The Mexicana (sailing vessel)
Read Trail Excerpt:
Following is a daily account of the journey of this company across the plains culled from the private journal of Captain Miner G. Atwood:
Monday, July 31, 1865. I went to the Danish camp; I found that eleven wagons had no oxen. I went to the corral and picked out oxen which were small and very wild. We left Wyoming with 28 wagons, having not one good teamster among us. Brother [Henson] Walker assisted me in moving the camp. We corralled or made camp about two miles from Wyoming. In the evening had prayers and singing. I sleep out in the open air. It rained all night.
Tuesday, August 1. Today Brother Taylor and Brother Holman came out and organized the company, myself (Miner G. Atwood) as captain, Brother Anders W. [Wilhelm] Winberg, chaplain, Brother Charles [Barber] Taylor, captain of our guard, and Brother Johan [John] Swensen, commissary. Soon after they left we had the rain come down in torrents, which continued all night, only abating for a time when we had prayers.
Wednesday, August 2. The first part of the morning was very wet. As soon as the rain was over we met for prayers, after which the cattle were brought into the corral and yoked and numbered. Some were missing; during the day one ox was drowned. In the evening we had prayers, when Brother Taylor, Winberg and myself spoke.
Thursday, August 3. Rose at 5, prayers at 6, after which the cattle were yoked. About 10 o'clock we started and rolled about three or four miles and camped. Some teams were left behind. Had some singing and prayers and a little speaking.
Friday, August 4. The weather was very dull. I had eight oxen brought into the corral and yoked and sent them back to help those that were left yesterday. In the afternoon Brother Walker came out and informed me that there was considerable sickness raging in Wyoming. I went back with him on business but returned to camp about nine in the evening.
Saturday, August 5. After singing and prayers, the cattle were brought up and yoked. At 10 a.m. I moved the camp; traveled four miles and camped. The cattle were becoming more tame. We fell in with some merchant trains going to Fort Laramie. While we were traveling, a sister was confined of a son. After supper we had singing and prayers and a little speaking, a good, peaceable influence prevailing throughout the camp.
Sunday, August 6. Had singing and prayers and started out at 10 a.m. Fine, pleasant weather and a good spirit throughout the camp. We passed over two creeks and one rather dangerous bridge, but all the wagons got over safe. At noon I corralled for two hours in order to rest the cattle and have dinner. While here a man came to me and demanded five dollars for the fuel that the camp would burn while we stayed there, but his demands were futile; he did not get anything. This made the second time today I have been asked for money for wood. At 3 p. m. we started again and passed over one creek. The roads were very heavy and the cattle, being wild, makes it bad for the camp to roll. We camped at sunset, and at 9 o'clock we assembled for prayers when I spoke for a short time. The evening was calm and lovely.
Monday, August 7. After singing and prayer, we started out about half-past nine a. m. The cattle were becoming still more tame and we rolled along splendidly. At noon we stopped to rest and started again at 3 o'clock. I camped at sunset today, having traveled nine miles.
Tuesday, August 8. We were up at 4 o'clock. The morning was very cool but fine. After breakfast we had prayers, when the cattle were brought into the corral and yoked. We started at half-past 8 o'clock; traveled nine miles, passing over Nemahas [Nemaha] Creek, and corralled for dinner. We started again at 3 p. m. and traveled six miles when we camped for the night. We had singing and prayers, at which I gave the people some instructions, after which we sat around the campfire and had some music and singing.
Wednesday, August 9. We were up at four o'clock; had prayers and singing and started at 8 a. m. Traveled nine miles. An axle tree broke. We stopped at noon for dinner. While here a child died and was buried. We started again at 3 p. m. and at 7 o'clock we camped at Salt Creek fifty-five miles from Wyoming, all very tired.
Thursday, August 10. We stopped at Salt Creek this morning to repair the axle tree. Brother [Benjamin] Hampton's train overtook us, intending to travel with us to Great Salt Lake City. At 3 o'clock we rolled out, passing over Salt Creek; the bridge was rather dangerous, being too narrow for the teams to pass over. We camped about dark. While traveling a sister died; she had been sick for some time before we left Wyoming with a fever. The camp has improved very much in health since we have been traveling. We had prayers and singing. The mosquitoes were very troublesome at this place.
Friday, August 11. We rose at four a. m. and rolled out at 5 o'clock; at 8 o'clock we corralled at Ghease Creek, when it commenced to rain hard, continuing until 3 p. m. this detained us here for the day. A grave was dug and the sister who died was interred here by the side of two saints who were buried at this place last season.
