church which was beautiful.
Thur. 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th I have spent in the usual way of Drilling & Viewing the- & building of this place San Louis Rey the Owls have taken possession of the inside while the Crows & Ravens occupy the Tower. We have some frost nights while the rests on the Mountains East in sight the Indians are pruning the vinyards. Oats are heading out.
March Frid 12th, Sat. 13th Sun 14th passed as usual.
Mon. March 15th this day our Company B. took up the line of march for San Diago to relieve the Dragoons now stationed there, it is a great relief to once more get out of our quarters & we hope to get full rasions when we get there & it is a sea port so we will get oysters &c occasionally camped 14 miles from San Louis Rey where our quarter Master Ordered an Extra Beef Killed for us so we once more have enough to eat of Meat though we have but little bread &c
Tues 16th today makes 8 Months of our time in the service of U Sams we look to the time of our discharge with all the patience possible Encamped 6 miles from San Deiago
Wed 17th marched into town & took up our quarters
Thur 18th to day the Marines and Sailors went on board of the Man-Of-War, the Congress now lying in this Harbour the Marines are the finest troops I ever saw; we now have all we want to Eat for the first time since we left Santa fee & spend our time more happy amidts the various scenes here
Frid 19th Sat 20th & Sun 21st passed away as usual Except Sun I visited the Shiping in the harbour the Congress Man of War carrying over 60 Guns now lies in port She is a fine vessil a Spanish Bark which came from the Sandwich Island with our provisions also is in port & we expect another ship in dayly; I am now in the fort on the hill above town & can see two ships a long distance out at Sea; we hope they will come into port & take us to Montira ; there is only one company in town to Guard the fort town & the Bastion so we are divided into 3 parts which keeps busy here
Mon March 22d Three Ships are in the Harbour & one Ankered out of the Harbour; we have heard no news from them yet
Tues 23d March 1847 the boys caught plenty of fish &c to day; we are well situated here & our drill is light on us & we have plenty to Eat so our time passes away more pleasant than it did under Col. [Philip St. George] Cook. Capt Hunter is the highest Officer here
Weds March 24th, 1847 Today spent in walking down by the coast saw Whales Seals & many kinds of Fish
Thurs 25th Pear trees are in full bloom & Fig trees are verry forward in putting out.
Frid 26th Stood Guard to day the Savannah put to sea to day with a Salute of a broad Side from the Congress; She is homeward bound to New York many sent letters by her
Sat March 27th a Spanish family moved into town to day among the things he brought a load of Pumpkins in eccelence preservation
Sun March 28th 1847 went down to the coast to day & caught a fine mess of fish; Last Sun went down to the shiping & saw many Whales Spout Water &c Saw them rise 30 or 40 ft out of. the water & Spout they were a curiosity to me
Mon March 29th to day visited the Shiping & got a fine mess of fish & Oysters saw a Brig sail into the Harbour
Tues 30th & Wed 31t passed as usual
April 1st 1847, Thur Commences a new Month on our probation we Still are in San Dieago
Frid 2d April Yesterday Mr Walker our Express came in from Montera making 1000 miles in 10 days the Spaniards frequently ride 120 miles in a day; no news in particular he brought the Montera papers; the news are of a spacific nature Gen. Kearney has Entered on his Dutys as Governor
Sat 3d passed away as usual; as our time passes away I think of home the More & wish for the time to come when I can once more live with my Family & friends far away
Sun 4th April I think my Family with the first Camp is on their way by this time for California I pray the Eternal Father to Bless them & give then a safe & pleasant journey
Mon 5th Tues 6th Wed 7th & Thur 8 passed away as usual with the Exception I was taken with the Chills & Fever last night
Frid 9th Again I am better & hope I shall escape the Hospital; last night an Indian Express came in from Purbelo & brought a number of letters from our Colonel; He states to our Capt. he is well pleased with our procedings here that we .shall draw our money the last of this month & that 40 Barrels of Flour is on the way for us; yesterday afternoon the signal from the Fort said that a ship was comeing into the Harbour & while I write the boys are gone to put our Flour in the Storehouse that came on board of the vessil from our Col. we Flatter ourselves some of geting our discharge when we draw our money but if we do not we soon shall see the end of the year we enlisted for at all events we shall draw full rasions now; we are getting acquainted with the Spaniards here they are verry friendly & intiligent many of them they live like gentlemen the Indians are their Servants their Sports are to Ride on horseback heave the Lasso Gamble & go to the Fandango. Figs are now full size on the trees & Pears & Peaches are as large as the end of my finger
Sat April 10th 1847. Nothing worthy of Note to day
Sun 11th Fine weather for the season San Dieago is a small town built after the Spanish fashion with a public square & house of worship 3 or 4 Stores & as many Groceries Our Flag waves in center of the town & another one on the Fort above the town; the Shiping lies 5 miles South of town & the Breakers of the Sea are in Sight West 4 miles & the roar of the same would not let us sleep were we not used to the noise of a still night there is a toluble Harbour & perfectly secure for vessils from a Storm; between us & the coast west is another bay but, not Sufficient water at the Bar for vessils to pass in; here are Seals Walrus Whales &c on this coast
Mon 12th Yesterday 40 or 50 Indians came here to visit the Indians of this town & have a frolick; they sperit the day in Gambling Singing drinking & fighting it was quite amusein to See them today a number of Sailors were put under Guard for fighting;
Tues 13th today one Sailor was put in the Stocks for being drunk & insubordination; another we marched to the Ship under Guard (Capt [Jesse D. Hunter [Company B] had a son born to day)
Wed 14th Peacible times to day
Thurs 15th 1847. Nothing worthy of note to day
Frid 16th Sat 17th & Sun 18th passed as usual; one Indian in the Stocks & one Spaniard in Irons we Guard
Mon April 19th To day am on Guard 2 Indians in the Stocks & one White Man in Irons we have to Guard a Ship is in sight this morning coming towards this port with a fair wind to enter the Harbour there is 3 now laying in port
Tues 20th this morning another ship came into the Harbour Wed 21t passed as usual
Thur 22d Guarded Mules to day
Frid 23d passed with nothing worthy of Note
Sat 24th 5 Prisoners
Sun 25th Went to the Harbour to day bathed & Swam in the Salt Water Eat Oysters &c 6 Indians in the Stocks & one Sailor
Mon 26th moved my Quarters to the Fort to day;
Tues 27th Last night Our Capt was bereaved of his Wife [Lydia Edmunds Hunter] who left a Babe to his care born last Tues 1 Week ago; She was buried in the foreign buring Ground near the Shiping or Harbour
Wed 28th April; While I sit writing on the Cariage of a Brass ten pounder the prospect is delightful the Town is below me still farther South lies the Ships in the Harbour & farther still lies the Ocean North & West lay another Bay & still farther West the Pacific with its Breakers is in Sight for many leagues at Sea Yesterday the Congress Sailed on a short Cruise She will be back in a few days, East 2 leagues is the Mission we quartered when we first Came to the Coast in Sight of the Fort; I also can see far to the South a number of Islands where I am told Walrus & Seals abound It is rumored that' a body of 1500 Mexicans are coming here to take the country from us if they do they will have to fight hard for our Guns are loaded ready to apply the match any moment
Thur 29th 1847 This morning arose Early & saw a ship standing in for the Harbour she soon cast anker as he Wind was unfavorable. We expect our paymaster is on board & we shall be payd some money for our Services for. the first time since leaving Santafee
Frid 30th To day is our muster day according to Law which makes the fifth muster from the time entered the Service; we have to muster once more to conclude the year & then we hope to go Speedily to our Familys & the Church
Sat May It commences another month of our service; I am in the Fort comfortable situated Hearty & well weighing 1471b 4 more than I ever weighed in my life before; for which I truly feel thankful to my Heavenly Father after so many hardships as we have suffered in coming here
Sun May 2d 1847. To day am on Guard it is rumored the Mexicans are comeing to retake this Country & Com'e Stockton has gone to reconoiter for a Spanish ship loaded with Arms &c this afternoon Maj Cloud arrived our paymaster so we shall draw some money to.
[NOTE: August 2d. 1847 Major Jeremiah Huddleston Cloud Jr., paymaster & Capt Joseph Libby Folsom (1817-1855) quartermaster arrived; the former paid off the Garrison at the fort. On Aug. 4th, these two Gentlemen left on Horseback. I accompanied them, and we was only but only 1/2 mile from the fort Major Cloud fell from his horse senseless and died in the evening at Sutter's Fort. The Surgeon of the Garrison & my own Doctor have done what could be done to safe him. On the 6th, Major Cloud was burried with military honors. Capt. Folsom commanded the Troops, as Lieut't Anderson was sick.]
Mon 3d passed as usual
Tues 4th Drew our money for 6 months
Wed 5th When I arose this morning saw the Signal of a Ship hoisted on the Fort; I looked as far as the Eye could discern and saw the white sails of a vessil approaching our Harbour; in a few hours She entered our Port
Thur 6th 1847 Yesterday we heard that a Messenger had arrived from the Church to the Pueblo with letters &c we hope it is true; as our anxiety is great to hear from our Familys & friends
Frid 7th is our Drill day Saw a vessil to the Windard approaching the Coast; she passed in the night
Sat 8th Stood Guard to day; this morning a ship ankered outside of the Harbour & fired a Salute She is bound for the East Indies
Sun 9th May 1847. passed as usual.
Mon 10th the Congress came in to day
Tues 11 Last night one of our company Died of Inflamation on the brain (Albert Dunham) he was buried in the American burying ground at the Harbour
Wed 12th Last night an express came in from Pueblo with the news of some of our officers being called home & that our boys had a Battle with the Indians 6 Indians were killed & 3 of our boys wounded
Thurs 13th 1847 This morning an express left for the Pueblo; The sea breize is quite cool making the atmosphere all ways the same there is no verry hot weather or verry cool; we have had a few showers of late; but verry little rain has fell since we came on the coast
Frid 14th To day am on guard; I take but little interest in any thing going on here except in hearing some News occasionally & looking forward to the time when we shall be discharged
Sat 15th Last night a double Guard was detailed as a threatened insurrection was expected on account of a Spanish Prisoner; he was strongly Ironed
Sun 16th 1847. To day went down to the coast & when I returned I found a letter from my Companion; which had came over the mountains to me by the Express; It gave me great joy to hear from them once more; it being the first time I have heard from them for 10 months;
Mon May 17th passed as usual
Tues 18th Today there was a Spanish Weding in Town they celebrated it with the firing of Guns we gave them a gun from the Fort while our officer was gone to Town; the Weding ended with a Fandango at night it probably cost Mr. Barker $500 considering all the expenses (one cannon burst)
Wed 19th To day a Scout of Some 15 of our boys went out to Warner's Ranch to hold in check the Indians
Thur 20th Am on Guard to day
Frid 21th passed as usual
Sat 22d This morning a Ship was Seen Standing in for our Harbour She will probably make the Harbour this afternoon; The Winds are almost constantly from the North West which makes it cool & healthy much cooler here than in Illinois at this time of Year
Sun 23d Our boys are buying horses & mules for our journey to the East to meet our families; we hear news occasionaly but nothing to be depended on; Yesterday a Sailor told us That Mr. [Samuel] Brannan had Sent 14 loads of provision to our brethren & last week we heard there were no famileys comeing over the mountains this summer we hope we shall get certing intiligence from the Church before we are discharged; if not we shall go till we find our families
Mon 24th to day 40 or 50 Indians came to Town as our Allies the Capt ordered a beef killed for their Supper
Tues 25th our Ind. departed this morning to their homes among the Mts.; Last night we were ordered to load our guns & be ready for an attack from Spaniards or Indians but we were not disturbed at all there is so little confidence in the Spaniards we are on the look out for them
Wed May 26th To day is my Guard tour I have sent to the Rancheros for 1 mule & 1 mare for my journey home; I look forward to my discharge with much anxiety.
