Salisbury, David, Life history of David Salisbury: Copied from his own diary, , [4-6].
About the first of May we had difficulty with our teams, there were so many wild horses and steers and cows that we made slow progress at first, as we were about as green as the steers; but we kept at it until we got so we could handle them better, and then it was a very wet spring, and the roads were awfully bad. Some days, we could only travel two miles a day, we had to travel through so much swampy land. The rain would come down in torrents. Some days we had to stop travelling on account of the storms, and bad roads. Day after day we would be soaking wet, so we made up our minds to buy some oil cloth clothing the next town we came to. We went in one of the stores and bought a suit of oil clother, as there were no rubber goods or rain coats. After that the rain didn’t affect us so much, but on account of the heavy storms the roads were almost impassable, but we were not discouraged. After six weeks we arrived at Council Bluffs. There we met a large Company of Saints camped on the Missouri river waiting for the water to go down. Here we also camped for about two weeks. During this time they were organizing the company. They appointed Moses Glawson [Clawson] Captain of the company. They they appointed captains of ten. A man by the name of Miller was our Captain. We were running short of supplies, and wondered how we would get our supplies to last us over the plains. Their was a group of saints coming with us from Texas. Father was telling one of the Texas Brothers about it, and the brother told him to come to the Store with him, and he bought enough supplies to last us across the plains. I often think about that kind brother. We have never been able to see him since that time. He being from Texas, he joined the Texas Company of Saints, and did not even tell us his name or we would have tried to hav paid him for his kindess. Now it is about the first of July and the water is gone down and the captain ordered us to get everything ready to start on the morrow for our thousand mile trip. So on the morrow we bid the saints at Council Bluffs farewell and the St. Louis Company of fifty wagons started to cross the Missouri river to the promised land.
They were willing to cast their lot with their brethren and sisters that had been driven from their homes for the sake of the Gospel. It is quite a sight to see this long train of fifty wagons starting on a thousand mile journey, but they are a happy lot and the weather had been settled and the two weeks rest that our teams had at Council Bluffs put them in good shape to continue the long journey. Day after day we would trudge along, and when we would camp at night out teams were turned out to grass and the guards to watch them, for we were travelling through an Indian country and we had to herd our stock. The captain of the guard would call us out by turn. After this was done we would sit around our Camp fires, and after supper we would have a good time singing and dancing, for we had some good musicians in our comapny. After enjoying ourselves for an hour or two the camp was called to order for prayer before we retired to rest. Everything was done in order, so that there would be no confusion. We travelled about fifteen miles a day as a rule. We made an average of about 100 miles a week. We rested on the Sabbath Day, and would hold meetings and enjoyed ourselves by hearing encouraging words from our brethern, rested for the next week’s journey. The entire journey was exceedingly hard on our teams. We had to travel through sand hills and food for our cattle was very short while we were travelling. The women and larger children would go ahead of the train and cut grass with their knives to feed to the poor teams when they would come along. The captain had a Clayton Circle that would tell us every day how far it was to water and feed. Sometimes when we got there we would find very little feed, as the trains ahead had consumed most of it, which made it very hard on our teams, and some of them were getting quite thin and tender-footed.
As we were travelling along the Platte River, we encountered large herds of Buffalo. Some of our best hunters would go out after the herd and very often would kill one and bring the meat unto camp. It was quite a treat to have a little fresh meat. One day as we were traveling we saw in the distance a herd of buffalo headed towards us. They came through the centre of our herd, causing a stampede. I tell you it was an awful sight to see fifty teams running away over the country. The wagons loaded with women and children. It was not a small job to get these teams together again, but through the blessings of our Heavenly Father no one was hurt. There were some broken wagons, but as we carried extra wagons tongues, axels, and reaches along the wheelright soon had them mended so that we could continue our journey. The next stampede that we had was while fording a river, and there some Indians were crossing at the same time and frightened our teams, and we had another stmpede. We collected our teams together and found that they had not suffered any serious damge; so once more we were preserved. So you can see that our pathway was not all strewn with roses, but we were not discouraged.
Every day brought us a little nearer to the end of our journey. A few days after we experienced the second Stampede a company of brethren from the valley camped with us, as they were going on missions. We had a night of singing and dancing and they told us good things about the valley. We were quite encouraged after our visit with these brethren. The latter part of our journey, the feed was very scarce, and our teams were very poor. The captain of our ten thought it would be better for our teams if the company would divide up; so about twenty teams left the comapny and made a big drive to get ahead of the main company. This was a bad move. It was away into the night when we got into the camp. The teams were fagged out and we were all tired and hungry. So we unhitched our teams and turned them out to graze, and we were so tired that we ate our supper and crawled into bed, too tired to guard. In the morning when we went to get our teams there were none to be found; so we held a council regarding what would be the best course to persue. We decided that part of the men should hunt the cattle and part should stay with the wagons. After they started to hunt the cattle, they found that they had turned around and gone back. This situation made necessary a twenty mile journey back before they caught up with the cattle. During this journey, they had no provisions with them, but it so happened that there were cows in the herds; so they picked up some horns of cattle and milked in them to fight off the pangs of hunger. It was along in the middle of the night when they returned, hungry and tired. We did not know what had become of them. So we lost more than we gained by that move, and when we caught up with the main company agian, we were mighty glad to stay there.
Slowly we moved along for our teams were very poor, but the names of the Saints had been sent in ahead, also what company they were in. So some teams were sent to help us. When we got on the top of Big Mountain, we could see down into the valley. Oh, what a shout went up—to think we were so near our journey’s end. It had been about ten weeks since we left Winter Quarters. Wading streams encountering storms of rain, deseret lands, and coping with two stampedes had made the journey a tough one, but we almost forgot our troubles as we came down the bench from Emigration Canyon, and the brethren and sisters came out to meet us, bidding us welcome to their mountain home. The brethren and sisters came from the north, the south, the east, and the west, to invite us to their homes.