Waiting at Ham’s Fork

“We passed the Rattlesnake Hills [or Granite Mountains] and Sweetwater Mountains and crossed the Rookies at South Pass.

We drove on the west slope of the mountains till we reached Dry Sandy Creek. Here we had poor water and heavy, sandy roads, and our cattle were getting weak from the long journey. It was slow traveling down this stream, and we would have to double our teams to get through the sandy streaks.

We went from here on down Big Sandy Creek, and across to Green River near where Granger now is.

We had quite a hard time in crossing this stream.

Here we found a sort of trading post, and they had farmed a little. Rennick found some potatoes here and bought some. They were the first vegetables we had had since leaving Leavenworth, and it was a treat to us all.

Here we laid over, as we were in no hurry now. Colonel Van Vliet had gone into Salt Lake City, and Brigham Young refused to allow the soldiers and their supply trains to enter the city. The Mormons had an armed force stationed along the road out, nearly to old Fort Bridger, one hundred miles from Salt Lake City, and they were building fortifications to keep the government trains out. There were twenty-five hundred armed Mormons stationed along this road.

Colonel Van Vliet came back, and when he met the first train, ordered them to turn back to Ham’s Fork and stop till further orders. He left part of his escort with them, exchanged part of his mules, and rode back to Fort Lara­mie as fast as he could, changing mules at each train and ordering each train to stop at Ham’s Fork.

We were twenty-six miles from the Fork when he met us.

We rested here a while, then drove in and camped near the other trains. There were four trains ahead of us.

There was a fine camping place with plenty of good water and fine grass for our cattle.

Other trains kept coming in every day or two.”