Thur 27 passed as usual
Friday 28th & Sat 29th passed as usual
Sun May 30th 1847 The mail came in to day by which we learnt that Mr. Brannan had gone to the Mts. to meet the Emigration; we are in hopes by the next mail to hear from our Families
Mon 31st Ends an other months of our probation am on Guard again to day every Tour makes one less for U. Sam
Tues June 1st 1847 ushers in another Summer 1 month & 1/2 more and we bid good by to Unkle Sam having it to say You are the Most Exact Unkle we ever had
Wed 2d Last night a Bark came into Port from the Windard; 2 vessils now in Port are loading with Hides for the U. States; they Sail in company in about 3 weeks; Cattle & fatten on the Oats which are now ripe growing Spontaneous as large as we raise in the States with all of our labour I could select fields of Oats as fine as I ever Saw in the States by cultivation; the only lack in this is timber & rains in Season for crop
Thur 3d Yesterday bought a young horse for my journey home
Frid 4th A large drove of wild horses come to Town to day to Sell to our boys they are worth on an average $5.00 apiece there are Thouthands of Old horses & mares here that are as wild as colts there were never broke or tamed
Sat 5th to day I rode out in the country about ten miles Saw Indians harvesting wild Oats for bread; I thought of young people Sowing wild Oats in the States but here we have them without sowing; I cut a few Sheaves with my Knife & brought to the Fort on my horse for his use; they are like our oats white & Black only a little more of furze on them
Sun 6th Rode to the coast to examine a bed of coal Saw variety of Sea animals & objects Interesting to me
Mond June 7th Rode out & cut Oats for my horse
Tues 8th passed as usual in Quarters
Wed 9th June 1847 Started for San Isabel between 50 & 60 miles from here among the mountains to buy horses & mules for our journey we rode over difficult Mountains about 40 miles & encamped for the first day. saw a number of droves wild horses & mules passed a Rancheros Called Cahoe the next morning passed San Mary & arived to San Isabel the second day 10th Stayed all night drank plentiful of the juice of the vineyard visited the Church bought our mules & on Frid 11th Started for home traveled to Santa Marie & Stayed. all night continued our journey assisted by Indians Sat 12th over a verry rough mountain on which, one of -our mules fell among the Rocks & Killed himself; after which we arrived to our quarters at San Dieago
Sun 13th passed as usual
Mon 14th was a day of rejoycing to us at the News of [Major] Gen. [Zachary] Taylor's Victory [at Vera Cruz on March 29, 1847] over 18,000 Spaniards with thunder of our Cannon from the Fort & Town below was Grand; we fired 15 Guns from the Fort & 5 from the Town; the Catholic Church had a few less Glass than usual when we ceased firing; the Ceremony was concluded at Sun down by firing the Guns & lowering the Flags; with 3 Cheers
Tues 15th June passed as usual
Wed 16th on Guard to day I sit on the lookout at the top of the Fort there is at this moment a Ship taking her place in the harbour alongside of other vessils to cast anker; One Month more & we hope to be on our way to our beloved Famileys & the Church
Thur 17th & Fri 18th busied myself in preparations for my journey to my Family
Sat 19th June yesterday I saw a Sail to the Windard; hoisted the Ship signal to give notice to the Town and Harbour that a Sail was in Sight; I arose this morning and saw She had cast Anker outside of the Harbour waiting for a favorable wind to enter our port; we expect our Col and Sutler is aboard of her
Sun 20th The ship came in to Port yesterday about noon & this morning after Dress Parade Some 7 of us borrowed Capt Fitchs Sail Boat & viseted the Shiping; went on board of the Loo-Choo a merchant vessil bought a variety of articles. took dinner & Sailed back to San Diego. on the whole it was a pleasant Sail though the Bay was rough; on our return to quarters found Bros [Elisha] Everett [Company A] & [Stephen M.] St. John [Company E] from the Purbelo to visit us
Mon 21th visited the Ships again to day went on board of the Merchant Ship Barnstable bought articles for my journey home;
Tues 22d again on Ship Board to buy Sugar & coffee for home; while absent from the Fort Our Col. came to Town; who is left in charge of the Military operations of California
Wed 23d To day at the Beat of Tattoo our New Col. addressed us Gave us the praise of being the best company in the Southern Division of California; the most Inteligent & correct Soldiers Said we were universally esteemed & respected by the Inhabitants & in Short we had done more for California than any other people & gave us an invitasion to List again for 6 months
Thur 24th 1847 June To day about 20 of the boys enlisted again for 6 months to be stasioned here in San Diego
Frid 25th This morning Col. Stephenson Started with his Guard for the Purbelo [Pueblo] accompanied by some of our Officers; also an Indian was whiped 50 Lashes tied to a Gun; poor fellows they are the greatest Slaves I ever Saw here and in the most abject Poverty Occasioned by Catholic Religion & I have no doubt God who is just will bring the Spanish nation to an account for their abuse to the Lamanites from the days of Montezuma untill the present time; when he Weighs the Nations in the balance then we who have Suffered so much will bring in our Acct.
Sat 26th passed as usual
Sun 27th on Guard to day; From Sunday untill the 30th
Wed 30th June we Mustered for the Last.time in the U. S. Service
July 1st 1847 has one more come 16 days more & we will be free
Frid 2d July 1847 Spent in making preparations to go home; Last Evening saw a sail to the windard this morning She entered port She proves to be a small Schooner
Sat 3d July 1847 Last night Rode to the Drove 12 miles & this morning came en to Sandiego before breakfast got my horse Shod for our journey
Sun 4th 1847 To day was a Scene of joy in celebrating our Independence; the firing of Cannon & Small arms with Suitable Toasts the day was spent. the Inhabitants partisepated with us most cordially & on the whole it ended with no accident but with the best of feeling both with Soldiers & people We now have received orders to march forthwith to the City of Angels on the Purbelo to be there on the 16th to receive our discharge
1- A few days more & we shall go
To see our Wives & Children too
And friends so dear we've left helow
To save the Church from Overthrow
2- Our absence from them has been long
But Oh the teme well soon be gone
When we shall meet once more on Earth
And praise the God that gave us Birth
Mon 5th & Tues 6th Spent in making preparations to March
Wed 7th & Thur 8th July also Spent in preparations for a march to Pueblo San Delos Angelos or the City of Angels to be discharged
Fri 9th July 1847 Again took up the line of March traveled about 12 miles & encamped where our boys herded our mules &c Sat 10th Started Early; on our way near the Sea. Serjt Rainey & myself Saw Something verry white our curiosity was such we let our Animals Graze & went to see what it was; when we came to it there was laying before us I suppose 100 Acres of Salt about 1/2 an Inch deep over the Surface many places 1 1/2 Inches we could Gathered barrels of it. I took about a pint for my use as beautiful as I ever saw traveled about 30 m & to San Luis Rey
Sun 11th this morning while waiting for the Command to come up Visited the Church and Vineyards Marched about 11 miles & camped at San Bernardo De Los Floris near the Sea coast visited the Church & Indian Village
Mon 12th marched 16 miles side of the Ocean & of it when every few waves would wet our horses feet I Selected a few Shells for a memorial of the Great Pacific Camped at St Johns Mission the Church here is built of hewn-stone but now in ruins as is all the Missions I have seen
Tues 13th 1847 Marched 20 miles & encamped near Santa Annas Ranch this day traveled over a plain near where we encamped & Saw within 4 miles square 15 or 20,000 Cattle & horses Grazing at one view; one Man living within one or two miles of here owns 12,000 head of Cattle; the hills & mountains is speckled with Cattle horses sheep & Goats
Wed 14th July traveled over one continuous plain about 20 miles encamped at Riota Ranch near an excelent Spring of water this evening a Spanish Gent & Lady came to camp had the privilege of smoking the the cigar of friendship with them
Thur 15th is the last day of our service in the U. S. Service; took up the line of march Early this morning & traveled about 9 miles & crossed the San Gabriel River where Gen Kearney had his Battle continued our march 9 miles farther & arrived at the City of Angels about 4 Oclock this is the most Beautiful place I ever saw as to some things the Orchards & Vineyards are as fine as heart can wish here I drinked of the Juice of the Vine to my Satisfaction & eat most delicious Pears &c
Frid 16th Were Mustered & discharged for which I felt to thank my Heavenly Father that I had been preserved to accomplish the work I was sent to do thus far; from the 16 to the 21t we were detained to receive our pay & prepare for our journey to our beloved families
Wed 21th 1847 Just 12 months ago to day we left C. Bluffs for this country & to day the camp commenced to move on for our destined home was appointed one of the Pioneers to go ahead of the main body conciquently we marched about 8 or 10 miles to day & encamped on the Purbelo River near a Rancheros or farm; Some beautiful & Picturesque mountains on either side of us
Thur 22d July Started Earley passed up the valley about 14 miles to San Fernando & encamped at the foot of the mountains Gen Peco visited the camp this afternoon he commanded the Spaniards at the Battle of San Pasquall south of this he is an Intiligent man above the common Spaniards, San Fernando is his Establishment we learn by some of our boys who came to camp to night that the main camp will move tomorrow here we bought our canteens full of wine as we expect to get no more till we arive at Bear Valley
Frid 23d July 1847 Commenced our March early up the Mts we passed on the ridge of one mountain where there was only a mule path & on either side of us was an awful gulff my head grew dizy & I dare not look into the Chasms below; we passed in safety down the other side of the Mts to a Spring & encamped 8 or 10 miles from our last encampment
Sat 24th Continued our march 10 miles to San Francisco the last Ranch we expect to find on our journey here we encamped to buy Beef Cattle & some more Provisions for our use we are in a delightful Valley surrounded by the Everlasting hills of California; we are now about 180 miles North of San Dieago still the sun at noon is almost verticle or over head but we have the trade winds from the Ocean which makes the atmosphere delightful
Sun 25 Mon 26 & Tues 27th lay in Camp to Regulate for our journey bought 42 Beef cattle &
Wed 28th Started for home we assended one of the most difficult mountains I ever passed we lost above half of our Cattle in crossing the mt & heated some others so they probably die & be of no use to us; we came to the top of the mountain & encamped in a small valley where we got water in the holes of the Rocks for our animals (12 m)
Thur 29th July 1847 Started earley & passed up the mountain through the most dificult Pass I ever beheld in all my travels about 15 miles & encamped by a spring where there was plenty of Grass for our animals
Frid 30th this morning killed all of our Beef Cattle & Jerked it through the day & packed it the next morning ready for a start
Sat 31t Started earley continued up the mountain & reached the divide about 2 O' Clock P M then decended 4 or 5 miles & encamped by a beautiful Stream of Water after Staking out my horses I assended the mt to some Spruce trees near the top & took a view of the Mountain Cenery it was Grand in the extreme; saw many signs of Bear Antilope & Deer; this is a General watering place for those animals; found the head of a Bear which I brought to camp; our Indian pilot said it was the bear that killed a man in this place. while writing one of our boys said there was a Grave within a few rods of our camp I left writing & visited the Grave I read on a tree at the head of the Grave Peter Lebeck killed by a bear Oct 17th 1837 with a Cross over the writing and the letters I-S
Sun Augst It 1847 This day I am 42 Years old 12 month ago to day we marched into Fort Leavenworth on our way to this country Many are the hardships & privations I have seen the past Year God grant I may not see so many the year to come took up the line of march down the mt about 4 or five miles & come to a large valley Saw a lake about 10 miles in the center of the valley traveled to it and encamped verry little Grass for our animals & poor water; dug about 4 ft for water & found it but it was as salt as brine so we were content with the other came about 15 m to day; Saw many Antelope Bear Elk & to day
Mon 2d lay by till about two O Clock P.M. waiting for Pilots before us is a Slough miles in width & in places 8 or 10 ft in depth & in the center a River so we will have to go around it traveled about 1/2 miles & encamped waiting for the main camp to come up bought of the Indians Green Corn Millons &c came 5 miles & encamped with the main body
