“On this [riverboat from St. Louis to Leavenworth] were bills posted stating that Majors, Russel & Waddell wanted several hundred young men to drive ox teams across the plains to Utah, and would pay $30 per month for the round trip or $40 and take our discharge at Salt Lake City. . . .
We learned that the government was going to establish three military posts in Utah Territory and that Majors, Russel & Waddell had a large contract to deliver their beef cattle and soldiers’ supplies to these posts. That Col. Van Vliet had gone on ahead with an escort of twenty men to hunt out and locate them and be ready to receive the soldiers and supplies when they arrived; and that Majors, Russel & Waddell’s’ contract would require twenty-six trains of twenty-six wagons each and require six yoke of cattle to each wagon. . . .
We went to bed at the outfit house and Monday morning at three o’clock, they called two of us to get up and go to the Company’s store to get our guns and blankets that the Company furnished and charged to us, as every man had to be armed· with a rifle at least. . . . Then we were taken in a wagon four miles out to Salt Creek, from which place we were to start. We got there at day break. . . .
But I had not much of an appetite then for any thing that was in reach, for the overwork and poor “grub” began to tell on me, as I was not used to the kind of food we had-bacon, saleratus bread, boiled rice, and dried apples. . . .
But we told him that they could drive as far as they liked, but we did not drive on a single rod, and that, if we thought he was going to ask us to drive every Sunday, we would unload our traps and stop right here, as this country suited us very, well, and we didn’t hire to drive Sundays nor be dogged about by any body. . . .
In the morning I was considerable better, and Rennick let me have his individual two-gallon keg which the boys filled with this cold spring water. Then they wet a blanket, wrapped the keg in it and put it in the wagon for me. It kept cool all day. . . .
[At Fort Kearny] I succeeded in buying some bottled pickles and a few beans of the soldiers. . . .
We said we were glad to hear that, and that there was a law in regard to a train boss discharging a man over twenty-five miles from a settlement, and that the Company was responsible for the acts of a train boss.”