Am Good as Common: Thomas E. Seerley's Journey to the Montana Goldfields in 1864

An edited transcription

Seerley journal front cover


Description of the Edited Transcription
This is an edited version of the complete transcription of the journal kept by Thomas Seerley on his journey to the Montana goldfields in 1864.  This edited transcripton is formatted to provide a more readable account of the journey itself.

This edited version stays very close to the complete transcription of the journal.  The only significant difference is that I have omitted the opening and closing pages of the journal, which are comprised mostly of financial accounts and lists of supplies.. 

I have retained Thomas Seerley's spelling, grammar, and capitalization.  However, I made a few changes to enhance readability.  For example, Seerley often omitted punctuation between clauses and complete thoughts.  In those instances, I inserted an extra space or two to make those breaks clearer.  When he inadvertently repeated a word ("for for"), I deleted one of those words.  Seerley frequently inserted a number, such as a daily mileage figure, whose meaning might not be immediately clear to the casual reader.  In addition, he always referred to fellow members of the Masonic order with the use of a Masonic symbol, the compasses and square, rather than a word.  In these cases, I inserted an enhancement or explanation in the text at that point.  When I did that, I put the insertion in brackets, [  ], and bold face type:  for example, 16 [miles] or [Masonic symbol].

Occasionally there are geographical or historical references, or personal names, whose meaning might not be apparent.  In those cases, I used the same convention, brackets and bold face type, to signify that I inserted something into the text at that point. 

-----Gerald L. Peterson


May 2, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
May 2nd  Started about 11 1/2 oclock  went as far as Alex Reeds  ate a good turkey dinner then went to Webster [Iowa town]  returned and tarried over night  had good time, done my first driving--think I will like to drive.  one cow got over chain & I had to heave her off of it--this evening the Cows turned the yoke 3 diff. times.  came near breaking the neck of one -- changed mates. think they will do better now

May 3, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
3rd  Started in good Season had a fine day - forded North Skunk [River] & encamped on the west bank.  I rode my near ox - drove down and my lead yoke were ugly & got over a large log.  but I finally made them back off and then drove out & felt better over it  today I have been quite unwell - ate little at noon done better at supper - here caught up to Jewel - Tom Legg & others --

May 4, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
Oskaloosa 40 miles from home
4th  heaved anker in good time  nothing of note occurring and fed at noon on West side South Skunk [River].  Started lead got 200# [pounds] good timothy hay 80 cents per cwt. [hundredweight]  Saw Jim Hinesly at Oskaloosa, bought pair boots $5.50  here Jewel Legg. Briner & Kemery took Knoxville road  we took road to Pella  encamped 2 1/2 miles from Oskaloosa.  Wm Rodman went & persuaded the boys to turn back & go along.  am well and like the company - have a pretty campground

May 5, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
5th  camped 4 miles east of Pella.  today we had 10 wagons in the train.  plenty of come along for sale.  good farming country.  Bill placed his cows in the lead & they went well.  nothing of any great consequence occured  only rained considerable.  made it rather unpleasant for a city of muslin.  from the ridge our town looks rather handsome.  tents & wagons & plenty of stoves doing duty.  am well as common.  drove 12 miles

May 6, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
Pella 18 [miles]
6th  somewhat muddy yet we started in good season followed on rejoicing.  stopped Some time in Pella.  Small pox here.  fine country.  plenty of dutch.  roads good now.  went 5 miles further then left Desmoines road  went by Red Rock.  ferried the river & camped near red rock cliff.  near the lake or Slough.  paid $1.40 for ferriage  45 for corn, no hay.  at night I caught a few cat-fish.  here is one of the finest cliffs I ever saw.  am still well and not discouraged

May 7, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
7th  moved westward one mile & encamped in a cottonwood grove close to a muddy bayou.  no water fit for cooking or drinking  went 1 1/4 miles for corn & water.  in the afternoon dug out a spring - rained all day.  at 4 o'clock shot 2 squirrels & 1 yellowhammer [bird].  at even started for Desmoines to fish  could not find river for bayous.  Esting[ham] fell in up to his chin.  got back after dark in a glorious rain  4 teams passed for West.

May 8, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
Pleasantville 22 m
Sunday 8th  tried to remember that it is Sabbath day - as it was raining we started and ^ passed Pleasantville & ^ drove to coal creek in the east side of Warren Co.  had plenty of water & wood  Some grass for cattle  had to pay 50 cents for corn - Some of the boys shot squirrels so had sunday meat.  I washed my socks & read several chapters in the Testament.  rained some all night.  am well Thanks to the Giver of health  Saw emigrant from Keokuk City

May 9, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
9th  Started 7 1/2 o'clock  Geo. Briner's cattle not up.  Went and assisted in the search - found them.  started and went as far as South river for dinner - very muddy - horse team stalled near the river  took Tom & Dick & pulled out. rained like rip -- encamped 3 miles east of Indianola.  corn 75 to 80 - to day saw 45 teams for West.  done some target shooting  I am 2nd best 100 yards  bought corn of Hayworth 80 cts  Passed Blair farm

May 10, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
Indianola 12 [miles] St Charles 16 [miles]
May 10th  Shifted our camp in good season - the road lined with emigrants - passed through Indianola.  a smart town in Warren Co.  fed at noon 1 mile East of the John Smith farm  then drove to Clanton Creek & encamped for the night.  43 teams are here.  lively crowd  good horses & mules.  we passed over good prairie.  St Charles 16 miles west of Indianola is a poor place  all stores shut but one.  grass on the increase  hope soon to be plenty, (--yours fraternally)

May 11, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
Wintersett 12 [miles] drove 4 [miles] point
May 11th This morning we had a long hunt for horses & cattle  after I found them I took Frisky and rode to see William [Thomas Seerley's brother].  we were East of Winterset 10 miles  I arrived at Williams by noon - were all well  I left about 1 1/2 o'clock again and met the train at Winterset again, windy day, at evening a dark cloud rising.  we are encamped in the open prairie 4 miles West of Winterset.  Jewel left behind.

May 12, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
14 mile
12th  Cool and partly clear  21 wagons at our encampment  started and went into the illimitable prairie on the road to Fontanelle, stopped on Middle river and dined  paid $1.00 for corn  no grass for cattle.  left without feeding and drove west 3 miles & encamped on a small creek  the prairie has been fine and large.  plenty of sheep kept here.  Every body going to Oregon.  today Noffsinger came up at noon.  well thus far.