Tues 3d Came about 8 or 10 miles to day on a large River called the Twolarry River which abounds with fish I saw some 2 ft in lenght caught a few &c to night had a talk with the Indians of the Tule tribe the Chief told us we were the best men that had traveled among them while Tears almost come in his eyes they are settled on the border of this valley whis is 40 or 50 miles in breadth Saw many Elk to day
Wed 4th Aug passed up the River 6 or 8 miles to the place of Crossing here we swam our animals & passed our baggage over on the heads of our men & on a rude Raft; Camped on the west Bank of the River; a herd of Antelope Ran through our lines to day
Thur 5th Augst traveled over Mts about 30 miles & encamped by a pool of Brackish water
Frid 6th Started early & came about 10 miles & encamped Still in the mountains by plenty of Water for ourselves & animals; this afternoon Assended a mountain to look out our Road on our Right Stretches out the California Mts on our left lies the Tule Lakes the largest is nearly as large as Lake Erie in the U-States; plenty of Deer Bear Antelope &c here; we are now coming into the Country of Wild Indians; the Spaniards call them munche [mucho] marlow [malo] (viz) verry bad Indians
Sat 7th traveled about 15 miles among Mts to day & encamped in a fine valley this country is full of Indian Trails & Indians
Sun Augst 8th 1847, Traveled 8 or 10 miles to a fine River where we encamped to obtain a Guide to pass the Chain of Mts on our Right & to Rest & make Repairs for some Rugged Mts; we have meetings occasionally & the Spirit of God is with us & we do & will Rejoice & praise our God for his Goodness & Mercy to us in all of our journey thus far
Mon 9th Augst Came 25 miles to day, among mountains & valleys; Saw a human Skull lying by the Road Side as we came along to day; camped by a beautiful River & a large valley Interspersed with timber; in this valley we passed many Mounds like those on the, Mississippi River
Tues 10th Augst Swam our horses &c over the River & came Down the River 6 or 8 miles & camped to wait for the whole camp to come up passed an Indian Buryal Ground to day here are many Indians who are trading with us dayly
Wed 11th Passed over a plain 25 or 30 m & encamped on a stream of Water we Suffered much for water & in conciquence of the Extreme heat; the hot air would nearly burn our faces as we came over the Plain & many were sick even to vomit; our Animals also suffered much
Thur 12th Last night about 20 Indians warriors came into Camp they were so agitated they could hardly speak but we assured Them we were their friends; they then distributed Grassnuts & sweet water to us to drink & concluded with a friendly dance & then retired to their lodgings this morning were saluted with the well known sound of the domestic fowl crowing as naturally it seemed as if we were in a Settlement of Civilized men: a part of our men started out this morning with an Indian as Guide to look for a pass across the mountains East of us; lay in camp to day; were visited by the Indians & treated to another Dance to day; two of our men returned to Camp to night & reported our Rout was favorable as far as they went; but the mountains ahead looked munche marlow (viz) Verry Bad & Rocky the River up the mountain holds its with & Deph ; this is a Great River & one of the finest streams for mills in the world; the water is pure & clear & full of Fish they are the principle food for the Indians; to day some of our boys went to the Indian Town with Guns & they were so frightened that they fled with all of their Effects they could carry with them; we sent word to pacify them; the name of this River we suppose is King River & we expect this is the tribe that Walker had a fight with & killed some 30 of them at all events they are much afraid of fire arms
Frid 13th Augst Commenced our March through the Canion or pass up the mountains nearly an East course for about 10 miles & encamped on a branch of the Main River; thus far we have found the Mts less Steep & Rocky than we expected & we hope we shall have no difficulty in the Assent or Decent of this Range of Mountains; Saw many Deer & Antelope to day; We have been troubled by wasps & Scorpions of late last night I was stung by a scorpion & I was not alone for at least a half doz of our men was Stung also; they creep into our blankets nights which makes them verry unpleasant Bedfellows there is a number of kinds of Snakes in this country but they are Generally harmless; I have seen on the Rout a kind of Rattle Snake 5 or 6 foot in length a dark mud colour as well as the large yellow Rattle Snake; Hares Rabbits & a kind of Ground Squirrel & plenty here; the Rackoon Badger &c are in abundance; different kinds of wolves are so plenty that I have seen but few days in California without Seeing more or less of them; they used to Steal our meat while in quarters at San Diego & their howls are as common to us as the barking of dogs used to be our boys have just returned from the mountains & report unfavorable; they have been 15 miles ahead where the atmosphere was cool & they could see snow on Mts ahead & so verry Rocky that our animals could not possibly pass the Indians also threatened them; much therefore our only alternity is to go back & take the Rout for Suters fort north of this 150 or 200 miles before we can possibly cross the Mts & we expect we shall suffer much before we can get to the north pass; there is one satisfaction we have we shall have a good chance to explore the Great Tule Vally its .Rivers & Lakes &c
Sat 14th Augst 1847, commenced our march down the River for about 4 miles & forded the River on some Rapids & then continued down the River untill we came nearly oposite where we encamped night before last; we were met by the Indians; who after we had encamped treated us with a Religious Dance they acted out many a farce Such as killing the Oso or Big bear & fighting with the neighboring tribes of Indians one of the dancers fained to be Shot he Groaned and made many Jestures & finally fell the Chief actor took a pipe Smoked in his Ears face & hands felt of his pult & he soon came to life & shortly Danced as well as ever; they presented Grass nuts & had presents Given them in return they are at war with the tribe that chased our boys Yesterday
Sun 15th Augst 1847 took up the line of march a northwest course & traveled about ten miles where we found water by diging let our Animals feed for about 2 hours & then Continued our Journey for 10 miles farther & came to a noble River larger than any we have crossed yet here we encamped; saw many antelope today
Mon 16th Spent about 2 hours looking for a suitable place to cross the River crossed on some Rapids & continued our journey for about 15 miles the same course we did Yesterday & encamped on a dry River bed where we obtained plenty of Water by diging in the Sand; Saw plenty of Antelope & the most signs of Elk to day I ever saw; this valley is fine the only lack is timber & Rains, seasonable for crops; we have seen no Rain for 3 months past & not as much as a Good. Shower for 5 or 6 month & I have not heard it thunder or seen lightning since we left the Buffalo Country on the Arkansas River
Tues 17th continued our march about 20 or 25 miles & encamped found plenty of water standing in pool our boys had fine Sport to day after an Elk; he finally distanced them and es caped the smartest horse; he was a fine fellow his horns were probably 4 or 5 feet in length; and he Gently turned his horns over on his back Galloped away from his pursuers with all ease; came Northwest to day; had a fine chance to view the Country to day on account of being with Cap Everet to assist him in viewing the Rout & directing the company forward
Wed 18th Augst 1847 Started at the usual hour a little after sun rise & traveled over the most Gravely Road we have yet seen on this Rout came about 25 miles to a beautiful River & encamped; here 2 Indians came into camp who could talk Spanish they informed us we were with 2 or 3 days Ride to Suters fort & close by Capt Freemonts trail; so we will have a Road soon to travel in; last night after we camped some of the boys killed an antelope which was fine Eating here we bought Water & Muskmellons and Corn Ripe of this Years growth this Evening another Antelope was brought into Camp
Thur 19th Came about 20 miles & camped on another River about the same size that we left this morning; here we found Indians with a Recomend from American Travelers; all of the Rivers we have past are fine as I ever saw in any country; we have passed more timber to day than usual; our boys take much Satisfaction in Swiming in the pure waters that are Gently flowing towards the Great western Ocean
Frid 20th Came down the River & on 10 miles & then struck 20 miles to day here we found many Indians who told us there was Americans Living on this River 3 Leagues below Some of our men will go down in the morning to See them & try to Get some Inteligence of our families of the Church here we bought Melons Corn & excelent Salmon of the Indians; this River is like all the rest I have noted beautiful indeed & the Land Timber & Soil look better as we progress North
Sat 21t Struck across North about 10 miles to a Pond Laying in the bed of a Stream that is now dry or does not run; this Pond is full of Fish; we had some for supper
Sun 22d 1847 Last night called a meeting to do some business received some Good instruction from Prest Levi H. Hancock & others marched about 12 miles & came to an Indian Settlement; they brought us a blanket full of Mellons & Green Corn for which we gave them some Trinkets & continued our march to a River & encamped; making some 25 miles to day This is a fine stream but not as large as some others we have passed; we have passed more timber to day than usual & more of a mountain Scenery our Camp is near a couple of Norway Pine Trees verry beautiful.& we can see much pine above us on the Mts
Mond 23d Rode with Capt Averet to day to assist him in his hard Labour to find out Suitable passes in the Mountains we are now passing among; we assended a Mt to day & Saw one of the most beautiful views of the Scenery I Ever beheld the California Mts were on our Right & the course of the Sacremento River far to the north & west of us & the many Rivers we have crossed united in one; all Making their course to the great Pacific with the extensive Timber Skirting the Rivers Extended plains &c was one of the Grandest views I ever saw in any country; after a few hours travel we came to an Indian Settlement as soon as the Children saw us they fled to their Mothers for protection one little fellow squat down by the back of his mother as close as he could get for fear we should harm him; Came about 15 miles to & encamped
Tues 24th Came about 4 miles & Struck a waggon Road which gave us great joy after traveling so long without a Pilot among a thousand Indian trails; our Pioneers Gave a Shout & it was Echoed along the whole line traveled on the Road some 11 miles to a River making about 15 miles here we found an American living in a new house who informed us we found an American living in a new house who informed us we were 20 miles from Sutters Fort & have come the best & most direct Rout we could therefore we acknowledge the hand of our God in all of our travels for his Spirit & Peace has been with us all the while our Boys have just arived in company with a brother Living in this country they have seen two men who went out with Bro Brannan to relieve the church they tell us that they have arived at bear valley & some 500 waggons are on their trail & will arrive soon at the same place; this News caused Universal joy among us; to think we should in a few weeks see our Families & Friends we have been so long absent from was truly good News;
Wed 25th our Pioneers went ahead about 20 Miles & Camped near Fort Sutters here we met some of our boys that took the Rout to Montera &c Our Camp is some 4 miles from the Fort on the American Fork about 200 miles from the Ocean but notwithstanding the tide water sets back above our Camp; this is a fine country and the people are making money fast but they complain of sickness here like. all new countrys I have been in; in time this will be one of the Greatest places for Comersial advantages in the world where this River puts into the sea is one of the finest harbours in the world I am informed some 500 Whale Ships Winter in Francisco Bay Annually
Thus 26th Augst Lay in Camp to wait for the main camp to come up & to make some repairs &c Last night the Brethrin called a meeting at the main camp & as some were not prepared to go over the Mts it was agreed that they Stop here if they wished untill spring with the Blessing of the Presidency & Camp; Wages are from 30 to $60 per month; it was also thought best as some traveled faster than others & as we were out of danger & now to enter on a regular Road that we would travel in small companys Especially through the pass of the California mountains.
