05/11/1847 - CrockettLocation: North Platte, Nebraska - Location: 41:07:26N 100:45:54W Elevation: 2800 feet
Date: May 11, 1847
On the Platte River, Nebraska:
The morning was chilly, thirty-eight degrees, but it warmed up quickly. Thomas Bullock recorded: "While attending cattle some of the brethren dug out a den of Wolves. There were 4 fine cubs in it which were brought out alive, but afterwards killed, to make caps." William Clayton added, "They are probably six or eight weeks old and about the size of an English hare, very vicious." Brother Bullock continued: "Dr. Richards found a Buffalo horn filled with a Hornet's nest and brought it to camp. He afterwards rode to the Island with an axe, cut off a patch of bark on a large tree & wrote an inscription for the benefit of the Saints who follow after."
The pioneers started their journey at 9:30 a.m. Brigham Young, and others traveled ahead of the main company. In five miles, after crossing over some bluffs, they stopped for the noon rest. Very few buffalo were spotted during the day as they all migrated to the east for better grass.
After another three miles, they crossed over a creek of clear water that was about fifteen feet wide. They observed a number of dead buffalo in the water. The night's camp was established a half mile away where the feed was good. A well was dug four feet deep to obtain plenty of good water.
The camp was near the junction of the North and South forks of the Platte River. Some of the men were feeling ill. Wilford Woodruff attributed his illness to not yet being accustomed to eating fresh meat.
Orson Pratt wrote of a grisly object that Amasa M. Lyman found: "A human skull was found about two miles east, the teeth were perfectly sound and well set in the jaw. This skull probably was the head of some Indian warrior, who might have fallen in one of the late battles between the Pawnees and Sioux, in which the latter were victorious. From some small scars upon the bone, it had the appearance of having been scalped." Porter Rockwell exhibited this skull throughout the camp.
William Clayton wrote: "Brother Appleton Harmon is working at the machinery for the wagon to tell the distance we travel and expects to have it in operation tomorrow, which will save me the trouble of counting, as I have done, during the last four days.
Winter Quarters, Nebraska:
When Hosea Stout woke up, he found Captain Caw and three other Otoe chiefs standing in his yard, waiting for him to wake up. They were invited in and requested two more beef cattle from the Saints. Brother Stout sent the request on to Parley P. Pratt and John Taylor who approved it. Brother Stout had a nice breakfast with the Indians.
Lyman O. Littlefield left Winter Quarters on his mission to England. Alexander McRae let him travel in his buggy as far as Savannah, Missouri. From there he would ride with Daniel Spencer to St. Joseph and then travel with some Saints to Weston, Missouri where he caught a steamer for St. Louis.
Company B, Mormon Battalion, at San Diego, California:
Albert Dunham, of the Battalion, died at San Diego, from an ulcer on the brain. He had only been sick two or three days. He was buried beside Lydia Hunter.
Source: 150 Years Ago Today ©These materials have been created by David R. Crockett. Copies of these materials may be reproduced for teacher and classroom use. When distributing these materials, credit must be given to David R. Crockett. These materials may not be published, in whole or part, or in any other format, without the written permission of Mr. Crockett, Tucson Az, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Diary of Howard Egan, Pioneering the West, 37
- Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 3:173
- Watson, ed., The Orson Pratt Journals, 392-93
- Bagley, ed., The Pioneer Camp of the Saints, 152-53
- Lyman Littlefield Reminiscences (1888), p.190
- William Clayton's Journal, p.142
- Brooks, On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1:255