Saturday, August 12. Brother B Hampton's train of ten wagons came up again with us; also Davis's mule train, consisting of ten wagons. They both intend to travel in my train. This morning we were detained on account of the rain. At 1 p. m. the cattle were driven up and at 2 o'clock we started. The roads were very heavy but more level then they have been. Traveled nine miles and camped on Blue Creek. Here I wrote to Brother Holeman [Holman] concerning our travels, which I sent by Mr. Ewing. At 9 p. m. we convened for singing and prayers.
Sunday, August 13. This morning we stopped while the roads dried and at half-past nine we met together and had a good meeting, myself and Brother Miles [Park] Romney being the speakers, Brother [Anders or Andrew] Winburg and [John] Swensen interpreting for us in the Danish tongue. I blessed a child, giving it the name of Christine William. A good spirit was present and all felt well. At 1 o'clock the cattle were yoked and at half-past two we started, passing over Blue Creek Bridge. Traveled five miles and camped near a slough. Assembled for singing and prayers.
Monday, August 14. We rose at 4 o'clock and as soon as the cattle were yoked we rolled out. Traveled ten miles and camped by the Walnut Creek at 2 p. m. Today the roads have been rougher then they have been since we left Wyoming. At 10 o'clock the cattle took a stampede, supposedly caused through the mosquitoes, which were very troublesome. Those who were on guard said the cattle were all lying perfectly quiet when in a moment they rose up and started off, running for three miles. The greater part of them were driven back and brought into the corral. Soon after it commenced to lightning and thunder very bad and the rain came down in torrents, so that altogether we had a very unpleasant night. Especially was it so for the watchmen.
Tuesday, August 15. The first thing in the morning I sent men in all directions to look for the missing cattle. They were all found and brought into the corral and yoked and at 8 o'clock we started. Traveled nine miles and camped at noon at Beaver Crossing. I wrote to Bishop Walker, captain of the English Camp, concerning our travels. At 3 p.m. we again started; traveled six miles and camped. While we were having supper, it commenced to rain again in torrents and we had a very heavy storm, which lasted some time. We were told at this place last evening that a man had been struck dead by lightning.
Wednesday, August 16. Last evening the cattle were very restless, some straying away, but they were all found. Started at 9 a. m; traveled five miles and camped on Beaver Creek, one and a half miles from Nebraska. (The southern boundary of the State of Nebraska.) Here a sister [Phoebe Hatton Wise] came to me and begged to be taken on to the Valley with her husband [Thomas Wise] and son; I had room made for them in different wagons and brought them along. Brother Thos. Wise, the husband, gave me six dollars towards their provisions. At 3 p. m. we started again and had a very pleasant drive of seven miles. We passed two log houses on our right and we are constantly meeting mule and ox teams returning from different places. We camped this evening at sundown, and at 9 o'clock we assembled for singing and prayers.
Thursday, August 17. After prayers, the cattle were brought up and at half-past seven o'clock we rolled out; had some very bad places to pass through. Traveled eight miles and camped at noon by the Beaver for dinner. At 3 p. m. we again rolled out; the roads at places were very rough. Traveled seven miles and camped by Beaver Creek at sunset. At 8 o'clock we assembled for prayers.
Friday, August 18. We were up at four o'clock, and after singing and prayers, rolled out at 8 a. m. The roads were good. We traveled eight miles and camped for dinner. It was a lovely day and a calm influence pervaded the camp. At half-past two we started again; had very bad slough to get through. I had to have the teams doubled, but with some little trouble all passed through without any accidents. We traveled five miles and camped at sundown, where there was water but no wood. At 8 o'clock we assembled for prayers when some instructions were also given. I relieved Brother [John] Everit [Everett] from his captainship at his own desire. I appointed Brother George Heaton by vote of hands to succeed him.
Saturday, August 19. We arose at 5 a. m. Had prayers and at 8 a. m. we started to travel. Brother Thomas Taylor passed us in the mail coach. I rode three miles with him and learned that the English company had started out from Wyoming on the 15th of August. We traveled eleven miles and camped at the junction on the Platte River. Started again at 4 p. m; traveled five miles and camped. The mosquitoes are very troublesome, so much so that no one could sleep throughout the camp.