Frid 27th Continued our journey 18 miles over a Plain towards the Mts N.E. & encamped on a dry water course where we obtained water by diging in the Sand
Sat 28th Augst 1847 Continued our march 22 miles over a plain to a settlement & encamped on a Stream called Bear Creek near a Mr. Johnsons here are abundance of Fish as in all of the Streams this Side of the Mts
Sun 29th Started East, directly for the Mts traveled about 18 miles & camped at a Spring among the Mts
Mon 30th Last Saturday night we had a Shower with some lightning at a distance & yesterday I heard Thunder among the Mts East of us for the first time in California to day traveled 16 or 18 miles & encamped in the Mts passed much good Timber to day such as Yellow & White Pine White Cedar &c our Camp is under some lofty Norway Pine trees.
Tues 31st Augst Continued our march over difficult Mts some 15 miles & encamped by a cold Spring as cold as if it run of from Ice Passed a Grave to day & read on the head board Ann West Died October 16th 1846 Aged 60 Years Saw where Emigrants had chained trees to the hind end of theif Waggons to keep them from running on to their Oxen; the Pines Cedars & fir trees are as large as I ever saw in any country I saw some Pines 6 & 8 ft through at the butt
Wed Sep It 1847 marched 11 miles to Bear Valley here is a General Camping place & some emigrants were hemed in by Snow Last winter 10 ft Deep they left 2 waggons here Some trees the stumps are 10 or 12 feet high where they cut their wood for fuel this Valley is hemed in by Mts Bear Creek runs through it & it is probably 1 mile in length & 1/4 mile in Breadth, we are now 60 miles from the settlement on the Sacremento River
Sept 2d Thur Lay by to rest our animals & prepare for assending the main Chain of mountains which are before us; I have just returned to camp from the Mountains we will assend in the morning I Saw where the Emigrants let down their waggons with ropes from pine trees it is a bad mountain to pass but not half so bad as we came over in Sonora Called the Back Bone in my travels to day I found plenty of Huckle Berrys different from any I ever saw before large & delicious last night our horses Snuffed Some at wild animals I also Saw a Curious Spring a Short distance from the upper end of the valley
Frid 3d Sept 1847 Assended one of the highest mountains we have yet passed & traveled over Rocks & difficult places for about 15 miles & encamped near a board nailed to a tree which read James A Smith Died Oct 7th 1846 aged 26 years we passed one waggon which had been left by emigrants & a number of Lakes or Ponds in the Mts; our Camp is on the head waters of a River that runs a westerly course
Sat Sep 4th Continued our journey up the Mts passed a number of Lakes & Camped at a Spring which is made by the Snow melting on the mountain above it; this water is as cold as Ice water for it is ice water the Snow lies on the Mts North & South of us; some of our boys brought Snow to Camp Last night there was some frost at our camp; we are now about 9338 ft above the west Sea or will pass the highest peak of these mountains tomorrow; went out a Hunting this afternoon Killed nothing but saw plenty of Bear & Deer tracks thought I had done pretty well not to meet the Bear that made such Big tracks Came 12 miles
Sun Sept 5th 1847 Continued on march up the Mts for about 5 miles & came to the height of the Mts or the Region of perpetual Snow; here I Stood on Snow some 4 ft Deep & viewed the Mts crowned with Snow all around me I thought no wonder we have frosty nights & cannot Sleep on account of cold in our blankets we soon decended one of the steepest Mts I ever saw; how emigrants ever got their waggons up the Mt I know not Some 4 miles down the Mt we passed some cabins where some of the last Emigrants Died or killed each other [Donner's Pass]; I am told out of 90 only about 30 lived to go through to the Sacramento River to see the Bodys of our fellow beings Laying without Burial & their Bones Bleaching in the Sun Beams is truly Shocking to my feelings; we came 18 or 20 miles & encamped on a fine Stream of water & plenty of Grass
Mon 6th Sept Started early & traveled 3 or 4 miles & met Elder [Samuel] Brannan who was returning from Salt Lake he informed us that Capt James Brown had got instructions for us from the 12th & letters &s we therefore returned to our camp to wait for him to arive & also to wait for the whole camp to come up
Tues 7th Sept to day Capt Brown & company came into camp I received a letter from my Wife dated in Augst 1846 I was Glad to hear from my family but my joy was filled with Sorrow when I was informed verbally of the Death of my old Mess Mate Bro Elijah N. Freeman whom I left on the Rio Del Norte he was buried on the Banks of that River he was one of the best men I ever knew & Faithful in all that he did; I had anticipated great joy to meet him again but his work is finished on Earth & he is gone to do a Greater work than he could do here May God Bless his Dear Companion & Relatives with his Spirit to bear up under the Severe trial it must be to them; I have just heard of the Death of Henry Hoyt one of our Brothring who was behind us he Died a few minutes after riding up one of the worst Mts on this journey; he was buryed as decently as the, circumstances would admit of; my heart is Grieved for the affliction of this people how much we have to endure God only knows but we will Yet triumph over all & if faithful receive a full reward for all of our Sufferings & privations
Wed 8th parted with many good Brothring here hoping to meet next Summer at Salt Lake & continued our journey some 18 miles & encamped in a small valley surrounded by Mts covered with pine
Thur 9th Sept 1847 Came over a Mt to the Trucky River continued down the Same about 25 miles & encamped where the river puts through a Mt.
Frid 10th continued our march down this River 30 miles & encamped to day met the Emigration for California some 35 waggons &c the road up this River crosses it 28 times we wet our Provisions to day some in fording so much
Sat 11th Sept 1847 This morning the most of our company left in order to reach the Bluffs this fall we lay by till 4 O Clock to rest our animals for we have 40 miles to go without Grass or water; at 4 O,C we started & left the Trucky River across the Desert about dark met Emigrants for California [probably the Chester Ingersoll party of around twenty wagons] & reached the hot Springs about midnight we unpacked our animals to rest them as there was no Grass having come 20 miles in the morning boiled our Coffee in the Spring & continued our journey 25 miles farther being
Sun the 12th Sept & encamped at a Slough on the Desert; the hot Springs we passed are a Great Curiosity they Boil in one place so as to throw the water some 3 or 4 ft high & steam & smoke over a large place; there are holes where hot air bursts out over probably an acre of Ground with a continual noise making it dangerous to travel among them
Mon the 13th Sept traveled up the Sink of Marys River 20 miles & camped
Tues 14th traveled 30 miles to day & struck the Marys River where it is a Running Stream here we encamped poor Grass for our Animals in conciquence, of the Emigration this fall
Wed 15th Sep 1847 again took up our journey Came 15 miles & found a letter left for us by our boys they are one day ahead of us here we encamped tolerable Grass for our Animals
Thur 16th Sept 1847. To day came 30 m & passed a company of Emigrants bound for Origon we passed the Origon Road about noon & Camped on the River
Frid 17th Sept came 25 miles to day & encamped on the River Good Grass &c our Animals are verry much worn out
Sat 18th Sept in conciquence of Bro Gardner [probably Garner] being Sick [4th Sergeant Alexander] McCord [Company A] & myself were left with him either to come on alone or wait untill the Last Company comes up which will be some 4 or 5 days yet Bro Gardner is verry sick to day with the Chills & Fever
Sun 19th Sep Moved our Camp up the River a Short distance on account of Grass Bro Gardner is sick with chills again to day if he gets no better I know not how he will travil we look for the other company to come up tomorrow; I shot a Duck Yesterday which made us a fine supper; It is thought unsafe to travel alone on account of the Indians; the last company of emigrants we met had 7 cattle Shot by the Indians on this River above this place; we See no Signs of Indians at this place & lay down last night in peace after prayer feeling that no evil would befall us
Mon 20th Sept 1847, Lay in camp Still hoping Bro Gardner [Garner] would be better so as to travel as soon as the last camp Should come up ; he has the Chills every day & this is the 3d day we have lay by & our Brothring do not come up Yet if we felt safe in traveling alone we should go on a few miles every day before Bro Gardner is sick but it probably will be wisdom for us to wait for our Brothring to come up before we go on; we are lonesome but employ our time as well as we can; we are a long distance from Salt Lake Yet & have been on the Road about two months since our discharge without tents or anything to Shield us from the Storms but our Blankets; but traveling has become a kind of Second Nature to us so we do not complain
Tues 21t Sep To day about 11 O'Clock our Brothring Came up & we were glad after Staying near 4 days alone they Camped with us the remainder of the day; there is now over 20 of us & some 3 or 4 sick therefore we will have to travel slow
Wed 22d Sept Started Early once more on our journey came about 20 miles & camped on account of the Sick; our Camp is near some hot Springs
Thur 23d Sept traveled about 18 miles to day & encamped there is some 4 or 5 sick which makes it hard for them to travel & Slow & tedious for us; our anxiety being great to See our Families and friends
Frid 24th Sep 1847 Came about 15 miles & encamped at the crossing of the River Bro Gardner [Garner] & others have chills every day when we Shall arive in Salt Lake I do not know we cannot leave the Sick & must be Patient
Sat 25th came about 15 miles & encamped on our way to day found the fragments of a letter left by Prest [Levi] Hancock & others for us; could find out but little by it as the date &c was gone suppose the Indians found it & tore it in Pieces they follow our camps for Plunder &c they are a wreched set of Lamanites wild as the deer on the Mts Since we arrived in camp some Brothring came in who told us Some 8 or 10 horses are gone from our company; they followed on their tracks & found 8 horses stolen
Sun 26th Sept Came about 18 miles & camped last night the Indians stole 1 more horse from us making 9 in 2 nights; After we camped to day I went to the River to wash & saw a Trout; I imediately returned to camp & took my hook & line & caught 4 fine fish the 4 would weigh about 5 lbs they are a little different from the Trout in the States having fine Scales but in other respects like them
Mon 27th Sept traveled still up the River about 15 miles and encamped; Caught a fine Trout for supper they are as fine fish as I have seen in all my travels; our anxiety is great to see our Families but we have to move Slow on account of the Sick among us