May 13, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
20 [miles]
13  Started 7 o'clock  passed Grand River and fed 1 1/2 miles East of Greenfield, then passed East Nodaway river and passed 1/2 mile North of Fontanelle a town of 20 houses including court house & church &c and two houses in the country  then in 4 miles came to  ^ Branch of middle ^ lower Nodaway & camped having made about 20 miles - today we passed over fine prairie but no timber scarcely - Briner mad because we do not go to Plattsmouth.  I do not care.  am in good spirits

May 14, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
14th  continued at same place in order to wash up.  plenty of teams passed today and as grass is becoming better aim to make longer drives  one family came in who on yesterday buried one of their children - they are from McDonough Co. Ills.  today I shot 6 squirrels  two of them I had to chop out of their holes in a tall old linn - we are all in good health.  today Estingham carried of my wood and that I did not like.  Jewel returned it

May 15, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
dead horse in slough  20 [miles]
15th Sunday  left branch of middle Nodaway and drove within 1 mile of Whitnyville for dinner.  then drove to West Nodaway  here most of the teams stopped but we went 3 miles west to big slough  no houses   all heavy rolling prairie.  this morning some of the Washington boys horses took a Stampede - do not know whether they found them - we drove about 20 miles today - and within 12 miles of Lewis - am well and contented

May 16, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
16 [miles]
16th  started in good season  had the best grass yet seen by us.  after going about 3 miles I was sent ahead to get flour but there not being any at Lewis we fed at noon on the Nishinabotany.  fine water  then went about 4 miles & encamped in the middle Nishinabotany  nice camp ground.  fine time Swimming cattle.  today 30 teams in train. prairie heavy rolling and little timber.  I do not like the country.  today saw brother of Rex Mills

May 17, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
17th  left camp in advance of our crowd.  40 teams in train  on the way passed an Illinois train  about 20 teams of us  they had lock chains & so had to stop & lock.  there being 2 roads side by side we drove past in 1 mile drivings  Estingham still gruff  will have his own time to get pleased - Weather hot & dry.  cattle became heated  are now encamped at a small branch.  today saw an underground house.  woman dirty.  all dirty.  prairie endless.  am well

May 18, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
18 [miles]
18th  Journeyed in good season  Weather very dry   we passed OK   All roads very good  too cracked to get muddy.  today crossed several small streams  all deep & difficult to get the cattle to water.  the bottoms are becoming wide & face of the country heavy rolling.  we now cross the rolls instead of following divide.  corn 1.25 pr bushel.  Scarcely any have it  are now encamped 15 miles east of Council Bluffs on a small river  nice water  every little settlement have their school house to  contentment reigns  30 teams in train today - in good health

May 19, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
16 [miles]  Good place for whipstocks on creek at noon
19th  Started off in good Season and drove to within 4 miles of Council Bluffs for dinner  then drove below the Bluffs & turned out and found that the crossing was bad on account of so many teams in waiting.  Sent David to see but could [not] make arrangement and so am gloomy about getting out of Iowa  Reports rife that crossing will be stopped by troops.  I hope not.  I expect to Swim if such is the case.  Dave heard from home

May 20, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
20th  Started last night and drove to the river about 1 o'clock A. M. and took our position in line  my number was 96  we had some trouble with persons who wished to cross before their turn.  We crossed about 3 o'clock P. M. and went to Omaha.  bacon 17¢, flour $3.00  they do considerable business in Omaha.  2 negroes to 1 white  plenty of Soldiers - looks like a military Post.  Saw Omaha Indians today  we camped 3 mile west of Omaha

May 21, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
no wood  1.00 for corn  hay 2.00 p hund.
21st  left camp 7 1/2 o'clock  crossed Several little streams  no troubles & at most streams a ranch - dined on one of the Pappillions [River]  drove on to Elkhorn river 20 miles and encamped close to bridge west side.  some Pawnees came in begging - have no word from Jewel & co.  Lawler left this morning & we did not find him till after night.  Saw lots of teams for Idaho  road crooked but good.  have been badly cut up.  some timber on Elkhorn.  from a small whisky concern this morning Billy and James Thomas had a quarrel.  all settled again

May 22, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
22nd  Sunday but no Sunday here.  Mrs. Thomas is a sort of boss and she has no particular love for Sunday so we are not likely to find things different all though we drove 1 1/2 miles and encamped for bal of day in good grass and near bank of Elkhorn  wrote to McAfferty & Dr. Miller.  J. Lawler fell off mule - muddy day - about 100 teams in bottoms.  Saw grave of old man 84 years old - felt solemn  tried to feel that this is the Lord's day.  feel calm and comfortable.  still well.

May 23, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
Roadometer  good wood and Plattewater for cooking
23rd  left camp but Jewel & co not yet come up.  We now are in sight of Platte and in 5 or 6 miles expect to strike it - this day noon fed within 80 rods of it.  I went down and took a first look at this singular river.  washed & felt that I had seen the strange river - at noon passed Fremont - they are doing a good business in goods line to emigrants  encamped 1/2 mile from Platte  went down.  it is muddy & rising. yet still low.  passed Dale house. weather cold.  dusty

May 24, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
no wood
24th  underway again in good Season.  See strange teams consistently none that we know  Lots Pawnees  no clothing but clouts  all beggars - today traveled up Platt.  Some good Settlements.  crossed Shell creek and now see the beautiful Platte valley.  as nice a camping place as the world affords.  at 65 mile house  Small lake 1/4 mile S. W of house.  Best water at house I saw since Omaha.  would love to live here.  Bill Rodman came near being shot by ramrod from strangers gun.  travelled almost 20 miles.  dry & dusty & cold

May 25, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
Some wood  woman built fire under stone
25th  today was very dusty & warm.  Indians plenty.  took a good look at dirt house.  no use counting teams.  road full from many states.  form new organizations daily.  lose old ones by out driving them - crossed Loup fork in the afternoon & are camped on Platte 1 1/2 miles from Loup Ferry.  Some Galena folks here. are now said to be on the outside of state Hawkeye but still see plenty of Iowans  am yet well and still am in good Spirits & think of home

May 26, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
little wood  Cummins point  20 [miles]
26th  left camp in hurry - today saw few teams as compared with yesterday. Saw 5 Pawnees chasing elk or game of some kind distantd 4 miles. nice sight.  3 squaws came in at noon & got bread.  Saw a  [Masonic symbol] from St. Johns, Mich.  road sandy & very dusty.  drove about 20 miles & are now encamped upon the bank of the Platte.  very wide.  no Island here  looks knee deep & rising.  is quite muddy.  valley about 20 miles wide.  few farms & no fences - am well, & quite comfortable

May 27, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
Got wood on Island
May 27th  continued westward on our route.  considerable of the time was back from river.  at noon drove down and grazed.  dug well & had tollerably good water.  We are now encamped on a bayou at McCurley's - here I saw a Mr. Scharft from Jackson, Tp.  he knew me saw me in Joe. Casey's office - expect to lie over & wash up - we are 18 miles east of Wood's river.  Saw no Indians today.  Saw a man from Allen Co. Indiana who knew Diffendorfer - had to drag a log out of river for wood  Saw large gar fish in bayou.