Sunday, August 20. We arose at 6 o'clock; had singing and prayers and at 8 a. m. a meeting was appointed but we could not hold it on account of the mosquitoes being so troublesome. The weather is very hot and close. At 12 o'clock we rolled out and traveled five miles, when we camped for dinner. We started again at 4 p. m. There was considerable sand at some places. Camped on the Platte, where we had a light shower of rain. The mosquitoes are still more troublesome so that we did not rest the whole night for them.
Monday, August 21. This morning a little boy died, aged 6 years. Twelve of the Danish saints were re-baptized for their health. We started at 8 o'clock a. m.; traveled eight miles and camped at noon. Yoked up the cattle and started again at 3 p. m. Traveled seven miles and camped twelve miles from Fort Kearney. Had prayers at 9 p. m.
Tuesday, August 22. Had prayers and singing; I cautioned the sisters about talking to strangers and told them to keep by my wagon. We rolled out at 8 o'clock, passing Dog Town; traveled ten miles and camped at noon, two miles from Fort Kearney. I rode on to the Fort and obtained my pass. They let the organization stand as it was. The train came on. A great number of soldiers were out on horseback to see the train pass; they made many remarks about the young sisters, some trying to get the sisters to converse with them. We traveled five miles and camped three miles, this side west of the Fort. We had not been corralled very long when a number of soldiers came up. I told all in the camp to light their fires inside of the corral and had a guard placed around the camp so that the soldiers could not get inside. They soon then started off. At 9 p. m. we met for singing and prayers.
Wednesday, August 23. We arose at 5 o'clock a. m. It was a lovely morning. We started out at 9 o'clock. A brother by the name of Keek came to me and wanted to travel with me, but I would not consent on account of him not having a proper outfit. Nevertheless, he followed along behind the train. In the evening he traded his ponys away for oxen. While we were corralled for dinner an axle-tree was broken. We started again at 3 p. m. and met two regiments of cavalry returning from South Pass. One of the soldiers said as he passed the train: "The Lord bless that people", while others exclaimed: "God damn them." We camped at sundown by the Platte, having traveled fifteen miles this day. Some soldiers came up and commenced calling Brigham Young over, telling me that he was arrested, etc. I ordered them to go and they soon went off grumbling. As usual we met for prayers.
Thursday, August 24. We were up at half-past four. Had prayers at seven and at half-past eight we rolled out. Before starting a young sister was buried, who died last evening from a long fit of sickness. We traveled eight miles and camped for dinner. At 3 o'clock we rolled out again. Just before we corralled in the evening the cattle took fright and stampeded. A young sister who was walking by one of the wagons was thrown down and four wagons ran over her. She died almost instantly. We camped at Platte, two miles from Plum Creek. At 9 p. m. we assembled for prayers.
Friday, August 25. We were up at 4 a. m. Met for morning prayers and started out at half-past seven o'clock. The weather is very hot. Passed Crossed Plum Creek; traveled ten miles and camped at noon. Started out again at 4 p. m.; traveled seven miles and camped for the night. At 9 p. m. we met for prayers, when I spoke for a short time. All felt well.
Saturday, August 26. Arose at half-past 4 m. Met for singing and prayers and rolled out at 8 o'clock. Traveled seven miles and camped for dinner. Continued on again half-past 4 o'clock, traveling eight miles; camped for the night near a station. Soon after I had corralled, a soldier came riding into camp with two others. He inquired for the captain and I told him I was captain. He then asked me how many men I had in my company and I told him. He then held out a paper to me and told me to sign it. I was sitting where I could not read it so I told him I would not sign it unless he let me take it to the light and read it. He then got into a rage and said: "Then you refuse to sign the paper?" I said: "I do, sir, unless you let me read the contents." This he would not do and went off swearing[.] I should not leave my train a "God damn step" until he had been to the Cottonwoods and back. I told him he would have to go very quickly. He went off firing a pistol four or five times as he went, and that is the last I ever saw or heard of him.
Sunday, August 27. We were up at 4 o'clock a. m. Had singing and prayers and rolled out at half-past seven. Traveled eight miles and camped at 11 a.m. for the day. At 1 o'clock we met together and administered the sacrament and a number were re-confirmed who had been re-baptized the previous Sunday. Three or four companies of soldiers passed out camp. The evening was cool and refreshing after the heat of the day. I took a walk down to the river.