Sept 28th (Tues) 1847 this morning left the Marys River & passed some mountains 17 miles over & struck the River again traveled up the River about 3 miles & encamped making 20 miles to day here a lone Indian came to us & extended the hand of friendship to us we had but little feelings of friendship for him after having 11 horses & mules Stolen by the Rascals he left us after catching 2 Trout for his supper
Wed 29th Sept passed up through a canion of the mountain into another Valley here we were met by some 20 Indians in friendship their object appeared to be to beg tobacco fishhooks &c came 23 miles to day
Thur 30th Sept continued our journey up the valley & about 9 O Clock came to the hot Springs; they are several Rods across & Boil & Smoke even a number of feet after they run into the river which is close by; came about 20 miles to day Saw several Indians who came to beg as is their custom
Frid-1t Oct, Continued our Slow journey up this valley (called the Hot Springs Valley) about 20 miles & encamped opposite a burning Mt; it Smokes like a Coal pit on the Side next to us we have seen the smoke for 25 miles back Some Indians came to us to day; I asked them as well as I could what it was pointing to the Smoke one of them told me it was a hot place by putting his hand down & drawing it back quick & blowing & biting his fingers as if they were badly burned I was much amused with them to see how injenius they were to convey by Signs what they wanted us to understand; If they wanted tobacco they would put a stick in their mouths & puff like Smokers & if fish-hooks they would bent their fingers in the shape of a hook point to the River & Jerk as if in the act of fishing; I could understand them quite well by their signs indeed they have a nack to make you comprehend
Sat 2d Oct 1847 Left the Marys River & passed up a valley with some water in it, over a hill where the water ran an Easterly course; here are some Pits full of pure water & verry deep one of our horses fell in one & we had to pull him out by main Strength; we dare not camp here but continued our course about 8 miles further making some 25 miles to day The Volcano we camped in sight of last night Shone beautiful all night
Sun 3d Oct 1847 came about 23 m & encamped in a large valley by good spring water; there is plenty of Antelope here but they are shy of us
Mon 4th Oct This morning 6 or 7 Indians came into Camp all horse Back & armed with British Fowling Pieces; we traded some with them which detained us untill about noon then traveled passed a hot Spring from which Boiling water came forth in a rapid current Sufficient to carry a good mill Several rods below I put my hand into the current & could not bear it in a moment; came 10 miles & encamped by some pitts full of good water how deep I know. not the valleys in this country have many such springs in them which are verry dangerous for Animals to go near them we had 2 horses fall in them & saw places where others had been hauled out
Tues 5th Oct Came 20 miles to day and encamped by more of the Pitts Situated in the (Sides of the North) Soon after we encamped an Indian rode up to the camp traded some & put back the way he came upon a gallop we expect he will bring others to night or in the morning
Wed 6th Oct our Indian came this morning with another with him and traded with us some more; came 25 miles to Goose Creek & encamped some 5 miles below where we struck the Creek
Thur 7th traveled down Goose Creek about 18 miles & encamped our boys have fine sport catching Trout to night; the streams are full of Fish in this country
Frid 8th Oct 1847 left Goose Creek & traveled over Mts about 25 miles & encamped in a small valley surrounded by tremendious rocks with a small spring brook running in it
Sat 9th Oct Continued our journey about 20 miles to a branch of Raft River & encamped; some Pine & Fir on the Mountain as well as Cidar but verry Stunted in its growth
Sun 10th Oct traveled down the river about 25 miles & encamped passed an Indian Settlement to day the valley here is large & we cannot be far from Fort Hall how far I cannot tell
Mon 11th Oct Came down the River some 20 miles & encamped near a Road we suppose leads to Origon we cannot be far from the Fort from Every appearance Saw 3 Graves of Emigrants to day
Tues 12th Left Raft River & struck an East course some 7 miles & came to a Noble River running West we crossed 2 fine Streams of water & camped on the River (we suppose is called Snake River) having come 22 miles to day
Wed 13th Oct 1847 Continued our journey up the River about 25 miles & encamped on the River passed a number of beautiful falls on the River to day
Thur 14th Oct Continued our March for about 20 m & arrived at Fort Hall visited Capt Grant of the Establishment bought some Necessarys for our journey &c Capt Grant read his remarks on our people who had passed him this fall; as recorded in his journal; He says they were gentlemen payed for all they got of him & he heard no Oath or vulgar expression from any of them but he could not say so in regard to Other people who passed him this season; He is a Gentleman of Inteligence & Observation
Frid 15th Oct 1847 left Fort Hall & struck a direct South Course for the Salt Lake traveled 20 miles in a verry cold Wind & encamped on the Banock River
Sat 16th Oct Continued our journey up the River some 18 miles & encamped the Mts on our Right are covered with what I suppose to be firr Timber
Sun 17th Oct Left Banock River & passed over a chain of Mts about 20 miles & encamped on a stream of water
Mon 18th Oct Missed our trail & traveled among the Mts all day & made but 3 miles; however we found our Rout again the same day
Tues 19th traveled about 20 miles today on Sick Creek so called in conciquence of the trappers all being sick who eat of the Bevers they caught on this Stream
Wed 20th Oct continued down Sick Creek 20 miles & encamped; saw many Buffalo Bones since we left the Fort
Thur 21t Oct traveled about 25 miles & encamped on Bear River; this is a fine stream of Water & runs here through a fine valley bordered by Mts with timber probably suitable for building saw some Antelope to day; Geese & Ducks are plenty on this Stream; we find the best kind.of Grass in this country,
Sun 24th Oct made 20 miles to day & camped at a Ranch where our people were herding Animals the first man I saw was T. Bingham [Company B] my old Mess Mater who was left on the Rio Dell Norte sick to return to Purblo [Pueblo] to winter with the Detachment that left us at Santa Fee; from him I learned my Family were not here which was one of the Greatest trials of my Life; to think that I had left them with the Expectation to meet them here & had suffered almost every thing but Death & traveled some 1500 miles since the 21st of July with joyful hope of Meeting them here and thought of the Happiness of their society again to be disappointed to hear they were 1100 miles still from me & no possible Chance of getting to them in 8 or 10 months to come is almost to much for me to bear & without any means to Get Provisions or Clothing for the Season that is approaching if I could cross the Mts I would not rest till I saw them but the Mts are now covered with Snow & my animals would die & I Should perish among the Mts & never see them here therefore I must wait till Spring before I can go to them; I ask God the Eternal Father to bless them & presirve them in health untill I meet them one more on the Earth; & I ask it in the Name of Jesus Christ Amen
Mon 25th Oct arose Early & came 20 miles to the Settlement of our people Saw many Glad to see me which comforted me some; this is a delightful valley surrounded by Mts with beautiful Springs of water
Tues 26th Oct To day visited the warm Springs & bathed which was a great relief to me after traveling in the dust so long; the water is just warm enough to bathe in it seems at first to warm to be Immersed in but after the body is wet & the first sensasion is over it is delightful
Frid 22d Oct 1847 Continued our journey by crossing Bear River & going down the valley; passed a cluster of Hot Salt Springs also passed a lake where we saw the most Geese & Ducks I ever saw in any country at one view; camped on a beautiful Stream coming down from the mountains East of us here I would like to Settle & make me a farm it is the most delightful place I have Seen since leaving the Pacifick coast
Sat 23 Oct Continued down the valley & passed some Salt Hot Springs in Sight of a part of Salt Lake about 25 miles & arived at Settlement of the Utaw Indians where we found a white man with his flocks about him of horses Cattle Sheep & Goats he informed us we were in forty miles of the Church; he told us 566 waggons had arrived besides the Pioneers and Soldiers; God Grant we may find our Families after 15 months Drill in the U. S. Army & our constant fatigue in traveling 9 months of the time some 3 or 4000 miles
Wed 27th Oct 1847 last night found me a home for the present at my cousins C. Turner which is a Great Relief to my mind I ask God to Bless him & his Family & Substance on my account for all of his kindness to me
Sun 7th Nov 1847 From the 27th of Oct to the present time employed my time in assisting Mr. Turner in building a house; we go 12 miles to a Canion of the Mts for Timber & obtain Beautiful Fir which makes fine Cabbins to live in; there has arrived 556 waggons this season besides the Soldiers of the Battalion & we have nearly enclosed by Blocks of buildings about 40 acres or 4-10 acre lots built around each 10 acres; there are from 2 to 5 miles north of us many warm & Hot Springs & seviral small lakes full of Ducks & Geese; the valley extends some 30 or 40 miles South 20 miles west 10 East & probably 100 North; the great Salt lake is 20 miles from us laying west & North from the Town; Salt is so plenty we can go to the lake & Shovel it up & soon load waggons & the water of the Lake is so Salt that 4 Barrels of water will make by boiling 1 Barrel of fine table Salt as good as can be made
From the 7th to Sun 21st Nov the weather has been Generally fine with the exception of a few warm Snow Storms the snow fell from 6 in to 12 in depth; the Snow is now nearly gone & it is warm like Summer We have moved into our Cabbin in the Fort & I am as comfortably Situated as I could expect but Still am lonesome on account of being absent from my Family; I Pray God to Bless them in my absence untill I can go to them in the Spring
From the 21st November to the 6 Dec we have had fine weather a light frost nights but warm days insomuch that Grass is now growing so that Cattle &c are doing well the ground has not been froze except in places where the Sun cannot come; if this weather continues a short time there will be probably 1000 Acers of Wheat Sown & some corn ground plowed besides Onions Lettuce &c put in Gardens the prospect looks fine for this people here
From the 6th Dec to the 19th we have had some snow & the Ground is now froze 6 or 8 inches deep; Yesterday I crossed the Jordan & other streams of water on the Ice; but this morning the weather is warm & looks like Spring If the Lord would send warm weather for the Grass to grow & melt the Snow & Ice in the Mts ; how soon would we see our Families in the States