May 28, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
did not move today  done up the washing &c - today 137 teams passed here.  60 of them horses & mules.  bal. ox teams and about 25 stopped east of us.  I walked down at night to see whether Jewel & co were in the number but did not find him nor hear anything certain of him.  I here found a bro. [Masonic symbol] and had a friendly chat with him  he is from McHenry Co Illinois & Hunter's Grove  am not very well.  eat but little.  hope it may wear off  calculate to drive tomorrow

May 29, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
Plenty wood on bottom  had to keep cattle off a strip of oats 160 rods long
20 [miles]
29th Sunday, moved today about 20 miles and are encamped 1 mile west of Jesse ShoeMaker Point; had dusty road  today bought a bottle of Hostetter bitters [patent stomach nostrum] $1.50.  mailed 1 letter to wife 1 to Father 1 to Martins mailed at Brewer ranch corn worth $2.50 pr bush[el]. weather clear & nights cold & generally windy  cannot hear of Jewel & co.  past and repast many that we saw in Iowa  feel pretty well

May 30, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
no wood  18 miles to day
30th  today drove over prairie as before  no bluff or ridge visible on the right.  today we came to Wood's river and this evening are on the very high bluff above the Sawmill of Jesse Shoemaker at the place where the road crosses the river & 35 miles East of Fort Kearney.  no grass worth naming.  Will have to leave and first grass we find will stop and graze.  Yesterday bought 1 bot. Hostetter bitters $1.50  Jim Lawler lost [water] keg & found it

May 31, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
Some wood  poor water  good grass  17 [miles]
31  this has been a windy day especially afternoon  can scarcely keep the tent up - are encamped on Woods River so drove about 17 miles.  houses quite plenty.  all generally covered with dirt and Sod & farmed  South side of Wood river - nothing of note transpired  only a sore foot - cannot walk & drive so must sit in wagon - understand that it is impossible to cross to Kearney - feel sorry & am not satisfied
found no good grass in morning

June 1, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
plenty wood   good spring water  good grass on west of slope
June 1st  drove one mile & got tire set on small wagon  paid $6.00  in the afternoon took wagon & 8 of us went out on the bluffs & had a buffalo hunt  went out I should think 10 or 12 miles.  saw 4 antelope but did not get a shot - went through a city of Prairie dogs - I shot at one  just shot over it.  killed one chicken  went home in the night - got lost but in course here we are  tired and call buffalo meat poor stuff -

June 2, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
grass north of River good & plenty of good dry wood  20 [miles]
2nd  continued at same place waiting for Jewel &co as we expected them up.  done up our washing. I wrote 3 letters  one to A. Fluckey or Geo. Mysner  1 to wife  1 to Joe Smith  this evening Jewel & Ill. boys all came in - in all 46 teams here.  5 wagons had to get the tire set  cost $6.00 per wagon.  in this place has been the best grass - best range good spring and Wood river for cattle water being nice and clear.  the boys killed several Prairie dogs. all is well -

June 3, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
no wood & rather poor grass
3rd  this morning Jewel & all started in company and mailed 3 letters at Nebraska Centre - Saw the flag at Ft. Kearney.  It looked fine & large.  it made me feel good to see our banner the flag of my country once again  we are now encamped on the bank of Platte & are joined in a corraille with Illinois boys & may perhaps go along with them  at the last house they were making coffin for a Wisconsin emigrant who died today - they are intending to take him back  John C. went around Kearney

June 4, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
did not need wood
Saturday 4th  continued at the same place today. we are corailled with the Illinois Fulton Co. boys.  and so shall have to do guard duty soon - today saw many teams pass.  saw & became acquainted with a number of the good & true [Masonic symbol]  took a good wash in Platte - we now understand that Laman is close up & Billy has gone to see - I am told that myer's Co. was at Columbus to arrest a man for hurrahing for Jeff. Davis. (military here)

June 5, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
no wood  never stop here  22 mi  here Billy left
Sunday 5th  left camp in order going with an Illinois train.  crossing deep ravine. Dry creek  & fed at noon south of road at a small marshy slough  afternoon passed Elm Creek.  very little water.  went on about 4 miles and stopped North of road  poor grass & wretched water, I was detailed on guard duty morning watch  today saw plenty of Buffalo heads and also one Buffalo in the distance.  Boys went to shoot it but did not get a shot - (am dissatisfied)

June 6, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
men had red writing on wagon  no wood & poor good water & poor grass  20 mi
Monday 6th  this morning Bill Rodman and Jas Thomas dissolved partnership.  Bill took out his things and cow - so I took his first leaders for my team - Jim Lawler stayed back also. So we left some time after train Started.  drove 8 miles west of Buffalo creek - very poor water  had none for dinner.  drove till near Sundown - about 10 miles & are encamped on the Platte bottom.  plenty of small well water  tollerably good.  lots encamped around us; very dry and dusty (am well)

June 7, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
at noon Ill. boys near by  no wood  good grass  16 mi
Tuesday 7th  this morning had some trouble to know one of our oxen.  cattle kept close around.  started in good season - halted on a small slough - no water but good grass & finally encamped on Platte with first rate grass and abundance of it.  here dug a well.  plenty water.  saw man with yoke cows alone on the planes.  came to slough  reported lots indians 1 mile above - saw none yet.  can see many teams on the other side river.  are camped opposite to us.  have plenty of company around us. today  no wind, still dry. (am well)

June 8, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
good grass & water  no wood  at noon near Whitcomb  16 mi
Wed. 8th  last night we drove our oxen close to wagon  we found them near in the morning.  Started on our Journey in a crowd of teams.  drove over very sandy roads.  crossed a point of the bluff.  then down into the marshy bottom and dine'd at noon on a rough bottom of Platte.  road rather heavy & sandy alll day - are encamped west side a small swift Branch near the bluff - musketos very troublesome - heavy bank on the west - looks like a storm grass tollerably good, no wood today.  very hot at noon.  (feel well)
Skunk Creek  Smoke with Buff chips