Monday, August 28. Arose at half-past 4 o'clock a. m. Had singing and prayers and started out at 8 o'clock, traveling nine miles. The weather was very hot and the roads very dusty. Camped for dinner. Here a child died and was buried. We rolled out again at 4 a. m. and traveled six miles. A soldier met me before I corralled and told me there was a good place to camp about three miles from this spot. At the place he mentioned there were three or four regiments camped. He was mad that I did not go and told me that he could not offer me protection at this place. Soon after corralling, three soldiers came to me and asked me to take them along to Great Salt Lake City. They told me that they had been in the Southern Army for the past three years and now they wanted to go on to the Valley. One professed that he was a saint, but I refused to take them. They said that I was very hard-hearted and it was a pity that I had been made captain. Just after they were gone, several soldiers came and said they were looking for deserters and that they believed they were with us. They took a man around and searched the tents and wagons. When they had done so, without finding then, they said they should stay until daylight. I politely asked them to go outside the corral as I did not with the people to be disturbed. They did so, but not until 1 o'clock, after having stolen a birdal [bridal] and coat from Brother Everit [John Everett].
Thursday, August 29. The soldier that professed to be a saint last evening came to me and said he had lost a purse with ninety dollars in. The purse was found and brought to me, but there was no money in it. He swore to me that if I did not make the money good he would stop me at Cottonwood Fort. I told him if he did not leave the camp I would report him at the first station I came to. He then went off. A Danish sister died and was buried at this place. We rolled out and traveled eight miles and camped for dinner, when we were again visited by drunken soldiers and blacklegs. One of these was trying to force the brethren and sisters to drink whiskey. Brother Charles [Barber] Taylor told them not to take it from him, while the soldier drew his pistol from his belt, pointed it at Brother Taylor and swore he would shoot him. I went up to him, when he pointed his pistol at my breast and said they were going to use up all the Mormons they might as well commence doing it at once. I soon cooled him down and after a great deal of cursing and swearing about Brigham Young and the Mormons, he took himself off with the rest of his comrades. One of them begged me not to take any notice of him. We again started out and passed by Cottonwood where I delivered up the cow and calf that I had brought from Fort Kearney. The commander told me that my pass was sufficient to take my company through. We traveled ten miles and camped at dark. The day was very dusty and windy. We were visited by a great number of soldiers. I had all the tents pitched inside of the corral and the fires made inside; also a guard placed around the corral. The soldiers then came to me and said that they did not wish to trouble the guard and if I did not wish them to come inside of the corral they would go away. I told them if they were gentlemen they would go and not stay to disturb the people who were tired and needed rest. They said they only came to have a chat with the people. I told them that if they wanted to chat they would first have to learn the Danish language and that would take them too long, and so I got rid of them.
Wednesday, August 30. We were up at half-past four. Had singing and prayers and rolled out at 9 o'clock a. m. We traveled eight miles, stopped two hours for dinner, and started out again, traveling ten miles. Through a mistake we took the upper road and camped three miles from the Platte. There was no water but good feed for the cattle. Met for prayers and singing, and had some little speaking; a good, peaceful influence is pervading throughout the camp.
Thursday, August 31. We rose at 5 o'clock a. m.; started out at 8 and traveled eleven miles when we camped for noon. Here an aged sister died. We started again and traveled four miles, camping close by the Platte, ready to cross over the next morning. Assembled for prayers.
Friday, September 1. Arose at 5 o'clock a. m. and after singing and prayers ten yoke of cattle were put on each wagon. We crossed over the river safely, only one wagon being broken. In the first of the morning a gentleman came to me and wanted to travel with me in my train with his mule wagons, but on account of our crossing the river so soon, he could not as he had to leave some goods at Jules Burge. I baptized Henry Evance [Henry V. Evans] in the Plat[t]e River.
Saturday, September 2. We were up at 5 o'clock a. m. Had prayers and singing and rolled out at 9 o'clock. Traveled along by the Platte River for seven miles and camped at noon. Started again at 3 p. m, traveling eight miles. The roads are very much more pleasant on this side of the river than on the other side, being more free from dust. It has been against the law for any small train to travel on this side of the Platte, but mine being a large train and having a number of men, we were allowed to cross over without any trouble. Had singing and prayers, when I spoke for a short time. All are feeling well.
Sunday, September 3. Arose at 6 a. m. Prayers at 7 a. m. I fasted today. We yoked up and rolled out at half-past seven, traveling over a very bad piece of road, it being very hilly and sandy. Traveled five miles and camped at 6 o'clock. At 8 o'clock we assembled for a meeting, at which three of the Danish brethren spoke. Elder [Andrew] Winberg and I confirmed Henry Evance [Evans]. A good spirit prevailed.
