Burton, Robert Taylor, Autobiography.
Early in Oct. in company with Genls. G[eorge]. D. Grant, William H. Kimball and some twenty others I was sent East to aid the last companies of the hand cart emigration who were yet some 500 miles from the valley and reported in a suffering condition. On arriving at the head of the Sweetwater river the weather became very cold, snow falling deep and no tidings from the Emigrants[.] sent forward messengers who returned reporting the critical condition of the handcart companies. We pushed on through snow and cold meeting them near the Platt[e] river[,] found them suffering from cold and hunger, much of which it was impossible for us to relieve, but we were enabled to bring them along slowly. In the snow and intense cold we were reduced to ¼ rations very many of the people falling by the wayside in spite of all our efforts burying as many on one occasion as 16 persons in one grave, but as we journeyed homeward in a few days began to receive additional aid from the valley of teams and provisions until arriving at the South Pass some 250 miles from Salt Lake[,] we were enabled to get all that remained of these companies into wagons and could now make good progress toward home. Here (South Pass) General Grant and Col. Kimball left me in charge of the company which finally arrived in Salt Lake on the last day of Nov. with 104 wagons and teams winding their way over the Big mountain. This indeed was a grand sight to us as we looked back upon the hardships and sufferings of this most critical campaign of my life. The hardships and sufferings of this company of people can never be told. Found my family all well.