Emigrant Camps

“Practice varied as to the disposition of people and livestock in relation to the coral. One would suppose the emigrants, with or without tents, would sleep inside the corral for maximum security and livestock would graze outside, under guard but ready to enter the corral at a moment’s notice. . . . But more often it seems to have been the other way around. . . . ‘The tents were always pitched and the fires built outside the circle of wagons. This was done so that, in case of an attack by Indians, we could get behind the wagons and the firelight would show us the attacking party.’

As a rule the cattle were grazed outside while there was still daylight, then driven into the corral for the night and the ‘gate’ closed. . . . the normal place for horses and mules seems to have been outside the corral. They might be free to graze unfettered in the neighborhood under the watchful eye of the night herders, but more often the stock was hobbled or picketed to reduce the chances of the dreaded stampede.”