Monday, September 4. Arose at half-past four o'clock. Had singing and prayers and at half-past seven we rolled out. Traveled eleven miles over a good road and camped at noon. Started again at 2 p. m.; traveled nine miles and camped by Platte. This afternoon a sister died. Met for prayers at 9 p. m. I heard that a short time ago a small train passed over this side of the river and that they were ordered back to the south side again. Because they did not go the soldiers came over and pitched their cattle into the river, half of them being drowned.
Tuesday, September 5. We were up at 5 o'clock a. m. Another sister died during the night, and at seven o'clock we had one grave dug in the corral and buried the two sisters in it. After singing a dirge I gave the saints some instructions how to deal with their sick. I told them to get their sick out of the wagons every day and let them have some fresh air. At 8 o'clock we rolled out; traveled nine miles and camped for dinner. Rolled out again at 3 p. m. and traveled eight miles over very rough roads. One mule wagon capsized in going down a hill, but no damage was done to the wagon. One of the wagon tongues was broken.
Wednesday, September 6. We were up at 5 o'clock a. m. Had singing and prayers, and started out at half-past eight. The road was very hilly, being also steep and sandy. Traveled two miles and camped at 11 a. m. At this place I settled some little difficulty between Brothers [John] Everit [Everett] and Eaton. Brother Everit promised to travel and be obedient to the rules and regulations of the company from this time forward. We rolled out again at 3 p. m., the roads being very good. We had not been traveling long before several antelopes were seen. The train was stopped and several of the brethren fired at the antelopes. They shot one twice, when it came running towards the wagons. A dog caught hold of its head and they both came towards Sister Frankum's [Amy Harding Francom's] oxen, which caused them to stampede. They ran for a short time very fast and would not have stopped so soon but two of the oxen fell down. However, no damage was done to the oxen or wagon. We traveled eleven miles and camped. Assembled for singing and prayers.
Thursday, September 7. Arose at 5 o'clock a. m. Rolled out at 8 o'clock; passed Jules Bruge, left the South Fork of the Platte and traveled as far as Pole Creek, where we camped. Started again at 3 p. m., passed over Pole Creek, and camped. Traveled fifteen miles today.
Friday, September 8. We were up at half-past 4 o'clock, and started out at 7 o'clock. Another short stampede took place, but no accident was caused from it. Traveled nine miles. Saw quite a number of antelopes. Rolled out again about 3 p. m.; traveled nine miles over good roads. It was very windy, dusty and cold. Had singing and prayers.
Saturday, September 9. Arose at half-past four and rolled out at 7 o'clock. Passed a telegraph station in an Indian wickiup. Here Brother [Albert Wesley] Davis sent a telegram to Great Salt Lake City. We traveled eleven miles, crossed Pole Creek and stopped for dinner. We started again at 3 o'clock p. m., traveled eleven miles and camped at 9 o'clock on top of a ridge. There was no water for the stock.
Sunday, September 10. Up at 5 o'clock a. m.; had prayers and rolled out at 8 o'clock. Traveled fifteen miles and camped at Muddy Springs for the day. This evening I was told that 2,000 Indians were at the Indian wickiup that we had passed yesterday. We had singing and prayers and some speaking from Brothers [Andrew Wilhelm] Winberg and [John] Swensen in the Danish language.
Monday, September 11. We left the Muddy Springs this morning at 8 o'clock and traveled to Plumskin Creek, roads heavy. Here we stopped for dinner, after traveling eight miles. At 3 o'clock we started again; traveled four miles and camped near the North Fork of the Platte, not far from the Court House Rock. Met at 8 o'clock for singing and prayers. Brother Swensen came to me and said he wanted no more to do with the guard or anything else in the camp, for when he went around the camp he received nothing but abuse, and so I proposed in the meeting and it was seconded and carried that he should be released from all duties in the camp. I spoke for a short time.
Tuesday, September 12. Arose at 5 o'clock a.m. Had singing and prayers and started out at 8 o'clock. Traveled nine miles over smooth roads and camped for dinner. Brother Newsome came to me with a complaint that Captain Auther had discharged him and threatened to throw his things out of the wagon and had treated him very bad. I promised to see him. At 3 o'clock we rolled out and traveled seven miles, when we camped for the night. A few soldiers visited the camp but did not stay long.