June 9, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
no wood  dug well  somewhat alkaline
Thurs. 9th  left our encampment as usual, drove 7 miles to Pawnee Springs - fine spring at the head of Pawnee Swamp. filled our keg.  drove around to the river beyond the Sand Ridge and stopped for noon 1/3 mile from road - 1 mile brought us to a small carrion creek where the dead body of a man from Missouri.  killed by Indians in May - was buried.  we felt hostile - are encamped in the open Platte bottom close by an Iowa train from Wintersett  (We are all well,)

June 10, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
good grass & water  no wood
Friday 10th  continued in same place today.  I and 4 others went hunting on the bluff  shot at an antelope.  killed a large rattlesnake.  saw a wolf.  saw no Indians  kept a good lookout for them  came home at 1 o'clock.  Jewel & co. passed 1 mile above, - last night a woman was confined - child died  buried today.  saw two brethren  find friends every day.  this evening had a dispute with an Iowa Baptist Preacher - am satisfied that we did not make a fortune at it  he is very positive, expect to stay until Monday.  very windy  looks like a storm was coming

June 11, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
Sat 11  still encamped here  Jewel & company still above us.  went hunting again today.  Saw one antelope  lots of crane & one man Saw an elk on the bluff.  no Indians yet show themselves.  Saw John today  he appeared glad to see me.  the weather is drizzly & cold.  bad uncomfortable weather.  we are now joined in the Madison train & shall have preaching Sundays  tonight Mr. Whitcomb will preach at Jewel's camp.  I am detailed on guard duty for morning watch, don't feel well, will go to meetings

June 12, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
Sunday 12th  Still at same place  this day have not been well.  went last night & heard the Preacher, he preached John 3rd the15 verse  rather controversial for me - this forenoon had school - at 2 P. M. preaching - from 10 Lepers. labored hard to prove that to fall was impossible - did not prove it to my satisfaction  Several Hurrahed for Jef Davis when they heard that Grant was defeated  Saw two [Masonic symbol] today.  expect to start in morning.  am tired being cold  damp drizzly weather - we are now in the heart of Indian country yet see none.  are above Cotton wood

June 13, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
Mc. team run off  no wood  15 [miles]
Mond 13th  started in company of Winterset train.  woman rather weakly.  passed wide deep creek & several other muddy creeks & stopped at 10 o'clock and took dinner - woman worse - saw grave of a Mr. Foster of Ohio aged 64 years  one of Josephine Jonson & one not named buried lately - one mile west of our last encampment at 12  small Islands close after each other & close to shore.  are encamped in good grass.  I dug well - good one  do for 100 teams.  am not very well yet.  intend to corraile the cattle tonight.  drove about 15 mi

June 14, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
14 Tues.  laid still today.  woman not well enough.  last night it rained very hard and again today rainy & gloomy - looks like settled rain.  most of emigrants have no wood so are in a bad fix - 45 miles above I understand there is some Cedar 2 miles out in bluffs - will have to hunt it up - willow brush makes a poor fire in rain & buf chips worse yet. river high & backing out into the slough & creeks. am afraid won't get to Idaho this season.  wish to hurry up, but cannot as long as it rains.  took pills last night

June 15, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
No 1 grasses at encampment  1/4 mile below  20 [miles]
Wed. 15  rained most of last night  most of horses got loose about 1 o'clock & all hands got out & secured them again - did not herd them last night for the rain.  old man Whitcomb keeps harping around on Baptist peculiarities  left camp late - on east bank of E. Bluff creek saw 12 tents & lots Sioux Indians and 3 mile further 30 tents - lots young one & squaws  great beggars - drove over sand bluff  hard drive 4 miles sand in 4 cliff ridges.  Whitcomb & sons stopped before coming into camp.  are dissatisfied with Captain -
Rained at noon

June 16, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
18 [miles]
Thurs. 16  waited until bal. of co. came up all out of fix - left in a train  crossed sand hills & stopped at noon in poor grass  C. Whitcomb went back for rope  we left about 3 o'clock and crossed small creek and all encamped together near bluff  rather poor grass.  crossed many branches - ground marshy.  road bad - no Indians today.  lots good willow.  40 mules here that stampeded when man was shot  found them below prairie creek - Am tollerably well, like many of our company, woman better.

June 17, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
18 [miles]
Frid. 17.  left camp scattering Whitcombs behind.  had bad & swampy road all along the river where the cedar grows - the bluffs now become rocky - grazed at noon in poor place  had many bad sloughs to cross. Woody stalled in a creek this afternoon & I lost the whip lash.  Charley went ahead and got good grass  are encamped on Platte bottom (don't know where) am in good hopes of some day seeing Ft. Laramie -

June 18, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
graves of 4 children  stampede  16 [miles]
Sat 18th  today had very sandy road for a couple miles  then came to the bluff at mouth of Wolfs creek.  this is about 3/4 mile across and very steep.  hard to cross  we did not double teams.  camped at noon 1 mile ahead of it then drove some miles and crossed Watch creek & are encamped in vicinity of river on low damp ground. about 1 1/2 mile west of creek.  bottom narrow & rough. road now passable  very hot at noon.  am well

June 19, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
we are above Pawpaw train  our cattle went up to a bull 2 mils off  20 [miles]
Sund 19  traveled today.  Jones ahead.  had good road.  passed ash hollow.  here was a train on South side.  passed Castle creek (fine creek) also Castle rock on South side.  Past night I went to bluffs north, saw pretty cliffs, thought I saw two Indians go in ravine  went in after but none there.  at dusk started back off 2 miles.  saw several graves today.  Weather warm & afternoon no water.  grass rather poor (drove about 20 miles) prospect of more rain.

