Woodward, W., to Albert Jones, 12 Sep. 1906, in Handcart Veterans Association, Scrapbook, 1906-1914, fd. 2, letter 7.
Albert Jones, Dear Bro.
Seeing an announcement in the Deseret News of Sep 3 I was anxious to correspond with you, My paper was mislaid and only last night I found it.
I belonged to the 4th. Hand cart Co. Jas. G. Willie capt. Or rather was called president when our company was organized: Millen Atwood Capt. Of 1st hundred; Levi Savage Capt 2nd hundred; William Woodward Capt. 3rd hundred; John Chislett capt 4th hundred; A H [Johan August] Ahmansen capt of 5th hundred.
Willie & Atwood, are dear[hear] Savage lived in Southern Utah; Chislett and Ahmansen apostatised
I was clerk of camp at Iowa City, and historian, two days after my arrival on the 2nd of June 1856.
Directly after our company arrived the 1st &2nd Hand Cart companies were organized Some of our people were put in the 1st Co. Some in the 2nd Co the balance made the 3rd Co.
Edmund Ellsworth capt of 1st. Company John Oakley and Wm. Butter, aids. McArthur capt. of 2nd company, Spicer W Crandall, & Truman Lenan aids Edward Bunker capt 3rd Company (Welsh) David Grant & John McDonald aids. the 4th company as I have mentioned above. I was present when the 5th and 6th companies were organized, but subsequently they were merged into one.
The Relief Train came to us one night on the Sweetwater. The express met us two days before, composed of C. H. Whetlock[,] J.A. Young, Steve Taylor & a bro Garr. They were away to take comfort to the 5th company and urge them to travel to meet the relief train. Geo D. Grant was in command of the relief train. He left some wagons with our company; W. H. Kimball in charge. Snow came on us the night we met the express about a foot deep. We had given all our flour out at the suggestion of some of the express as the relief train they said would soon be with us. We had lost half of our cattle this side of Fort Kearney, and we were in a poor fix to travel in the snow. So we staid till the relief train came. (two days later)
Some of you tell of hardships; hardships they were truly. We buried 68 . I kept the camp journal as our clerk gave out. Our butcher died, so I became butcher. In crossing the Rocky Ridge, two of our teamsters gave out in a bitter snow storm. Atwood and I had to take their places and we picked up the straglers. Our wagons were full of people, we got to camp away in the night; next day we buried 13 and the 2nd morning 2 more besides them.
We arrived in SL City Nov 9th.
To talk of our experiences is a thrilling theme. I was 8 weeks at Iowa camp. I have lived here more than 46 years. Yours t[ruly] W. Woodward