Wednesday, September 13. Arose at 5 o'clock a. m. When the cattle were driven up it was found that nearly all the mules were missing, but they were found a few miles back on the road. A child died and was buried here. Just before starting a son was born in the camp. We started out at half-past eight o'clock, passed Chimney Rock and the mail station consisting of two wickiups, traveled eight miles and camped for dinner. I am rather sick. We rolled out again at three in the afternoon; traveled seven miles and camped for the night. After singing and prayers, I preached for a short time about present duties. The saints feel well and desire to do what they can.
Thursday, September 14. We were up at the usual time; broke camp at 8 o'clock, traveled about three miles and camped. It was a lovely morning. Stopped here and set eight wagon tires, and at five o'clock started out, traveling seven miles. Had prayers.
Friday, September 15. After prayers, we started and passed over Scott's Bluffs; at the foot of the Bluffs we passed Fort Mitchell; traveled nine miles and camped for dinner. At this place a soldier brought a woman and her little boy and asked me to take them along to G. S. L. City. She said she had come from the States to this place in a freight train on purpose to go to the G.S.L. City, but had been left there by them, and had no means of supporting herself and child. She also informed me that she had been to the city and had some distant relatives there. She was not in the church, but she pleaded very much to be taken. The soldier also pleaded very hard for her. I told her if she could get anyone of the independents to take her she could go, but the church wagons were full and she could not go with them. She went all around the camp but no one could take her. At 3 o'clock we again rolled out and traveled nine miles and camped for the night. Met for prayers and singing, when I spoke for a short time.
Saturday, September 16. We were up at 5 o'clock. Met for prayers and rolled out. After traveling eight miles we camped at noon for dinner. Started out again at 4 p. m. This afternoon thirty-four of the Danish men were left behind to butcher an ox that was too lame to come farther. Just before we camped for the night the mail came along, guarded by several soldiers, and while we were corralling, they came riding back as fast as their horses and mules could bring them. One of them rode up to me and told me that two hundred Indians had just crossed over the river, they believed on purpose to attack our camp in the night. I told him we would be prepared for them. Soon after our brethren came carrying the meat they had killed. They told me they saw the soldiers coming along and when they saw them they stopped our men, waved their hands to them, and they turned themselves round and rode back as fast as they could. Traveled seven miles this afternoon. Met for prayers and had a peaceful night's rest.
Sunday, September 17. Just after we had rolled out we saw soldiers looking over some bluffs that were before us. When they saw us moving along peacefully, they came down and expressed their astonishment that we had not been attacked by the Indians. We did not tell them that it was thirty-four of our Danish brethren that has so frightened them. After we got over the bluffs we saw about fifty scouts going out to scour the country for Indians. We passed a mail station and camped at noon for dinner. At 4 p. m. we again started, and had to travel until 10 o'clock at night before we came to water and grass. Traveled twenty miles today. Met for singing and prayers. All very tired but feeling well in spirits.
Monday, September 18. We were up at 5 o'clock a. m. Met for prayers and rolled out at half-past seven o'clock. Traveled ten miles and camped for dinner. Rolled out again at 3 p. m., the roads being very heavy and hilly. I went to Fort Laramie, but came back and met the train. We camped a little this side of the Fort. Soon after we had had supper, we heard a great shouting among the cattle. The cattle had crossed the river where several of the brethren were herding them. I with others went out to see the reason of the shouting. It appeared that some soldiers had gotten amongst the cattle on purpose to stampede them and after a little time they left. Brother Romney shouted to me that they had plenty of men to mind the herd. I told them not to let one man cross over the river that night. They kept very quiet after this.
Tuesday, September 19. After prayers the cattle were brought into the corrall when I found that there were fourteen oxen and two mules missing. I sent men in all directions to look for them but they did not succeed in finding them. This detained us here this morning. About twelve or one o'clock there were three oxen came down from the Bluffs, so I immediately sent men in that direction but they returned without finding other cattle. We then yoked up and rolled out about 3 o'clock. Crossed Laramie River, passed by Fort Laramie, traveled five miles and camped. David Pudney, a young man who used to travel in the Kent Conference, visited our camp; he had just returned from Great Salt Lake City. He had joined the Josephites, giving as his excuse for leaving the church that he did not find the church in Zion as it had been represented in the old country. Some soldiers that came with him said they had heard that some young ladies were being kept in the train against their will. They were informed there was not. We assembled for prayers and had some good songs sung.