From the 19th to the 25th frosty nights and warm days; the Snow is now nearly gone & the weather fine; to day we were waked by the fireing of Cannon & the day was spent in Work by some & amusement by others & at night Dances & plays by the Yong People; I visited one of my Old Neighbors who was driven out of Illinois with me & partook of a fine Christmas Dinner; but my joys are damped by the consideration of my Family; they are more than a Thousand miles from me & no possible chance to go to them till Spring; their trials Privation and afflictions is unknown to me & were they known I could not releive them; but the Same Being who has Preserved me in all my travels I trust will be their Support in every Situation they may be placed in
From the 25th to the 1 day of Jan 1848 the weather has been mild; some snow fell & now is on the ground cattle & horses are doing well in the valley; to day the 1st of Jan  a publick meeting was called to adopt Laws) for our regulation for the time being or untill the question is settled between U.S. and Mexico & we know whose hands we shall fall into; time runs Slowly away & will untill I see by Family & friends From the It to the 12th Jan the weather has been fine; the frost is out of the Ground & the People are plowing & sowing Grain & making Gardens; to day 12th a company Starts for Winter Quarters
Jan 13th 1848 yesterday removed my lodgings to Bro Drake's last night had some rain the People are making extensive prepa.... HERE THE JOURNAL CONTINUES --in the Utah Historical Quarterly on October 1959, pages 386-404......rations for Gardens Plowing etc. etc the weather is warm like Spring & the grass is growing fine so that cattle & horses have plenty of green grass; the atmosphere is pure & there has been no sickness as yet among us to speak of
From 13th to 16th fine weather like summer days; some Frost nights; we are in hopes of starting for the States in about four weeks if the weather continues as it is now there is some 4 or 5 sawmills building one Grist Mill in operation & one or 2 more building besides other machinery in progress; the streams in this valley are good for all kinds of machinery as I ever saw in any country
Jan 19th for the last few days have been in the mts cutting timber I find more timber than I expected [to] find among the mts. the snow is melting fast & I hope soon to be on the road for my family;
I learn Onions Lettuce & Tomatoes are comeing up here the weather is like summer in the valley although we have some frost nights All are pleased with Climate &c &c
Sun 23d I am to day at the ringing of the Bell assembled to meeting Eld Taylor Preached to us & gave us good instrution; the Weather is fine & uniform Pleasant days & cool nights; to day a com pany starts for Fort Bridger & soon a company starts for the Pacific Ocean to explore a new rout for the Saints to come to this valley; the longer I stay in this place the more I am pleased with the Location climate &c
Jan 27th 1848 two weeks from to day we expect to start for the states; the weather continues warm as usual
Jan 28th Warm & Pleasant like summer I am reminded of the words of Sister Webb "Where the sky is serene & the Pure Waters flow; where the Climate is healthy, O there let me go" this is truly the finest climate I ever was in with the exception of the Pacific Coast. there is but little sickness here & those that complain their diseases were brought on by other Climates. There are some disadvantages we labour under here our Timber & wood has to be brought from the mts & there are many deep springs in this valley which are dangerous at present for cattle an[d] also the wolves kill some cattle; but the springs will be drained & the wolves will be killed in a few years indeed we have cought & killed more than 300 wolves this winter already the People are busy & doing all they can for the general good of the Settlement with a verry few exceptions & they appear to be self willed &c I am pleased with the Officers who are left to Preside here in the absence of the 12 Apostles; no man will do wrong if he will adhere to there Counsil for they are good men; & men of God & I feel to Bless them in my heart all the day long & I want to be blessed of my Heavenly Father under the hands of such men & hope I may live & assist such men in their work for the Last time though it be through much tribulation8 [Those "left to Preside" were: John Smith, president; Charles C. Rich and John Young, counselors; and Henry G. Sherwood, Thomas Grover, Levi Jackman, John Murdock, Daniel Spencer, Stephen Abbott, Ira Eldredge, Edison Whipple, Shadrach ROundy, Jahn Vance, Willard Snow, and Abraham O. Smoot, high councilmen.]
Sun Jan 30th 1848 Yesterday & to day some snow fell the Wind is in the North & it is some cooler than usual; one more sabbath is all I expect to spend in this valley untill I go for my beloved Family whose anxiety & concern for my wellfare must be Great after more than 18 months absence through an Enemys Land of Deserts & mountains. Suffering more than Death by hunger thirst & fatigue While I think of the trials Privations & exposures my family must have endured in my absence being left on the naked Prairie with only a covered wagon for their shelter from the elements destitute of many of the comforts of Life[,] I can hardly wait with Patience for the time to arrive which is set for our departure
Mon 31t Jan snowed some & appears some cooler than usual
Tues Feb Ist to day some snow on the mts & in the valley some fill at night
Wed Feb 2d 1848 Warm & Pleasant through the day
From 2d Feb to the 6th Warm & pleasant days with Frost nights today Sun 6th attended Publick meeting in the Old Fort & listened to a good discourse from Eld P. P. Pratt on the subject of the Gospel which immediately concerned us as a People; the People are well & enjoy the best health here that they ever enjoyed before & we conclude this is as healthy as any part of the World for there are some from different parts of the World. the longer I live here the more I am Pleased with the Location & Wisdom of the 12 in leading this People to this little World of Blessings; here is the Great Salt Lake answering to the Ocean with all the Rivers & Streams of the Great Bacin flowing into it & having no communication with any Part of the World; & surrounded by a chain of Everlasting mountains to enclose us we hope from mobs & the heavy hand of Percicution that has hithto followed us
Feb 9th the weather continues warm & pleasant I have seen Grasshoppers & butterflies & outher insects today Sporting in the sunbeams & the Geese are coming back to Salt lake from the South
Sat. Feb 12th 1848 the weather continues warm; a company has just returned from Fort Bridger with Beef cattle they report the mts passable for Pack Animals but the snow is in places 8 or 10 ft deep we expect to start the fore part of next week for Winter Quarters with letters &c for the Church; we learn that the company that started the 12th of Jan are at Bridger waiting for us to come up before they go any farther Last night about 9 O'Clock Bishop [Jacob] Fouts died of a Fit of Apoplexy but few Deaths have occurred here & those of Diseases of other climates
Sun 13th Feb assembled for meeting & partook of the Sacrement &c we can see to day the snow falling on the mts & the Council thinks we had better wait another week before we go to Winter Quarters as some of the men were frozen badly who came from Fort Bridger. My anxiety is so great to see my family I would freely endure almost any privation or hardship to get to them
Mon 14th we can see some snow fell on the mts last night & we are under the direction of the Council to go as soon as they think we can go in safety as they have important letters to send; which must be carryed in safety & they think we should not start for winter [Quarters] untill there is a prospect of our Animals as well as ourselves subsisting among the cold mts we are to pass over the company that returned from fort Bridger some of them were badly frozen & the snow & cold winds was verry severe on them; although here in the valley it is warm & pleasant & no snow; horses and Cattle are doing well for Grass is fine on the benches of the mts and wheat is coming up in short this is one of the most beautiful locations I ever saw as to health pure water & mill Privileges excelent. Soil Salt &c the atmosphere is so pure we can see 20 or 25 miles as plain as we can see 5 or 6 miles in Illinois or the eastern States; & I have seen cattle pla[i]n feeding near Salt lake at least 18 or 20 miles of [f] when the sun was nearly setting I could not believe such storys myself if I had not traveled so much in the valley & [k]new the distance. I have often seen mts ahead in my travels which seemed to be only 18 or 20 miles off which has taken 3 day hard travel to reach
Tues 15th 1848 Visited a canion of the mts & saw some fine trout in the stream that run from the mt there is also flowers in bloom in the canions I also saw Green Grass 3 in high my horses are doing well &c
Wed 16th fine day
Thur 17th last night we had a fine shower which will probably cause the Wheat to come up & the Grass to grow finely; the inhabitants were just agoing to water their wheat ground but the shower was in time; so it saves much work; although the rain fell here in the valley it snowed on the mts so as to cover many mts that were bare before
Frid Feb 18th 1848 Last night about 4 In snow fell in the valley & about one foot deep on the mts & to day it snows some though it thaws as fast as it falls & the weather is warm
Sat 19th warm but cloudy & some snow storms around us on the mts; some cattle have been killed by the wolves lately; how soon we shall be able to start for Winter Quarters I know not for there has much snow fell lately on the mts which will put us back for some time yet Last night Mrs Allen died in this place of consumption
Sun 20th 1848 Last night froze some but to day it is warm & pleasant & the snow is dsappearing fast & from every appearane I hope we shall be able to start for our families soon; I have been about 17 months from my family & have not heard from them for more than 8 months no one knows my anxiety to see them unless they have been in like circumstances & possessed of like refined feelings of home & the joys of domestic life But I am thankful to my Heavenly Father that I am with kind Brothring & Friends who administer to my necessities & am not under Tyranical U S Officers suffering hunger thirst sickness & fatigue on trackless deserts & mountains crowned with snow as formely & hope I may never [see] such times again
Mon 21st & Tues 22d good weather the snow that fell a few days ago is nearly off in the valley; Yesterday two Gent[iles ?] arived from Fort Bridger on their way to California they report the road passable over the mts which makes me hope we shass [shall] start soon on our Journey to winter Quarters today there was a Wolf Hunt which proved fatal to 1 man by the mane [sic] of Shade he dug & eat a Root which proved to be musquass & only lived a few minutes after he returned home 9 [For another account of this see "Diary of Lorenzo Dow Young," Utah Historical Quarterly, XIV, 1946, page 65.]