June 20, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
here we thought Whitcomb had gone by as our road was to river but they came near out  18 [miles]
Mond 20  Traveled near 10 miles & fed at noon on short grass near Crab creek  a beautiful small stream about 6 feet wide  road generally good.  came near having a row with a train for passing in before us.  we drove them off.  are now encamped on Platte 1 mile East of where we cross the bluff called Cobble Hills  grass closely grazed off.  Buffalo gnats & musketoes are very troublesome  Lots encamped on bottom  am well & hope you same

June 21, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
7 mi
21st  crossed Hills & stopped in the plain above and went 3 miles north after cedar wood. found it in abundance  good & dry.  here we pass what is called ancient Bluff ruins resembling castles  hundreds of names are here.  it makes a man giddy to look down on plain below - grand sight indeed.  grass very poor.  are washing up  some of the mules are gone  may have to stop longer  Saw A. P. Flory's name on bluffs  one day ahead of us

June 22, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
8 [miles]
Wed.  finishing drying clothing & ironing.  went on bluffs.  had a fine time looking about.  at 2 O'clock left & drove about 8 miles and encamped close to river.  the water in our wells not good - grass short yet enough for our teams.  Weather warm and dry.  sand plenty and rather heavy going.  Our boys in the train are singing Secession songs.  Thomas don't feel at home among them yet he likes to be along for they are clever to us - we are now in sight of Chimney rock about 20 miles off - (feel well)

June 23, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
20 [miles]
Thurs. 23rd  moved today about 20 miles - passed Court house rock in distance on south side and are encamped about 5 miles east of Chimney rock - rather poor grass all day - our cattle are on an island and so are doing tollerably well.  dug a deep hole but little water - this day has been cool and good for driving.  poney express started in advance.  see telegraph across river  quite a number of teams also.  not in good humor.

June 24, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
20 m
Frid. 24th  this morning John Rairdan joined us having quit Whitcomb.  they and McConky dropped behind - We passed Chimney rock  are now in good grass  splendid water by digging and are perhaps 5 miles east of Scotts bluffs.  they are 20 miles from Chimney rock.  appear 4 or 5 - the road has been good.  weather comfortable, but gnats & musketos are awful - bottom 10 mile wide.  beautiful evening - all pleasant & in good spirits.  beautiful sight or view on south side  can see 40 miles.  see Laramie peak 50 miles off

June 25, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
19 [miles]
Sat 25th  started in good season  drove about 19 miles  passed Scott's bluffs and encamped for noon on spring creek  a beautiful creek which runs with the road on south side for nearly one mile but does not cross.  this is the trout creek. - are within 1/2 day drive of Jewel - passed small lake or slough full of snakes.  dug bully well - plenty of cold good water - musketoes bad  no good - hot afternoon, cool night.  am well as expected. good grass &c

June 26, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
20 m
Sund 26  traveled today.  started at 6 1/2 oclock  drove to Indian encampment  by noon wemt over to the Lodges 55 of them - plenty of Indians  large portly fellows  Jones lost his keg by shooting  I tried to get mockasins but could not  tonight are encamped south of road in good grass.  good well water. Jewel 1/2 day ahead  got a Cotton wood letter from him today - intend to get near Laramie tomorrow.  am well & hope to hear from Louisa [Thomas Seerley's wife] soon

June 27, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
20 [miles]
Mond 27  started for Laramie  had rather sandy road & at noon no grass - drove past Ferry & tied up  no grass being there - had out double guard  plenty of White Indians to steal  here the river again divides one Laramie fork & North fork or Platte  the Ft. lies in a low place  does not look grand  I do not fancy country - must leave early

June 28, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
8 m
Tues. 28  teams started early to find feed  I and Davenport crossed over to Ft.  I mailed letter to Homer [Thomas Seerley's oldest son] Louisa [Thomas Seerley's wife] - Martin - Betsy - William  [Thomas Seerley's brother] Father Smith [Thomas Seerley's father-in-law] & Bert McWilliams  recd 4  one from Louisa.  2 from Homer  one from Peter Blue  lost one after I read it  paid 50 cents ferry  left at 10 oclock  went 8 miles & overtook train  laid up ballance of day  country rough & barren  am well -

June 29, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
24 m
Wed 29 - started early & passed soldier camp then cold spring  enough water for 3 children  next struck the river after
passing the roughest road I ever drove over in the Black Hills  no grass here - so drove to Alder clump  arrived after night  found little water and so tied up all night. not having had any feed that was good for 3 days.  Here we found Jewel & co & many other trains that we have been passing & repassing  kept no guard out  too many here for Indians

June 30, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
18 m
Thurs 30  this morning early loosed cattle  drove them to bluff to graze  tollerably good bunch grass.  left camp at 11 o'clock intending to go 9 miles but soon found that it was 18 miles to river - so had to hurry up our teams.  we were alone and reported bad country for Emigrants to pass in small trains so we hurried up to 3 other trains for protection. after dark got to river.  big bend. turned cattle loose - guarded head of bank  lots here.  no grass.  plenty across river. are north of Laramie peak  cold & windy.  dusty & Parched.

July 1, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
Friday.  this morning drove our cattle across Platte  then took horses across & herded all day - caught some fine fish - fried some on stones for dinner  saw men swim cattle  one man came near drowning  had pair boots across his arm. called out that he could wade - did so.  Isaac Miller came near being drownded - went down several times - four men got him out - very sick - I took horse down and got him on  took him to camp  about 150 teams here  grass good across but deep crossing

July 2, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
good bunch grass on bluffs  8 m
Sat July 2nd  had a hard time to get cattle over river - rode 4 into it and after about 3 hours got them across.  then yoked up started  one train ahead of us - drove 8 miles till noon  halted under a grove of large Cottonwood trees - nice place near river.  here one cow went across with a herd of cattle.  I got a glass and looked over saw her - hired a man to go after her - by this time too late to move so halted for ballance of day.  plenty encamped here - tied up the teams tonight

July 3, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
16 m
Sund 3rd  drove today  passed place where Indians stole horses  Rodman & others saw stampede.  passed over burnt rocky mountainous country  rough roads - and encamped at night on bank of river below burnt ridges  drove our cattle around bend of river below  tollerably good grass.  about 200 teams encamped today  Jewel & co fell in train & expect to travel together through this Indian country  here the Indians are now dangerous  we keep a good watch out - some killed and stock missing daily - Intend to make arrangements to go to Idaho - am well

July 4, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
18 m
Mon 4th  this morning a salute was fired by Eureka and Hurlburt train.  went after cattle.  started over rolling country.  My team got frightened  ran furiously for a time  got them stopped  no harm done - passed a black sulpher spring  good water.  train over 2 miles long.  very dusty  much sand - some hard traveling.  are encamped near river down ravine.  poor grass  have made arrangement with Mr. Cooley to go to Idaho.  are encamped with Jewel & co.  rather cool  fine for travelling. am well  & expect to leave Thomas tomorrow

July 5, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
18 [miles]
Tues. 5th  moved from camp.  passed very gravelly road today  had heavy hills & sand good part of the way.  passed man at soldier station who lost 17 horses by Indians  at noon no grass, drove hard  & encamped opposite by mountain  intend to cross cattle over river for grass.  saw coach pass this evening.  are above Platt ford.  nothing took place worthy of mentioning.  Yet well and still in good cheer