Wednesday, September 20. Rose at 5 o'clock a. m., and as soon as possible, I, with several of the brethren, went in search of the missing cattle. Some of us were on horseback and some on foot. We struck out in all directions and searched all day, not returning to camp until after dark, but did not find any cattle. I found on returning that some of the brethren had found eleven and brought them into camp by 10 o'clock in the morning. This evening some more soldiers visited our camp from the Fort and inquired around the camp if there were not young ladies with us against their will. They were told there was not any such, but they did not go away satisfied. We assembled for prayers.
Thursday, September 21. Called the camp at 5 o'clock a. m. At 7 o'clock the colonel of the Fort, accompanied by several officers, came riding into the corral and asked to see me. When I went to him he said that he had received a letter from some one stating that several of our people were going to Great Salt Lake City against their will and if it were so he intended to give them protection and would stop us until he had seen for himself. I told him I would call the people together and he could inquire of them himself if it were so or not. I accordingly had the horn blown and all, both young and old, within a very few moments, were assembled inside of the corral, when an interpreter whom the colonel had brought with him commenced speaking to the people, telling them what a hard journey they had before them and what an awful place it was they were going to, and if they would go no farther they should have employment at the Fort or be sent back to the state free of expense. I said I was not going to stay to hear a sermon preached to convert the people, but if there were any who wished to go back to the states they were at liberty to do so. I then spoke at the top of my voice and said if there is a man or woman who wished to remain, to stop, or if they wished to go on, to say so; they all shouted in a loud voice: "We will follow our captain." I turned to the colonel and asked him if he was satisfied and he said he was. The cattle were then yoked up and we rolled out at 8 o'clock. Traveled five miles, passing over Break Neck Hill, and camped for dinner at this place. One of the church oxen died. Rolled out again at 2 p. m. and passed a station where four houses had been destroyed by Indians. Traveled seven miles and camped by the foot of the Bluffs by the Platte. The sky was overcast and a little rain fell. Also had some lightning and the wind blew very hard.
Friday, September 22. We rose early and after having assembled for morning prayers, we rolled out. The roads were very rough and dusty passing through the bluffs. We traveled ten miles and camped for dinner at Cottonwood Creek. We had just unyoked and the mules and oxen were being driven to water when about fifteen Indians came riding down amongst the cattle from the hills, hooting and yelling. Some of them had fire arms and some arrows. They fired at the herders, trying the while to stampede the cattle but the cattle all ran for the corral, the mules leading the way, and the Indians did not succeed in driving one away. Seven Danish men were wounded and one sister taken away; what her fate is none of us can tell. The names of those wounded are as follows: John Swensen, P.O. [Peter Oluf] Holmgren, Sven Neilson [Svend Nilsson], Peter Christensen [Christiansen], Jens C. Petersen, Andres [Anders] Erickson and Frants [Fronds Christian] C. Grundtenig [Grundtvig]. This brother's wife was captured; her name is Jensine Grundtenig [Jensine Christine Hostmark Grundtvig]. This all occurred in less time than it takes to write it, and though some of these brethren were wounded very badly they soon recovered. I ordered the cattle to be yoked up and as soon as it was done, I had a guard put in front of the train and one in the rear, the people taking the center, having a good guard about them, and we traveled ten miles over hills, the roads being very rough. We did not corral until 10 o'clock. The night was very dark and cold. We had to keep the cattle in the corral all night, after traveling all day without grass or water. In the morning I found six oxen dead.
Saturday, September 23. The morning was pleasant. We assembled for prayers at 11 o'clock a. m. rolled out and traveled seven miles. Camped at Horse Shoe Creek, where there is a military station. In the evening we met together, when Brother Romney and I spoke, giving some good instructions to the people. From this time until we reach the valley, [Benjamin] Hampton's ten ox wagons and [Albert Wesley] Davis's ten mule wagons are to travel in my train under my command. This was done by vote of hands. A good spirit prevails throughout the camp. I went to the telegraph office to send a dispatch to Brigham Young this evening, but the wires were down so that it could not be sent until morning.