Wed 23d Last night the wind was in the North East & it froze as hard as any night this winter but to day it is more moderate & thaws some
Thurs 24th to day the weather is fine as usual
Frid 25th four months to day since I arrived in this valley; the time seems long since I parted with my Family & friends at Council Bliffs [sic] but I hope the Council will let us go soon to our families
I am sure if they had been as long from their Familes they would feel different but it is all right they do not want us to go untill we can go safe & not endanger our lives & those of our Animals among the cold bleak mts we have to cross over; to day the weather has been warm although we can see the snow falling on the mts around us
Sat 26th Feb 1848. Last night Prest Levi Hancock visitet us (from Company E) & sung some of his Excelent songs composed while on our Journey to California accompanyed by the violin;'° the description of our Suffer ings and Hardships brought vividly to my mind scenes I hope never to see again; Prest Hancock is one of our best men; his counsel on all occasions was good I have been with him in many trying circumstances & always found him faithful & True; I hope I may so live that I may never forfeit the friendship of such men; I have Just returned from a visit to the warm Springs the Ensign Peak & a bed of Red paint on the side of the mt 11(the red paint is iron oxide, a precipitate from the sulphurous waters of the springs. The Indians used this for their war paint). the Springs are a curiosity & have effected cures & probably will yet be a resort of Thousands; my heart is full of Gratitude to my Heavenly Father when I think of His Mercy & Goodness to this People; our situation in this valley is delightful here I breath a pure & free Air not contaminated with foul Spirit of Mobocracy & misrule & trust here we can sit under our own vine & fig tree
Sun Feb 27th 1848. -This morning is pleasant & beautiful & appears like Spring weather; last night we had some frost but the Grass in places is 5 or 6 inches high especially on the benches of the mts at 12 O Clock to day Prest L. Hancock called the 70's together on some business concerning the erecting some houses for Prest Joseph Young &c while we were assembled a boy of Mr. Oakee was killed in a moment by the rooling of a sawlog from the top of a saw pit to see ' the sorrow & anguish of the Parents was Lamentable some men for the lack of Cautiousness involve many in Sorow & Destruction this axident has involved us all with a feeling of simpathy & sorrow
Mon 28th the weather is still warm & the appearance is we shall soon start for winter Quarters
Tues 29th Is the Last day of Winter; to day Prest L Hancock called us together who are going to Winter Quarters to fix on a day to start; the Council decided last night we might go when Prest L. Han cock thought best & it was agreed unanimously we start next Monday; which is a great relief to my mind after an abscene of nearly one year & eight months from my Family; Last night it rained all night & to day is a lowry misty day if the weather should clear off pleasant Grass & wheat would grow finely; the Indians around us in this valley are Singular beings; they took some Indian Prisenors from another tribe soon after our People came here & killed them after trying to sell them to us with the exception of one a female & soon as our People saw they killed their Prisenors they bought the Squaw & clothed her & she is now living in town & learning our Language fast a few days ago the Indians agreed to go on a hunting Expedition they had one lame Indian among them who was unable to go with them or get a living they therefore for fear he would fall into the hands of their Enemies decided he should die he was accordingly killed; we frequently saw the poor fellow in Town & did not know they had killed him untill a few days ago
March 1st 1848 commences another Spring which is the second Spring I have seen since I parted with my Family & friends at Council Bluffs to day is one of the Pleasantest & warmest days we have had since last fall and from every appearance we shall have a tolable good time to cross the mts
Thurs 2d March Today 40 men started against a tribe of Utah Indians who have killed some of our Cattle & drove others away; fine day warm as usual &c
Frid 3d March 1848 Yesterday I saw wild Geese returning from the South which indicates Spring I also see the Salmon are coming from their Winter Quarters to the stream in the valley I saw some fine ones in Mill Creek the other day they are an excelent Fish their flesh is yellow & sweet eating;12 (According to Lee Kay, of the State Fish and Game Department, these "salmon" were what are now called "native trout) this is the warmest day we have had this spring & I trust we shall have a good time in crossing the tuts the time has come for spring crops some are plowing some sowing & others are making Gardens fencing &c the Wheat is coming up & Grass is now fine for stock &c
Sat 4th March 1848 The boy that was killed last Sun I have since learned the particulars of an Indian was the cause of the log rooling on the boy I saw a number of Indians at the time running for home when the accident took place; he reported the affair to his Chief; the Chief told him to take one of his children a little boy & go & deliver him to the man who lost the Child to kill or adopt in his family as he saw fit & to the astonishment of the Parent the Indian came with his boy & offered him in sacrifice to atone for his supposed Crime Mr Oakee gave him to understan we had no such customs among us he therefore could take his boy home This morning has ushered in fine as usual I think Spring Weather is farely commenced; at all events the People mean to have it so by their diligence & Industry in Gardening fencing plowing &c
Sun 5th March This morning the troops came in to Town that went out the 2d March; they found the Indians had stolen 17 head of cattle & one horse they took one Gun from them & caused some to be Whiped & they promised not to do the like again So they left them;13 (A report of the event, made to Brigham Young in an epistle from Salt Lake, reads: The Marshall with forty four men has just returned from visiting the Indians on the east side of Utah Lake, and reports that they had driven off and killed seventeen of our cattle and one horse; the only compensation obtained was one gun; the chief whipped several of the band and they all promised to do better. See Manuscript History of brigham Young, March 2nd, 1848, pp. 14-15, L.D.S. Historian's Library.) To day is a beautiful day warm like summer; while the People assembled for meeting at the Stand Prest L. W. Hancock myself & others met at Father John Smith[']s to receive his Benediction & Blessing we found him in Excelent Spirits and were Blessed with a Blessing indeed He said we should be prosperd on our Journey our Animals also we should enjoy Health be preserved from our enemies & go safely through & find our families Well''&c &c. & I felt truly it would be so inasmuch as we were faithful to our God & Each other; it is truly gratifying to me & I rejoice we have men in this Church whose Words are the Word of the Lord & whose faith Prayers & Blessings Prevail with the mighty God of Jacob in our behalf & I know the Lord has sustained us in time past as the Prophet told us & verily he will again
Mon 6th March 1848 The long wished for day has at last come when we were to start for our famileys & friends at winter Quarters we were supplyed by the Liverality of the Saints with Provisions for our Journey; came 6 miles from town to the mouth of the canion & encamped to wait for for some to find their horses at night we were exposed to a severe shower of rain which ended with a snow storm towards morning
Tues 7th March lay by for the boys to come up
Wed 8th March our boys came this morning & reported that Prest L. W. Hancock had concluded to stay So we chose Bro Wm Garner for our Capt & R S Bliss Historian & forth with packed up & started for the mts soon after we started it commenced snowing & continued snowing severe untill we camped which was after passing over one mt. about 19 miles from the valley near Willow Springs
Thurs 9 passed up the mt we soon found the snow to increase in depth after taking the waggon some 3 miles we was obliged to leave it; we continued to progress slowly untill we came within a mile of the top we laboured hard to brake down the snow untill night & were obliged to camp in the snow & our horses had nothing to eat all night Snowed all day
Frid 10th 1848 March this morning some went back to the waggon to get letters &c while others went to brak roads & examine the mt we soon assertained it was impossible to go over the mt in this pass So we had to go back came as far as willow Springs & encamped on our old camping Ground; the snow was from 2 to 10 ft deep & perhaps more our animals as well as ourselves have had a hart time we assended a mt with our animals untill we were enveloped in the cloud that had rained and snowed all day on us & it was so thick & dark we coud not see each other only a few rods apart
Sat 11th today came down the Canion to the Valley & encamped on Red But[te] Creek to wait for some to arrange their baggag for packing as we shall leave the Waggon & go up the Weaver [Weber] River some 30 or 40 miles North of here
Sun 12th March this morning some of our animals strayed away & it took us untill late to find them started however earley enough to reach the City Plot about noon where some of our friends met us from town & bid us good-By again came this afternoon about 10 m & encamped hoping some more will join us here there being but 7 now in company 4 having left us on account of the waggon being left behind.14 (Appearing on the torn last page of the journal are seven names, apparently of the men who accompanied Bliss. The names as they appear are: Wm Garner, Capt.; R.S. Bliss, Historian; Alvah C. Calkins; Abner L. Blackburn; Ami R. Jackman; Saml Lewis; David Stuart. With variations in spelling, these same names appear in the Manuscript History of Brigham Young, p. 35. William A. Garner was a private in Company B of the Mormon Battalion, while Alva C. Calkins was a private in Company A and Abner L. Blackburn and Samuel Lewis were privates in Company C. The names of Jackman and Stuart do not appear on the Battalion rolls) Their Baggage could not be carried
Mon 13th 1848 This morning started in good season & traveled to the mouth of the Weaver & encamped we observed a variety to entertain us to day[,] Wild Geese Sand bill Cranes Spring Birds Butterflies & a variety of insects Flowers of various hues & was cheered by the Peeping of the frogs in many places just as we camped we saw 13 mt Sheep
Tues 14th Last night was a cool Windy night but to day is again fine weather passed up the weaver through a difficult pass through among the Rocks & Sides of the mt which opened into a fine valley some 2 miles wide with considerable timber on the streams came to the upper end of the valley & encamped near Some Indian lodges lately deserted this valey would afford great advantages for a settlement15 (The "difficult pass" was undoubtedly Devils Gate, and the "fine valley" was probably Morgan Valley.)
Wed 15th March continued our Journey up the weaver & crossed it some 16 times within ten miles; we came to the waggon road about 2 O'Clock P.M. & traveled some 5 miles farther & en camped by some mts of rocks resembling Ancient Castles making about 20 miles to day we are now 45 miles from Salt Lake16 (For earlier accounts of traveling this route, see: "The Journal of Heinrich Lienhard", Utah Historical Quarterly, XIX, 1951, page 130).