July 6, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
5 miles
Wed 6th  started this morning.  left in lead.  Jewel & co halted for one ox.  last night I swam river on horseback & stood guard  7 in company.  grass plenty across.  had trouble to get mules over  when I came across the cattle teams were under way.  we drove a few miles & stopped for ballance of day having found good grass.  today Bill Rodman was uneasy because some in train said that they would like to shoot a Tally shooter.  Just below our encampment is a good coal bank.  here is plenty of good dry cottonwood & Platte water  first rate camp ground.  saw no Indians

July 7, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
8 miles
Thurs.7th  left camp and drove over heavy sandy road  came to lower bridge [John Baptiste Richard's toll bridge over the Platte] about 11 oclock A. M.  here is the Bozman cut off so there being a train under way of organization for Big horn I left Jim Thomas & went with Mr. Cooley.   we are encamped back of Ranch back of mountain.  some 55 teams here now & others reported coming.  Dan Noffsinger & Kemery being along  game is reported plenty along mountain, some are gone out now, will stay all night  Am not certain that we are going best route - am well

July 8-9, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
Frid 8th  are still encamped same place  more teams coming in.  A committee of 2 was appointed to go to upper bridge and find out all about the Bridger cut off.  the com. I now think we will take the Bridger route - tonight we take a vote - am not very well
Sat 9th  continued same place next to mountain to hunt  saw some beautiful sights  fine scenery  found splendid water.  Noffsinger & I killed a fine Buck.  divided with 13 teams, all well pleased.  am now making arrangements to go Bridger cut off.  considerable spouting on the subject.  Am getting better again

July 10-11, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
18 [miles]
Sund 10th  continued at same place  nothing transpired today worthy of note  Expect to start for Bridger pass tomorrow
Mond 11th  started today for upper bridge  a long train, mailed letter to J. L. White.  bought pencil and tacks at store  Saw Whitcombs & McConkey.  went over the worst road yet driven over that is down hill - some sand  are now encamped on river - cattle across at Red-Bank or Buttes.  We are said to be 4 miles below Bridger cutoff. & at last point on Platte  the next being Sweet Water branch of Platte.  am not well, diarrhea troublesome

July 12, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
Tues 12th  continued at same place near mineral springs  tarried for other trains to come up  today caught fine fish. some rogue carried off my rifle & powder horn, cannot find it  this evening a train of 30 teams arrived for Bridger cut off.  intend to move tomorrow.  today saw a Mr. Terrill of Liberty township on his way to California - know not what has become of A. P. Flory  his man did move for Bozman

July 13, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
17 [miles]
Wed 13  I stayed all night with the cattle on the South side of river - this morning moved  for Bridger cut off - 42 teams in train. now 30 more coming up from last bend of Platte at Mineral Springs  drove 5 miles to cut off - then 9 miles  some water  no grass   then 3 miles further water, good grass & Sage wood  today had good road  some curious rocks around bluffs  game becoming plenty  think I will like the Bridger road.  we are in good hopes of good times -

July 14, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
Thurs 14th  continued same place waiting for a train to come up.  good grass.  water plenty but too sweet.  today 4 deer brought into camp - divided out - antelope plenty  6 teams of promised train only came in - 24 taking other road - organized by electing Mr. Stafford captain - expect to start in morning  all tie up at night so have little guard to do.  I found that a man in train found pistol but did not return it  paid $5.00 for rifle

July 15, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
25 [miles]
Fri. 15  started 6 1/2 oclock over good road generally  no water nor grass for 25 miles  drove into corraille at dark  plenty water for stock  grass in narrow ravines  Sage for wood, water N. W. road & at head of Slough a good large spring of good water  Loftes & Belden quarrl  I shot Antelope but lost it  7 brought into camp.  saw about 30.  country barren & no feed except in spots  I like Capt Stafford  train 71 teams

July 16, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
20 [miles]
Sat 16  left camp 8 1/2 oclock  passed some water in wells in slough in 10 miles.  I went hunting.  shot 3 times.  no hit - went again  killed a doe Ant.  went in evening  killed 2 Ant. Bucks - went after them  got in at 12 at night  encamped in large wash no grass & all water in holes dug for it.  road good but dusty - drove about 20 miles.  tied up cattle without feed. did not stop at noon.  am tired & sleepy.

July 17, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
did not find grass  15 [miles]
Sund. 17th  drove some 5 miles  came to a little grass, dug holes & watered cattle - drank freely - stopped here till 5 o'clock P. M.  Started, drove near 10 miles  encamped near branch with Willow trees on it - no grass, tied up - Several cattle died today  Some gave out & may yet die  intend to find grass out 3 miles from here - a card points that way for grass - things look billious - road good.  Bridger is some with the boys

July 18-19, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
fed lots pork along here  got Black gooseberries
Mond 18th  continued same place.  cattle tired needing rest  2 died yesterday & 2 today  Suppose water & dust cause - grass short yet cattle look pretty well filled -
Tues. 19th  drove about 7 miles  found good mild rye & water  Stafford train lost 3 more cattle  Some more sick.  had some bad rough road.  one bad hill descent  game scarcer.  Some rain today  quite muddy - nasty getting around. small running stream  good water.  no alkali  intend to drive tomorrow again

July 20, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
7 [miles]
Wed. 20th  drove about 7 miles  good grass  lots of water & good water.  I & Pauley went hunting.  P. killed one Antelope in afternoon & and Dave killed black tail deer  Plenty of Elk & Buffalo signs - saw none.  more cattle died  some yet sick.  think it a Kind of dry Murrain [coverall diagnosis for several cattle diseases].  we think of continuing over today  if so may go hunting  am well and only wish to go ahead to get to work

July 21-22, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
on 22 Frazier upset  9 [miles]
Thurs. 21 continued same place.  some more cattle sick  Some died today - all scared about it - one opened seemed dry murrain - went hunting and brought in one Antelope killed by Swain.  Emigrants well generally  Lots of goose berries
22  drove 9 miles today and stopped for day.  helped kill an antelope.  saw many - Some Indian signs. no Indians. have good grass.  good spring water - country improving - are near the summit.  will cross tomorrow.  Am in good health

July 23, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
here saw a foot of grizzly bear  2 mile down ravine is a small spring  good water
23 Sat.  today crossed summit  some steep road - rather dangerous - one of Staffords wagons broke down - drove 8 miles & stopped between bluffs at a small creek - herded the cattle 2 miles up ravine.  was on guard afternoon, rained some, poor water & indifferent grass - sage hens plenty.  Rattlesnakes at home here  Country hilly or bluffy - no game seen today - am tired at delays - expect no water for 15 miles ahead  am well -

