May 5, 1847
Summary: Horseback riding.
Journal entry: WEDNESDAY: The morning fine and very pleasant. Saw two small herds of buffalo a few miles from camp.
At seven-thirty continued our journey. I went on foot about two miles and then stopped to count the horses, mules, oxen, etc., and afterwards walked on again to the first wagons.
Here Elder Kimball offered me his horse to ride. I then went ahead with the horsemen. We soon after came to a very bad slough and had to bear off to the north to find a place to cross it. The prairie after we crossed this slough about a mile wide from the river was very soft and it was necessary to bear still farther to the north. The horses feet cut through the sod and the ground appeared wet under, although there has been no rain for some time.
At eleven - thirty we stopped to feed on a small patch of unburnt grass, having come about nine miles, course about west, with a very strong south wind. There were two buffalo within about a half a mile from camp, grazing. Some of the brethren went to view them, but the orders of the day are not to kill anything which the men cannot carry to camp.
There are no appearances of Indians near except the prairie which is still burning ahead of us, supposed to be set on fire by them. About one p. m. continued our journey and traveled till three p. m., when some of the hunters came in, bringing a live buffalo calf, also one they had killed. They reported that John Brown, Jackson Redding and John S. Higbee, Luke Johnson had each killed a calf. The one killed by Brother Higbee having previously been shot by Amasa Lyman. Joseph Mathews killed a cow and Elder Kimball, 0. P. Rockwell and John S. Higbee chased the one brought in alive until a dog seized it and Porter left his horse and caught it without shooting at it and led it to camp.
The revenue cutter was unloaded and sent after the cow and calf left, they being about three miles off. We traveled on about a half an hour and found the prairie all in a blaze. President Young and Kimball thinking it unsafe to risk the wagons near the fire, ordered the camp to go back a half a mile to an island where we can have water for our teams and be secure from the fire. The prairie is all burned bare and the black ashes fly bad, making the brethren look more like Indians than white folks.
There is some feed on the Island, and the cattle easily ford the stream to it. The calf is tied in the circle. When a dog goes near it, it will attack the largest and they flee from it, though not more than six or eight weeks old. About half past six the revenue cutter arrived with the meat, which was fatter than any we have had. They also brought in another calf which they killed while out for the cow, making a total of one cow dnd six calves brought into camp today. The meat was divided amongst the companies of ten, each having either a calf or half a quarter of a cow.
Source: William Clayton's Journal
Published by the Clayton Family Association, and edited by Lawrence Clayton. To the best of our research, this contents of this book are no longer under copyright.