Thur 16th Last night it rained nearly all night soon after we started it commenced raining again & continued to rain by Squalls untill about noon then snowed untill we camped which made it verry disagreeable traveling we made 26 or 28 miles to day
Frid 17th Snowed all night but we started for Bear River that our Animals might find some grass to sustain them for they found none last night to day is cold & Windy we found some difficulty in going through snow banks & fording the streams reached Bear River about 10 or 12 miles & forded it & camped on the East Bank found plenty of wood which we were destitute of last night Excepting a few willows
Sat 18th March Last night it snowed & this morning the mts & valleys were covered with a mantle of snow the weather is cold we had frequent snow squalls through the day & some difficulty in getting our Animals through the snow drifts for the last few days our Animals were frequently down & it was by much exercion they could extricate themselves from the drifts of snow came some 18 miles to day and encamped on a stream called Muddy
Sun 19th March 1848 Last night was cold with some aveled 14 miles & reached Fort Bridger here we encamped to buy eat &c for our journey here Bro Armstrong left us who had acmpaned us from the valley here we were joined by a Gentleman ho wished to go with us to the states to day is a cold raw day with now squalls snow
Mon 20th March 1848 Left. Fort Bridger this morning & rossed a number of streams on the Ice which were verry difficult to ross to day is also cold & snows some occasionaly; had some sport to day with a herd of Antelope they were hemed in between two creeks & they had to run by us before they could get out of our reach we fired one. shot at them but they were to far of[f] to take effect we came about 18 miles & camped on Blacks Fork
Tues 21t March Last night was the coldest night we have had but today has been pleasant there is no snow on the ground here & has been none since we left Fort Bridger saw many Antelope today & some Sage hens they are a fine fowl much larger than the Prairie hen of Illinoiss; came 19 miles to day & camped on Hams-Fork a fine stream this is comparatively a level-country though upon the height of the mts we have been some 5 or 6 days traveling on verry elevated ground & expect it will take some four or five days more to pass to the other side of the mt
Wed 22d This morning left Hams Fork & traveled 18 miles to Green River a tributary to the Old Colerado which we crossed near the Gulf of California we crossed after comeing up the West Bank 5 mil by fording it this is a fine River & plenty of Cotton Wood growing on either side continued our Journey 6 miles farther to Big Sandy which runs into Green River below the ford making 29 miles to day saw many herds of Antelope to day there is no snow here but we can see the Wind River mts white with snow far to the North east of us
Thur 23d to day came about 28 miles & camped on little Sandy from Big Sandy to, the ford of the same is about 18 miles & from the crossing to little Sandy 10 miles making 28 miles to day saw many fresh signs of Buffalo this afternoon also saw many Antelope to day but they are verry Wild having been hunted so much by the Indians
Frid 24th Came 30 miles over the Pass or divide & camped on to Sweet Water; Last night had some snow & to day frequent snow squalls & verry cold colder than we have seen this winter this after noon the snow difficult to pass & injurous to our Animals feet on account of the crust
Sat. 25th March 1848 to day came 12 or 14 miles down sweet water & camped on camp creek verry cold & disagreeable found considerable snow in drifts which was hard enought to bear our animals in some places; saw some herds of Antelope on our way to day & signs of Buffalo
Sun 26th this morning was to cold to think of traveling & as we were in a good place & plenty of grass we called it Camp creek & concluded to lay by & rest ourselves & animals over Sabbath
Mon 27th March came about 16 miles & camped on Sweet water through a snow storm all the way; we are now probably one hundred feet lower than our last camp & it is much warmer soon after we camped we found two of our boys who left the 15 Jan last they were in a deplorable condition one had froze his feet so he was unable to travel & they had killed their only horse to subsist upon & had eaten the most of it the day before we found them they killed an Antelope & 2 Geese which was better than horse Beef we took them & their effects with us the next day
Tues 28th March the snow fell several inches deep last night we came 25 miles to day after leaving camp crossed some high hills17 (This was probably the crossing of the divide at South Pass) over to Sweet Water 10 miles crossed then struck across the Plains 15 miles & camped snowed all day made a most disagreeable camp in the snow & storm
Wed 29th Last night it continued to snow nearly all night the snow loaded down the tent so that it fell upon us in the night had a most disagreeable time in making a fire of Buffalo Chips (meadow muffins) to cook our breakfast; came some 20 miles & encamped; snowed occasionaly through the day; had to make our beds on the snow again to night
Thur 30th Snowed again last night continued our journey but made only about 16 miles to day on account of the depth of snow saw many antelope to day & where 2 Bear had crossed our Road
Frid 31st Cold night & clear cold day made only 16 miles to day passed a place called Hell Gate where Sweet water river cuts its way through a mt of Rocks & camped at Independence Rock named by Mr Sublet many years ago who celebrated the 4th of July on the top of it
April 1t 1848 Cold night & to day is cool & fair after we had come this morning some 4 or 5 miles we discovered a number of herds of Buffalo & concluded to lay by & kill some meat as we were nearly out of meat; came about 12 miles to Sage creek & camped about one hour after we had encamped one of our boys came in & reported he had killed a Buffalo we immediately took 6 Animals & dressed & packed it into Camp
Sun April 2d 1848 this morning packed our meat & started for Willow Springs 12 miles from our last camp here we dried our meat ready to start on the morrow to day was one of the most Windy days I ever saw we could hardly keep our feet saw many Buffalo to day; they have eat all the Grass in this country or left but little for our Animals
Mon 3d Last night the snow fell on us about 2 Inches came 28 miles to Platt[e] River on our way passed Poison Springs & a good spring for emgrants to water at also saw thousands of Buffalo & killed 1 sage hen for supper
Tues 4th April crossed the River & continued down the same 16 or 17 miles & camped on account of one of our Animals giving out the Grass is so poor our horses & mules can barely subsist the Spring Grass is just beginning to start out of the Ground & there is but little dry feed; last night verry Windy
Wed 5th April After we camped yesterday a herd of fine Buffalo came near our Camp & we shot one & took the tallow & some of the best meat the Grass is so poor we came only 12 miles to deer creek & camped Deer Creek is a fine clear stream With much timber for this country saw some fine herds of Buffalo to day they are verry tame any number could be killed with ease here & on Sweet Water is a fine place for Emigrants to lay in for meat for Journying West this is one of the finest days we have seen sine we left the valley while walking about I discovered a fine bed of stone coal near our camp
Thur 6th April 1848. Came 5 miles then struck over the Blk hills passed a number of clear streams of water & camped on a creek near to Arch Bridge we killed one Antelope to day; about sun down our boys killed a Buffalo & brought some of the choicest meat & tallow into camp came 18 miles to day
Frid 7th 1848 came 19 miles to day; saw many Buffalo Elk & Antelope our Animals are failing the Grass is so poor they cannot find enough to eat
Sat 8th April came 18 miles over the most rough road among the Blk Hills we found no water the whole distance only from melted snow passed some Pine to day the buffalo are not so plenty here & the Grass is better camped at Kimball Spring
Sun 9th April 1848 -Last night soon after dark the wind commenced blowing & soon it commenced snowing from this time untill Sunday night the wind blew & the snow came from the North west without cessasion one of the most severe storms we have experiencd; conciquently we had to Lay by all day
Mon 10th April 1848 came about 15 miles to Bitter Wood creek & encamped to let our animals feed as they were kept tied all day Sunday
Tues 11th April came 15 miles to Warm Springs & drank of its waters & continued our Journey 15 miles farther to Fort John18 (Originally called Fort William, the post was built in 1834 by Robert Campbell and William Sublette. Fort John was the name given to the post after it was acquired by the American Fur Company. About 1846, the fur company built a new post a mile upstream on the Platte and called it Fort Laramie. See Edgar M. Ledyard, "American Posts," --Utah Historical Quarterly, III (April, 1930), 61-63) & encamped the weather appears to be settled yet we have cool nights with Frost with the wind in the North
Wed 12th left Fort John this morning & continued down the Platt about 12 miles & came [to] a traders Lodge where through the acquaintane of Mr Wheatley who accompanied us from fort Bridger; we obtained 50 or 60 lb of fine dried Buffalo meat which was generously given us by the Gentleman of the Post this afternoon continued our Journey some 10 miles farther making about 22 miles
Thur 13th traveled about 28 miles to day & camped in sight of Scotts Bluffs
Frid 14th Started without Breakfast & traveled 10 miles for Breakfast opposite Scotts Bluffs continued on Journey 12 miles farther making 22 miles to day
Sat 15th the weather has been fine since last Sundays storm & Grass is growing & the elements seems to rest from their War we experienced among the mts Started soon after sun rise & came 14 miles before we took breakfast past chimney rock to day it resembles a light house some 300 ft high from the bed of the River saw herds of Buffalo this afternoon we have now entered the Buffalo country again came 25 miles to day
Sun 16th April 1848 Started at Sun Rise & came about 12 miles to Breakfast then continued our Journey about 13 miles making 25 miles
Mon 17th April came 22 miles to day Last night a herd of Buffalo crossed the River almost into our camp
Tues 18th came 4 or 5 miles to ash hollow here we left one of our animals which gave out supplied ourselves with some flour & Buffalo meat for a few days & continued our journey Some 10 miles & encamped
[There follows three (3) pages of illegible writing. However, some of the entries have been recopied on the following four (4) pages.]
Wed 19th April continued down the platte about 10 miles and encamped saw a herd of Buffalo feeding not far off we soon killed one took about 100 lb of the best of the meat & dryed it for packing for our use on the road here we also kill a goose & Prairie Chicking
Thursday 20th Started early saw many herds of Buffalo feeding killed one that was laying in our road he was to poor for our use came 25 miles
Fri 21st came about 16 miles & camped on an Island to obtain wood to dry our Buffalo meat for our Journey the remainder of the way fo[r] we expect soon to be beyond game of any kind crossed Buffalo creek to day a fine stream saw a herd of Buffalo feeding sent one of our men to kill one he soon gave us a signal that he had killed one went to him & found he had killed one two years old we got him in camp about sundown & set up nearly all night to jerk it in order to start early the next morning
22 Sat Started about noon to day we was delayed in cosiquence of our meat not being dry enough came 14 miles today a& camped
Sun 23d came about 28 m & encamped in a grove of timber one of our men did not come into camp as soon as we expected him we sent back after him but could not find him we made signals by fire & Guns but he did not come up we spent an anxious night for him while the wolves growled & snapped there teeth around us all night we was fearful he had fell in with Indians & killed
24th after looking some time this morning for the lost man started on our way came a few miles & found one of the horses our lost man had left & soon found him he had missed our camp & gone some 5 miles below our [camp] camped alone he said he did not sleep much on account of the wolves
[The entries for April 25 through 29 are illegible.]
Started again & made 30 miles & camped without fire to elude the Indians
Mon May 1t 1848 Started before sun Rise & came 18 miles before breakfast continued our journey 12 miles farther making 30 miles & camped on the Platt below the Forks
Tues 2d May started Early & traveled 10 miles for Breakfast to the liberty pole when we came in sight of it we gave a Shout for Joy knowing we were only 16 miles from the Horn & 42 from Winter Quarters where we hope our Family & friends are we have not seen for nearly 2 years after breakfast continued our Journey crossed the Horn by Swimming ourselves & animals over; then traveled 8 miles & camped to avoid a band of Pawnees who were verry saucy and impident to us stoping our Pack animals & holding our horses by the bits till they had took whatever they fancied
"Wednesday, May 3, 1848. Capt. Gardner, accompanied Samuel Lewis, Alva C. Calkins, William Garner, Ami Jackman David Stewart, Robert S. Bliss, and Abner Blackman, arrived at Winter Quarters from the Valley, bringing many letters." Winter Quarters were at the Omaha-Council Bluffs frontier settlements; "The Valley" refers of course to the Salt Lake valley.
Here the journal ends, but we know that Bliss and his companions reached Winter Quarters. The Manuscript History of Brigham Young (p. 35) and the Hosea Stout journal both give the account of the arrival of the party from Utah.19 (Stout's entry for May 3, 1848, reads: "Eight men arrived from the Valley. News Good." --The Hosea Stout journal is in the manuscript collection of the Utah State Historical Society). What we do not know is when and under what circumstances Robert Bliss met his family. A search of the records in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Historian's Library and the files of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers has produced no additional information about the Bliss family coming to Utah. However, a Bliss genealogy published in 1881 has this to say of the journalist.
"Robert Stanton Blisss, of Cold Springs, Cal., (son of Capt. John Bliss and Lucretia Bishop, of Avon, N.Y.) was born in Montville, Conn., Aug 1, 1805, and married in 1833 to Mary Payne. He was in the Mexican War in 1846-1847, after which he went to California as a pilot or guide, with the first company of golddiggers, and died at Cold Springs, in 1851.20 (Genealogy of the Bliss Family in America, From About the Year 1550 to 1880...(Privately printed, 1881)
Robert's sister, Ruia Angeline Bliss, married Edwin Holden. Edward and Ruia and some of their eight children died in Provo, Utah, Utah.
Church records show that Robert died at Cold Springs, El Dorado, California in 1851.
Other records show a Robert S. Bliss died in 1857 at New Salem, Massachusetts.
Little is known about his wife, Mary Ann Payne Bliss [d. 3 Feb 1854?]or their three children, Lucretia Bliss b. around 1834; James Bliss b. around 1836; and a third child.
There may possibly be a second wife, Rebecca Bliss, or this could be the name of the third child.