July 24, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
22 m
Sund 24th  Started early.  our train ahead - Stafford not well pleased.  don't care - they drive too slow - drove about 22
miles & encamped on Wind [Shoshone] river - a fine wide river  good water - good grass & plenty No 1 wood - passed barren country today  mostly followed small dry creeks. roads somewhat hilly yet good - no breakdowns today, some of Stafford train got in late  perhaps 11 o clock - no guard on duty  all mad & I am not pleased

July 25, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
Mond 25th  river large & rapid  tried to find ford.  accidentally found ferry boat floating past  stopped it - fixed it up and at 5 oclock P. M. commenced crossing teams - one at a time - we got over at dark - kept on all night.  in the evening some tried fording but came near drowning horse cattle & men - ran down to help - they cut rope and drifted out - find men show their true Character on this trip.  Real shirks  Some never help, but first to cross when ferry ready & then not help others --

July 26, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
8 [miles]
Tues 26.  finished ferrying by 9 Oclock A. M.  started at 12 N. drove about 8 miles over dusty & rather rough road to place where road comes to the river - good grass & Wood but water red & muddy  dug holes for drinking water.  Several cattle sick.  some died  two men sick  some fine gold found in bed of river - quite bluffy & picturesque - game scarce - Kemry's ox better today - he is in a fix & stew - all in commotion.  am well as common

July 27-28, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
15 [miles]  Kemry sold out  Shanley got into river
Wed 27.  continued same place  Gordon too sick to travel  2 steers died today  Burns got in  reported tracks 30 miles back.  look for a train to come up - am well & satisfied
Thur 28  traveled about 15 miles had some very rough roads full of gullies.  Some cattle died today. are encamped near Wind river 1 mile below Dry creek - grass good on island wood plenty.  road very dusty  have to stand cattle guard with Ricketts - 3 men sick  at noon were separate  Dave & I went swimming

July 29, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
16 m
Fri 29th  Started 6 1/2 Oclock all mixed up - drove about 8 miles & nooned in a fine shade on river bank - afternoon started in advance of Stafford division. will split up and go alone.  encamped 1/4 mile from river  had some grass  abundance of dry wood & river water  to day some of train went in a raft & had hard time. I went hunting but no game - are all corrailled together - no cattle died today  (am well

July 30, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
12 miles
Sat 30th  Started 6 1/4 Oclock in advance of Stafford train  today roads were good but still dusty - no cattle died today - drove today about 12 miles and are encamped near where road leaves the river for Grey bull creek  all the sick are improving & soon will be fit for duty  Kemry & Dave are still with Mr. Borah - are corrailled together again are now in good spirits & hope soon to hear of Yellow stone diggins
some fine cat fish caught  crossed cattle over river

July 31, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
14 m
Sund. 31st  today drove about 14 miles  no water or grass on the way and are encamped on Grey Bull river  a fine stream of good water - wood plenty - grass rather poor  the road has been good but very dusty as usual - this afternoon met two men  the first on the Cutoff - at encampment 2 men came in on return  said to be with [Jim] Bridger on return - gave bad report of Yellow stone - say no gold - no work - all seem gloomy & desponding - I am bound to see this bauble burst or find gold  the folks generally well

August 1, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
15 m
1st   Tally day.  one year ago had a fuss.  today Stafford laid up  we drove out & drove about 15 miles to where road leaves G. Bull  grass short  water None - & wood in abundance.  this morning met [Jim] Bridger & train returning.  they gave hard report.  some of our boys are discouraged.  Kemry has gone back with Bridger  I wrote a letter to Louisa [Thomas Seerley's wife] & Sent by Kemry - I expect to try Idaho a while & if I fail then time to back out.  we expect two hard drives ahead  35 & 25 miles  am well

August 2-3, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
Say good grass ten miles above watering place
Aug Tues 2nd  Started 3 O'clock P. M. and drove until about 9 1/2 P. M. Stopped - tied up teams and fed them.  the
grass we carried along - passed over some very rough country.  camped separately.  tired
Wed 3rd  Started at daylight & drove until near 10 A. M.  came to stinking river - watered & drove about 10 miles & found grass  turned out for day  This was 35 miles & no grass  this is a fine stream - good wood but rather poor grass  am tired but well --

August 4-5, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
drove 15 miles  Sage creek
Thurs.4th  Humbug! no move
Friday 5th  Started 9 O'clock in confusion - crossed river drove about 6 miles in heavy Sand to small dry creek  dug holes  found some water - then I went hunting  Seen some game  got none - found good water & holes & good grass tall rye - here encamped for night.  Boreh & Pauley & McKinney gone ahead - now no Captain nor order  all in confusion  no one willing to wait for another - wish I was through

August 6, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
Sat 6th  drove about 6 miles by 10 Oclock  stopped at good water & grass  saw plenty of Antelope shot none.  Saw a
Buffalo  shot twice hit once - 3 others shots made  then passed camp - one man took horse & pursued & killed it.  now some mad & want to go on & others want meat.  All now agree to stop for it & a party gone to bring it in - came in with a wagon load left 400#s [pounds]  supposed rest 1400#s - very large  I find it No 1 meat - I broke its right shoulder badly, (well

August 7, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
24 [miles]
Sund 7th  started in good season  stopped at noon at fine branch  no grass - droves of antelope on left hand - high mountains all around at distance.  drove to Clark's fork at dark.  tied up  no grass - made 24 miles.  passed summit between stinking and Clarks, very high bluffs.  fine Scenery - good road for such country - all in good order reorganized again.  Lebo capt.  Saw men returning.  bad report of Idaho - feel sorry about it yet will go ahead  Cook in a scold (I am angry)

August 8, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
Mr. Shidler died Aug. 2, 1864  12 [miles]
Mond 8th  started early & crossed Clark's fork & stopped until 9 1/2 O'clock.  then drove about 6 miles & encamped on bank of river - one wagon out of fix had to be repaired.  went fishing for trout.  some fine trout & catfish were caught - passed Shields train - met Express boy - gave favorable account of mines.  boys in good spirits.  this is a fine swift river full of fine fish:  very stony in bottom - some very fine cottonwood timber on it - Indian signs plenty

August 9, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
15 m
Tues. 9th  drove in cattle in good season - one of James Mortice's steers missing.  had to wait about 2 hours - Shields train passed - 9 teams of our train turned off too & left - we soon overtook them  drove to 2nd crossing of Rocky river for dinner  drove over the river at 3rd ford & encamped close to Wright & co - this river is clear very swift & tremendously stony - seen grizzly today - some fine trout caught