Sunday, September 24. Called the camp at 8 o'clock a. m. Met for prayers when I spoke for a short time upon the necessity of our being prayerful and united; said I would rather travel with five wagons where the men were united than with so many that would not do as they were told. This morning is fine and lovely and a calm, heavenly influence hovers over the camp. The telegram was sent this morning, word coming back that they would send us an answer soon. We waited until 11 a. m. and then started, the conductor promising to forward the answer on to Deer Creek. A short time ago Brother Everit [Everett] drove in a cow that was grazing on the plains and today I ordered it to be yoked up as so many of our oxen had died. Brother Everit and his wife got mad about it and said it was their cow and no one had the right to do as they pleased with it and that I would not mind if they were left behind. I told him to wait and see. Brother Everit has a horse wagon and four yoke of oxen and two cows, and yet they will not help their brethren in the least. They stayed away behind the wagons all day. We camped near the Platte where two of [Benjamin] Hampton's oxen died. In the evening we convened together and had a good meeting, myself and brothers [Miles Park] Romney, Priestley and Davis spoke.
Monday September 25. We were up at 5 o'clock a. m. Met for prayers and then rolled out. Some soldiers rode up and informed me that they had been scouting the country and there were no Indians for a hundred miles. We traveled through some very thick brushwood and camped near the Platte. Brother [Christopher Jensen] Kemp [Kempe] lost one of his cows in a stampede, which left him but twelve oxen and one cow, so I told him to yoke up Brother Everit's [Everett's] cow that he claimed. Brother Everit got into a great rage. I called the captain of tens and a few other brethren together and they all decided that any stock picked up by the way should be used for the benefit of the company where they were most needed, but Brother Everit contended that the cow was his as much as though he had bought it, so we concluded not to have anything more to do with her, but to let him keep her and do as he pleased, as he was not willing to abide the decision of the brethren. We yoked up and crossed the river where we corralled for the night. Held a meeting.
Tuesday, September 26. We arose at day break and just as we were starting, we saw Captain [Henson] Walker's train coming along, so we stopped. Pres. Holman and Captain Walker came over the river to our train while I crossed over to their company. I found them all well, they having had but two deaths in their train & had only lost four or five head of cattle since they started; neither had they been annoyed by soldiers or interrupted by Indians. They had been taken for an emigrant train instead of a Mormon company. They rejoiced to see me and the rest of the company as we did also to see them. We rolled along at half-pasted ten o'clock; traveled five miles and stopped for dinner, where there was good grass and water. We rolled out again at 3 o'clock, traveled five or six miles and camped for the night, the English company camping near by us. Pres. Holman and Captain Walker came over to our camp. Brother Holman asked me, in case Brother Walker's train traveled faster than mine, if I would let Brother Davis's ten Mule wagons go on with them, but I would not give my consent for the present to let them leave.
Wednesday, September 27. We arose at 5 o'clock and rolled out at 6. Passed through the Devil's Adobe Yard, traveled eight miles and camped for breakfast. Started again at half-past 11 o'clock, traveled eight miles, crossed over the Platte River, where we camped for the night. I visited the English Camp, they camping near by us.
Thursday, September 28. We arose at 5 o'clock a. m. Met for prayers and at 8 o'clock we rolled out. The roads were very uneven. We traveled eight miles and camped for dinner. This morning Captain Walker's train went on a head of us. Brother Davis came to me to get my consent to go with him, but I would not give it. Brother Romney came to me and spoke in a manner not becoming a brother because I did not consent for the mule wagons to go on. We traveled fifteen miles today and camped near the English company, many of the brethren and sisters visiting back and forth. It was a cold night. Met for singing and prayers as usual.
Friday, September 29. The morning was frosty but bright. Rolled out at 8 o'clock, crossed a creek and traveled nine miles. Met a company of soldiers. Camped by the Platte for dinner. Started again at 3 p. m., traveled six miles and camped at Deer Creek Station. Brother Holman and I rode on to the station and received an answer to the message that I sent to Brigham Young from Horse Shoe Creek Station, stating that the president had gone south but would return on the 29th, that is today. I telegraphed this evening to Brother Thomas Taylor that we had but ten days' provisions on hand for the Church people and requested him to meet us at Green River without fail. Brother Holman also telegraphed to the president that two companies were camped at this place. [The journal of Miner G. Atwood's ends abruptly here.)]
Source of Trail Excerpt:
Atwood, Miner G., [Journal], in Journal History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 8 Nov. 1865, 8-22.
(Research):Looks like he was also married to Rosina Catherine Jemmett, had a son Edgar and Dora Mabel by this marriage. Edgar was living with Charles LeRoy Knight in 1900 in Bluffdale.