August 10, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
made 22 miles
Wed 10th  Started 5 1/2 o'clock ahead of Wright & co.  drove about 10 miles till noon  crossed small creek - good water  some springs - good rolling country. and halted for night on E. bank of East Rose bud  the finest stream yet seen.  Snow visible on the left on big horn. here a large train is prospecting now & report waited for.  If report is good will lie over & pitch in - this evening saw Dave he is 1 1/2 mile ahead - expect to come up today - saw 3 Crow Indians today - they seem friendly

August 11-12, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
100 yards above ford at W. Bud is a fine spring  15 mi
Thurs. 11th  laid over - no gold  caught some fine trout
Frid 12  started 8 o'clock  crossed Rosebud river.  middle branch & West Rosebud before noon.  all clear cold swift streams - axletree deep - plenty of trout.  some 18 inches long - best water yet seen.  rolling country all grassy & looks fine passed down bad descent. 1 mile west of West Rosebud is a fine spring - drove about 15 miles & encamped on high prairie.  little water  plenty wood  Small pox boys along close

August 13, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
Homer 16 years old  saw skull of Indian  20 [miles]
Sat 13th.  Started early.  road divides.  we took left hand  passed over heavy rolling land covered with good grass. but little water along our route as we are heading most streams  at 12 1/2 O'clock came to a Small stream in sight of Yellowstone - halted - found good grass - today saw a large spring 5 ft deep.  drove up Yellowstone & encamped - river muddy & seems rising - I caught some fine trout - river rapid and looks large as upper Platte, am well

August 14, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
15 mi
Sund 14  this morning Cooley hauled off.  Eureka intending to lay by.  So we left & soon caught up with Pauley & co &
at 4 O'clock with Noffsinger & co & tarried ballance of the day.  had some of the worst stony road yet driven over -
Yellowstone is a fine river  Some of the nicest bottom land - good soil & fine grass.  the boys are catching fine trout - are rather uneasy about Virginia [City] being a bad place for us.  will soon find out

August 15, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
18 m.
Mond 15th  cool weather.  started in good season - I and Dave went hunting - Saw plenty of Antelope - gun snapped no shot - went to river - ford  found train had passed over - so I had to wade 1/3 mile not over knee deep but stony hurt my feet like rip - we are now encamped on the Yellowst. river about 2 miles above where we first came to bottom. made 18 miles today, are close to the Y. stone mountains.  look blue & Snow visible.  am well & am anxious to get through

August 16, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
18 miles
Tues 16 - started in Co. with Wright & others - left Yellowstone for the last time.  passed heavy long hill - all heavy rolling land.  plenty of creeks for water & grass & are encamped at crossing of a fine stream.  (will call deer creek) - killed one fine antelope  David went along & helped bring hide & forequarters in.  I kept 1 hind quarter  Jerked it for my own use - ballance to Cooley - plenty of trains in Company.  travelled 18 miles  are 80 from Virginia City

August 17, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
at noon went into mountain after Elk  15 m
Wed. 17 - Started in good time  Dekker, Borah & Wright had cattle out - waited for them & then followed the creek all day  very rough road - quite mountain  Some very fine pine ridges.  had bad sidling road.  some of the steepest cliffs.  are encamped on a brushy creek where Indians used to live  lots of Lodge poles for wood - at evening went to mountain  killed a fine Blacktail doe  Dave is jerking ham of it - grass rather dry but yet good feed - water first rate

August 18, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
17 miles
Thurs 18th  cold morning.  cold all night.  Dave & I laid by large fire & I dried my venison.  started in good time.  had very sidling road.  hard on wagons.  passed very high Peaks.  drove about 9 miles & stopped for noon - we followed small creek to head then passed summit & are passing west down another going in the direction of the Galatin fork - passed a steep cañon - grand view.  camped at west end.  no accidents  see beautiful Balsam Fir groves - fine valley &c

August 19, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
20 mile
Frid 19th  went hunting this morning  saw 2 deer  no shot  this forenoon drove into Galatin bottom.  bottom 15 miles wide.  nice  several houses are here built by Ranchers.  have fine potatoes & other vegetables.  all Irrigate  drove to the east bank of west branch of Galatin & encamped - poor grass - fine wood - game still plenty off of the road - today my team Stampeded  ran furiously - passed several wagons.  Mrs Cooley Jumped out  sprained ankle &c the result  are 60 miles from Virginia City

August 20, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
20 m
Sat 20th  Started early.  drove 14 miles to a small creek & halted for dinner.  then drove to West bank of Madison fork - a good looking river about 200 yards wide.  generally even depth about knee deep - here is not much wood.  none on bottom  cedar on bluff sides.  water clear & cool  country bluffy.  some fine vallies - met several persons today.  are rather hopeful of procuring work.  some stir about Yellowstone  drove about 20 miles today  had a [Masonic symbol] meeting last night.  am still well - Dave not so

August 21-24, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
14 m
Sund 21st  started in good season. drove up some ravines and passed Several fine ranches  grass good - halted for noon at a fine ranch - drove about 5 miles further & encamped at foot of Bluffs near a ranch  26 miles from Va. City
Mond 22  went and prospected Norwegian gulch - took no claims
Tues 23  prospected Hot spring gulch but did not get down
Wed 24  made windlass & sunk shaft deeper but caved in & so abandoned it for good.  are now satisfied for these gulches

August 25, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
Thurs 25th started for Va. City  drove about 15 miles & encamped on a branch of Madison river - today fine ranches on meadows  creek - large hay ricks - all things looked prosperous - constantly meeting teams & horsemen.  fine valley  good water  quite a number of streams coming in from all directions.  hear some good news from City.  Some give bad report.  expect soon to see for myself.  am rather fearful that laborers are too plenty - am well

August 26, 1864 (image of journal page and full transcription)
Frid. 26th
this morning had to go across river to cut grass to take along - river rapid - some fell down crossing - started for city  went through by 4 o'clock  has some very rocky hilly road - City in a gulch. crooked & mostly low dirt covered tenements - fast place, many idle & all abominably wicked - work scarce  board high - am afraid that I cannot get regular employment - if not I do not feel like staying here  too expensive  Finis


Original transcription and edited transcripton by University Archivist Gerald L. Peterson, November 2011; Web coding advice by Library Administrative Assistant Susan Basye; last updated, February 15, 2012 (GP).


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